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DHR Health to advise Edinburg City Council, community of “Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month” during Tuesday, March 2 public session - Titans of the Texas Legislature

FEATURED, FROM LEFT: Edinburg City Councilmember Johnny García; Marissa Gómez -Martínez, MD, DHR Health; Mayor Richard Molina; Marcy Martínez, Director of Public Media Relations & Corporate Communications, DHR Health; and Dr. Ted E. Bear, DHR Health. On Thursday, December 17, 2020, city and DHR Health leaders gathered in the Council Chambers at Edinburg City Hall, 415 West University Drive, to promote “Active Edinburg”, an initiative to help promote a more physically active community.

Photograph Courtesy DHR HEALTH


DHR Health to advise Edinburg City Council, community of “Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month” during Tuesday, March 2 public session

[email protected]

Medical professionals with DHR Health will appear before the Edinburg City Council on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, for a city proclamation recognizing March 2021 as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, which will include a call to observe Friday, March 5, 2021, as “Dress in Blue Day” to help bring awareness to colorectal cancer.

The meeting, which is open to the public – with COVID-19 public safety restrictions in place, such as in-person capacity, the required use of face masks, social distancing, etc. – begins at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers at Edinburg City Hall, located at 415 W. University Drive.

Anchored in southwest Edinburg, with a growing presence in neighboring McAllen, DHR Health offers some of the most comprehensive medical care on the U.S. southern border, with more than 1,400 nurses and 600+ physicians providing care in 70+ specialties and sub-specialties.

“Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. among men and women combined but there is currently no cure,” Edinburg City Secretary Myra Ayala stated in her memorandum explaining the pending proclamation in the city council’s agenda packet. “One in twenty men and one in twenty-four women will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in their lifetimes.”

In 2021, an estimated 149,500 peoplewill be diagnosed with colorectal cancer, reports the Colorectal Cancer Alliance. They will join more than 1.4 million colorectal cancer patients and survivors living today.

By wearing blue on “Dress in Blue Day,” individuals can help support the work being done nationally to help prevent and treat colorectal cancer, and support everyone who is directly or indirectly affected by this highly-preventable disease, according to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance.

Colorectal cancer starts in the colon or the rectum. These cancers can also be called colon cancer or rectal cancer, depending on where they start. Colon cancer and rectal cancer are often grouped together because they have many features in common.

DHR Health is the flagship teaching hospital for the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine and encompasses a general acute hospital with the only dedicated women’s hospital south of San Antonio, a rehabilitation hospital, a behavioral hospital, more than 70 clinics Valley-wide, advanced cancer services, the only transplant program in the Rio Grande Valley – and the only functioning 24/7 Level 1 Trauma Center south of San Antonio.

Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, Ltd (“DHR”) and its general partner, RGV Med, Inc. (“RGV  Med”) own and operate a 519 licensed bed general acute care hospital located at 5501 South McColl in Edinburg. The facility is one of the largest physician-owned facilities in the United States that began as an ambulatory surgery center in 1997.

DHR Health is headquartered on a 130-acre site, with most of the facilities in southwest Edinburg but with a growing presence in McAllen, including its South Campus located immediately across Owassa Road in northeast McAllen.

The Tuesday, March 2, 2021 meeting will be broadcast live to Edinburg residents who have Spectrum Cable 1300, and to anyone who has access to the Internet by logging onto the city’s website at:

To see the meeting live through the Internet, go to the “Government” section of the city’s website and click the category titled “Live ECN 12 Television Stream”.

To see the videotaped version of the meeting, go to the following link on the city’s website:

Colorectal Cancer Screening Saves Lives

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

• Regular screening, beginning at age 50, is the key to preventing colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon or rectum). A person aged 50 to 75 years should get screened for colorectal cancer regularly.

• If a person is younger than 50 but believes he/she may be at high risk of getting colorectal cancer, or if a person is older than 75, that individual should ask their doctor if you should be screened.

• Precancerous polyps and colorectal cancer don’t always cause symptoms, especially at first. If an individual has symptoms, they may include blood in or on the stool, abdominal pain that doesn’t go away, or losing weight and that person doesn’t know why. Someone with any of these symptoms should see their doctor.

• There are several screening test options. A person should talk with their doctor about which is right for you

• Only about two-thirds of adults in the United States are up-to-date with colorectal cancer screening.


Regarding some recent findings about colorectal cancer as it affects Hispanics living near the U.S.-Mexico border, the Centers for Disease Control provided this summary, which includes the names and links to the authors of the research publication:

Alejandro Robles  1 ,Mohammad Bashashati  1 ,Alberto Contreras  1 ,Luis O Chávez  1 ,Alejandro Del Cerro-Rondón  1 ,Cameron Cu  1 ,Meghan McAlice  1 ,Abhizith Deoker  1
Affiliations expand

• PMID: 31599880 DOI:10.24875/RIC.19003026

Background: The incidence of colorectal cancer (CRC) in the US has declined. The decreasing trend is observed in non-Hispanic Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics. However, close analysis of the trends demonstrates that the decline among Hispanics is less than other races/ethnicities. We investigate the burden of CRC in Hispanics living near the U.S.-Mexico border, a subpopulation of Hispanics composed primarily of individuals of Mexican origin.

Objectives: The objective of this study was to investigate and compare incidence rates of CRC in non-Hispanic Whites and Hispanics living in counties along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Methods: Data from the National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute and State Cancer Profiles were analyzed to obtain CRC incidence rates (per 100,000 population) for persons ? (‘greater than or equal to’) 50 years of age residing in counties along the U.S.-Mexico border by race (non-Hispanic White and Hispanic) and gender from 2011 to 2015.

Results: Incidence rates of CRC in Hispanic men ? (‘greater than or equal to’) 50 years of age, living in counties along the U.S.-Mexico border, were higher than the national average for Hispanic men of similar age. In contrast, the incidence of CRC declined or remained stable in non-Hispanic Whites and women.

Conclusions: Our study unveils a significant disparity in CRC incidence among Hispanics living near the U.S.-Mexico border, disproportionally affecting men ? (‘greater than or equal to’) 50 years of age. Socioeconomic and cultural/lifestyle factors are likely contributing to these disparities.

Keywords: Colorectal cancer; Hispanics; Incidence; U.S.–Mexico Border.

Copyright: © 2019 Permanyer.


As the number of patients with COVID-19 continues to increase nationally, DHR Health Institute for Research and Development, which is affiliated with DHR Health, is pursuing innovative ways to treat patients infected with the potentially life-threatening disease. 

Through this study, first coordinated by the Mayo Clinic, DHR Health continues to provide convalescent- plasma therapy to patients in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) hospitalized with severe COVID-19. 

“As an early initiative and recognizing the need, the DHR Health Institute for Research & Development established the RGV Collaborative for the Early Diagnosis, Prevention, and Treatment of COVID- 19, which includes health departments from all four Valley counties, Vitalant — a regional blood-bank provider — and 11 regional hospitals,” said Dr. Sohail Rao, Executive Vice President at DHR Health and President and CEO of the DHR Institute for Research & Development. 

“After the FDA approved the use of convalescent plasma as an investigational therapy to treat hospitalized patients with severe COVID-19 disease, DHR Health created a comprehensive network of convalescent plasma donation and distribution sites for patients in the RGV,” Rao said. “Physicians, scientists, coordinators, data analysts, and telephone operators were brought together to provide round-the-clock service to the residents of this community.” 

As an active participant in the FDA’s Expanded Access Program, which was initially coordinated by the Mayo Clinic and later through the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), DHR Health has facilitated the transfusion of more than 4,600 units of convalescent plasma in over 3,400 hospitalized patients across the RGV with COVID-19.

The FDA has recently issued a change to its original EUA for the emergency use of convalescent plasma for the treatment of hospitalized patients with COVID-19. 

In this revised Letter of Authorization issued February 4, 2021, the FDA has made it clear that convalescent plasma with a high concentration of antibodies against the coronavirus must be used to treat hospitalized patients. 

Additionally, the FDA has also provided guidance for the use of convalescent plasma earlier in hospitalized patients’ course of treatment. This new FDA guidance was prompted by recent publications that highlighted the benefits of these changes, which become effective June 1, 2021. 

A person diagnosed with COVID-19 who wants to find out if they qualify to become a donor, visit COVID19 or call the plasma donation hotline at (956) 362-2390. 

Email [email protected] to request more information.


R-Myna Evans contributed to this article. For more on this and other Texas legislative news stories that affect the Rio Grande Valley metropolitan region, please log on to Titans of the Texas Legislature (

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