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Mario Lizcano, Administrator of Corporate Affairs, DHR Health, and DHR Health staff honored with separate resolutions by House of Representatives, announces Rep. Canales - Titans of the Texas Legislature

FEATURED, FROM LEFT: Carlos Cárdenas, MD, Chair, Board of Managers, DHR Health, and Mario Lizcano, Administrator of Corporate Affairs, DHR Health, on Wednesday, November 11, 2020 – Veterans Day – helped welcome and honor DHR Health employees and hospital patients who have served in the U.S. military. The tribute, which observed all COVID-19 precautions such as face mask coverings and social distancing, was hosted by DHR Health at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance, 118 Paseo Del Prado, in Edinburg.

Photograph Courtesy DHR Health Facebook

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Mario Lizcano, Administrator of Corporate Affairs, DHR Health, and DHR Health staff honored with separate resolutions by House of Representatives, announces Rep. Canales

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
[email protected]

Mario Lizcano, Administrator of Corporate Affairs, DHR Health, and DHR Health staff have been honored with separate resolutions by the Texas House of Representatives, Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, has announced.

Lizcano received unanimous legislative approval for “his commitment to going above and beyond in behalf of his community (that) has earned him the esteem of his colleagues,” said Canales, who also serves as Chair, House Committee on Transportation. 

In addition, the 150-member Texas House of Representatives paid tribute to “the physicians, nurses, administrators, and other staff members at DHR Health Hospital in Edinburg (who) have distinguished themselves by providing Hidalgo County residents with the highest standards of care,” the House District 40 state lawmaker highlighted.

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.

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 public legislative praise is featured in House Resolution 366, congratulating Lizcano on receiving the 2020 Edinburg Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year award, and in House Resolution 359, honoring the staff members of DHR Health Hospital in Edinburg for their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Canales was the author of both resolutions.

A resolution is a formal expression of recognition, opinion, or decision, other than a proposed law, that may be offered for approval to one or both chambers of the Texas Legislature by a member of the House of Representatives or Senate.

As the author of House Resolution 366 and House Resolution 359, Canales is the legislator who files a bill and guides it through the legislative process (also called the primary author).

A bill is type of legislative measure that requires passage by both chambers (House of Representatives and Senate) of the Legislature and action by the governor in order to become effective. A bill is the primary means used to create and change the laws of the state. The term “bill” is also used generically to refer to the various types of legislative measures that may be introduced during a legislative session. On these sites, “bill” types include Senate and House bills, Senate and House joint resolutions, Senate and House concurrent resolutions, and Senate and House resolutions.

House Resolution 366 on behalf of Lizcano, which was approved by the Texas House of Representatives on Thursday, March 25, 2021, follows:

H.R. No. 366
R E S O L U T I O N

WHEREAS, Mario Lizcano has been selected as the 2020 Man of the Year by the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; and

WHEREAS, Each year, the chamber honors individuals for their exceptional dedication to civic engagement and for their efforts to benefit the local community; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Lizcano is the administrator of corporate affairs at DHR Health, and in that role, he works to increase awareness of the services and programs offered by the hospital system; his commitment to going above and beyond on behalf of his community has earned him the esteem of his colleagues, and in 2020, he received the DHR Health Hero Award; moreover, he was inducted into the Rio Grande Valley Walk of Fame in 2020, and he has been recognized as Man of the Year by Rio Grande Valley Humanities; a volunteer firefighter for more than two decades, he was twice named Volunteer Firefighter of the Year for the City of Mission and has been honored as Firefighter of the Year for the Rio Grande Valley; and

WHEREAS, An engaged citizen, Mr.Lizcano has given generously of his time and talents through his involvement with more than 500 regional and statewide events over the years; he has
further distinguished himself through his service on the boards of numerous civic organizations, among them the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, the City of Edinburg Census Committee, Hidalgo County Health Services, and The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley Athletic Council; and

WHEREAS, Mario Lizcano has demonstrated a lasting commitment to making Edinburg a better place for all, and in so doing, he has earned the deep respect and appreciation of his fellow residents; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives of the 87th Texas Legislature hereby congratulate Mario Lizcano on his receipt of the 2020 Edinburg Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year award and extend to him sincere best wishes for the future; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That an official copy of this resolution be prepared for Mr. Lizcano as an expression of high regard by the Texas House of Representatives.

House Resolution 359, on behalf of the physicians, nurses, administrators, and other staff members at DHR Health Hospital in Edinburg, which was approved by the Texas House of Representatives on Thursday, March 25, 2021, follows:

H.R. No. 359
R E S O L U T I O N

WHEREAS, The COVID-19 pandemic has required health care providers to grapple with a range of unprecedented challenges, and the physicians, nurses, administrators, and other staff members at DHR Health Hospital in Edinburg have distinguished themselves by providing Hidalgo County residents with the highest standards of care; and

WHEREAS, In meeting this global health crisis, hospital workers have been forced to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances; as the scale of the pandemic has grown at an alarming pace, medical professionals have attended to increasingly crowded emergency rooms, hospital wards, and intensive care units, where they have continued to heroically perform their duties under difficult and extremely stressful conditions; and

WHEREAS, The dedicated staff members at DHR Health Hospital have met these challenges with tremendous resolve; this includes not only physicians, nurses, and other frontline personnel, but also those in leadership positions, who have developed and implemented new strategies for navigating the ongoing crisis; and

WHEREAS, Through their exemplary work, the accomplished professionals at DHR Health Hospital have brought hope to their community in this time of uncertainty, and in so doing, they have earned the heartfelt gratitude of the Texans they serve; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives of the 87th Texas Legislature hereby honor the physicians, nurses, administrators, and other staff members at DHR Health Hospital for their inspiring efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic and commend them on a job well done; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That an official copy of this resolution be prepared for the hospital as an expression of high regard by the Texas House of Representatives.

TEXAS SENATE, INCLUDING SEN. HINOJOSA, SEN. LUCIO, AND SEN. ZAFFIRINI, APPROVE COVID-19 LIABILITY PROTECTION FOR FIRST RESPONDERS, MEDICAL PROVIDERS, AND BUSINESS OWNERS

On Thursday, April 8, 2021, the Texas Senate approved a bill that would provide liability protection for first responders, medical providers, and business owners against lawsuits arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Valley’s three state senators – Sen. Juan Hinojosa, D-McAllen, Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., D-Brownsville, and Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, voted for the final version of the proposal.

The measure, Senate Bill 6, authored by Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-Richland Hills, is intended to help the state continue to re-open safely and help get the economy on track by protecting people acting in good faith from frivolous lawsuits. 

“[It] supports the heroes that have been on the front lines fighting this pandemic from the beginning with supplies non-existent and the effects still unknown,” he said. 

Hancock added that this bill isn’t intended to shield negligent or malicious actors. 

“This is not an immunity bill,” he said.

A bill is a type of legislative measure that requires passage by both chambers (House of Representatives and the Senate) of the Legislature and action by the governor in order to become effective. A bill is the primary means used to create and change the laws of the state. “Bill” types include Senate and House bills, Senate and House Joint Resolutions, Senate and House concurrent resolutions, and Senate and House resolutions.

As the author, Hancock is the legislator who filed House Bill 6 and guides it through the legislative process (also called the primary author). 

With exceptions for reckless action or willful misconduct, this bill would prevent first responders or medical workers sued for injuries or death arising from “care, treatment, or failure to provide care or treatment” to individuals with a pandemic disease, such as COVID-19. 

Business owners who are following local mitigation protocols would be also be protected from such lawsuits. The bill does not protect businesses that knowingly disregard lawful mitigation protocols. 

“We’re not looking to protect the bad actors in the industry,” said Hancock. “We want to protect those who are doing things right, doing things properly.” The bill would apply to the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020.

Senate Bill 6 now goes to the Texas House of Representatives for their review and possible action.

ACCELERATED ONLINE NURSING PROGRAM AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS RIO GRANDE VALLEY RECOGNIZED BY THE PRINCETON REVIEW

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s accelerated online graduate nursing programs have been recognized by The Princeton Review in itsBest Online Nursing School Master’s Program listings, UTRGV leaders announced on Thursday, March 25, 2021.

UTRGV has two accelerated online graduate nursing programs: nursing administration and nursing education, both 36 credit hour programs.  

Dr. Sharon Radzyminski, Dean and Professor of the UTRGV School of Nursing, said highly qualified and trained nurses are essential to the provision of healthcare in the United States.   

“This begins with the highly specialized education and training nurses require to be able to provide such care,” said Radzyminski. “The UTRGV School of Nursing is proud to be able to educate nurses in a manner that allows flexibility and affordability, while still maintaining high-quality standards. 

“Recognition of such standards by credible organizations, such as the Princeton Review, brings exceptional nurses into our programs and improves healthcare outcomes throughout the Valley, Texas and the nation,” she said. 

According to the Princeton Review website, online nursing school master’s programs have become as rigorous as their on-campus counterparts and for many nursing graduate school candidates, an online degree might even be the smarter choice. 

“Each program is different and focused on different specialties,” said Dr. Juanita Acebedo, UTRGV Assistant Professor of Nursing, and Program Coordinator, MSN Administration.  

Nursing administration focuses on administrative duties in healthcare settings such as inpatient settings in hospitals, long-term care facilities or outpatient care settings, like clinics.  

“Students use the concepts and theories in nursing administration and apply them in their clinical practice to improve patient or population health outcomes,” Acebedo said. “These students usually want to advance in their position and make an impact in patient care in an administrative role.” 

Nursing education is focused on the different types of pedagogies involved in teaching and learning.  

“Nursing education students are seeking to work in teaching undergraduate nursing students or teach nurses in clinical sites,” she said. 

The online accelerated programs at UTRGV appeal to students from all over the country and provide flexibility for full-time working students to pursue a graduate degree while continuing their professional pursuits. 

“Most of our applicants and students enrolled are already working nurses from across the United States pursuing a higher nursing degree,” Acebedo said. “These online programs make it possible for them to achieve their goals.” 

Six UT System schools were ranked among 189 programs, including UTRGV, UT Tyler, UT Medical Branch-Galveston, UT Arlington, and UT El Paso.

ABOUT UTRGV

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.

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Texas Senate News and Victoria Brito Morales 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 (TitansoftheTexasLegislature.com).

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