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Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Edinburg

FEATURED: Rep. R.D. “Bobby” Guerra, D-McAllen, on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, visiting with fellow Texans on the grounds of the Capitol in Austin. Guerra, who serves as Vice-Chair, House Committee on Public Health, welcomed the recent announcement regarding the upcoming construction of Driscoll Children’s Hospital Rio Grande Valley on the campus of DHR Health in Edinburg. “Our children deserve the healthy start with A+ care that the Driscoll Children’s Hospital will provide,” said Guerra. “I’m proud to have this collaborative success between DHR Health and Driscoll in my (legislative) district and look forward to the positive outcomes it brings to our families and community.”

Photograph Courtesy REP. R.D. “BOBBY” GUERRA FACEBOOK

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Area lawmakers praise DHR Health’s partnership with Driscoll Children’s Hospital to build eight-story, state-of-the art medical facility in Edinburg to serve South Texas

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
[email protected]

A visionary idea to build the eight-story Driscoll Children’s Hospital Rio Grande Valley, which will be located on the campus of DHR Health in Edinburg, has drawn praise from South Texas state lawmakers, who say the ultramodern complex will be another valuable asset for the four-county region’s healthcare and bioscience industry.

Construction is expected to start later this year and be completed by late 2022.

In early 2019, leaders with Driscoll Children’s Hospital and DHR Health began discussions to expand pediatric services to the Rio Grande Valley to include inpatient acute care.

From there, a plan was developed in which DHR Health would build a hospital on its campus to be leased to and operated independently by Driscoll Children’s Hospital.

On Friday, June 18, 2021, the results of those talks were revealed to a standing-room-only gathering of legislative, medical, business, economic development, and political leaders at Driscoll Children’s Medical Plaza, 1120 E Ridge Road in McAllen.

Driscoll Children’s Hospital Rio Grande Valley will provide the following pediatric services:

• Pediatric specialists
• Acute inpatient and outpatient surgery
• Emergency services
• Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
• Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)
• Rehabilitation: physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy
• Radiology Imaging
• Laboratory
• Child Life program

Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, whose Senate District 20 includes the Corpus Christi-based Driscoll Children’s Hospital, said bringing Driscoll Children’s Hospital Rio Grande Valley to DHR Health’s 130-acre site, which features several major hospitals, medical offices, and related facilities means Valley residents will be welcoming one of the “premier children’s hospitals in the United States.”

“This is really a great day for us here in Rio Grande Valley,” he said. “It’s about children. I always say that health care is not a luxury, it is a necessity, and children are the most precious lives that we have to grow and to be our leaders. I am very happy and very proud to continue working with Driscoll Children’s Hospital and DHR Health and all of our health care providers to increase better health to our children.”

Currently, Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi features a 191-bed pediatric tertiary care center with more than 30 medical and surgical specialties offering care in its hometown, as well as throughout South Texas, the Rio Grande Valley, Victoria, and Laredo.

Driscoll Children’s Hospital has had a presence in the Rio Grande Valley for decades, with specialty centers in Brownsville, Harlingen, and McAllen staffed by Driscoll pediatric subspecialists and other clinical team members.

https://www.driscollchildrens.org/about-us/history

Driscoll Children’s Hospital Rio Grande Valley will improve the quality of life for the region in many ways, said Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg.

“Not only will it have an important economic effect with the estimated 450 professional jobs it will create once it opens its doors, but it will make a vital, and in many ways, a life-saving difference to current and future generations of children and their families who will have advanced specialized medical services for which they no longer will have to leave the Valley to receive,” said Canales.

Rep. Sergio Muñoz, Jr., D-Mission, noted how the health care and biomedical science industry in deep South Texas is key to job creation and well-being for the area.

“When leaders of huge corporations, and small business owners who are the life-blood of our economy, are deciding whether to relocate, start, or expand in the Valley, they look at the presence and excellence of medical and health care that are available,” said Muñoz. “Certainly, Driscoll Children’s Hospital Rio Grande Valley will be another reason for anyone to want to live, work, raise a family in our region.”

In general, health care is defined as the organized provision of medical care to individuals or a community, while biomedical science combines the fields of biology and medicine in order to focus on the health of both animals and humans.

Rep. R.D. “Bobby” Guerra, D-McAllen, in whose House District 41 Driscoll Children’s Hospital Rio Grande Valley is going to be located, serves as Vice-Chair, House Committee on Public Health.

“This is a win-win-win for the Rio Grande Valley. Children and their families will receive top-notch pediatric care, our economy will grow with the influx of new jobs, and our region’s prominence will increase across the state and the nation,” said Guerra.

Access to affordable, quality healthcare is a cornerstone to a successful and prosperous future, he explained.

“Our children deserve the healthy start with A+ care that the Driscoll Children’s Hospital will provide,” said Guerra, “I’m proud to have this collaborative success between DHR Health and Driscoll in my (legislative) district and look forward to the positive outcomes it brings to our families and community.”

Other Valley state lawmakers also reacted positively to the upcoming construction of Driscoll Children’s Hospital Rio Grande Valley including:

Rep. Óscar Longoria, D-La Joya:

“When you look at the unique conditions our children in the Rio Grande Valley face, coupled with how thinly spread our specialized pediatric health is locally, this children’s hospital is exactly what we need. Driscoll Children’s Hospital Rio Grande Valley and DHR Health are expanding access to health care and closing that gap for our kids here in the Valley.”

Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., D-Brownsville:

“The expansion of Driscoll Children’s Hospital into the Valley is the latest step in our region’s growth into a major center for healthcare and medical education. With the first classes graduating from the UTRGV School of Medicine, and related educational programs turning out graduates in all sorts of medical specialties, the Valley is prepared to staff the world-class medical facilities that locate here to meet the needs of our growing population. These needs are especially critical among our newest generation, and I look forward to seeing the good work Driscoll Children’s Hospital will do to help our youngest and neediest Texans in this region.”

Rep. Armando “Mando” Martínez, D-Weslaco:

“As a paramedic and state legislator, I believe the families of House District 39 and the rest of the Rio Grande Valley will benefit tremendously from Driscoll Children’s Hospital Rio Grande Valley. As the world of medicine continues to rapidly evolve, this nation-leading children’s hospital will allow our families to seek specialized, high-quality medical services without having to travel hours away to larger cities.”

Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo/Starr County:

“I am delighted by this new partnership between DHR Health and Driscoll Children’s Hospital. Building an eight-story, state-of-the-art facility in the Rio Grande Valley brings critical healthcare to a historically medically underserved area. My prayer is that this partnership will increase access for vulnerable children in the region, especially those who live in colonias.”

Robert D. Martínez, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Chief Physician Executive, DHR Health, said joining forces with Driscoll Children’s Hospital is part of both institutions’ dedication to the Rio Grande Valley, a metropolitan region approaching 1.5 million in population.

“It’s a very equitable partnership in that DHR Health and Driscoll Children’s Hospital Rio Grande Valley will be able to use resources that they can bring to the table. It’s a pretty equal partnership as far as what we are going to provide and what they are going to provide,” said Martínez. “Certainly, it’s all about making sure that we leverage each other’s strong points, hopefully, minimize a lot of the areas where we and they have gaps. What we found after talking to them is we can form a partnership that minimizes that, and that means more care and more resources for the children of the Rio Grande Valley.”

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 excited to have access to extensive pediatric services to include even more specialized care for children in the community. Not only are we delivering more babies than any hospital in our region, but now, with Driscoll Children’s Hospital, exceptional healthcare can continue for those babies through their teenage years,” said Manish Singh, MD, CEO of DHR Health.

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.

“Home is definitely where the heart is, and if we can provide critical care to young patients right here in Edinburg rather than send patients out of the Valley for care, we ensure that our families are with them every step of their journey. DHR Health proudly welcomes Driscoll Children’s Hospital to our thriving medical campus, and we look forward to the future of pediatric care in our backyard,” said Carlos Cárdenas, MD, DHR Health Chairman of the Board.

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.

Other representatives of DHR Health also in attendance for the Friday, June 18, 2021 announcement included:

• Alonzo Cantú, Member, Board of Managers;
• Marissa Castañeda, Senior Executive Vice President;
• Ambrosio Hernández, MD, Chief Medical Compliance Officer, who also serves as Mayor, City of Pharr;
• Mario Lizcano, Administrator of Corporate Affairs;
• Marcy Martínez, Director of Public Media Relations & Corporate Communications; and
• Susan S. Turley, President

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.

When it opens its doors to the public, Driscoll Children’s Hospital Rio Grande Valley will further the mission of Driscoll Children’s Hospital founder Clara Driscoll (1881-1945) to provide medical care to all the children of South Texas.

“Our Driscoll team follows a very simple mantra (slogan) that was inspired by our founder, Clara Driscoll, which is ‘More Care for More Kids”. I know Clara would be so proud to see how far her vision in 1945 has come to provide this type of quality care to the children of the Rio Grande Valley,” said Eric Hamon, President and CEO of Driscoll Health System. “The future of children’s health care is incredibly bright, and we’re excited to be part of this community and your family for years to come. Today is a reality because of everybody in this room and the community, your leadership, and our vision, to provide the absolute best care to the children that they deserve.”

With Driscoll Children’s Hospital’s specialty centers in Brownsville, Harlingen, and McAllen staffed by pediatric subspecialists and other clinical team members, the organization’s board members from the Rio Grande Valley expressed their enthusiasm about the news.

“Driscoll has done a fantastic job offering the finest healthcare to Rio Grande Valley kids with its numerous clinics, and this new independently-operated freestanding Driscoll hospital in the Valley will take ‘More Care for More Kids’ to a much higher level,” said Reba Cárdenas McNair, Driscoll Children’s Hospital Board of Directors member from Brownsville.

Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi, built in 1953, was the first hospital in South Texas to provide emergency services exclusively for children and today provides emergency care to approximately 40,000 children a year.

Located at 3533 South Alameda Street in Corpus Christi, Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi’s medical staff works with more than 1,800 employees including more than 450 nurses. Every year approximately 6,500 children are admitted for inpatient care, more than 3,500 patients for day surgery, and 132,000 children for outpatient care.

“Driscoll’s presence as a hospital in the Rio Grande Valley will bring an unmatched capability for parents to receive the best healthcare possible for their children without having to go elsewhere,” said Val LaMantia, Driscoll Children’s Hospital Board of Directors member from McAllen.

Asa long-time resident of the Valley, I am thrilled to be standing here to introduce the full-service children’s hospital the will be in Edinburg. As you get to know Driscoll as I have, I am confident that the Rio Grande Valley will embrace Clara Driscoll’s vision. She said it best – ‘Until all children in South Texas are well.’ She was a visionary. Look her up. She’s got a wonderful, wonderful story.”

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Ben Castle 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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