Select Page
FEATURED: McAllen City Commissioners Pepe Cabeza de Vaca (in white long sleeve shirt), Víctor “Seby” Haddad (in red shirt) next to him, and J. Omar Quintanilla (in red shirt, to the right of Haddad) hand out gifts during the 20th Annual Christmas for Kids Toy Giveaway on Saturday, December 18, 2021, at the McAllen Public Safety Building and Municipal Park. The event, which draws as many as 8,000 youngsters plus their parents/ guardians, has featured DHR Health as one of its major financial sponsors since it began.

FEATURED: McAllen City Commissioners Pepe Cabeza de Vaca (in white long sleeve shirt), Víctor “Seby” Haddad (in red shirt) next to him, and J. Omar Quintanilla (in red shirt, to the right of Haddad) hand out gifts during the 20th Annual Christmas for Kids Toy Giveaway on Saturday, December 18, 2021, at the McAllen Public Safety Building and Municipal Park. The event, which draws as many as 8,000 youngsters plus their parents/ guardians, has featured DHR Health as one of its major financial sponsors since it began.

Photograph Courtesy CITY OF McALLEN

••••••

DHR Health recognized by McAllen City Commission as a founding and ongoing sponsor of Annual Christmas for Kids Toy Giveaway

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
[email protected]

DHR Health, which provides millions of dollars in charitable contributions to organizations and individuals in deep South Texas, was recently recognized for being a founding and ongoing sponsor for the McAllen Police Department’s Annual Christmas for Kids Toy Giveaway.

“One of our principle partners has been Doctors Hospital (DHR Health). They’ve been our partners since Day 1,” said McAllen Police Chief Víctor Rodríguez. “This is the City of McAllen’s way to make Christmas a reality for thousands of kids who otherwise may not have a bright Christmas.”

On Saturday, December 18, 2021, the event reached a major milestone – it was the 20th anniversary of a public gathering for children ages 12 and other, who must be accompanied by a parent – in which DHR Health, H-E-B, and other community partners make Christmas for Kids possible with their donations, according to a proclamation approved by the McAllen City Commission earlier that week.

“McAllen area children will have a Merry Christmas this year,” City Commissioner Tony Aguirre said during the city commission’s regular meeting, held on Monday, December 13, 2021. “Soccer balls, dolls, skateboards, and action figures, amongst other toys, will be given away to the children, along with fresh fruit, hot dogs, and candy. With everyone’s support and effort, Christmas for Kids will continue to successfully distribute more than 5,000 toys to McAllen and the children in the area.”

The event, held at the McAllen Public Safety Building and Municipal Park on Bicentennial and Quince streets, was kicked off at 8 a.m. on Saturday, December 18, 2022, also featured a procession of characters with more than 20 entries. The parade began at Las Palmas Community Center on Quince east of Bicentennial Boulevard.

“This is our 20th year. We estimate we’ve serviced about 100,000 kids in those 20 years. We’ve had years where we’ve had 8,000 kids, and we’ve had years where we’ve had 4,000 kids, so our estimate right now is about 100,000 kids that we have serviced thus far,” the McAllen police chief said.

Rodríguez said city leaders, employees, volunteers, and residents who help organize, hold, or attend the yearly holiday experience for those children come away with heartfelt satisfaction that money can not buy.

“There is not a more rewarding activity that to see the big eyes of kids when they’re in line. Some of them line up beginning the night before. That’s how important this project is to our kids, and we’re very proud, the City of McAllen, through its mayor, our city commissioner, the leadership of McAllen, McAllen PD, that we’ve been able to do this for 20 years,” he added.

Mario Lizcano, Director of Corporate Affairs, DHR Health, addressed the McAllen City Commission during its Monday, December 13, 2021 public meeting.

“We’d like to make sure that we thank you for giving us this opportunity to continue to give back to our community,” Lizcano said. “On behalf of our board of directors, more than 700 physicians, 6,000 employees, all of our volunteers, we are happy to continue not only participate, but to continue to support the efforts as the City of McAllen does such a wonderful, wonderful event for our children who are in need at this time.”

Anchored in southwest Edinburg on a 130-acre site, with a growing presence in neighboring McAllen, Rio Grande City, Mission, and Brownsville, DHR Health offers some of the most comprehensive medical care on the U.S. southern border, with more than 1,400 nurses and other health professionals, plus an additional 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 as of September 8, 2021, the only 24/7 Level One Trauma Center south of San Antonio.

On Tuesday, November 16, 2021, Driscoll Health System, in partnership with DHR Health, held a groundbreaking ceremony for Driscoll Children’s Hospital Rio Grande Valley, located at 2820 W. Michaelangelo Drive in Edinburg, which is being built on the site of the DHR Health campus, next to DHR Health’s The Women’s Hospital at Renaissance.

The new, independently operated, eight-level pediatric hospital will further the mission of Driscoll Children’s Hospital founder Clara Driscoll to provide medical care to all the children of South Texas. The building is expected to be completed in Spring 2023.

The facility represents a combined investment of more than $105 million. Driscoll Children’s Hospital Rio Grande Valley will operate with more than 500 employees, creating significant economic impact and new job opportunities for clinical, ancillary and support staff in the Valley.

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.

VALLEY LAWMAKERS SUPPORT GOV. ABBOTT’S SELECTION OF DANIEL “DANNY” RAMÍREZ OF PHARR TO THE GOVERNOR’S EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES AND TRAUMA ADVISORY COUNCIL

Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday, April 7, 2022, appointed seven members to the 15-member Governor’s Emergency Medical Services and Trauma Advisory Council, including Daniel “Danny” Ramírez, Chief, Pharr Emergency Medical Services, city and state leaders have announced.

The Governor’s Emergency Medical Services and Trauma Advisory Council was established in 1999 to advise and make recommendations on the development and implementation of Texas Emergency Healthcare System Rules. It’s mission is to promote, develop, and advance an accountable, patient-centered Trauma and Emergency Healthcare System.

The council recommends changes to the EMS (emergency medical services)/Trauma System to ensure that communities receive comprehensive and efficient emergency care

An active resident and member of the Pharr community, Ramírez is a member of the Texas City Managers Association and the Texas EMS Association. He also volunteers for the Pharr Volunteer Fire Department. Ramirez received a degree as an Emergency Medical Technician from Texas State Technical College.

“I am very happy to serve the state of Texas and represent the City of Pharr and the Rio Grande Valley in this capacity, helping shape the future of health care in Texas,” he said. “I thank Gov. Abbott for this opportunity, as well as our South Texas state legislative delegation for their support of my appointment, and I look forward to serving on this council.”

Ramírez’ term will expire on Saturday, January 1, 2028.

“As the head of our newly-formed municipal EMS Department, it is a notable honor that Danny is one of only a handful of appointees selected to serve on this council by Gov. Abbott, indicative of the superior level of performance in providing high-quality and life-saving emergency medical services that the department has demonstrated under Danny’s leadership,” said Pharr Mayor Ambrosio Hernández, M.D. “We are proud of Danny’s accomplishments, and Pharr now has a seat at the table not only to influence emergency healthcare services across the state but to also ensure that our region and our South Texas communities receive the attention and resources for comprehensive and efficient emergency care.”

Congratulations and words of encouragement were offered by several state lawmakers, including:

Sen. Juan Hinojosa, D-McAllen:

“I appreciate Gov. Abbott appointing Daniel Ramírez to this important advisory council. Chief Ramírez has the skills and the knowledge needed to advise and provide feedback to our state agencies and policymakers regarding effective delivery of emergency health care services across our state. He will be helpful in advising the state as we continue refining educational requirements and developing emergency medical services and trauma care systems. Congratulations to Chief Ramírez.”

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

“Mr. Ramírez has been instrumental in developing and running the newest EMS Department with the City of Pharr. Because of Mr. Ramírez’ extensive background and experience in the field, this new department became an instant success. I fully support the recommendation of Danny Ramírez, EMS Chief for the City of Pharr, to the GETAC.”

Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg

Danny Ramírez has been an instrumental part of the success of the City of Pharr and Pharr EMS, and I know he will continue to serve our community well on the Governor’s Emergency Medical Services and Trauma Advisory Council.”

Rep. Sergio Muñoz, Jr., D-Mission

“I’m delighted that Daniel Ramírez has been chosen to serve our great state, and I am confident that his extensive experience will prove to be a great addition to the Advisory Council.”

In addition to Martinez, the other six appointments made by Abbott to the Governor’s Emergency Medical Services and Trauma Advisory Council are:

• Jeffery “Jeff” Barnhart of Canyon is the CEO of the Deaf Smith County Hospital District in Hereford and serves as an adjunct professor at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and the Emergency Medical Task Force-1. Additionally, he is a member of Hereford Lions Club and volunteer board member of the Turn Center. Barnhart received a Bachelor of Arts in Healthcare Management from Ottawa University and a Master of Science in Clinical Practice Management from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.

• Billy “Scott” Lail of Glen Rose is the Fire Chief for the City of Cleburne Fire Department. He is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs and the Texas Fire Chief’s Association and a former member of the International Association of Firefighters. He volunteers as the Deacon at Stephenville Christian Reformed Church. Lail received an associate’s degree in Fire Science from Cleburne Hill College.

• Peter Marocco of Dallas is an investor and the Managing Director of Endstate Strategies LLC. He is a Club for Growth Foundation fellow and serves on the advisory board for the Foreign Policy Research Institute. Marocco received a Bachelor of Science in International Affairs from Florida State University and Master of International Human Rights Law from the University of Oxford.

• Rubén A. Martínez of Concepción is President and CEO of Zenitram Enterprises LLC. He served on the Youth Advisory Board for the National Institute of Health and the COVID Prevention Network. He is the former President of the Chancellors Student Advisory Council for the Texas A&M System and former Student Body President at Texas A&M University–Kingsville. Martinez received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Texas A&M University–Kingsville.

• Ryan Matthews of Holliday is the President and CEO of Trans Star Ambulance in Wichita Falls and is a licensed paramedic. He is a member of the Texas EMS Alliance, American Ambulance Association, and the Texas State Firemen and Fire Marshal’s Association. Additionally, he is a volunteer fireman and first responder for Holliday Fire and Rescue and serves as a North Texas representative for the Emergency Medical Task Force. Matthews received a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Chemistry from Texas Tech University.

• Katherine “Kate” Remick, MD, of Austin is an associate professor for Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin, and serves as the Medical Director for San Marcos Hays County EMS System. She is a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, National Association of EMS Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the National Prehospital Pediatric Readiness Steering Committee. Additionally, she is the Medical Director for the Emergency Pediatric Care Course with the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, volunteer for the Research Leadership Group for ESO Solutions, and co-director for the National Pediatric Readiness Project. Remick received a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Arizona and a Doctor of Medicine from The University of Texas Medical Branch.

••••••

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).

Titans of the Texas Legislature