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DHR Health, The Texas Tribune, Sen. Hinojosa, Rep. Longoria, and Rep. Martínez to generate statewide news about key Valley legislative issues at noon on Wednesday, August 24, 2022 from the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance - Titans of the Texas Legislature

FEATURED, FROM LEFT: David Amaya, President, Valley Automobile Dealers Association; Rep. Armando “Mando” Martínez, D-Weslaco; and Rob Braziel, CEO, Legislative Affairs, Texas Automobile Dealers Association. This image, dated Wednesday, December 8, 2021, was taken at Martínez’ District Office in Weslaco.



DHR Health, The Texas Tribune, Sen. Hinojosa, Rep. Longoria, and Rep. Martínez to generate statewide news about key Valley legislative issues at noon on Wednesday, August 24, 2022 from the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance

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Key state legislative priorities that will directly affect the Rio Grande Valley when the Texas Legislature begins its 140-day regular session in early January 2023 will be previewed on Wednesday, August 24, 2022, during a free public meeting – which will also be broadcast live throughout Texas and beyond – that will take place at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance.

The Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance, which is part of the DHR Health System, is located at 118 Paseo Del Prado, Edinburg, TX 78539.

Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, Rep. Óscar Longoria, D-Mission, and Rep. Armando “Mando” Martínez, D-Weslaco, will be featured during a one-hour panel discussion, moderated by Evan Smith, CEO of The Texas Tribune, which begins at noon.

The gathering, titled “Inside the Interim with Rio Grande Valley Lawmakers”, will allow those three state lawmakers to “talk about how the last session (in 2021) has impacted life in South Texas, the upcoming midterm elections, and what it all means for the 2023 legislative session,” according to The Texas Tribune officials.

Interested individuals who wish to attend – at no charge, and with a light lunch being provided by host DHR Health – should contact the Texas Tribune via email to register at:

“In 2021, the Texas Legislature passed laws that created new voting restrictions, redrew the state’s political maps and limited how current events and America’s history of racism are taught in public schools,” The Texas Tribune states in its announcement about the upcoming event. “Since then, the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade and Gov. Greg Abbott’s border operation has come under severe scrutiny.”

For those unable to attend, the live broadcast and videotaped recording will be available online at:

About Evan Smith

Evan Smith is the CEO and co-founder of The Texas Tribune, a pioneering nonprofit, nonpartisan digital news organization whose deep coverage of Texas politics and public policy can be found at its website,, and in newspapers and on TV and radio stations across the state.

Since its launch in 2009, the The Texas Tribune has won international acclaim and numerous honors, including a Peabody Award, 23 national Edward R. Murrow Awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association and three general excellence awards from the Online News Association.

Evan is also the host of “Overheard with Evan Smith,” a weekly half-hour interview program that airs on PBS stations around the country. A native of New York, he’s a graduate of Hamilton College and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

About DHR Health

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 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. Michelangelo 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.

Fueled by $10 million National Science Foundation grant, University of Texas System joins effort to increase diversity among STEM scholars and faculty

The National Science Foundation has awarded a $10 million grant – titled “RISE UPP”: Re-Imagining STEM Equity Utilizing Postdoctoral Pathways Alliance – to four institutions and university systems, including the University of Texas System, as part of its National Science Foundation INCLUDES Alliance.

Through RISE-UPP, the University of Texas System and its partners will collaborate on initiatives designed to help minoritized postdoctoral scholars earn tenure-track positions and increase diverse representation among science, technology, engineering and mathematics faculty.

A minoritized group is a social group that is devalued in society and given less access to its resources.

RISE UPP is led by the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and also includes the Texas A&M University System and the University of North Carolina System.

Collectively enrolling more than 240,000 students, 51 percent of whom identify as minority, the University of Texas System is one of the largest and most diverse systems of higher education in the country.

In addition, the University of Texas System ranks second in the nation for federal research expenditures among public higher education systems, making it an ideal partner for this important work that will benefit its eight academic institutions – UT Arlington, UT Austin, UT Dallas, UT El Paso, UT Permian Basin, UT Rio Grande Valley, UT San Antonio and UT Tyler.

Archie Holmes, University of Texas System Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, will work closely with leaders from the eight UT academic institutions to coordinate participation in the NSF INCLUDES Alliance.

He said the initiative will support the University of Texas’ system-wide efforts to nurture diversity and create more opportunities for populations that are traditionally underrepresented in higher education.

“This grant recognizes and supports the on-going efforts University of Texas System institutions are making to diversify and enrich the pipeline of talent into academia and ultimately improve representation among university faculty,” Holmes said. “The University of Texas System is deeply appreciative of the National Science Foundation’s support of diversity and inclusion in higher education and we look forward to working with our INCLUDES Alliance colleagues to achieve lasting faculty diversity across our institutions.”

Overall, the National Science Foundation is investing more than $39 million in the INCLUDES Alliances in order to bring institutions together to strengthen equity in STEM education and careers, while also addressing diversity, inclusion and participation challenges in STEM at a national level.

Provost John Wiebe of UT El Paso also expressed gratitude toward the National Science Foundation’s support of diversity and inclusion in STEM, and believes the collaborative nature of RISE UPP will help magnify the program’s impact.

“The grant provides the opportunity to scale this transformational work with like-minded institutions at the system level, focusing on postdoctoral STEM preparation and developing, evaluating, and disseminating strategies that promote the success of minoritized scholars,” Wiebe said. “We are committed to learning with and from our colleagues at other Texas and North Carolina schools, and building models that can be helpful at the national level.”

Kimberly Andrews Espy, UT San Antonio’s Provost, said the diversification of faculty will ultimately uplift diverse student bodies like UTSA’s.

“Diversifying our faculty is critical to the success of our students and the economic competitiveness of our state and nation,” Andrews Espy said. “Through participation in the RISE UPP project, we will be able to share and learn from best practices across our institutions to intentionally support and facilitate the transition from postdoctoral study to faculty positions, and further our progress in recruiting outstanding faculty to the benefit of our community.”

RISE UPP focuses on four areas intended to make campus cultures and structures more inclusive:

  • Providing training and professional development and building community to support postdoctoral scholars from underrepresented groups;
  • Facilitating the assessment and implementation of institutions’ efforts to ensure cultural transformation can be sustained;
  • Helping institutions create systemic pathways that enable postdocs from underrepresented groups to access tenure-track positions; and
  • Developing and supporting faculty who serve as mentors for postdoctoral fellows and junior colleagues through training, compensation, recognition and advocacy.

About The University Of Texas System

For more than 130 years, The University of Texas System has been committed to improving the lives of Texans and people all over the world through education, research and health care.

With 13 institutions, an enrollment of more than 243,000 students and an operating budget of $23.4 billion (FY 2022), the University of Texas System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States.

The University of Texas System institutions produce more than 67,000 graduates annually and award more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees and more than half of its medical degrees.

Collectively, University of Texas System-owned and affiliated hospitals and clinics accounted for more than 8.6 million outpatient visits and almost 1.8 million hospital days in 2020.

University of Texas System institutions also are among the most innovative in the world, collectively ranking No. 4 for most U.S. patents granted in 2020, and the University of Texas System System is No. 1 in Texas and No. 2 in the nation in federal research expenditures.

The University of Texas System System also is one of the largest employers in Texas, with more than 21,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates and members of the National Academies – and more than 85,000 health care professionals, researchers and support staff.


Paul Corliss 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 (

Titans of the Texas Legislature

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