Author Archives: Gerry Garcia

McAllen’s International Bridge Boards Appoint New Superintendent of Bridges

The McAllen-Hidalgo and Anzalduas International Bridge Boards have appointed Juan Olaguibel as its Superintendent of Bridges.   The former director of operations for the McAllen Bridge System has10 years of experience in bridge management, serving most recently as the Interim Director for the bridge system after the previous director’s departure.  Olaguibel, a native of Mexico City, Mexico, also has a broad range of expertise in finance earned over 12 years in the banking industry, serving as a bank manager for Wells Fargo before joining the City of McAllen. “The McAllen-Hidalgo and Anzalduas International Bridge Boards were impressed with Juan’s vision for the operations of these two international crossings and their role in growing both the economy and security of the two nations that they join,” said McAllen Mayor Jim Darling, chair of the international bridge boards.  “Aside from his operational knowledge of running an efficient, safe and profitable bridge system, Juan’s…

Read More

TIAA Institute honors South Texas College and Northeastern University presidents with 2020 Hesburgh Award for leadership

The TIAA Institute, in partnership with the American Council on Education (ACE), announced Shirley Reed, President, South Texas College, and Joseph E. Aoun, President, Northeastern University, as the recipients of the 2020 Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence in Higher Education. The Hesburgh Award recognizes college or university presidents or chancellors who have demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities. The award is named in honor of Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., (1917-2015) past president of the University of Notre Dame and longtime member of the TIAA and CREF Boards of Overseers. A world-renowned educator and humanitarian, Father Hesburgh was a lifelong champion of human rights, the cause of peace, and care of the poor. “Higher education is at an inflection point as the COVID-19 pandemic has shuttered schools across the country, underscoring the need for new technology and a sharpened focus on equity in order to transform the system for future…

Read More

DHR Health to Host 15th Annual “Fishing For Hope” Tournament

DHR Health (DHR) is pleased to announce its 15th Annual “Fishing for Hope” Tournament, which will be held Saturday, August 22, 2020, at Louie’s Backyard on South Padre Island, Texas. Now one of the largest non-profit fishing tournaments on the Texas coast, “Fishing for Hope” is a family-friendly and fun event for people of all ages. This year’s tournament will feature great prizes, dinner, the legendary stars auction, and much more! All proceeds from “Fishing for Hope” will once again benefit the Hope Family Health Center. Hope Family Health Center (HOPE) is located in McAllen, Texas, and provides free medical and counseling care to the uninsured in the Rio Grande Valley. Local volunteer physicians and medical staff donate their time and services to ensure Rio Grande Valley residents receive free, quality health care in an open and accepting atmosphere. All patients seen are those who are without access to health…

Read More

DHR Health Earns Third Consecutive Three-Year CARF Accreditation

Inpatient Rehabilitation Hospital is the only dual accredited facility in the Rio Grande Valley The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) International has renewed the accreditation of DHR Health Rehabilitation Hospital for a three-year cycle.  The accreditation covers inpatient medical rehabilitation programs including Adult, Children and Adolescents, Stroke Specialty, Spinal Cord Injury, and Amputee Specialty Program.  This recognition makes the facility the only dual accredited inpatient rehabilitation hospital in the Rio Grande Valley.  The DHR Health Rehabilitation Hospital is accredited by both The Joint Commission and CARF.  The first CARF accreditation was received in 2013 for Adult, Children and Adolescents, and Stroke Specialty.  Recently, the Rehabilitation Hospital received the renewal accreditation and recognition on two additional services: Spinal Cord Injury Specialty and Amputee Specialty Programs. “DHR Health strives to provide continuous quality improvement, stated Dr. Saroja Viswamitra, Medical Director at the DHR Health Rehabilitation Hospital.  “During a CARF survey,…

Read More

McAllen ISD IB Programme Pinning Ceremony

Today, 120 high school seniors will receive their IB pin, emblematic of completing the two-year IB diploma programme.  This will be a drive-through event.  Students and their families will be in their vehicles, and they will drive from the east side parking lot to the semicircle area between the Convention Center entrance on the south side and the reflecting pool. –       Each senior and their family will line up in their vehicle in the Convention Center east side parking lot (1 car per senior/family) –       Senior vehicles will drive through the Convention Center traffic circle and stop at the photographer station in front of the main entrance (see map, click here) –       Only the IB Lamar Academy senior will be allowed outside of their vehicle to pick up a small gift and take a photo with a photographer. –       Social distancing guidelines will be in place! The staff will be wearing masks. Students may choose whether or not to…

Read More

Census Bureau to Deliver 2020 Census Questionnaires in the Rio Grande Valley

The U.S. Census Bureau, in coordination with federal, state, and local health officials, will begin to drop off 2020 Census questionnaire packets at the front doors of households in the four counties of the Rio Grande Valley beginning Tuesday, May 26, 2020. This is done in areas where the majority of households do not receive mail at their physical address. The Census Bureau began hand-delivering census materials on March 15 but suspended all fieldwork for this operation on March 18 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Temporary field staff has been trained to observe all social distancing protocols and will wear official government-provided personal protective equipment for their safety and the safety of the public. This operation is contactless and follows the most current federal health and safety guidelines. The health and safety of Census Bureau staff and the public is always a top priority. The Census Bureau will deliver 2020 Census…

Read More

Rio Grande Regional Hospital Joins Convalescent Plasma Study for COVID-19 Patients

Hospitals currently seeking plasma donations from recovered COVID-19 individuals to potentially help critically ill patients McAllen, TX, May 14, 2020 – Rio Grande Regional Hospital is participating in a national study to determine if plasma from convalescent, or recovered, COVID-19 patients may benefit individuals currently hospitalized with severe or life-threatening cases of the virus. As part of the effort, hospitals are seeking eligible volunteers to donate plasma to help current patients in need. “Rio Grande Regional Hospital is excited to take part in such an important and revolutionizing study.  I would like to ask the community to help spread awareness about plasma donation for patients facing COVID-19 not only in McAllen or South Texas but also around the world,” said Cris Rivera, Chief Executive Officer at Rio Grande Regional Hospital. To date, there is no proven therapy for individuals who are diagnosed with COVID-19, but there is a long history…

Read More

Driscoll physicians publish COVID-19 paper

Driscoll Children’s Hospital physicians have published an article on how pediatric patients are affected by COVID-19. Authors of the article are Ali Hasan, MD, Chief Resident at Driscoll Children’s Hospital, Noormah Mehmood, MD, Chief Resident at Driscoll Children’s Hospital, and Jaime Fergie, MD, Director of Infectious Diseases at Driscoll Children’s Hospital. The article, titled “Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and Pediatric Patients: A Review of Epidemiology, Symptomatology, Laboratory and Imagining Results to Guide the Development of a Management Algorithm,” was published in Cureus. To read the article, go to https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7123290/.   About Driscoll Children’s Hospital … “Devoted to expert care, education, outreach, and advocacy.” Driscoll Children’s Hospital is a 189-bed pediatric tertiary care center with more than 30 medical and surgical specialties offering care throughout South Texas, including Corpus Christi, the Rio Grande Valley, Victoria, and Laredo. Through the vision and generosity of its founder, Clara Driscoll, Driscoll Children’s Hospital opened in…

Read More

McAllen Public Library Reopens Friday, May 1

On April 27, 2020, Governor Abbott issued an Executive Order which initiated a phased, statewide plan for reopening business and public services in Texas beginning on May 1, 2020, including libraries. McAllen Public Library re-opened its doors today, May 1 with modified services and limiting the number of patrons in the building. McAllen Public Library staff and patrons are required to wear a personal face mask in the library. Stacks will be browsable and the computer lab and printing services will be available. Hours of operation for the public will be Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Main Library and Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Lark and Palm View branches. “The McAllen Public Library extends a warm welcome back to our patrons. We will continue to serve our patrons while practicing social distancing, which slows the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” says…

Read More

DHR Health Earns 3 Blue Distinction Center Designations for Quality Care

BlueCross BlueShield of Texas selected DHR Health as a Blue Distinction® Center for Spine Surgery, Knee and Hip Replacement and Substance Use Treatment and Recovery BlueCross BlueShield of Texas selected DHR Health as a Blue Distinction Center+ for Spine Surgery and Blue Distinction Center for both Knee and Hip Replacement and for Substance Use Treatment and Recovery. DHR Health is proud to be recognized by BlueCross BlueShield of Texas for meeting the robust selection criteria set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.  Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated healthcare facilities shown to demonstrate quality care, treatment expertise, and better overall patient results and Blue Distinction Centers+ demonstrate more affordable care in addition to quality care, treatment expertise, and better overall patient results.  Both distinctions offer improved patient safety and better health outcomes based on objective measures that were developed by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies with input from…

Read More

Rio Grande Regional Hospital and Valley Regional Medical Center Announce Grants To Aid In COVID-19 relief efforts

Rio Grande Valley community partner receives funding for coronavirus response  Rio Grande Regional Hospital and Valley Regional Medical Center, affiliates of HCA Healthcare (NYSE: HCA), one of the nation’s leading healthcare providers, announces that the HCA Healthcare Foundation, the philanthropic arm of HCA Healthcare, and a tax-exempt trust affiliated with HCA Healthcare provided $20,000 in grants to the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley for the Coronavirus Resource Readiness and Response Campaign.  The $20,000 in grants will allow the Food Bank of the RGV to produce 100,000 meals. “Like our colleagues that are serving on the frontlines of this crisis by providing life-saving care to patients, local organizations are also stepping up to address the needs of their communities in remarkable ways, including emergency response, addressing food shortages and providing childcare for healthcare workers and first responders,” said Sam Hazen, chief executive officer of HCA Healthcare. “HCA Healthcare is…

Read More

McAllen ISD student councils at Lamar IB, Memorial earn national recognition

For their exemplary record of leadership, service, and activities that serve to improve the school and community, the Lamar Academy/IB Student Council and the McAllen Memorial High Student Council have each been recognized as 2020 National Gold Council of Excellence by National of Student Council (NatStuCo). “Receiving a National Gold Council of Excellence Award reflects the highest dedication on the part of the school to providing a strong, well-rounded student council program,” said Nara Lee, National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) Director of Student Leadership. “NatStuCo applauds the work of the National Gold Councils of Excellence and challenges them to continue their leadership and service to their schools and communities.” To meet the requirements for the National Council of Excellence Award, a student council must meet a variety of criteria. In addition to basic requirements such as a written constitution, regular meetings, a democratic election process, the councils have…

Read More

McAllen ISD student named Finalist in National Merit Scholarship Program

McAllen ISD student David Li has been named to a prestigious group of national scholars that places him in the top one percent of students nationwide who took part in the program. Officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced this month that Li was one of approximately 15,000 Finalists in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Li is a student in the International Baccalaureate Programme based at Lamar Academy. His home campus is McAllen Memorial High. The IB is a globally recognized, rigorous curriculum. It aims to educate all students to become lifelong learners and productive citizens in an ever-changing global society through a comprehensive, academically challenging program of studies that uses technology and community resources. McAllen ISD offers the Primary Years Programme (grades 1-5), the Middle Years Programme (grades 6-10) and the Diploma Programme (grades 11-12). The National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists have an opportunity to continue in…

Read More

McAllen, other Texas cities hoping to benefit from new sales tax policy

BY MITCHELL FERMAN STAFF WRITER, THE MONITOR It’s not in-person shopping that leaders in McAllen have been unsure about. They know consumers spend money at La Plaza Mall and other brick-and-mortar stores across the city. But online sales have been tricky to quantify, they said, and following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Texas regulators are now working to tweak the interpretation of the sales tax revenue law that could allow hundreds of cities across the state like McAllen to receive some new revenues and be able to quantify online sales. “Once these rules are implemented, you’ll have an idea,” McAllen Chamber of Commerce President Steve Ahlenius said about measuring online sales in municipalities. “It evens the playing field,” McAllen Mayor Jim Darling said. McAllen’s economy relies heavily on sales tax revenues, with a significant portion stemming from sales at La Plaza Mall. City officials reported a record year of sales tax…

Read More

Government Affairs Council Meeting – Postponed

The Chamber’s Government Affairs Council will meet on Wednesday, April 8 from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. at the McAllen Chamber of Commerce.  The council will meet Dr. Harrison Keller, newly appointed as the sixth Commissioner of Higher Education and Chief Executive Officer for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in October 2019.   Dr. Keller will discuss higher education and how it impacts the success of our community’s workforce. Chamber members who would like to attend and be part of the council, please RSVP with Gerry Garcia at 682-2871 or ggarcia@mcallenchamber.com.  Lunch will be provided. The council will typically meet once a month to discuss issues that could affect our area’s business community.