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EDINBURG, RGV – Doctors Hospital at Renaissance opened two new medical facilities on Thursday, one in Edinburg and one in McAllen.

The two are actually just across the road from each other. The Family Medicine Center at Renaissance, to be operated in affiliation with the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s School of Medicine, is the first building to open its doors on DHR’s South Campus, which is on the McAllen side of Dove Avenue. Across the street on the Edinburg side of the road, DHR has opened its new Day Surgery at Renaissance.

“Twenty years ago this was truly only a dream,” said Dr. Carlos Cardenas, co-founder and chairman of DHR. “These were grain fields and the corner across the street had nothing on it. A small group of physicians came together to think about building a day surgery center because we needed to be able to build and make something that was modern and bring the latest and greatest to the people of the Rio Grande Valley and South Texas. To bring the care in way that we can dream.”

Dr. Carlos Cardenas
Dr. Carlos Cardenas

Cardenas made his comments at a ribbon-cutting center for the two new centers. In the audience were Cardenas’ parents and an aunt. It was Cardenas’ father, Ruben, who suggested his son reach out to local land developer Alonzo Cantu. The doctors had been thinking of building a day surgery center on the corner of Nolana and 23rd Street in McAllen. The doctors met with Cantu one Sunday afternoon on the corner of Dove and McColl and the rest is history. The 30-bed ambulatory surgical center that opened in 1997 has grown into a major hospital system. DHR is now the largest physician-owned hospital in the nation and one of the top-ranked hospitals in the nation. “We shook hands and we never really had an official contract,” Cardenas said of that first, fateful, meeting with Cantu.

“When we think about it, it really is pretty amazing to think this all came to pass, that we came together as a small group of physicians because if any of you have worked with any of us you know it is like herding cats. Truly, everybody thinks it is their project and their idea. It is always important to bring everybody together and find focal vision and then execution. We are surrounded by the people who have made that possible and who have helped us to execute our dream,” Cardenas said. “We are a patient-centered community hospital and today we bring day surgery at Renaissance back again.”

Laura Disque, vice president for surgery and procedures at DHR, said the new 90,000 square feet, two-story, Day Surgery at Renaissance features eight operating rooms, 40 pre-operative beds, 40 recovery rooms, and ten endoscopy suites. She said the center will cater for gastroenterology, endoscopy, ophthalmology, otolaryngology, orthopedic and hand surgery, and urology. “We have built the facility to flow in a manner where you will go through, in and out, as quickly as possible. On top of that we have built the facility with state of the art equipment. So, patients will not only get a fast and efficient service, they will get the highest quality.”

Disque added: “I want to thank the hospital administration. This has been a long journey and they have been very supportive. There are not enough operating rooms or procedure rooms or physicians in the Rio Grande Valley. Now we have provided more rooms. This is a dream come true.”

A news release issued by DHR states that the Day Surgery at Renaissance will “revolutionize the outpatient surgical experience for patients in our community.” With all services conveniently located in one building, “patients have access to pre-admission testing, laboratory services, imaging, and registration as well as financial counselors and a cafeteria all under one roof.” Day Surgery at Renaissance also features spacious, comfortable waiting areas and a children’s playroom, the release states. “Services will be streamlined and efficient, with less wait times and more parking.”

The Family Medicine Center at Renaissance covers 45,000 square feet. It will offer modern patient rooms, clinical support areas such as a laboratory and diagnostic imaging, group therapy rooms, a physiotherapy room, and conference rooms and educational areas.

Dr. R. Armour Forse, chief academic officer at DHR, said the center will serve as a base for integrated programs in healthcare, including prevention and treatment, and education, built around a team approach. He said physicians will provide a comprehensive range of medical services in a coordinated environment, ensuring optimal health for the patient – before, during and between appointments.

“This innovative clinical platform used to train medical students and residents in the area of family medicine will also provide opportunities to build our research program,” Forse said. “The Family Medicine Center was built to support the mission of treating, teaching, and conducting research in an environment that is conducive to teamwork and integrated healthcare.”

UTRGV officials have blessed the Family Medicine Center at Renaissance. “I am excited about the opening of the Family Medicine Center and DHR’s commitment to the success of the UTRGV School of Medicine faculty, residents, and medical students – a commitment we share,” said Dr. Francisco Fernandez, founding dean of the UTRGV School of Medicine. “Together we can significantly enhance our clinical educational, and research affiliations into the future for the benefit of the people of the RGV.”

Laura Disque, RN, MSN.
Laura Disque, RN, MSN.

UTRGV President Guy Bailey said: “The opening of the Family Medicine Center is a significant step both in expanding healthcare in the Rio Grande Valley and in our partnership with DHR. We are very excited about the possibilities going forward.”

Dr. Eron Manusov, chair of UTRGV’s family medicine division, said that in addition to the Family Medicine Residency program, UTRGV School of Medicine and DHR will be partnering to provide residencies in Preventative Medicine and Pharmacy in the near future. “Integrated, inter-professional care will mean that we can truly offer cutting edge, patient-centered, full-service primary care,” Manusov said.

Israel Rocha, CEO of DHR, said: that through the partnership with the UTRGV School of Medicine and the opening of the newly constructed Family Medicine Center, DHR will be able to bring new, innovative and comprehensive health services to the Valley. “A key aspect of helping develop the future of medicine is the re-engineering of the primary care experience and this center will serve as a laboratory that will help train new primary care practitioners in the medicine of tomorrow,” Rocha said. “This center will help train physicians from around the nation here in the Rio Grande Valley and due to this experience, many physicians will stay in the area to practice medicine upon completion of their training. As a historically medically underserved area, bringing those physicians to the RGV is vital.”