EDINBURG, RGV – Doctors Hospital at Renaissance Health System and Mission Regional Medical Center agreed to collaborate to solidify and expand the presence of a health care facility in the city of Mission.

The two organizations signed a non-binding letter of intent (LOI) to explore opportunities in a collaborative effort such as benefits for patients, families and the community.

Mission mayor, Norberto “Beto” Salinas, said prior to the collaboration, doctors from Mission were associated with Doctors Hospital at Renaissance. Therefore, patients were required to make the trip to Edinburg for a medical operation.

“Mission is going to gain [and] the citizens are going to gain for the better,” Salinas told the Rio Grande Guardian. “We’re going to be able to oversee hospitals with DHR [Doctors Hospital at Renaissance Health System], you’ll see more people around the hospital [and] more people around Mission. We don’t have to go all the way to Edinburg to be taken care of. So, it’s a good thing for us.”

DHR is a 500+ bed physician-owned health system with over 700 physicians and more than 1,500 nurses. It offers over 70 different sub-specialties. Mission Regional Medical Center is a 297-bed, private, non-profit hospital that provides inpatient and outpatient hospital services. Mission Regional has been offering health care for over 60 years

According to a press release from DHR, the LOI calls for a new community led non-profit board to oversee the operations of the hospital under Mission Regional Medical Center’s current hospital license and expansion of services.

“This proposed model will leverage the service excellence our hospital is known for with the added clinical specialist support our community needs,” Javier Iruegas, CEO of Mission Regional Medical Center, said in the press release. “The end-result is a non-profit community hospital that is bigger, better and stronger to meet the healthcare challenges of the future.”

Dr. Carlos Cardenas, M.D., Chairman of the Board of DHR, was equally enthusiastic. “We are excited to explore how DHR can provide hospital operational expertise to the Mission community by advising the new non-profit owner,” Cardenas said.

According to the press release, both organizations agree that the goal of a final transaction would be to “continue hospital governance in a community non-profit board,” and for existing employees to “continue in their current capacities.” A new entity would emerge from the collaboration “to expand health care services” to the residents of Mission and the broader region.

With the non-binding letter of intent signed, the news release said, Mission Regional Medical Center and DHR can now begin exploring the potential and future of the health care facility in greater detail. The organizations are working toward the signing of definitive agreements by the end of the year, the news release said.

With the potential collaboration, DHR would have a presence on Expressway 83. That would be huge for DHR in the longer term, Salinas said. It would give DHR more exposure on the western side of the Rio Grande Valley, Salinas told the Rio Grande Guardian.

Some DHR leaders are pushing for the creation of a healthcare district, whereas Salinas opposes it. Salinas said the agreement between DHR and MRMC has no impact regarding the health care district.

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying this story shows Mission Mayor Norberto ‘Beto’ Salinas. (Photo: RGG/Ena Capucion)