AudioNuestra Clinica Del Valle expanding services in fast-growing Alton

Safety net provider is poised to improve access to quality healthcare for the people of Alton.

ALTON, Texas – Nuestra Clinica Del Valle (NCDV) has held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new health clinic the nonprofit is opening in Alton.

The facility is being built on E. Dukakis Avenue, close to SH 107. The nonprofit will lease the facility from the City of Alton. Its current clinic in the city will then close.

In an exclusive interview with the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service, Nuestra’s CEO, Lucy Torres said the new clinic will be slightly bigger than the current one in Alton.

“It’s going to be about 1,000 square foot more than what we have currently. But, the good thing about this expansion is that it’s going to be more conducive for providing medical services and should increase and help us be more efficient and effective,” Torres said. 

Torres said all the current services NCDV provides will be maintained in the new facility.

“We will continue to offer the comprehensive services that we have at the moment, which include behavioral medical, support services, nutrition, just all the gamut of services.”

Nuestra Clinica Del Valle CEO Lucy Torres points to an artist’s impression of what the group’s new health clinic in Alton will look like.

Torres predicted the new facility will attract one more full-time healthcare provider. Currently, she said, NCDV has about 12 staff in Alton.

Torres said NCDV provides quality healthcare services to residents in Hidalgo and Starr Counties. It has 11 locations, including two schools based clinics to treat and care for children. 

“NCDV offers comprehensive medical services that include family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, laboratory, radiology, nutrition, behavioral health and dental,” Torres said. 

Nuestra Clinica Del Valle staff turn over earth at a groundbreaking ceremony in Alton.

Asked why Alton is important to NCDV, Torres said: “We’ve been in Alton since 2002. We were one of the first safety net providers in this area. And the need has grown. This is a rural community that didn’t have access to medical services. It has always been on our radar.”

Torres added: “We’re looking forward to our new clinic. I think the staff are excited and I think the community is excited. I think the partnership that we have formed with the community is very ideal. I think we send the message to the Feds and to the State Legislature that the community values our services and that they have bought into the program. I think that matters.”

Editor’s Note: This audio file includes interviews with Nuestra Clinica Del Valle CEO Lucy Torres, City of Alton Development Corporation CEO Steve Peña, and City of Alton Mayor Salvador Vela:

Steve Peña, CEO of the City of Alton Development Corporation, said the establishment of the new clinic marks a “significant milestone” in our Alton’s healthcare landscape. 

“With its advanced facilities, comprehensive range of services, and a highly skilled team of medical professionals, the clinic is poised to improve access to quality healthcare for our community,” Peña said.

“Through the integration of innovative technologies and specialized expertise, residents can expect enhanced health outcomes and an overall improved quality of life.”

City of Alton leaders.

Alton Mayor Salvador Vela said the new clinic “represents a commitment to meeting the evolving healthcare needs of our city and ensuring that every individual receives the best possible care. We eagerly look forward to the positive impact this clinic will have on our community for years to come.”

In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, Peña said he and his team have been working on the project for a good few years.

“They (NCDV) have a little shop just down the road on Los Ebanos Road. It was an old house that belonged to Mission School District and they were renting from them. However, they’ve outgrown that one because of the services that they provide,” Peña said.

“And so they came to us about four years ago. We were looking for a place and we finally came to the conclusion that this was the best place for them, in our business park. They were able to acquire a grant that enabled them to do the construction of the building. And so we’re going to be leasing the property to them to offset the cost so they can go ahead and utilize the grant to its full extent.”

Peña said NCDV has a “huge clientele,” not only in Alton but in the surrounding areas. “Especially to the north of us, a lot of different colonias. And so their clientele is just basically going to move from one street to another. However, now because of the new facility and the staff they have, they’re going to be able to provide even additional health services.”

Asked if the NCDV expansion speaks to the fact that Alton is growing fast, Peña said: “Absolutely. We’ve been growing for probably the past 17 or 18 years at a fast pace. And it’s all due to the fact that we have really good leadership.”

Asked how fast Alton is growing, Peña said: “Back in 2006 we were about 4,000. Right now in 2023 we’re almost 20,000 in population.”

NM Contracting, LLC, will build the new Nuestra Clinica Del Valle clinic in Alton.

Peña said the commercial sector is starting to grow and housing has been booming. 

“Not only single family housing but multifamily housing as well. So, we definitely have a good stock of both. The commercial sector is starting to take off right now. We just got a development on Alton Boulevard, which is SH 107 and Mile 5, which is Main Street for us. Both of those are going to be widened up to three lanes coming and going. And so that’s making the commercial sector really go high and that’s why they’re calling me up to try to find places for them.”

Asked what he puts the growth down to, Peña said: “I think because we are, for lack of a better word, the Last of the Mohicans on the north side. When it comes to municipalities with these type of facilities and amenities. Other than that you would have to go to Edinburg and go to Mission. And so on the north side, we’re basically the last (municipality) before you start getting into a lot of country and farmland.”

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