MCALLEN, Texas – According to surveys and medical records, one in ten people in the United States have diabetes, while one in every five people do not know they have the disease.

The numbers in the Rio Grande Valley are believed to be even higher.

This has prompted South Texas Health System to host a Diabetes Symposium at South Texas College in McAllen on Saturday, March 26, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event, titled Prevent, Treat, Beat Diabetes, takes place in the Student Union (Building U) on STC’s Pecan Campus.

STHS’s partners for the symposium are STC and Prominence Health Plan.

Tom Castañeda, system director of marketing and public relations for STHS, points out that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by making healthy lifestyle choices and managing the disease with help from one’s doctor.

“There is no denying that diabetes is a serious health issue in the Rio Grande Valley. Unfortunately, many people don’t even know they have the disease. While genetics may play a role for some, you can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by making healthy lifestyle choices and working closely with your doctor to manage the disease,” Castañeda told the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service.

“Prominence Health Plan and South Texas Health System are committed to helping all members of the community prioritize their health. This first-of-its-kind conference, with dedicated tracks for seniors, adults & families, caregivers and children – all offering audience-appropriate education and resources – will arm the community with everything they need to prevent, treat and beat diabetes in their lives and those of their loved ones. Together we can curb the diabetes epidemic in the Valley!”   

Castañeda said those attending the symposium can learn about ways to keep one’s health in check, including:

  • Diabetes education seminars, led by local healthcare professionals
  • Exercise and cooking demonstrations geared to specific groups – such as kids, adults, seniors, and caregivers.
  • Health checks and screenings
  • Information and resource connections at the expo.

To register for the symposium and to find a complete schedule of presentations and activities, go to

For more information about the symposium contact Veronica Galligan at (956) 821-9569 or [email protected].

STHS hosted a forum to preview the symposium at STC on March 23. Following the forum, the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service interviewed STHS’s Castañeda about the symposium. Here is the interview:


Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above news story was taken at the STHS forum held at STC on March 23, 2022. (Photo: RGG/Steve Taylor)

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