Community leaders joined hospital staff and former patients to commemorate to reflect on the facility’s rich history and launch a special project for future patients

South Texas Health System Children’s was established 16 years ago to meet a critical need. Before March 4, 2006, families would have to travel for hours to receive the specialty medical care their children required. Even in a critical emergency, children would have to treated among the general adult population at South Texas Health System Edinburg or South Texas Health System McAllen, or wait to be transferred out of the region, during a life-threatening situation. 

That is no longer the case.

For 16 years — as the first freestanding pediatric hospital in the region complete with a dedicated emergency room just for kids — STHS Children’s has been proud to offer quality, compassionate care and comprehensive pediatric services in a colorful, child-friendly setting to help children heal without having to leave the region. 

To celebrate its Sweet Sixteen, on Friday, March 4, STHS Children’s welcomed former patients, hospital leaders, community partners, and local and state government officials for a special outdoor ceremony that reflected on the hospital’s impact on local families and the community as a whole community and local families over the years.

“As a parent, this hospital is extremely personal to me,” State Rep. Terry Canales (D-Edinburg) said. “This building is a monument to the dedication of South Texas Health System to provide the best healthcare — the healthcare we deserve in South Texas.

“It’s a beacon of hope for the people that cannot leave. It’s a beacon of hope for families to know someone has their back when their children are sick.”

STHS Children’s is dedicated to providing quality, compassionate care that goes beyond the medical. Following the ceremony, guests made their way to the site of the hospital’s newest project — a healing courtyard — to participate in and witness the official groundbreaking. The courtyard will feature a life-size checkerboard, hopscotch court, sitting areas and more for patients and their families to enjoy a break from the hospital setting.

The project was made possible in part through support from the Auxiliary to South Texas Health System, which raises money through hospital gift shops and various fundraising projects, and Spirit Halloween and Spirit of Children.

“No matter how hard things have been and the challenges we’ve had to face, today is a day for big smiles and to celebrate 16 years,” STHS Children’s and STHS Edinburg CEO Lance Ames said. “I’m so incredibly proud of the dedicated team here for making our hospital what it is — a trusted place for healing where you’re cared for like family.

“When you have a group as powerful and committed as we do, that’s when miracles happen. We look forward to a great future full of innovation and continuing to serve the community.”

About South Texas Health System 

South Texas Health System is a multi-facility healthcare system serving patients throughout the Rio Grande Valley. The system includes four acute care facility campuses with specialties in pediatrics, heart and vascular services, maternity and women’s health and trauma services. Inpatient and outpatient treatment for behavioral health needs and addictive disorders is also provided through the system’s South Texas Health System Behavioral facility. South Texas Health System is affiliated with the South Texas Clinical Partners ACO, Prominence Health Plan, and Cornerstone Regional Hospital. The system operates an advanced Level II Trauma Center at South Texas Health System McAllen, the first and only freestanding children’s facility and pediatric ER at South Texas Health System Children’s, the region’s only freestanding heart hospital and specialized cardiac ER at South Texas Health System Heart, and six freestanding emergency rooms located in and around Weslaco, Mission, Edinburg, McAllen and Alamo. For more information about the system and its comprehensive services, please visit

About Auxiliary to South Texas Health System
The Auxiliary of South Texas Health System is comprised of men and women who donate not only their time assisting in the various departments throughout the facilities that make up South Texas Health System. The non-profit organization also raises money for educational scholarships to students within the Rio Grande Valley, continuing education assistance to STHS employees, and donations for other not-for-profit organizations within the community. The Auxiliary is able to give generous financial donations each year through money raised from the gift shop and various fundraising projects.

Physicians are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of South Texas Health System. The hospital shall not be liable for actions or treatments provided by physicians.