STHS Edinburg is the only in the Valley and one of a few in the entire nation to achieve the designation by the Gluten Intolerance Group

A hospital is a place to heal and recover. While a stay in the hospital can be stressful, South Texas Health System is committed to making the experience as comfortable as possible by providing quality, compassionate care. Now, for the one in 133 individuals in the U.S. who suffer from Celiac disease, they have one less thing to be concerned about when admitted at South Texas Health System Edinburg.

The facility has been newly validated as a Gluten-Free Food Service (GFFS) Safe Spot by Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG), a national nonprofit committed to making life easier for everyone living gluten-free. While some may abide by a gluten-free diet freely, for those living with the autoimmune disorder of Celiac disease, the consumption of gluten — a protein found in wheat, rye and barley — inhibits their body’s absorption of important nutrients.

To achieve this GFFS certification, all 23 employees of STHS Edinburg’s Dietary Services underwent training and had to pass several exams over the course of eight months to ensure they meet the rigorous safety standards and expectations for a meal to be 100% gluten free.

“We’re here for our patients, regardless of what ails them,” York Saldivar, STHS Edinburg Director of Dietary and Food Services said. “Food is medicine and when someone is suffering, we want to make sure we’re providing them with the proper diet they need to get better.

“It’s a great feeling and I’m extremely proud of our team of dieticians, cooks, dietary aids, clerks and porters for getting on board and being vigilant in abiding by these procedures that make us a safer place for this special population.”

STHS Edinburg is one of 11 hospitals in the nation and the only one in the South Texas Region with the GFFS Safe Spot status. 

“Though it’s an extremely small portion of the population that is diagnosed with Celiac disease, their safety is as important as anybody else’s,” STHS Edinburg and Children’s CEO Lance Ames said. “With this designation, we hope to further demonstrate to the community that we truly strive to do our best for our patients by understanding and meeting their needs.”

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

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.