Along with distributing backpacks and school supplies to children, the event include free health screenings for the parents.

From buying the endless list of supplies, updating your child’s wardrobe and taking them for their athletic physical, back-to-school preparation can be quite stressful during a typical year. Throw in the lasting effects of a global pandemic, as well as well the threat of new infection as new COVID-19 variants emerge, and the financial and mental pressure on parents is reaching epic proportions.

To help offer Rio Grande Valley parents and families a little relief, South Texas Health System teamed up with the Rio Grande Valley Diabetes Association, The Great Mission Chamber of Commerce and Charlie Clark Automotive Group to host a drive-thru back-to-school bash on Saturday, August 14 at the chamber grounds in downtown Mission. 

“During the start of a new school year, parents put their kids first as they prepare them to head back to the classroom. But it’s also a great time to prioritize their own health. So why not combine the two?” says Tom Castañeda, System Director of Marketing & Public Relations, South Texas Health System. “This drive-thru event does just that. Parents can get their health in check while picking up some last-minute supplies for the kids!”

In addition to getting free blood pressure and blood sugar screenings, conducted by members of Healthy Texas Youth Ambassadors, parents were also able to pick up backpacks and school supplies for their children as they prepare to return to the classroom.  

“This new school year could prove especially challenging for parents with the added stress related to sending their children back to the classroom right as we’re seeing an increase in COVID-19 infections due to the delta variant. We’re glad we could help relieve some of their stress, while conducting important health screenings that could catch any potential issues,” says Diana Ramirez, Executive Director, Rio Grande Valley Diabetes Association. “With the prevalence of diabetes and heart disease in the community, knowing your blood sugar and blood pressure levels is important. So now they’ll know where they stand and hopefully take action if required.”

In all, more than a thousand school supplies, including notebooks, crayons, pencils and glue bottles, were distributed during the Back-To-School Drive-Thru Bash.

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.