For National Volunteer Month, the Auxiliary to South Texas Health System recognizes the hard work and dedication of its dozens of volunteers

South Texas Health System has been meeting the healthcare needs of the Rio Grande Valley for nearly 100 years, but not without the support of hundreds of community volunteers. McAllen Municipal Hospital, which went on to become STHS McAllen, opened in 1925.  With the community’s support, over the years, the system expanded to include the four acute-care facilities, six freestanding emergency departments and a behavioral health hospital. With time, the need for community support arose, and the Auxiliary to South Texas Health System was formed to welcome individuals who wanted to give back to the hospital and help support future healthcare workers.

Since its establishment in 1953, the non-profit volunteer organization has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships to local students interested in pursuing a career in healthcare. This is made possible through the work of auxiliary board members and volunteers who help raise money by working in the gift shops located inside each of the facilities, as well as through special fundraising projects.

Despite the COVID-19-induced hardships of the past two-and-a-half years, which beyond the medical devastation brought certain volunteer programs to a halt, the auxiliary’s board members united to find ways to continue raising money for scholarships.

“When you get up to a certain point, you realize you have to give back to the community,” Auxiliary to STHS Board President Jim Titus said. “The board just had to make a lot of decisions so we could support the education of students like we always have. 

“They’re going to be our future nurses, doctors and therapists and it’s important for us to give them that support and show we believe in them.”

The Auxiliary to STHS is composed of 14 board members who serve two-year terms. In addition to scholarships, the Auxiliary also supports continuing education for employees, donations to other local nonprofits and the activities of South Texas Health System Children’s Child Life Services program.

“South Texas Health System is grateful to be able to work with a wonderful group of people who have it in their hearts to want to volunteer; we have approximately 100 volunteers from the ages of 15 all the way to 92,” Joel Peña, System Director of Volunteer Services said. “They are a core component of our hospitals, helping ensure we maintain a high-quality of service to patients, their families and the entire community.”

For more information about volunteering with STHS, call 956-632-4299 or visit the South Texas Health system website.

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.