EDINBURG, RGV – U.S. Sen. John Cornyn met with University of Texas Rio Grande Valley officials in his Washington, D.C., office on Tuesday.

Cornyn visited UTRGV’s campus earlier this year to learn about the new School of Medicine and to discuss the University’s work on veterans’ issues in the Valley.

Among the UTRGV administrators on the D.C. trip were Veronica Gonzales, vice president for Government and Community Relations, Richard Sanchez, assistant vice president for Governmental Relations, and UTRGV’s newest recruit, Veronica De La Garza, director of Local and State Relations. All three are pictured with Cornyn in the main image accompanying this story.

Gonzales explained the purpose of the trip.

“We are in D.C. for a UT System Research and Policy Conference and visited our delegation at the Capitol to say hello, give an update on UTRGV and thank legislators for support. Senator Cornyn spearheaded the visit by Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald a few months ago to discuss veterans care and we were letting him know that we are visiting with Governor Greg Abbott’s staff next week to give them an overview of care being provided to veterans throughout the Valley,” Gonzales told the Rio Grande Guardian.

“We will also discuss how we believe our medical school residents can collaborate to provide care. We visited with Congressmen Hinojosa and Vela as well and hope to give an update to Congressman Cuellar later this week.”

Gonzales added that the UTRGV delegation will be showcasing the university at the Rayburn Building along with the other UT System schools. “It is a means to introduce UTRGV to Congressional members,” Gonzales said.

McDonald made his visit to the Valley and UTRGV in September. Cornyn said of the trip: “Although improvements have been made to the region’s veterans’ medical facilities, getting access to quality care in South Texas is still far too challenging, especially for inpatient care. I am pleased Secretary McDonald has accepted my invitation to join me in the Rio Grande Valley as we continue to look for innovative solutions to improve healthcare for South Texas veterans and their families.”

Editor’s Note: The main photo accompanying this story was provided by Libby Hambleton, in Senator Cornyn’s public affairs office.