BROWNSVILLE, Texas – DHR Health can play a key role in helping Texas become a national leader in Hispanic medical research.

This was the message the group’s CEO, Dr. Manish Singh, wanted to get across to a delegation of state lawmakers that visited DHR Health-Brownsville recently. 

The lawmakers were touring the hospital, which is slated to open in March, as part of the RGV Partnership’s 2023 Valley Legislative Tour.

“We have a chance to make a transformational change in the state of healthcare in Texas, to become a national leader in cutting edge, clinical trials of Hispanics,” Singh told the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service, just before making his presentation to state lawmakers.

Singh said legislators need to pay attention to the changing demographics of Texas. The Hispanic population is growing fast and a high percentage of the state’s workforce will be Hispanic in the not too distant future. 

“Our legislators need to pay attention. If we want to maintain the economic engine here of Texas, they need to pay attention to this population,” Singh said.

“But here’s the problem. Hispanics have higher rates of heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, kidney diseases, very early in life. If these diseases get to them, they become sick early and very fast. My patients, with these diseases, I’ve seen them they go very down very fast. So, there is a threat to this state’s productivity, to the economic engine of the future.”

The best way to treat these diseases is to get into good medical research, Singh told the Guardian.

“But, guess what? Only 6.5% of the clinical research is being done on Hispanics nationwide, even though we are 19 to 20% of the population. That’s pathetic.”

To do good clinical research, Singh said, three things are needed: people, place and resources. 

“Place? The Rio Grande Valley has a 95% Hispanic population. People? The DHR Health Institute of Research and Development is doing fantastic research. We have the right people and the right researchers here. All we need are resources. 

Singh said DHR Health is looking for a one-time investment in a state-of-the-art research facility that specializes on Hispanic health. The 35,000 square foot facility would have a Phases I – IV clinical trials unit, an infusion center, a biobank, a research laboratory, next-gen sequencing, a research pharmacy, research radiologic services, and a research education center. 

In his presentation to the state lawmakers, Singh said only $4.9 billion of venture capital funding for Hispanic health research is coming to Texas, as compared to $79 billion for California, $41 billon for Massachusetts, and $18 billion for New York. 

“You think they’re better than us. I don’t think so,” Singh said.

The investment needs to be made in South Texas because it has a predominantly Hispanic population, Singh said.

“We want to be in the forefront on this,” Singh said. “That’s our dream. That’s the dream of DHR Health. We want a one-time transformational investment for the future of Texas. As a clinician, I’ve been here for 11 years. It is not something people in the Valley need. It’s not something people in the Valley want. It is something people in the Valley deserve.”

Editor’s Note: Here is a video recording of the speech Dr. Singh gave to state lawmakers at DHR Health-Brownsville:


Here are some photos from the event:

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