‘An answer to prayer': Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick tours Driscoll Children's Hospital Rio Grande Valley

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick visited South Texas on Saturday to tour Driscoll Children’s Hospital Rio Grande Valley.

The new eight-story, $100 million hospital in Edinburg will open next month and become the first designated freestanding children’s hospital in the Valley, a medically underserved area facing a shortage of pediatricians.

At a press conference with Driscoll leadership, physicians and staff, the lieutenant governor spoke about his fondness for the Valley and about the importance of opening a new children’s hospital in Edinburg.

“This is going to be an answer to prayer. You don’t have to go to Corpus and stay overnight,” Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said, referring to the long drive patients in the Valley had to make to receive care at Driscoll Children's Hospital Corpus Christi, the nearest specialty acute care hospital for kids.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick speaks to Driscoll Children's Hospital Rio Grande Valley President Matthew Wolthoff during a tour of the new hospital.

“Now you have a place in the valley that they can go to. And their families can have hope and they have the care that they need. It’s really significant,” Patrick said.

Citing the fact that the new hospital would become the 33rd freestanding children’s hospital in the entire U.S. and the fifth in Texas, the lieutenant governor said people would look back 30 years from now and recognize the opening of the hospital as historic.

The new hospital will open with 119 pediatric beds and 700 employees. It will generate $124.7 million per year in economic growth to Texas, according to a Perryman Group study.

“The opening of this hospital will be instrumental in improving access to pediatric specialty care for families in the Rio Grande Valley.  Driscoll Children’s Hospital Rio Grande Valley, and the many pediatric subspecialists that will work in it, represent an entirely new level of services previously unavailable close to home,” said Matt Wolthoff, president of Driscoll Children's Hospital Rio Grande Valley.

Left to right: Driscoll Vice President of Professional and Support Services Shane Casady; Driscoll President and CEO Eric Hamon; Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

“Driscoll is proud show the Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick our new, life-changing children’s hospital. Our vision to never turn a child away is growing eight stories taller,” said Driscoll CEO Eric Hamon.

The press conference on Saturday was also attended by Tialy Elaine Martinez, a 5-year-old Driscoll patient from the Valley who was treated for PHACE syndrome, a condition that affects the brain and heart.

Driscoll patient Tialy Elaine Martinez and her mom, IIiana Martinez.

“We had to travel to Driscoll in Corpus, it was a very challenging moment because we had to leave our families and our home and stay more than four months in Corpus,” said Tialy’s mother, IIiana Martinez.

“Having our very own Driscoll here in the Rio Grande Valley is just a blessing… we are so glad, we are so happy that we have our very own Driscoll that we can call home from now on,” Martinez said.

The new hospital is located at 2820 W. Michelangelo Dr.

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