Sen. John Cornyn delivers remarks at Driscoll Children's Hospital Rio Grande Valley

Sen. John Cornyn met with Driscoll leadership on Thursday to receive a tour of the new Driscoll Children's Hospital Rio Grande Valley. The senator delivered remarks at a press conference and participated in a tree planting ceremony at the new not-for-profit designated children’s hospital.

“Families and children now have access to 175,000 square feet of premier medical infrastructure,” Sen. John Coryn said during his speech to media, local officials and healthcare workers.

“I just toured the new hospital and what an incredible facility it is. It offers nearly 120 patient beds, eight operating rooms, sophisticated technology, and even a therapy dog named Tesla,” Cornyn said.

Driscoll sees more than 150,000 patients a year, and many regularly made the journey from the Valley to Driscoll Children's Hospital in Corpus Christi to receive specialty care.

“Thanks to Driscoll Children’s Hospital and their vision, they understood that the children and the families of the Rio Grande Valley should not have to travel 150 miles just to receive the care they need. So, I’m happy to say that ends today,” Cornyn said.

After his remarks, Cornyn participated in a Q&A with members of the press. When asked what his thoughts were on the current proposed changes to state Medicaid plans that would prevent Driscoll Health Plan and other non-for-profit children’s healthcare plans from continuing to provide services, Cornyn said he hoped Driscoll “would be allowed to compete for those contracts because the kind of care they’re able to provide is something we should not pass by.”

The $100 million, eight-story Driscoll Children's Hospital Rio Grande Valley opened in early May and will have 119 licensed beds and more than 700 employees. The Rio Grande Valley’s first designated children’s hospital offers acute pediatric specialty care 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year-round regardless of ability to pay.

Matt Wolthoff, President of Driscoll Children's Hospital Rio Grande Valley, said the new hospital in Edinburg has already impacted the lives of hundreds of children and families.

“We are honored that Sen. John Cornyn could join us for this symbolic tree planting as the Valley’s first designated children’s hospital begins to see patients from across the region. This is just the beginning; we will continue to grow our services and capacity,” Wolthoff said.

Wolthoff and Senator Cornyn were joined by Hayden Featherstone Wilson, a longtime patient of Driscoll who is now receiving care at Driscoll Children’s Hospital Rio Grande Valley. Her mother, Karen Featherstone, spoke at the event and shared her daughter’s medical journey with a rare spinal condition called Sacral Agenesis.

“It’s been a whirlwind from the moment she took her first breath,” Featherstone said of her daughter who is now finishing her first year of high school. “Although things are steady at this stage of life, it obviously hasn’t been an easy road.”

“I know this new hospital will make that road easier for other kids and moms going through the same journey,” Featherstone said.

Services and treatment offered by Driscoll Children’s Hospital Rio Grande Valley include acute inpatient and outpatient surgery with board certified pediatric surgeons and anesthesiologists; emergency services and a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit; pediatric specific imaging, child life services; and more.

Driscoll Children’s Hospital Rio Grande Valley is located at 2820 W. Michelangelo Dr. in Edinburg, Texas.

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