Rio Grande Regional Hospital opens 24/7 Emergency Care Center In Edinburg


By Joseph Lilli


Having to drive more than 10 minutes to get immediate, hospital-quality emergency care will soon become rare for most residents of Edinburg and neighboring cities.


This spring, Rio Grande Regional Hospital (RGRH) in McAllen is opening its second off-site emergency department (ED) in the Valley. This latest facility will be located at 2744 University Drive in Edinburg.

Rio Grande Regional Hospital is proud to contribute $7 million to the Edinburg economic development and create approximately 30 new jobs when the new state-of-the-art free-standing emergency department opens. The new off-site ED will provide the same high quality and compassionate care RGRH is known for.

Patients can expect to receive superior professional care for many illnesses and injuries, including stroke and heart attack, severe lacerations, burns, broken bones, and allergic reactions. Pediatric and senior care will also be available at the free-standing facility.

Patients with serious injuries or illnesses – or who require extended treatment or surgery – will be transferred by ambulance to the main hospital.

Local Leader in ED Services

A community leader in emergency services, RGRH became the first hospital in the Valley to build a satellite emergency department (ED) to meet the community’s health needs. It earned this distinction in 2012 with the opening of its ED facility serving the McAllen/Mission area.

JKD_2488 rt group_webFront – L-R:  Richard B. Moore, MD, Medical Director – RGRH ED, Cris Rivera, Chief Executive Officer-RGRH, Carlos A. Ramirez, MD, Medical Director – RGRH 24 Hour Care Back – L-R:  Kathy Dassler, Chief Nursing Officer – RGRH, Brett Strock, Administrator, Freestanding EDs, Bertha Guerra, Director, Emergency Department -RGRH

“Adding the Edinburg facility is part of our commitment to continue meeting the health needs of a growing Valley community, and to provide all residents with superior medical care close to home,” says Brett Stock, Administrator, Freestanding Emergency Department.

“Valley residents have trusted us to meet their medical needs for over 32 years. We want that trust and reassurance to continue. So we’re making it more convenient for them to receive immediate treatment when they need it most,” he adds


Open Around-The-Clock

The new emergency facility will be open 24/7, 365 days a year. It comes equipped with fully accredited lab services providing blood chemistry, hematology, coagulation, urinalysis, microbiology, and other tests. There also will be a full diagnostic radiology department offering digital x-ray, CAT scan, and ultrasound services.

The facility will be staffed by board-certified physicians, registered nurses, and certified ancillary and support services personnel. Emergency trained and licensed nurses will be on duty every day to ensure your loved ones receive the best care possible.

Upon discharge from any of our RGRH’s facilities, patients will be able to access the hospital’s Patient Portal, enabling them to instantly and safely access their personal health information.

Short Wait Times

“We know people value their time, so one of the benefits we anticipate providing all our patients will be short wait times,” says Bertha Guerra, Director, Emergency Department-RGRH.

“Since we’ve opened the McAllen/Mission emergency facility, the average wait time is only six minutes from when patients walk in the door to when they see a qualified medical provider. We greet patients upon arrival and immediately start their medical screening process.

To enable Valley residents to see how little wait time it takes for them to see a physician, two LED billboards in the community display the current Emergency Department (ED) wait times. RGRH takes great pride in its ability to keep wait times short – providing yet another valuable service to the community.

“While our patients will welcome the short wait times,” says Kathy Dassler, Chief Nursing Officer at RGRH, “they will especially appreciate the quality of care we’ll provide them at each off-site ED. Our patients come first in everything we do. As a result of this philosophy, we have shortened our ED wait times and excelled in clinical outcomes.”

Access To Advanced Level III Trauma Center

There’s yet another benefit for patients going to the satellite facility. If they have a complex injury or acute illness – requiring more advanced, comprehensive care – they will have immediate access to all the resources and personnel at the main hospital, to include an Advanced Level III Trauma Center. On-call medical specialties include a trauma surgeon, orthopedic surgeon, neurosurgeon, and pediatric care specialists.

Any patients requiring hospitalization or advanced care can be transferred from the off-site ED to Rio Grande Regional Hospital seamlessly.

“The emergency and trauma team at the hospital offers incomparable coordination of all specialty services to meet the needs of every patient,” says Richard B. Moore, MD, Medical Director-RGRH ED. “This is made possible due to a dedicated team that’s committed to offering the community the most comprehensive medical care available in our area.”

Off-Site Emergency Care Rising

The emergence of satellite EDs comes at a time when people are seeking emergency care more so than ever. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, emergency department visits are on the rise, and showing no signs of slowing.

“That’s what we’re experiencing here in the Valley,” reports Stock. “Since its inception in 2012, our off-site facility serving McAllen/Mission has treated more than 37,000 patients.”

To meet the growing patient need for emergency care in Texas, satellite EDs are increasing. And RGRH has taken the lead locally to meet this critical health care need.

“In fact,” states Carlos A. Ramirez, MD, Medical Director-RGRH 24 Hour Care, “RGRH is proudly building a new healthcare delivery experience for our community, with new technologies, new products, and above all, excellent care.”


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