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“Claire Driscoll, With Her Heart, Her Soul, and Her Legacy, Fought for the Children of South Texas,” Eric Hamon, CEO of Driscoll Children’s Hospital

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Eric Hamon, CEO of Driscoll Hospitals, delivers a framed check used to purchase the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, to Lt. Governor Dan Patrick. In the photo, Teresa Rodriguez, Marketing and Communications Manager, and Matt Wolthoff, Driscoll Children’s Hospital Rio Grande Valley President. Photo by Roberto Hugo González
Eric Hamon, CEO of Driscoll Hospitals, delivers a framed check used to purchase the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, to Lt. Governor Dan Patrick. In the photo, Teresa Rodriguez, Marketing and Communications Manager, and Matt Wolthoff, Driscoll Children’s Hospital Rio Grande Valley President. Photo by Roberto Hugo González
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By Roberto Hugo González

Eric Hamon, CEO of Driscoll Children’s Hospital, delivered an impassioned speech celebrating the grand opening of the new Driscoll Children’s Hospital Rio Grande Valley. During his address, he drew a compelling comparison between Texas’ historic battles and the lifelong mission of the hospital’s founder, Claire Driscoll, who significantly contributed to preserving the Alamo and championing pediatric healthcare in South Texas.

Mrs. Clara Driscoll Sevier, Texas philanthropist. Bain News Service, publisher, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Claire Driscoll’s legacy began in the early 20th century when she famously purchased the Alamo in 1903 to save it from demolition. Later, she sold it back at a loss of $10,000 to Bexar County with a stipulation to preserve it as a historical site. Her dedication mirrored the spirited defense of the Alamo, but her true battle was for the children of South Texas. Hamon highlighted that Driscoll’s last will expressed her desire for every child in South Texas to have access to quality healthcare, regardless of their financial circumstances.

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Driscoll Children’s Hospital, a demonstration of Claire Driscoll’s vision, is about to embark on a new chapter. The grand opening of our new eight-story hospital in Edinburg, a monumental investment of over $100 million, is set for May 1, 2024. With its 600 dedicated employees and 119 pediatric beds, this state-of-the-art facility will provide emergency care and a wide range of pediatric specialty services from day one. Its projected annual economic impact of $124.7 million is a testament to our commitment to the region’s prosperity.

Since its founding in 1953, Driscoll Children’s Hospital has been a cornerstone of pediatric healthcare in South Texas. As the region’s largest and fastest-growing healthcare system, Driscoll operates a primary facility in Corpus Christi and extends its services through specialty centers and clinics across South Texas. The opening of the Edinburg Hospital marks the establishment of the region’s first freestanding designated children’s hospital.

Complementing its healthcare services, Driscoll also offers a community-based health plan, providing local families with access to essential medical services and benefits. This plan is a testament to the hospital’s ongoing dedication to supporting the health and well-being of children across the region.

During the event, Hamon deviated from his prepared remarks to honor Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick by presenting him with framed replicas of the checks Claire Driscoll used to purchase the Alamo. This gesture symbolized their dedication to preserving Texas’s heritage and supporting its children. Hamon explained that the idea for this tribute was inspired by a story Lt. Governor Patrick had shared at a previous event about Mrs. Driscoll’s historic purchase. The framed checks serve not only as a reminder of that pivotal act but also as a representation of their ongoing commitment to the legacy of Texas and the welfare of its younger generations.

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In his closing remarks, Hamon called on the community to maintain their commitment to the health of South Texas children, stating, “This is the beginning, not the end,” and emphasizing the ongoing journey of improving pediatric healthcare in honor of Claire Driscoll’s enduring legacy. The new hospital is not just a facility but a hope, continuing the fight for the children of South Texas, inspired by a woman whose heart, soul, and legacy remain at the core of its mission.

Photo by Roberto Hugo González
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