By Roberto Hugo González
On November 29, 2023, the Driscoll pediatric healthcare system, known for its non-profit endeavors in providing specialized pediatric care, marked a significant milestone with the inauguration of its new Quick Care clinic in Edinburg, Texas. This development is especially noteworthy as it introduces the second Quick Care clinic in the Valley and is strategically positioned near the soon-to-be-opened Driscoll Children’s Hospital Rio Grande Valley.
The upcoming Driscoll Children’s Hospital Rio Grande Valley is poised to become the first freestanding designated children’s hospital in the Valley. This is a critical advancement for a historically medically underserved region with a chronic pediatrician shortage. Establishing the new hospital and clinic represents a significant step forward in addressing these healthcare gaps.
Mega Doctor News had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Ana Almeda, a central figure in this expansion. Dr. Almeda, a pediatric critical care specialist with 14 years of experience, is the Chief Clinical Officer for the Driscoll Children’s Hospital RGV. A native of Brownsville, Texas, Dr. Almeda’s medical journey took her to San Antonio for training before returning to McAllen, Texas, to contribute her expertise to the region.
Dr. Almeda highlighted the comprehensive approach Driscoll takes to establish the new hospital. Scheduled to open in May 2024, the hospital is actively assembling a world-class team of doctors and healthcare professionals, all dedicated to pediatric care. This initiative has been significantly boosted by a $17 million grant from the Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation, facilitating the recruitment of specialists to the Valley.
The recruitment process is promising, with several specialists committed to joining the team. This effort is essential in ensuring that the hospital has a full complement of specialists to address the region’s diverse medical needs of children.
Dr. Almeda also told Mega Doctor News about the current healthcare challenges in the Rio Grande Valley, emphasizing the impact of RSV and flu seasons on children, particularly those under one year of age. The new Quick Care clinic and the upcoming children’s hospital are crucial in addressing these seasonal spikes in illnesses.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a common respiratory virus that typically causes mild, cold-like symptoms. However, it can be more severe, especially in infants and older adults. RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lung) and pneumonia in children under the age of one in the United States.
In addition to providing specialized pediatric care, the new Quick Care clinic offers extended hours, remaining open until 11 p.m., to accommodate the community’s needs. Located at 2821 Michelangelo Dr, Suite 101, in Edinburg, the clinic is a testament to Driscoll’s commitment to expanding accessible, high-quality pediatric healthcare in the Rio Grande Valley.