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Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa: District 20
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Press Release
July 5, 2020
Contact: (512) 463-0120

AUSTIN — Today, the Office of the Governor and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) confirmed they have deployed 628 individuals via BCFS to hospitals and medical centers in the Rio Grande Valley. BCFS Health and Human Services' Emergency Management Division is a non-profit partner of federal, state and local government and private industry, specializing in public health & medical emergency response. This assistance is being provided in response to the requests from county judges and hospital administrators in the Rio Grande Valley requesting additional personnel assistance from the state.

On June 26, 2020, Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez sent an urgent request to Dr. John Hellerstedt, Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services and the members of the RGV legislative delegation for assistance in the form of additional medical staff and the equipment necessary to provide for the health and safety of the citizens of Hidalgo County. Our offices immediately engaged the Office of the Governor, DSHS, and the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM). By Monday, June 29th, the state had deployed 112 staff to Edinburg and 46 to McAllen with the commitment to deploy more during the week. To date, the following assistance has been provided to Starr, Hidalgo, Cameron, and Willacy Counties:

Related to staffing - staff deployed via BCFS (628):

  1. Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen: 56 staff deployed
  2. Valley Baptist Medical Center in Brownsville: 32 staff deployed
  3. Harlingen Medical Center in Harlingen: 22 staff deployed
  4. Harlingen Regional Medical Center in Brownsville: 28 staff deployed
  5. Edinburg Regional Medical Center in Edinburg: 55 staff deployed
  6. Doctors Hospital Renaissance in Edinburg: 354 staff deployed
  7. Rio Grande Regional Hospital in McAllen: 46 staff deployed
  8. McAllen Heart Hospital in Edinburg: 8 staff deployed
  9. Starr County Memorial: 27 staff deployed last night

Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa issued the following statement:

"I appreciate the requests and tireless efforts from our South Texas county judges and hospital administrators to respond to the increase in the number of hospitalizations due to complications from COVID-19. We are thankful to Governor Greg Abbott and our state agencies for quickly acting on our requests and providing relief to our region. To carry out our mission to successfully provide the health care needs for COVID-19 it requires everyone at all levels of government working together. We are all in this together, and we can only succeed through collective action where everyone is working toward solving this crisis as one community."

In addition to the staff deployed via BCFS, the following requests are in process:

  1. Ambulance strike team assistance and lab technician assistance to Starr County
  2. An additional nurse deploying to Starr County
  3. 32 staff for Knapp Medical Center in Weslaco
  4. Ventilator deployment to the region tomorrow
  5. Ventilator deployment to Doctors Hospital tonight (10)

Other Items:

  1. Ventilators at Mission Regional Medical Center and South Texas Health Systems (3 each)
  2. Ambulance strike teams in Hidalgo and Cameron counties
  3. Epidemiologist surge for the region
Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa proudly represents the counties of Nueces, Jim Wells, Brooks, and Hidalgo (part). Senator Hinojosa currently serves as Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, and serves on the Senate Committees on Property Tax; Natural Resources & Economic Development; Transportation; Agriculture; and Select Committees on Redistricting and Texas Ports.