New Tower Welcomes its First Emergency, ICU and Radiology Patients

August 22, 2022

South Texas Health System waiting roomOn Friday, August 5, South Texas Health System Edinburg leaders were joined by State Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa and Edinburg Mayor Ramiro Garza, Jr., as well as state, local and community leaders, for a special ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially herald the opening of the first two floors of its new five-story, $100+ million patient tower, which more than doubles the facility’s overall size.

On Monday, August 8, STHS Edinburg staff began serving their first emergency, ICU and radiology patients.

“It’s an exciting time at STHS Edinburg; we’re looking forward to providing enhanced services to the community,” says Lance Ames, Chief Executive Officer, South Texas Health System Edinburg and STHS Children’s, regarding the opening of the tower. “This new patient tower is part of a greater plan to develop our campus well into the future, all to benefit the people of the Valley.”

Improved ER Provides Easier Access

Previously located at the back of the campus, the hospital’s emergency room has been moved to the north side of the new patient tower. Directly facing the intersection of Trenton and Sugar roads, the department’s ambulance and emergency entrances are now easily accessible by paramedics and community members alike. A Level IV Trauma Center, the ER has two trauma bays, which can each handle multiple patients, as well as 18 private triage, treatment and exam rooms that have been designed to enhance the patient experience. Enhancements include dimmable room lights; overhead examination lights; multifunctional electric hospital beds with built-in weight scales to help staff deliver appropriate doses of prescribed medication; wall-mounted televisions; and windows in most of the rooms to bring in natural light, which offers significant therapeutic benefits to patients and staff members alike.

“… A Greater Ability to Care for Our Patients”

South Texas Health System patient room“It’s a great improvement not only for our healthcare system, but for the community,” says Ben Dennard, RN, Clinical Critical Care Manager, STHS Edinburg. “Most ERs are designed purely with functionality in mind; they do not really consider how a patient feels when inside the space. This new ER is a huge improvement, not only for STHS, but for the entire community. It gives us a greater ability to care for our patients.”

Comprehensive Imaging Services Now Offered

The hospital’s radiology department has also received a substantial upgrade. Now housed on the first floor of the new patient tower, the department offers comprehensive imaging services including 3T MRI and 640-slice computed tomography (CT) scanning, and minimally invasive surgery options through its interventional radiology lab. There’s also a spa-like Women’s Imaging Suite, offering bone density scans, stereotactic breast biopsies, ultrasound scans and enhanced mammography services, including 3D mammograms.

“This enhanced radiology department will allow us to provide better, faster service to the community, all in a calm and pleasing environment,” says Larry Weinreich, Radiology Director, STHS Edinburg. “People will no longer have to leave the Valley for enhanced screening and testing options; it’s now available right down the road from them.”

The tower’s second floor will be home to the facility’s intensive care unit (ICU). Comprised of 16 rooms, the spaces have been constructed with patient and employee safety and comfort in mind, including large windows to bring in more natural light, private bathrooms designed to help prevent trips and falls, handrails leading from the hospital bed to the bathroom, rounded edges and ceiling-mounted bariatric lifts.

“Coming to the hospital can be extremely stressful for patients and loved ones alike, so we made every effort to create an environment that will help people overcome their anxiety and fear,” says Ames. “From the moment you step inside this tower, whether for outpatient radiology services or emergency care, you won’t feel like you’re in a hospital.”

The remainder of the tower, which includes an inpatient rehabilitation unit and an adult inpatient nursing floor, will open in mid-September 2022. There is also shell space throughout the towering structure for future expansion, with the capability to add 55 additional adult beds to accommodate the Valley’s imminent growth.