DHR names new CEO as hospital touts new, current projects

EDINBURG — Dr. Manish Singh will be the new CEO of Doctors Hospital at Renaissance beginning in January, announced Board Chairman Carlos J. Cardenas during the State of the Hospital address on Thursday.

The appointment of Singh, a bariatric surgeon, marks a new phase for DHR, Cardenas said, that includes new initiatives and collaborations for the hospital.

The hospital’s main partnership is with the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine.

John Krouse, the dean of the school of medicine, said the school is preparing 169 new physicians in 10 residency programs, of which 64 percent of the last graduating class have opted to stay in the Rio Grande Valley.

Together, the school of medicine and DHR are working to create more residencies and fellowships “to address these local workforce needs,” Krouse said.

They’re also working with DHR Health to create a cancer center and to form the Valley’s first academic health system where future healthcare professionals train.

“It’s when these two entities join together that the Valley can benefit from the synergism and energy that that partnership can bring,” he said.

They are also working on expanding the school’s health sciences, education enterprise on DHR’s south campus in McAllen and their children’s hospital project will be the foundation for the school of medicine’s residency program.

DHR is also currently in discussions with UTRGV about the development of a hotel that will serve as a training site for their school of hospital and tourism management.

The hospital will also be growing the number of their urgent care centers across the Valley to increase healthcare access to areas not located near a hospital, and will also work with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to expand services for veterans.

Another major initiative is their effort to have a Level 1 trauma center in the Valley.

Level 1 medical facilities provide the highest level of trauma care with surgeons, anesthesiologists, specialists and equipment available 24 hours a day.

“Starting in 2019, pretty quickly, we’re going to start to act as and in pursuit of Level 1 trauma,” said Robert Martinez, chief medical officer.

Martinez cited the devastation of Hurricane Harvey and how that left two of Houston’s four Level 1 hospitals “completely incapacitated.”

“The Rio Grande Valley doesn’t even have a Level 1 trauma center,” he said. “Can you imagine should DHR be incapacitated and not be able to care for their patients?”

Martinez added they’ve been building their staff for the purpose of operating as a Level 1 and are at 95 percent of that goal.

“We are, today, able to provide the care of five to six neurosurgeons right now if you should need them,” he said. “Neurosurgery, neuro-intervention, all of those high-level services are here right now 24/7.”