EDINBURG, Texas (ValleyCentral) — On Wednesday, Doctors Hospital at Renaissance Health (DHR Health) held a ceremony to celebrate becoming the first and only Level 1 Trauma Center south of San Antonio.

In attendance were many local officials as well as Texas Governor Greg Abbott who also signed Senate Bill 827, which caps the price of insulin.

“This is a substantial milestone for DHR and for the Rio Grande Valley,” said Abbott.

Governor Abbott congratulated DHR Health on this accomplishment and said it was made possible by Senate Bill 500 in 2019.

“Funding for this designation was a priority in the 2019 legislative session. Senator Hinojosa lead the way to secure the funding that was needed for this designation,” said the governor.

Abbott also signed SB 827 which doctors said will positively impact Rio Grande Valley residents diagnosed with diabetes.

“What the law does is this, it limits co-pays to $25 per insulin prescription for a 30 day supply,” said Abbott.

Dr. Jeffery Skubic, Trauma Medical Director at DHR Health, said about $6 million was allocated from the State of Texas.

Now, Rio Grande Valley residents do not need to be transported to San Antonio or Corpus Christi for medical treatment, but doctors said they had the trauma center functioning for a year in order to be state-certified.

“We had to function as a Level 1 Trauma Center before we could be surveyed by the American College of Surgeons, so that has been on going,” said Dr. Rick Martinez, Assistant Medical Director for DHR Trauma.

Although DHR Health is now state-recognized and join the ranks with lead medical researchers in the state, Dr. Martinez said the staffing shortage still impacts them.

“We have actually hired LVNs and they are supervised by RNs and we are paying for their education to become RNs,” said Martinez.

Dr. Martinez who has been with DHR Health since 1997 said this is a day he and his team will not forget.

“It was a tough road, I’m very proud of everybody, this is not something that could be accomplished without the whole team,” said Martinez.