RIO GRANDE CITY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — DHR Health announced plans to open a new facility in Rio Grande City.

“You know this is really a game-changer for us here in Starr County,” said County Judge Eloy Vera.

DHR Health, Starr County leaders, and Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick all participated in a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday for DHR’s latest announcement, of a 40-acre medical facility.

Mayor Joel Villarreal said this is the first facility of its kind in Starr County.

“When you’re looking at what it’s going to do not just for the Rio Grande City but for the cities of Roma, La Grulla, Escobares an entire Mexican area as far as our border communities,” said Villarreal.

Judge Vera said a facility of this size will create hundreds of jobs for the area and said the area is in need of access to more medical care.

“We’ve always had underserved medical, not necessarily because we don’t have the doctors or the hospital, we just don’t have the resources,” he said.

Housing for doctors and future staff is also included in the blueprints.

“Statistics have shown that 65 to 80 percent of those doctors who are in training will stay in the area, so that means there is a high chance they will stay in the area,” said Manish Singh, the Chief Executive Officer of DHR Health.

Vera added this project would not have been possible without funding from the state and pointed to Lieutenant Governor Patrick as the primary advocate.

“This funding I believe $16.7 million which is not an insignificant amount of money that we put in the bill was supported by all 31 senators,” said Patrick. “That’s 18 Republicans, that’s 13 Democrats that all came together for Starr County.”

Patrick said Starr County was the most underserved county in the Rio Grande Valley in terms of access to health care.

“When we looked where can we get the biggest bang for the buck and Starr was lacking in comparison to other counties in the Valley, so we thought collectively this was the best thing to do,” said Patrick.

DHR Health said the construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2023.