BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Over 40 Texas lawmakers are in the Rio Grande Valley this weekend for the 2023 Legislative Tour.

Their focus is on various needs across Cameron and Willacy counties.  

This four-day tour is intended to help lawmakers learn about opportunities and challenges in our area pertaining to education, infrastructure, transportation and health care.

Legislators made several stops in Brownsville where DHR Health officials shared healthcare needs.  

“This place is 95% of Hispanic population,” DHR Health CEO Dr. Manish Singh said. “It’s upon us to create an environment that we keep them healthy, and make the future generation healthy, and that can only be done through research. And guess what, there is no research on Hispanics.”  

According to Dr. Singh, Hispanics will comprise 50 percent or more of the Texas population by 2030.  

Singh added, Hispanics are at a higher risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.  

“They are the ones who are more likely to get sick and get off the workforce and cause a big burden on themselves and the community,” Singh told ValleyCentral.

That is why DHR Health hopes this legislative tour will push lawmakers to consider a state-of-the-art research facility needed to further study and treat patients in the valley. 

CEO of RGV Partnership Daniel Silva said, “It’s going to take partnership with the state. It’s going to take the state knowing what our needs are down here. So, as we’re asking for funding, they know what it is that we’re actually trying to use it for.”  

While legislators will end their tour tomorrow, the next legislative tour is scheduled for 2025 and will focus on Hidalgo and Starr counties.