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Multi-million dollar project to include new cardiac catheterization laboratories, operating rooms;
Community invited to ground-breaking on July 6

Harlingen – A new emergency room — along with new cardiac catheterization laboratories for heart patients, new endoscopy laboratories to treat gastro-intestinal problems, and additional operating rooms for surgical procedures — will break ground at Harlingen Medical Center on July 6.

The community is invited to the ground-breaking ceremony on Wednesday, July 6 at 10 a.m. at the award-winning and nationally-recognized hospital, located at 5501 S. Expressway 77, in Harlingen (in the parking lot next to the Emergency Room, on the west side of Harlingen Medical Center, facing the Expressway). Speakers, at the ceremony, will include State Representative Eddie Lucio III, Harlingen Mayor Chris Boswell, and Brenda Ivory, President and Chief Executive Officer at Harlingen Medical Center.

“This will be a major expansion which will allow us to better meet the needs of our growing community, and to serve more people with the quality, compassionate and personalized type of care that our patients have come to expect from Harlingen Medical Center,” Ms. Ivory said.

When completed, the new ER will boast nearly two dozen emergency room “bays,” also known as enclosed treatment areas, including two trauma bays, an isolation room, and two “fast-track” bays designed for rapid treatment of patients, said Dr. Michael Mohun, Medical Director and Trauma Director of the Emergency Room and at Harlingen Medical Center, a Level IV Trauma Center hospital.

“Harlingen Medical Center is known for its rapid, efficient delivery of medical care,” Dr. Mohun said. “This expansion will allow patients to continue to receive emergency treatment when they need it, from the most experienced board-certified emergency physicians available in Cameron County.”

The expansion of the Cardiovascular Center at Harlingen Medical Center, once completed, will boast three state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization laboratories for patients who need life-saving treatments to open a blocked blood vessel to their heart. Cardiologists at Harlingen Medical Center have received national recognition for heart treatment, which in some cases includes inserting a tiny metal device called a stent and / or a tiny balloon to open clogged arteries.

“We are looking forward to this expansion, so that we can treat more heart and vascular patients in the Rio Grande Valley,” said Linda Bull, Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at Harlingen Medical Center.

Ms. Bull said many people in South Texas are in need of these treatments because of high rates of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. She noted that Harlingen Medical Center has been ranked among the top hospitals in the country in cardiovascular care, having received the Thomson Reuters“100 Top Hospitals: Cardiovascular Benchmarks Award.

“We have some of the most experienced cardiologists in the Valley,” Ms. Bull added. “We also have physicians who perform very specialized electrophysiology studies of the heart, as well as complex catheter ablation procedures and peripheral vascular procedures, including treating abdominal aortic aneurysms. And they have received recognition for using some of the most advanced technology, including the world’s smallest heart pump (the Impella® 2.5 Catheter).”

The project will also include expansion of Harlingen Medical Center’s Radiology and Imaging Department. This area will grow with an “Imaging Suite,” where additional CT-scans, X-rays and ultrasound procedures may be performed.

In addition, the growth will include a larger operating room, which will provide more space for various types of surgeries, including orthopedic surgery (such as knee and hip replacements) and trauma surgeries.

The project also includes re-location of a “cystoscopy room” for patients with bladder problems or needing surgery for their urinary tract, to within the operating room suites.

Julie Bannert, Director of Surgical Services at Harlingen Medical Center, said this in turn will allow for an upgrade to the hospital’s endoscopy rooms, where patients receive potentially life-saving colonoscopy screenings, as well as diagnosis and treatment of various disorders of the stomach and intestines.

“It will add areas for pre-op and recovery, making the endoscopy unit more independent,” said Ms. Bannert. “Our gastrointestinal unit specializes in all disorders of the stomach and intestines. We have new technology, which essentially puts us in the forefront, here, in our community. We are very proud to be able to offer all of this to the community.”

Ms. Bannert noted that Harlingen Medical Center’s Gastrointestinal Laboratory was the first in Cameron County to be certified by the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, for following national guidelines designed to improve the quality of care for gastrointestinal patients.

She added that the renovations will also allow for more beds in the hospital’s growing “Day Patient” area, for patients needing minor surgeries or procedures (those which do not require overnight hospitalization).

For more information on the expansion project and upcoming groundbreaking at Harlingen Medical Center, please visit or contact Manny Chacon, Regional Director of Business Development and Marketing for Harlingen Medical Center, at 956-365-1848 or