Monday, January 22, 2018
  Alumni, Announcements

By Jennifer Berghom

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine has been awarded two grants totaling $650,000 from Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas Inc. for two of its clinical outreach initiatives.

Specifically, the School of Medicine received $500,000 for its Integrated Care Collaborative Unit (ICCU), and $150,000 for its Interprofessional Community-Based Practice and Education Project.

“We are delighted to receive this funding from Methodist Healthcare Ministries to continue serving our community,” said Dr. John H. Krouse, dean of the UTRGV School of Medicine and vice president for Health Affairs at UTRGV. “Through these grants, Methodist Healthcare Ministries has demonstrated its confidence in the School of Medicine to provide excellent care to members of the community who need it the most.”

This is the fourth award UTRGV has received from Methodist Healthcare Ministries for the ICCU and the second it has received for the Interprofessional Community-Based Practice and Education Project. Methodist Healthcare Ministries previously awarded a total of more than $2.3 million to the School of Medicine for the ICCU, to provide integrated care to improve the mental health outcomes of children and adolescents who are triply diagnosed.

“We are pleased to once again partner with UTRGV,” said Anne Connor, director of community grants at Methodist Healthcare Ministries. "Methodist Healthcare Ministries' grant-making is rooted in partnerships that promote access to care and integrated health care programs. UTRGV has been an invaluable resource in the Rio Grande Valley and we are happy to support their continued efforts to improve community health.”

The School of Medicine has formed a partnership with the Hidalgo County Health Department to operate the John Austin Peña Memorial Center in Edinburg, which provides integrated care to adolescents 12-18 years of age who are triply diagnosed with a medical illness, mental illness and an appetite drive disorder, such as substance abuse.

The grant approved for the Interprofessional Community-Based Practice and Education Project will help the School of Medicine to continue its partnerships with various communities throughout the Rio Grande Valley to provide integrated health care services to residents.  UTRGV received last year $150,000 from Methodist Healthcare Ministries for this project.

Methodist Healthcare Ministries also has awarded  a total of more than $1.6 million to UTRGV for its “Sí Texas: Social Innovation for a Healthy South Texas” project.

UTRGV President Guy Bailey said UTRGV is grateful for the partnership it has with Methodist Healthcare Ministries in providing healthcare to the community.

“These grants will allow the UTRGV School of Medicine to continue serving members of our community who otherwise might not have access to healthcare,” Bailey said. “It is through contributions like these from Methodist Healthcare Ministries that will enable us to close disparities in healthcare and improve the health and well-being of the people of the Valley.”

The grants began Jan. 1, 2018, and last through Dec. 31, 2018. 

Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc. is a private, faith-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to creating access to health care for the uninsured through direct services, community partnerships and strategic grant-making in 74 counties across South Texas. The mission of the organization is "Serving Humanity to Honor God" by improving the physical, mental and spiritual health of those least served in the  Rio Texas Conference area of The United Methodist Church. The mission also includes Methodist Healthcare Ministries' one-half ownership of the Methodist Healthcare System, the largest healthcare system in South Texas, which creates a unique avenue to ensure that it continues to be a benefit to the community by providing quality care to all and charitable care when needed. For more information, visit


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.