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Commissioners Court approved a Memorandum of Understanding regarding the development of and funding for the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine at its meeting Tuesday. The MOU replaces an agreement signed by the county, UT System and the cities of Edinburg, McAllen, Mission, and Pharr.
The purpose of the MOU memorializes the county’s commitment to further the establishment of a first class medical school in the lower Rio Grande Valley and the related Chapter 381 Economic Development Agreement by and among Hidalgo County, The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley and the University of Texas.
“This is not a new commitment, we have been providing support since 2014,” said Economic Development Director Michael Leo. “So no new monies were committed today.”
Veronica Gonzales, Vice President for Governmental and Community Relations at UT-RGV, spoke about the university’s commitment to offer expanded opportunities to residents seeking medical degrees and to conduct medical research with emphasis on conditions that may positively impact the health of our residents.
“The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and its school of medicine is grateful to Hidalgo County for its continued support. County monies have allowed the school of medicine and its residents to provide care to the indigent throughout the county and to support programs like the John Austin Pena clinic where services such as parenting classes, anger management classes, detoxification services, GED classes and many other services are provided," Gonzales said.
The county will continue to provide $1 million to the university on or about October 15 from through 2023. Funds provided by the county are designated to support the first two years of medical education in Hidalgo County via faculty support, operations, programs, and activities directly related to the new medical school.