Pediatric ER opens in Harlingen

Valley Baptist Medical Center facility opens with fanfare

Brightly colored balloons and superheroes welcomed visitors to the grand opening festivities at the new Valley Baptist Medical Center Pediatric Emergency Room in Harlingen on Friday.

Visitors entered through the East Tower lobby to find a party celebrating the opening of a 12-bed emergency care unit. The facility was developed specifically with pediatric patients and their families in mind.

The balloons and superheroes also guided visitors from the lobby to the ER unit, where food and drink were served as people toured the new facility.

The pediatric unit, adjacent to the hospital’s trauma center, features a separate waiting room and dedicated staff to serve the young patients. Both the exam and treatment room monitors are connected to dedicated pediatric ER nursing station. Each room has a television and internet access.

“Valley Baptist-Harlingen has been a leader in pediatric care in Cameron County,” CEO Manny Vela said in a press release.

The pediatric ER is set up to treat a wide range of medical concerns. These include respiratory problems and chronic illnesses as well as emergencies like sprains and broken bones.

Presentations and a ribbon cutting followed the tours and children’s activities.

Vela greeted the crowd and then explained the development of the pediatric ER.

Other dignitaries participated, including Harlingen Chamber of Commerce officials, Harlingen Mayor Chris Boswell, State Senator Eddie Lucio, pediatrician Dr. Stanley Fish and Dr. Betzaida Gonzalez, ER physician and medical director for the emergency department.