Childbirth in the time of coronavirus

Before the coronavirus pandemic, Karin Hall, a nurse, enjoyed roaming around her prepared childbirth classes at Edinburg Regional Medical Center, teaching expecting partners various birthing exercises and massages. Now she's unable to walk around those classrooms, unable to work with those expecting parents in person. Hall taught her first online class in March, where several expecting partners connected with her through Zoom, a video conferencing app. The registered nurse says hosting childbirth preparedness classes has never been more important. Giving birth to a child is stressful for many couples, and doing so in the midst of a pandemic only adds to that anxiety. Read the full story at themonitor.com

New Medicare Part D model improves affordability of insulin

By Diana Ramirez, Special to the Herald Diabetes is one of the costliest health problems in America. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) estimates that health...

Coalition guiding teens through the pandemic

Teenagers may be aware of the safety measures to follow during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they don’t always know how to deal with the isolation. One of the most difficult things about this pandemic for 14-year-old Jennifer Cruz, a member of the UNITED Youth Group, is not being able to see her nephew due to safety guidelines. The UNITED group is part of the Uniting Neighbors in Drug Abuse Defense (UNIDAD) coalition, a program from Behavioral Health Solutions of South Texas which serves in Hidalgo County and focuses on topics such as underage drinking, binge drinking, marijuana and synthetics, and prescription medication misuse, according to its website. Read the full story at themonitor.com

Quarantine cooking with your kids?

BY SHARYN JACKSON, STAR TRIBUNE MINNEAPOLIS — My 2-year-old, Milo, has recently begun stringing short sentences together, and my favorite of his newfound phrases is...

Valley Regional joins convalescent plasma study for COVID-19 patients

Valley Regional Medical Center has announced that it is participating in a national study to determine if plasma from convalescent, or recovered, COVID-19 patients...

Local students raise $100K for cancer research

In two months, nine local high school students raised a total of $122,506 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  This year, the Rio Grande Valley’s LLS chapter hosted the organization’s campaign project, Student of the Year: a 7-week competition between high school students to raise the largest donation for the blood cancer nonprofit. This is the fifth year the nationwide organization has run the campaign, and the first year the local chapter has taken on the project.  Students were responsible for reaching out to local businesses and setting up meetings to deliver their pitches. Each candidate recruited their own team to help reach their monetary donation goal.  Read the full story at themonitor.com

June is Men’s Health Awareness Month

With June officially serving as Men’s Health Awareness Month, there is no better time for men who normally put their own health on the...

Artist paints, donates part to Feeding America

Bartosz Beda, an artist who has exhibited at the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art, created a project where he creates one painting every day...

Money available to help conserve Monarch butterflies

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service will offering funding for conservation efforts that help farmers and ranchers in Texas provide food and habitat for...

Mental health hotline is helping Texans navigate the pandemic

By Elvia Limón, Texas Tribune Within the first month of its launch, the state’s new mental health support line received nearly 2,000 calls from Texans...

What to stream: Taking a look at nonfiction offerings

By Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service It’s coming up on eight weeks of a nationwide coronavirus shutdown, and while, thanks to the era of peak TV...

Doctors calm maternity fears amid pandemic

HARLINGEN — Once again, yes, it’s safe to go to the hospital, when you’re having a stroke, a heart attack or … a baby. Every...

CDC, health officials recommend face coverings as protection from COVID-19

As government agencies and local health departments discuss large scale measures to slow the rate of Coronavirus infections in the United States, local health...

McAllen native exits troublesome past to author book

McAllen native Israel Hernandez spent his summers in elementary and junior high working in fields as a migrant farm worker. He traveled to farms across the country with his mother.  He picked all kinds of produce: strawberries, blueberries, watermelons. He remembers picking corn one day in Illinois at the age of 13, pausing and telling his mother that he wasn’t going to spend the rest of his life toiling in a field. “I told her, ‘Mom, you know what? I don’t want to do this all my life, I don’t want to do this’’ Hernandez, now 49, said. “And then she told me, ‘OK son, I know, just keep moving forward.’” Read the full story at themonitor.com.

City hosts virtual medical talk

The City of Brownsville held a BTX Cares Talks Medical Edition live-streamed video on Friday where Brownsville Mayor Trey Mendez and City Commissioner Jessica...

First baby of 1998 an Aggie grad

The first baby born in Brownsville in 1998 is now a college graduate.  Valeria Ramos’ father proudly graduated from Texas A&M University College Station in Lubbock in 1985, then her older sister went on to be an Aggie also, graduating in 2016. So, it was not a surprise that Valeria sought Aggieland.  In fact, when Valeria was featured on The Brownsville Herald’s front page on Jan. 2, 1998, J. Noel Espinoza wrote: “Brownsville’s first baby of 1998 may grow up to be a Texas A&M Aggie.” Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Local health experts urge vigilance as COVID-19 pandemic continues

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, local health officials are urging the community to continue personal safety measures as a means to combat the spread...

Maintaining good mental health key during COVID-19 situation

HARLINGEN –As health and government officials both locally and throughout the nation continue to address the situation surrounding COVID-19, health experts are reminding the...

Edinburg teacher to retire after 42 years with school district

Susan Smith, the Edinburg school district’s retiring audio video production teacher, remembers one student in particular during her 42 years with the district. Smith, who taught journalism for seven years before switching to audio video production, said she had the student in her first period class, that is whenever he bothered to show up. The poor kid just couldn’t wake up in time. Not a morning person herself, Smith was sympathetic. One day she had a chat with the kid. Read more at The Monitor.com.

Local Heroes: Medical workers share what it’s like to be a mother during COVID-19

Mother’s Day this year will be nothing like the ones we have experienced in our lifetime. With most restaurants closed and the community practicing...

IDEA Quest teacher holds off on grad school plans to see students through to...

He put his own educational endeavors on hold because he wanted to see his first class of students walk the stage. Though it won’t be something he will get to be able to actually see happen anymore, Alejandro Madrigal said he would not have changed a thing — the bonds he forged with his students were more than he could have asked for. The Weslaco native graduated from the University of Texas in Austin before taking his first step in the education field as an eighth grade U.S. history teacher at IDEA Quest College Preparatory in 2015 through Teach for America. The organization places teachers in schools across the country for two years, and Madrigal was placed back in the Rio Grande Valley to teach for a couple of years before going to graduate school — at least, that was the plan. “I think other teachers could attest to this too, there is something special about the first group you teach,” Madrigal, 26, said. “So, I had to see them go all the way through, there was almost no doubt that I had to stay until I saw that happen… it was OK that my plans were put on hold for just a few years.” Read the full story at themonitor.com

Health officials warn of pandemic’s mental toll

EDINBURG — As the pandemic prepares to stretch into its fifth month and cases of COVID-19 continue to be reported at record highs, local...

Patient experience for new mothers key to Valley Baptist-Brownsville upgrades

While giving birth to a healthy baby is usually the top priority for moms-to-be, both ambiance and comfort often play large roles in a...

Grant will allow med school Graduate Medical Education to expand

By Victoria Brito Morales, UTRGV Staff The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine Graduate Medical Education has received an $11 million grant...

Nonprofit continues to support students to, and through, college

The transition from high school to college can be a daunting step as it is. Now, as students also face unprecedented obstacles that the coronavirus pandemic has brought to education systems, nonprofit College Scholarship Leadership Access Program, or CSLAP, has been working to support local seniors through the process of college admissions.  Through workshops and mentorship with university students, the Rio Grande Valley-based organization works with high school juniors and seniors to  prepare them for college. Workshops cover a range of topics, including professionalism, campus policy, and budgeting.  The last several months of a school year are integral for seniors to get assistance in getting ready for university life, so CSLAP has been hosting several virtual panels to answer questions they may have. Read the full story at themonitor.com.

Valley Baptist urging recovered COVID-19 patients to take part in plasma programs

As local hospitals continue to manage an ongoing surge of COVID-19 patients, area physicians are urging those who have recovered from COVID-19 infection to...

Eddie Lucio Jr. falls short of percentage for clear win

Before all the returns were in from Hidalgo County late Tuesday, it appeared District 27 State Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. might be able to...

Valley Baptist recognizes area EMS staff during National Emergency Medical Services Week

As May 17-23 has been designated as National Emergency Medical Services Week, Valley Baptist Health System would like to recognize the men and women...

Sleeping during the pandemic: Advice on finding rest for the restless

As anxiety caused by the coronavirus continues to build, so have problems of restlessness for some — an often ignored problem that, in turn, can affect functionality throughout the day, a local physician explained. Dr. Adolfo Kaplan, a physician at the McAllen Pulmonary and Sleep Center of the Valley, said the importance of sleep is not addressed enough. Before the pandemic, approximately 30% of the population suffered from insomnia. Cases of chronic insomnia can lead to increased chances of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and several types of dementia. Insomnia also leads to obesity. Read the full story at themonitor.com

VRMC names new chief operating officer

Valley Regional Medical Center on Friday named Lauren Davis as the hospital’s chief operating officer and said she will assume her new role today. “Lauren’s...