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Famous disease specialist to speak at RGV Health Care Symposium

A physician and scientist who has studied and battled some of the deadliest diseases in the world will speak Tuesday, Sept. 19, on the current state of our health in the Valley at a symposium of health care professionals in McAllen.


Dr. Joseph McCormick will address the current state of health care of Valley residents from his position as Regional Dean and James H. Steele Professor at the Brownsville campus of the University of Texas Houston School of Public Health.  His nearly two decades overseeing public health education, along with his many years studying deadly viruses, give Dr. McCormick a good background to talk about what we in the Valley get “right” about health care and where we need improvement.

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Dr. McCormick was appointed Regional Dean in 2001 and in 2010 added the position of Vice President for South Texas Programs at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.  


Along with his wife Susan, also a physician, Dr. McCormick did research in West Africa on viral hemorrhagic fevers, including Ebola, Lassa, and Marburg. He and his wife chronicled their experiences in the book, “Level 4: Virus Hunters of the CDC.” The CDC is the Centers for Disease Control, where he worked for many years.


While Valley residents don’t have to worry about hemorrhagic fevers, they do have diseases and conditions that affect and shorten lives, such as diabetes, kidney and heart disease.


Quality of life organization Futuro RGV is going to shine a light on those challenges as Dr. McCormick will keynote Futuro’s first-ever Solutions Symposium. The Symposium will feature short addresses from key participants in providing health care as well as enlightening panel discussions as they tackle issues particular to the Rio Grande Valley.  


While the Symposium will take place in McAllen, it will unfold against the backdrop of the national argument and discussion over how best Washington and Austin facilitate the provision of health care to Americans.


Participants include newly-elected president of the Texas Medical Association, Dr. Carlos Cardenas, a McAllen gastroenterologist and a founder of Doctors Hospital at Renaissance.


Also participating are Eduardo ‘Eddie’ Olivarez, Hidalgo County Health Department chief administrative officer; Ann Cass, executive director of Proyecto Azteca, a self-help housing initiative in the Valley and a backer of last year’s failed campaign to establish a healthcare district in Hidalgo County; Anne Dunkleberg, associate director of the Center for Public Policy Priorities; and Sergio Contreras, president of the Rio Grande Valley Partnership.


The event will be live streamed courtesy of CODE RGV and 710KURV will broadcast the event live on radio.


Futuro Rio Grande Valley is a citizen group striving to present issues facing the Rio Grande Valley and South Texas as well as solutions.


The Solutions Symposium will take place Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017, 6 – 9 p.m., at the McAllen Convention Center.  It is open to the public at no charge.

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