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Rio Grande Valley PharmD Satellite Program

Rio Grande Valley Pharm.D. Satellite Program Video via YouTube

Rio Grande Valley Pharm.D. Satellite Program:
Deep in the Heart of Texans' Health

Established in 2017 in collaboration with Doctors Hospital at Renaissance in Edinburg, the UHCOP Rio Grande Valley (RGV) Pharm.D. Satellite Program offers prospective students – especially those from the RGV region – an opportunity to be agents of change in a vibrant, growing community that nonetheless faces significant health challenges, especially in the areas of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.

About the RGV

The Lower Rio Grande Valley region comprises the four southernmost counties of Texas bordering Mexico – Starr, Hidalgo, Willacy and Cameron – with a population of more than 1 million. Although rich in culture, history and natural beauty, the region carries the heavy burdens in terms of chronic diseases – especially obesity, diabetes and hypertension – and health disparities.

A Regional Healthcare Partnership (RHP) Plan report produced by healthcare and government stakeholder organizations in 2012 outlined some striking statistics:

  • Diabetes is the third leading cause of death in the region, behind heart disease and cancer, and an underlying component of over half of hospital admissions for heart attack, hypertension, sepsis and stroke;
  • The region has one of the highest rates of tuberculosis in the country and one of the highest rates in the state for both renal dialysis rates and chronic liver disease;
  • Thirty-one percent of participants have diabetes and 81 percent are either obese or overweight, as reported in a random multiyear sampling survey of 2,000 Mexican-American adults; and
  • Roughly one quarter of the population is estimated to have hypertension, with one-half of those going untreated.

About the Program

Program Flier PDF

The RGV Pharm.D. Satellite Program is based on a 3+1 model, with the first three years (with the possible exception of the Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences) at UH College of Pharmacy in Houston and the fourth year of Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences at DHR in Edinburg.

Among the APPEs currently available under DHR preceptors are Advanced Hospital Pharmacy, Internal Medicine, Ambulatory Care, Cardiology, Pediatrics, Infectious Diseases, Psychiatric and Pharmacy Management.

Although not required to participate in the RGV Satellite Program, the college's Pharmacy Certificate in Hispanic Healthcare that combines classroom and experiential training focusing on Spanish language proficiency and Hispanic culture is an excellent complement to the RGV program. 

image courtesy of DHR Health

About DHR Health

DHR Health (DHR) is a 500+ bed physician-owned health system that offers some of the most comprehensive medical care on the U.S. Southern Border. Over 700 physicians and more than 1,200 nurses dedicate themselves to offering a full continuum of care in over 70 different sub-specialties, from general acute care services and graduate medical education to individually tailored wellness and preventative health programs.

DHR was founded in 1997 to help over 1.2 million residents resolve limited health care access challenges in a community that lacked public and county hospitals. Today, DHR is working to forge a new integrated health care delivery model that incorporates patient navigation, electronic medical records, population-based care, graduate medical education and superior quality and efficiency to meet every patient’s health needs.

Contact RGV Faculty and Staff at DHR in Edinburg

photo of students at dhr health fair
UHCOP Pharm.D. students and Doctors Hospital at Renaissance personnel show their Cougar pride during DHR's annual health fair in January 2018. photo by Christian Möller, DHR Health