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UTRGV School of Medicine Brings Neuroscience Institute to Harlingen

Chief of Staff Sofia Hernandez Featured on HEDC's The Big Opportunity Podcast (August 07, 2018)

HARLINGEN, Texas, Aug. 7, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) School of Medicine is expanding its footprint across the entire Rio Grande Valley at a fast pace. Part of that expansion now includes the Institute for Neurosciences that will to be built adjacent to their existing campus in Harlingen, Texas.

Neuroscience is a growing and dynamic field that deals with the health and well-being of the brain and nervous system. The new 60,000-square-foot Institute for Neurosciences will house research, clinical and administrative functions and will bring many new opportunities to Harlingen.

"It's really exciting to develop the Neuroscience Institute," says Sofia Hernandez, Chief of Staff of the UTRGV School of Medicine. "It means new talent, amazing scientists and cutting-edge research to better understand disease and new treatments. The Institute will also bring an important economic benefit to the community."

Harlingen is already home to the School of Medicine's Clinical Education building, the Graduate Medical Education office, and a Smart Hospital, a 15,000-square-foot, 20-bed simulation hospital that provides an opportunity for students to do hands-on training. The Smart Hospital features a fully equipped operating room and ICU unit.

"Healthcare and medical development are a very important target industry for Harlingen," says Raudel Garza, CEO of the Harlingen Economic Development Corporation (HEDC). "This industry creates new opportunities and higher paying jobs that are key to improving the quality of life here in Harlingen."

The expansion of the UTRGV School of Medicine has been dramatic since the 2016 opening, and communities across the Rio Grande Valley are getting involved. First- and second-year students attend classes at the Education Building in Edinburg. Third- and fourth-year students are at the Clinical Education building in Harlingen, with third year students doing clinical rotations at area clinics and hospitals.

"Having a distributed model is a huge plus," says Hernandez. "It really allows us to deliver the education program's clinical care in a thoughtful way across the entire region."

Hernandez recently joined Garza and Kayla Thomas, HEDC Commercial Development and Marketing Manager, as a special guest on the most recent episode of The Big Opportunity podcast series. Hernandez shared other exclusive details about the growth and direction of the Rio Grande Valley's new medical school.

For additional exclusive details about the growth and direction of the Rio Grande Valley's new medical school, listen to the full podcast or read the full transcript at You can also find the show on iTunes, Google Play and Stitcher. For more information, contact the Harlingen Economic Development Corporation at 956-216-5081 or visit the UTRGV School of Medicine website at


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SOURCE Harlingen Economic Development Corporation

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