‘Our Primary Source’ for help
Starr County praises South Texas College for its assistance through pandemic as work continues for outreach
Left to right, South Texas College President Dr. Ricardo J. Solis, Board Chair Rose Benavidez, and Starr County Judge Eloy Vera are set to continue their partnership to provide immunization coverage for communities in Starr County.
All throughout the pandemic, South Texas College has stepped up as the primary source of assistance for community members in Starr County.
STC can be credited for the county’s current vaccination rate which is now hovering near 80 percent of people who are fully vaccinated, according to Starr County Judge Eloy Vera.
“Throughout the whole process, STC has helped us out with the nursing, all the data entry, as well as those students who stepped up to help us,” Vera said. “This is the only way to where we got where we were so quickly because of the all of the help we received. There were many in the community who helped us, but STC was the primary source of help we had just in terms of the numbers of people they gave us to work through this pandemic.
“We are very thankful for STC,” Vera said.
The message from Starr County compliments similar projects in Hidalgo County. The South Texas Board of Trustees and President Dr. Ricardo J. Solis are committed to support all of its students in every community in Starr and Hidalgo Counties.
Following his first visit to STC’s Starr County Campus, in which he toured its facilities and met with students, Dr. Solis then met with county stakeholders during a luncheon. Guests attending included Vera, state Rep. Ryan Guillen D-Rio Grande City, and Sam Vale, president of Starr-Camargo Bridge Company. The South Texas College Board of Trustees was represented by Chair Rose Benavidez who introduced Dr. Solis, Vice Chair Dr. Alejo Salinas Jr., and Trustee Danny Guzman.
“Throughout the whole process, STC has helped us out with the nursing, all the data entry, as well as those students who stepped up to help us... STC was the primary source of help we had just in terms of the numbers of people they gave us to work through this pandemic."
In response, STC announced that it will utilize its Vocational Nursing (VN), Associate Degree Nursing (ADN), and Paramedic students to hold vaccination drive events at all of its campuses in the near future.
“We will continue to build on this vital partnership with Starr County,” said Dr. Solis. “It has been readily apparent that STC has played a significant role joining Starr County in the fight against the current pandemic, whether it’s through promoting vaccinations or contributing the students, who as future health providers, stepped up to defend their communities from the pandemic.
“This is a goal we are committed to achieving,” he said. “We have the infrastructure and facilities, and we are going to do everything possible to do it. We are here to create the best education for our students, and it begins at the community level “anytime, anywhere, and on any platform.”
STC has partnered throughout the COVID-19 pandemic with Hidalgo and Starr counties to support testing and vaccination efforts that have helped protect our communities. The College is committed to supporting these ongoing public safety efforts, with a renewed focus on providing vaccines to school- and college-bound students and their families.
Educating the community about the importance of COVID-19 vaccine is a crucial priority in ensuring acceptance, according to Judge Vera.
“We cannot overstress how important it is for people to get vaccinated,” Vera said. “If 90 percent of the people who are dying are those who are not vaccinated, then I don’t understand why people are still reluctant to get vaccinated. It’s mindboggling because that’s the only way we are going to get past this, by more people getting vaccinated.