Level II Trauma Center in McAllen, Texas

South Texas Health System (STHS) McAllen's Emergency Department is designated a Level II Trauma Center, which means we provide life-saving procedures for those who are in immediate danger — arranging for essential specialty treatment within the hospital as well as working in cooperation with other trauma centers. We are the only Level II Trauma Center in Hidalgo County.

What Is Level 2 Trauma Care?

Patients who come to our Level II Trauma Center are less likely to be transferred to another facility for advanced care. This is because we are able to initiate definitive care for all injured patients, including 24-hour immediate coverage by general surgeons, and coverage by specialists in orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology and critical care. We also provide trauma prevention and continuing education programs for our staff, and maintain a comprehensive quality assessment program.

Education and Community Outreach

STHS McAllen is committed to educating all members of the care team and the general public — from field emergency medical providers, physicians and nurses, to teens and their parents. We provide the following:

  • Advanced Trauma Life Support Course of the American College of Surgeons (ATLS)
  • Stop the Bleed (STB)
  • Reality Education for Drivers (RED Program)
  • Local pre-hospital provider continuing medical education as requested

Our trauma team is also focused on injury prevention. We have a dedicated injury prevention team committed to identifying patterns of injury and directing our prevention efforts accordingly. Areas of focus include:

  • Falls prevention
  • Bike safety
  • Pedestrian-related injuries
  • Construction-related injuries
  • Alcohol and drug related injuries

Learn more about injury prevention →

Trauma Surgery and the Importance of Injury Prevention

Dr. LeRone Simpson, Trauma and Critical Care Surgeon at STHS McAllen, shares insights on trauma surgery and the importance of injury prevention.

Read More and Watch the Video

Cutting-edge Trauma Research

Research into advanced methods and processes of care is a core function of the trauma team at STHS McAllen. We currently have active protocols evaluating medications that may improve outcomes following brain injury, methods to rapidly diagnose coagulopathy, and advanced methods to treat severe chest injury, such as rib plating reconstructive surgery.

Trauma Physician Team

Trauma Physicians

L to R: Dr. Rendon, Dr. Hovorka,
Dr. Simpson and Dr. Palacio

Carlos H. Palacio, MD, FACS

Dr. Palacio is the Director of Research for the trauma program and Director for the Advanced Trauma and Life Support course at STHS McAllen. He is also the local Program Director of the General Surgery Residency at the Valley Health System GME Consortium, and an instructor for the American College of Surgeons Stop the Bleeding class.

John W. Hovorka MD FACS

Dr. Hovorka is the Trauma Medical Director at STHS McAllen. He is the local Associate Program Director of the General Surgery Residency at the Valley Health System GME Consortium. He is also a Volunteer Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley General Surgery Department and Family Medicine Department.

J. Jesus Rendon, MD, FACS, DABS

Dr. Rendon is the Associate Trauma Medical Director at STHS McAllen. He also serves as the Program Site Director for San Antonio Brooke Army Medical Center Acute Care Surgery and Surgical Critical Care Fellowship. He is committed to teaching and mentoring residents, fellows and medical students.

LeRone Simpson, MD, FACS

Dr. Simpson is a board-certified General Surgeon and Surgical Critical Care Intensivist. He has been serving the RGV since 2016 as a Trauma Surgeon at STHS McAllen. He has continued interest in research and is involved in several ongoing clinical research projects.

Contact Us

For more information, please contact:
Mariselda Salazar, RN
Interim Trauma Program Director/Performance Improvement Coordinator
956-632-4959
Mariselda.Salazar@uhsrgv.com

Maria Alejandra Ortega, RN
Injury Prevention Coordinator
956-632-4929
maria.ortega@uhsrgv.com