Valley Baptist Medical Center-Brownsville Earns Bevy of Brownsville Herald Readers’ Choice Awards

Feb 9, 2022

VBMC-B-Outpatient-Rehab-400-x-300BROWNSVILLE – For the 10th consecutive year, readers of The Brownsville Herald recently named Valley Baptist Medical Center-Brownsville the “best hospital” and “best emergency room” in the newspaper’s readership area as part of the publication’s readers’ choice awards.

The hospital, which has served Brownsville and the communities of lower Cameron County for nearly a century, also earned “best podiatrist” for its Foot Care Institute, “best respiratory therapist,” and “best physical therapist,” for its respiratory therapy and rehabilitation departments, respectively.

Two members of the Valley Baptist-Brownsville clinical team also received individual honors. Readers named Kimberly Gonzalez, clinical supervisor of the rehabilitation department, as “best occupational therapist,” and Mario Varela, director of pharmacy services, as “best pharmacist.”

“Recognition like this, including being named by readers of The Brownsville Herald as the best hospital and best emergency room for a decade, are hard-earned and a direct reflection of the commitment and dedication of every physician and staff member at our hospital, even as we continue through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said Valley Baptist Medical Center-Brownsville CEO Leslie Bingham. “For nearly 100 years, Valley Baptist-Brownsville has cared for generations in the Brownsville community and beyond, and we are honored by the trust and faith our communities continue to place in us to care for them in their most vulnerable moments. That is not a responsibility we will ever take lightly or for granted.”   

Gonzalez, who has served patients at Valley Baptist-Brownsville for 12 years, said she was truly humbled by the individual honor, but stressed that the entire rehabilitation department works tirelessly to offer compassionate and high-quality care for their patients each and every day.

“It is a great honor to be named and acknowledged as The Herald’s readers’ choice for occupational therapist,” she said. “Receiving this award is important, as it demonstrates how our rehabilitation team aligns with the mission of Valley Baptist, which is to provide quality and compassionate care. It is truly an honor to work with a group of individuals who collectively demonstrate the values of our mission while including integrity and the highest ethical standards as we advocate for our patients in the communities we serve.”

Daniella Castro, a physical therapist with Valley Baptist-Brownsville’s rehabilitation department, said the entire department takes great satisfaction in improving the quality of life for the patients it serves.

VBMC-B-Respiratory-Therapy-200-x-300“To be chosen by the public for this award is truly an indication of how our services have bettered the community, not only in their health and wellness, but in their overall quality of life,” she said. “We take pride in our work, and it is always our main focus to address our patients as a whole. It brings us such fulfilment to know that our community is so grateful for our services, and that when local residents think of rehabilitation services, Valley Baptist-Brownsville comes to mind first.”

Varela, who has served his community as part of the Valley Baptist team for nearly nine years, said being named “best pharmacist” by readers of The Brownsville Herald is not an honor that he earned alone.

“This award would not be possible without our entire pharmacy team, and we are honored and humbled by our community's recognition in earning The Brownsville Herald’s Readers' Choice Award,” he said. “I am incredibly proud of not only the amazing team of clinicians and staff that provide outstanding pharmacy services at Valley Baptist-Brownsville, but also our entire team for their commitment to providing our community quality patient care. We want to thank The Brownsville Herald and its readers for recognizing our efforts and working with us to build a prolonged, trusting relationship with our community.” 

Greg Ruiz, director of respiratory care and imaging services at Valley Baptist-Brownsville, said members Valley Baptist-Brownsville’s respiratory therapy department have shown steadfast determination in the face of sometimes overwhelming odds during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“The respiratory care team at Valley Baptist-Brownsville takes great pride in being named as a Reader's Choice recipient. Members of this team are truly unsung heroes. Throughout nearly two years of this pandemic, our team, along with many others, climbs into the trenches every day to care for and treat patients to the absolute best of their ability,” he said. “They are a group of courageous individuals that have approached an unprecedented situation without hesitation and with complete selflessness. They have sacrificed a great deal in the line of their work, and they continue to do on a daily basis. I cannot thank them enough for the courage, sacrifice, and commitment they have shown for the community they love.”

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