Texas Border Business
By David A. Díaz
“If you can walk with the crowd and keep your virtue or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch…Yours is the earth and everything that’s in it.”
That passage from Rudyard Kipling’s (1865-1936) famous poem, “If”, certainly applies to Mario Lizcano, Administrator of Corporate Affairs, DHR Health, who was recently chosen by the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce as Man of the Year 2020.
As one of the most well-known representatives of DHR Health, Lizcano figuratively and literally walks, meets, and works with people from different parts of society, from local community gatherings to city halls to the pillars of power at the Texas Capitol.
As a result, Lizcano, a volunteer firefighter for more than 20 years, was presented the coveted honor for his many acts of public service by the influential local business group, said Ronnie Larralde, President, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce.
“Mario has demonstrated exceptional leadership and commitment to civic engagement to benefit our community,” Larralde said. “He has gone above and beyond for his community by serving as Edinburg Census Committee Chairman, promoting efforts towards healthcare, and COVID awareness.”
Lizcano and a few other well-deserving leaders in Edinburg were featured on Tuesday, January 19, 2021, during the 2020 Man and Woman of the Year virtual awards ceremony.
The awards ceremony honored volunteerism in the Edinburg. During the event, award recipients for the Man and Women of the Year, Small Business Awards, Ambassador of the Year, and Leadership Award were recognized for their ongoing activism.
The Edinburg Chamber of Commerce is a network of leaders serving Edinburg and the region as an advocate and resource, according to its website. Its charge is to lead the efforts in advancing commerce and the quality of life in Edinburg and the region. The organization strengthens service, development, and growth by forging positive relationships, advocating volunteerism, and leadership development.
As is the case, Lizcano’s record of achievement in his profession, public service, and personal life reads like a blueprint on how to make the most of every day of one’s life. He currently serves or has served on at least 30 boards, committees, and associations in the Rio Grande Valley.
An effective statesman, he always shares credit for his successes, and heaps deserved praise on individuals every chance he gets.
“I am so humble, grateful and proud to be worthy of this amazing tribute from the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce,” Lizcano said. “I accept this prestigious distinction on behalf of the devoted professionals at DHR Health who continue to expertly, compassionately, and heroically serve everyone in our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, Ltd (“DHR”) and its general partner, RGV Med, Inc. (“RGV Med”) own and operate a 519 licensed bed general acute care hospital with over 60 specialties and subspecialties located at 5501 South McColl in Edinburg. The facility is one of the largest physician-owned facilities in the United States that began as an ambulatory surgery center in 1997.
High standards were set for Lizcano to receive the honor from the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce.
“The candidate, throughout his career and personal work, should have inspirational leadership characteristics. The chamber is also seeking a person who has successfully demonstrated abilities as an individual, as a team member and as a leader. Nominees should have a willingness to serve and assist other individuals in personal and professional development and contributions to the success of others. In submitting a nomination, the chamber also states the length of commitment to the community as well as their professional, civic, religious, cultural and educational involvement should be of consideration. Nominees must be an Edinburg resident, own a business in Edinburg or work in Edinburg.”
Early in 2020, Lizcano’s long history of helping the region resulted in his induction into the Rio Grande Valley Walk of Fame, an event that is a key part of the City of Hidalgo’s annual and famous “BorderFest”.
“BorderFest” is the largest and oldest music, culture and heritage celebration in South Texas, attended by people of all ages, ethnicities, and tastes from Texas, the rest of the United States, Canada and Mexico.
“The Walk of Fame is a celebration of life achievements and significant civil contributions of outstanding men and women in the Rio Grande Valley and South Texas,” Hidalgo Mayor Sergio Coronado explained in his letter advising Lizcano that he had been selected for that famous decoration. “The Walk of Fame is a local landmark bearing the names of many distinguished people.”
As a result, Lizcano’s name is now joined with the prestigious list of individuals who had come before him, including President George W. Bush, U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson, Gov. Rick Perry, ¡Despierta América! (Wake Up, America!) Host Fernando Arau, singers Lupita D’Alessio, Laura Flores, Ninel Conde, and multi-Grammy Award winner Ramón Ayala.
He also was praised by Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, who during the summer of 2020 nominated Lizcano for the DHR Hero Award, which recognizes employees and departments who exemplify the hospital system leadership’s vision to provide world-class health services.
“I have had a firsthand experience of his commitment and dedication to not only his work responsibility but equally his public service,” Canales stated in his nomination letter of July 29, 2020. “He is a man who wears multiple hats, always demonstrating true dedication to go the extra mile to serve our community.
“He is by far one of our greatest champions, always fighting for not only the people within his community, but the entire Valley,” the House District 40 state lawmaker emphasized – points that helped Lizcano be selected for the DHR Hero Award.
And just a few days ago, Lizcano was publicly recognized by U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, U.S. Congressman Vicente González, D-Edinburg, and U.S. Congressman Filemón Vela, D-Brownsville, with a Congressional Certificate of Recognition and Congressional Record.
“In honor of being named ‘Man of the Year 2020’ by the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, I congratulate you on your newest accolade,” Cuellar stated. “In addition, I commend you for your dedication to serving our community. I wish you only the best and lots of success in achieving your future endeavors.”
Lizcano takes such deserved praise with appreciation, yet also remains modest, so as to never fall victim to false pride, which is an unrealistically high opinion of oneself.
After all, he is always most closely associated with DHR Health, which is one of the most high-profile institutions in South Texas.
Anchored in southwest Edinburg, with a growing presence in neighboring McAllen, DHR Health offers some of the most comprehensive medical care on the U.S. southern border, with more than 1,400 nurses and 600+ physicians providing care in 70+ specialties and sub-specialties.
DHR Health is the flagship teaching hospital for the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine and encompasses a general acute hospital with the only dedicated women’s hospital south of San Antonio, a rehabilitation hospital, a behavioral hospital, more than 70 clinics Valley-wide, advanced cancer services, the only transplant program in the Rio Grande Valley – and the only functioning 24/7 Level 1 Trauma Center south of San Antonio.
DHR Health is headquartered on a 130-acre site, with most of the facilities in southwest Edinburg but with a growing presence in McAllen, including its South Campus located immediately across Owassa Road in northeast McAllen.
For a person whose professional and personal experiences and powerful contacts are real, one of his most impressive achievements has been to do what is right and just with the control, influence and authority that he does command.
Lizcano, in the views of many, has met – as the 5th century B.C. Greek philosopher Plato described – the noble meaning of the term “measure of a man” – which refers to the character and integrity of an individual being measured by the way he responds to the power he is given.