La Feria News

Solara Hospitals Specialize in Medically Complex Patient Care

Harlingen Hospital part of 6-State Healthcare Group

Support staff at Solara Hospital Harlingen.

Support staff at Solara Hospital Harlingen.

The three Solara hospitals operating in Harlingen, Edinburg and McAllen are part of the Cornerstone Healthcare Group, based in Dallas, Texas. From their corporate offices they supervise 17 facilities in 6 states with over 1500 employees. In just 25 years they have become an anchor in the healthcare industry and have become the primary resource for physicians to control patient care in cases requiring post-acute, long-term patient care.

To find out more about this unique hospital group with a very specialized mission, we met with the management team at the Harlingen Solara Hospital for a closer look. The top administrators are highly-qualified veteran healthcare providers.

Cary L. Montalvo, CEO, comes with a bachelor’s degree in Biology/Medical Technology from Baylor University and holds a masters in Health Care Administration from Trinity University in Waco. She has 25 years of leadership experience, and was recently named Chief Executive Officer supervising the Harlingen facility and the Brownsville Campus.

Solara Administrative Team.  Cary L. Montalvo, CEO (l)  Christine Chizek, COO. Photo: Bill Keltner/LFN

Solara Administrative Team. Cary L. Montalvo, CEO (l) Christine Chizek, COO. Photo: Bill Keltner/LFN

She brings her years of health care experience and a wealth of knowledge to her position.. Prior to accepting the position as CEO, Mrs. Montalvo held various leadership positions, including her most recent role as System Vice President of Operations at Valley Baptist Medical System.

“We have a unique niche in the healthcare world,” she said, adding, “Most of our patients are referrals from physicians from all over the Valley who have a patient in a ‘medically complex’ condition who needs to transfer from the primary hospital, but needs extended highly specialized, follow-up care. The average hospital stay after surgery, for example, is 4-5 days. But in cases where they are not getting better, they need us. Here, she added, the average stay is 25 days—so, they change from short-term acute care (STAC) to long-term acute (LTAC).”

Christine Chizek, RN, BSN, MEd, joined the Solara administrative team in 2009, and soon became the Chief Nursing Officer and Chief Operating Officer in August 2011. Her medical credentials include her Bachelor of Science of Nursing and Master of health Education degrees from noted universities in her native Pennsylvania.

Chizek described the care her staff can deliver: “Because we are a specialized, smaller facility, we can take transfer patients from hospitals or directly from a doctor’s office, and can give them more personal attention and extended acute treatment when needed. Because we work primarily with physician referrals, we don’t have an emergency room (ER) or an obstetrics or delivery room.”
“We truly endeavor to become ‘family’ to our patients, and we invite and welcome members of their family to participate in the recovery process. And we’ve found that not only family members, but also pets are welcome because they can play a significant role in the patient’s healing progress—especially for children and older patients. We also have pastoral service available.”
Chizek concluded with: “Simply put, we care about our patients.”

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