March 12, 2020
Dear Friend,

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Congressman Vela Honors the UTRGV School of Medicine’s Inaugural Graduating Class

This week, I had the pleasure of honoring the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) School of Medicine’s first graduating class on the House floor. The 2020 graduating class consists of a diverse group of 39 medical students.  The School of Medicine was established in 2016 and now has over 200 medical students and over 200 medical residents and fellows receiving their training throughout the RGV.

Thanks to the years-long efforts of the community, the 2020 graduating class will be the first trained in the Valley to address the health care needs of our community, and provides our residents with a top notch medical center that our young people can train in as well as serve patients. 

Congratulations to the staff and students of UTRGV on this important milestone for the university and the RGV community!

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Congressman Vela Announces $6.9 Million Grant for Su Clinica 

I am happy to announce that Su Clinica has been awarded a $6.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  These federal funds will allow Su Clinica to continue offering exceptional health care to the residents of the Rio Grande Valley. 

“In 2019 Su Clinica served over 31,000 residents in an effort to promote a healthier community by providing access to high quality, comprehensive and holistic health care services in Cameron and Willacy Counties,” said Dr. Elena Marin, SuClinica CEO. “This HRSA grant is of critical importance in assisting with our goal of improving quality of life for our local residents and in bringing jobs and economic development to our region. 

“We are grateful to all of our Community Health Center Advocates and for Congressman Filemon Vela’s unwavering legislative support.”

Su Clinica is a non-profit community health center and has been serving the RGV for over 47 years. Their clinics are located in Brownsville, Harlingen, Raymondville and Santa Rosa. 

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Congressman Vela to Honor Vietnam Veterans in Raymondville, Texas 

Next week, I will be hosting a Commemorative pinning ceremony to honor Vietnam Veterans in Raymondville, Texas.  This ceremony is part of the Vietnam War 50th Commemoration program that recognizes Vietnam War veterans and their families.  

Veterans will be presented with a Vietnam Veteran lapel pin provided by the official Commemoration office to honor their service to our country.

If you are or know veterans who served during the Vietnam War era, please register here to be recognized.  For more information, please contact my Brownsville district office at (956) 544-8352.

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Congressman Vela Meets with National Treasury Employees Union

Last week, I was able to meet with several members of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP). 

The NTEU is the largest independent union of federal employees, representing over 150,000 workers in over 30 departments and agencies.
 
We discussed the importance of transparency and accountability among union leadership and management, adequate training at all levels of employment, fair federal employee pay, and ways to combat understaffing. I look forward to continuing our dialogue and ensuring that Congress is doing everything possible to support the NTEU and their members.

Sincerely,

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Filemon Vela
Member of Congress