Dr. Ramiro R. Casso Nursing and Allied Health Campus
South Texas College began offering nursing and allied health programs in fall 1995 with approximately 150 students. Classes were taught at a variety of campuses and rental spaces within the district. In response to the growing need for medically trained personnel in the Rio Grande Valley, STC opened the Dr. Ramiro R. Casso Nursing and Allied Health Center in fall 2000 with 697 students. The center became full service campus in 2008 and now serves more than 1,200 students.
STC also provides Nursing/Allied Health programs at several area high schools under the concurrent and contract education program, and its other campuses in Weslaco and Rio Grande City.
Students at the Nursing and Allied Health Center learn in professional simulated hospital-like clinic lab settings as well as patient care settings resembling nursing home care, physical therapy and occupational therapy rehabilitation, radiology, ambulance, and emergency room care. Medical office procedures and professions are learned in a simulated medical records lab and computerized medical transcription lab.
The college offers nine Associate of Applied Science degrees and 10 certificates in a variety fields including Associate Degree Nursing, Emergency Medical Technology, Health Information Technology, Medical Assistant Technology, Pharmacy Technology, Patient Care Assistant, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Physical Therapy Assistant, Radiologic Technology and Respiratory Therapy.
The Nursing and Allied Health Center lies in the shadows of McAllen's growing medical complex area. The campus is next to the El Milagro Clinic, a community oriented public health clinic and is neighbored by a new branch of the Texas A&M School of Rural Public Health. Two major hospital complexes, a heart hospital, cancer treatment centers, surgical care centers, and multiple health care offices, clinics and pharmacies are adjacent to the site.
STC named the Dr. Ramiro R. Casso Nursing and Allied Health Center in honor of Dr. Ramiro R. Casso, who has dedicated his life to healthcare and humanitarian efforts in the Rio Grande Valley. A native Texan, his maternal ancestors were Spanish land-grantees in 1767, of Porcion #46, in what is now western Hidalgo County, Texas. He received a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University, a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Baylor University, and a Doctorate in Medicine from the University of Texas Medical School in Dallas. He is a captain in the U.S. Army Reserve, having served his Country overseas as an anti-aircraft artillery officer during World War II.
He practiced medicine in McAllen for 37 years as a Board-Certified Family Physician and retired in 1995. That same year he was asked to be the first division director of the STC's Nursing and Allied Health Division. He later became the college's Vice President for Institutional Advancement and, at age 80, retired from STC in 2002.