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Unique event features nationally-known speakers, continuing education credits, beach-side setting

South Padre Island, Texas – Continuing medical education credits for physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals will be available during a 29th Annual Rio Grande Valley Medical Education Conference on Friday, April 26 and Saturday, April 27, 2024 at the Isla Grand Beach Resort, 500 Padre Blvd. on South Padre Island.

The conference is for primary and specialty care physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, registered nurses, pharmacists, medical students, and other interested health professionals.

The conference will provide a minimum of 12 hours of continuing medical education credits, including two hours in medical ethics, for physicians and other healthcare professionals. There will also be continuing nursing education credits for nurses.

“This is exciting news — the 29th annual Knapp Medical Center CME conference is back at South Padre Island!,” said Kathleen Avila, Regional Director for Business Development for Prime Healthcare hospitals in the Rio Grande Valley.  “We invite physicians, mid-level providers, and nurses to join us for a knowledge-packed event and to earn their CMEs / CEUs — while also enjoying a beautiful weekend at the Island!”

Topics planned for the conference include heart disease, obesity, peripheral vascular disease and interventions, surgical removal of a blood clot in an artery or vein (mechanical thrombectomy), neuro-vascular procedures to treat stroke patients, diabetes, management of sepsis, bariatric surgery and weight management, post-COVID syndrome, outpatient medicine, human trafficking training for healthcare providers, burnout in the healthcare industry, and coding and documentation.

Expert speakers at the conference will update South Texas physicians and healthcare professionals on the treatment of problems frequently encountered, but which can be difficult or confusing in practice.

Medications for weight management will be discussed by a nationally-known speaker, Dr. Scott Kahan, MD, MPH, of the National Center for Weight & Wellness in Washington, D.C.  Dr. Kahan also serves as director of the nation-wide “Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance” at George Washington University — and has served as an advisor to the White House and to members of Congress on obesity, nutrition, and prevention of chronic diseases.

Rubén GonzálezA special motivational speaker at the conference will be four-time Olympic athlete and author Rubén González, who will share what he had to do to make it to the Olympics and how a person can go from surviving to thriving in this rapidly-changing world.  Rubén competed in the sport of luge – an intense race in which an athlete lies down on a sled and slides downhill at incredible speeds (over 87 miles per hour).   He speaks on universal success principles — such as mental toughness, attitude, leadership, and peak performance — that can lead to success in a person’s professional and personal life.  Rubén has appeared on national TV, including on ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, and CNN.

Additional speakers will include Dr. Paryus Patel, Corporate Chief Medical Officer for Prime Healthcare in Ontario, California; Dr. Robert Salazar, a cardiologist from the Houston area; Dr. Naim El-Aswad, an internist and emergency room physician from the Houston area; Dr. Jorge Leiva, a general surgeon from Cypress, Texas; Dr. Suraj Kamat, an interventional cardiologist from the Corpus Christi area; Dr. Ofsman Quintana, Cardiologist; Dr. Patricia Fernandez, Neuroradiologist; Dr. Adolfo Kaplan, Pulmonologist / Critical Care Specialist; Dr. Juan Rey Mendoza, Pulmonologist / Critical Care Specialist; Dr. Fatimah Bello, Internal Medicine Physician; and Dr. Chelsea Chang, Internal Medicine Physician.

The annual conference is presented by Knapp Medical Center.  Conference chairman is Michael DeCandia, MD, Interventional Radiologist at Knapp Medical Center.

For more information, please contact Lizette Medina, M.Ed., CPCS; Medical Staff Services Director for Knapp Medical Center at (956) 973-5110 or at; or Mitty Reyna of the Knapp Education Department at

Online registration for the conference is available at:
29th Annual RGV Medical Education Conference & Exposition Registration, Fri, Apr 26, 2024 at 11:00 AM | Eventbrite.


Knapp Medical Center is an award-winning, not-for-profit hospital in Weslaco, Texas.  With 227 beds, the community hospital specializes in orthopedics, rehabilitation, emergency care, obstetrics and gynecology, wound care, surgery, cardiology, gastroenterology, critical care, and interventional radiology.  Knapp serves as the only acute care hospital in the Mid-Valley area, as well as Weslaco’s only Level IV Trauma Center, Advanced Primary Stroke Center, Level II Newborn Nursery, and Level II Maternal Care facility. Knapp Medical Center is also the only hospital in the Rio Grande Valley to receive a 5-star rating in the 2023 hospital ratings report from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Knapp has been providing quality and compassionate healthcare to Mid-Valley residents for 60 years, since 1962.  More than 300 physicians serve on the hospital’s medical staff. Knapp also serves as one of the largest employers in the Mid-Valley, employing more than 500 people.  For more information, please call 956-968-8567 or visit or