Valley Baptist Medical Center-Brownsville seeks photos for centennial celebration

In this file photo, a stretcher is placed in the hallway to help move patients at Valley Baptist Medical Center-Brownsville. (Denise Cathey | The Brownsville Herald)
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Valley Baptist Medical Center-Brownsville is celebrating 100 years since its founding as Mercy Hospital in 1923 by assembling a historical wall about hospital through the years.

Named “The Historical Centennial Wall — a Century of Caring,” the wall will be located just to the right of the lobby inside Valley Baptist’s main entrance. The hospital is asking the public to submit photos, memories and stories from the past for the project.

“Valley Baptist-Brownsville has grown and evolved over a century, caring for generations of families throughout our community along the way. Whether you have been a member of our Valley Baptist-Brownsville family for one day or 50 years, you are a valued and cherished part of our story, and we need your help to tell it,” the hospital states on a website seeking submissions.

Longtime Valley Baptist employee Teri Retana is heading up the project.

“We have a 100-year history that started with the Sisters of Mercy in 1923, became Brownsville Medical Center in 1973 and then became Valley Baptist in 2004,” Retana said.

“We’re focused on the hospital, but we’re also including what was happening in Brownsville at the time — in 1929 they opened the airport, in the 1970s the Gladys Porter Zoo opened, so we’re trying to mix in a local historical perspective, and even a national one. In the 1940s, World War II was happening … so we’re trying to do it with some background about what else was happening.”

Retana said the hospital is looking for material that relates to the times, the city and the people of Brownsville.

“We know that the history of the hospital and the city is about buildings and infrastructure, but most importantly it is about people, from the Sisters of Mercy, to the physicians and staff of the hospital, and of course members of our community who have trusted and grown with us for 100 years,” Retana stated in an email to the Herald about the project.

Photos and memories can be submitted through Survey Monkey at Also, people may call (956) 455-5101 and arrange to have their items picked up for inclusion in the display.