Thursday, December 9, 2021

Brownsville native publishes book on Rio Grande Valley medicine

John Topp | Nov 23, 2012

Tequila Group

A book signing for new richly illustrated hard cover book, “For the Good of My Patients, The History of Medicine in the Rio Grande Valley” by Eileen Mattei took place on November 18 at the Stillman House Museum in Brownsville. Mattei is a native of Brownsville.

Proceeds from the sale of the book support the South Texas Medical Foundation’s mission to advocate for and promote medical education and improved health care throughout the Rio Grande Valley and South Texas.

Through stories and vintage photographs, the Valley’s medical history is captured in this beautiful hard cover coffee table book, giving uncommon and sometimes startling glimpses of Rio Grande Valley medicine.

Mattei explained, “Since the days of frontier herbalists and tribal medicine men, people living along the Rio Grande have turned to healers to cure their fevers, injuries and illnesses. Only 125 years ago, Fort Brown ranked as the Army’s unhealthiest post, due to the yellow fever, malaria and cholera that swept the region, decimating the population. Even 100 years ago, Valley doctors drove horse and buggies to make house calls, and no one knew how to prevent polio or TB or heart attacks.”

The book offers a rare view into the history of medicine in South Texas. Copies of the book are currently on sale and can be purchased by calling (956) 421-5750, or by going to for more information.

Mattei is also the author of “At the Crossroads: Harlingen’s First 100 Years,” “Leading the Way: McAllen’s First 100 Years,” and “Valley Places, Valley Faces.”

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