Desert Imaging and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso announced the creation of two scholarship endowments that will help future generations of Hunt School of Nursing students and honor the memory of alumna Kharisma James.
During a presentation on Wednesday, officials announced the creation of the Desert Imaging Nursing Student Endowment, beginning with a $5,000 installment that was matched on El Paso Giving Day.
The generous gift of $25,000 also will be matched by TTUHSC El Paso’s President’s Excellence Fund as it establishes the Kharisma James Legacy Scholarship Endowment. In total, $55,000 was earmarked for future nursing students.
“Now is more important than ever for our community to invest in our region’s healthcare professionals,” said Raul J. Arizpe, President of Desert Imaging. “Without nurses, we simply would not have a healthcare system. We know these are trying times, which is why we are so grateful to give back to our community that has given us so much.”
Desert Imaging is a locally owned medical imaging practice with four imaging centers and two mobile mammography clinics to serve El Paso and beyond.
“It does my heart good to know that she worked so hard to achieve everything she did in her life. Now, the scholarship will help others, making it easier for them to achieve their goals,” said Brenda James, mother of Kharisma. “On a personal note her children will know their mother was really special.”
The Kharisma James Legacy Scholarship honors James’ memory as a dedicated nurse and loving mother.
As a graduate of the Hunt School of Nursing, James was an operating room/surgery nurse at The Hospitals of Providence until her death in 2018. She died while shielding three children from an oncoming car in an El Paso elementary school parking lot.
“I’m so very grateful to Desert Imaging for their continued support of nursing students. This new scholarship endowment is particularly important in that it honors our nursing alumna Kharisma James,” said Stephanie L. Woods, Ph.D., R.N., dean of the Hunt School of Nursing.
“Kharisma’s story captured the hearts of El Pasoans in the summer of 2018 when she lost her life protecting three children, including her son and daughter. Kharisma was a leader and most aptly named. She was bigger than life and most assuredly charismatic. We’ll award scholarships from this new endowment to nursing students who demonstrate leadership among their peers. In this small way, I hope to keep Kharisma’s name and legacy alive.”
The creation of both endowments come at an ideal time, as the World Health Organization (WHO) has designated 2020 as the Year of the Nurse in recognition of the vital role they play in providing health care services.
TTUHSC El Paso has joined the WHO to celebrate the work of nurses all year long.
The Hunt School of Nursing will celebrate its 10-year anniversary in 2021. Since opening its doors in 2011, the nursing school has graduated 641 students, with 90% of those graduates staying in the El Paso region.
Nursing students make up about 40% of the TTUHSC El Paso student body.
Photo gallery courtesy TTUHSC