TTUHSC – An El Paso family who’s supported the community for generations is now ensuring the Borderland will have more doctors to care for the region’s residents.
Surrounded by their children and grandchildren, Cliff and Martha Eisenberg announced a $100,000 gift to Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso on Monday, Feb. 28, for the creation of a new scholarship fund for Foster School of Medicine students.
“We know what it takes to fund a medical student’s education, with our own daughter, Lauren. We also understand not all families have been as fortunate as we have been over the years,” Cliff said. “That is why today we are increasing the scholarship fund that we created last year, so we can help other students achieve their dreams of becoming a physician through the world-class education offered at the Foster School of Medicine.”
The Cliff and Martha Eisenberg Medical Student Scholarship also includes an additional contribution of $75,000 from the WestStar Matching Scholarship Fund. Their total scholarship endowment is a permanent investment of $175,000 that will grow in perpetuity. In honor of their support, a row of study rooms in Medical Sciences Building II, the newest building on the campus, will be named the Cliff and Martha Eisenberg Family Collaborative Space, where students can focus on their studies and work in cross-discipline teams.
One such medical student is Krysta Caudle, a member of the Foster School of Medicine’s class of 2023. She was first in her family to graduate from high school, college and, soon, medical school. The Granbury, Texas native plans to apply for an orthopaedic surgery residency and she hopes to work with athletes one day.
“As a lifelong athlete, the one fear in the back of your mind is getting hurt because your whole life revolves around being able to run and I’ve seen so many friends go through those injuries,” said Caudle, who played soccer her whole life. “That’s the reason I got into medicine. I want to get those young athletes back on the field where they love to be.”
Caudle, who is also the coach of the club rugby team at the University of Texas at El Paso, said she was blessed to never have a life-altering injury, but paying for school was not as easy.
“I come from a low-income household and my parents didn’t have much help, so money was always on our mind. If I didn’t get a full-ride scholarship, I wasn’t going to college,” Caudle said. But her community rallied around her and all gave what they could to provide scholarship support for Caudle’s undergraduate degree. “I also worked several jobs to make ends meet, but in medical school, this is a full-time job. Scholarships are critical for me to pursue my dream of becoming a physician. What the Eisenbergs are doing is a level of generosity that is inspiring. I hope to be in a position to do the same one day. It’s really a beautiful thing and a game changer for students like me.”
The Eisenbergs have a long history of supporting the El Paso community through philanthropy. They were among the inaugural donors who helped establish the Foster School of Medicine in 2007. In honor of their support, one of TTUHSC El Paso’s libraries, located in the Medical Education Building, is named after Cliff’s mother, Doris F. Eisenberg. In fact, Cliff and Martha’s daughter Lauren Eisenberg, D.O., used the library while she was home on break while in medical school. She returned home to serve her community and is now one of the top urologists in El Paso. An aspiration the Eisenberg family hopes to inspire with their gift.
“The funding of the Foster School of Medicine is one of the greatest additions in the history of El Paso. We were proud to support it at the beginning and it has been incredible to watch it grow over the past 14 years with the community’s support,” Cliff Eisenberg said. “We hope our gift will set an example for our children and grandchildren. El Paso has been home to our family for multiple generations, and we want to see it prosper. Thanks to the Foster School of Medicine, future health care heroes are learning to care for El Pasoans for years to come.”
More than 10 years ago, prior to the opening of the Foster School of Medicine, El Paso County’s average number of direct care physicians per 100,000 people was 75% less than the national average. Currently, the county faces a 50% shortage. In that time, El Paso County has grown its number of direct care physicians from 844 to 1,325, a 57% increase which is a direct result of having a four-year medical school in the area.