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Home | Tag Archives: el paso health

Tag Archives: el paso health

UMC, El Paso Children’s Hospital Foundation present 1,250 Care Packages to Nurses

If ever there was a time to show a nurse how much they are appreciated, now’s the time.

To that officials and volunteers with UMC and El Paso Children’s Hospital Foundations made care packages to 1,250 nurses at both hospitals as a token of appreciation.

The Foundation collected items for the care packages, with goodies donated by individuals and companies from across the Borderland.

Those who contributed include: Georgina Williams, Western Tech, Pepsi Beverage Company, Superior Health Plan, El Paso Health, Whataburger, Walgreens, Red Lobster at Joe Battle, L’Oreal and Nothing Bundt Cakes.

“To know a nurse is to a love a nurse,” said Estela Casas, Executive Director of UMC and El Paso Children’s Foundation. “These women and men are selfless healers and we’ve never been more proud of our nurses at University Medical Center and El Paso Children’s Hospital during this pandemic.”

“Thank you to everyone who gave to this project,” said Casas. “It shows our nurses how much the community respects and cares for our healthcare heroes.”

El Paso Health promotes Rocio Chavez to Chief Compliance Officer

On Tuesday, El Paso Health officials announced the promotion of Rocio Chavez to Chief Compliance Officer.    

“Rocio has been a tremendous asset to our team for nearly 15 years,” said Frank Dominguez, President and CEO of El Paso Health.  “She is an expert in her field.  Our operation at El Paso Health and our Members benefit greatly because of her commitment to excellence.”

Ms. Chavez began her career with El Paso Health in 2005.  She started as a Compliance Manager and ultimately served as Senior Director of Compliance/Privacy Officer.  Prior to joining El Paso Health, Ms. Chavez was a HIPAA Compliance Specialist at William Beaumont Army Medical Center from 2002-2004, a Medical Management Professional at Superior Health Plan from 2000-2002, and a Radiology Coordinator at HCA Healthcare from 1994-2000.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Care Services from University of Phoenix and she is certified in Health Compliance (CHC) by the Health Care Compliance Association.

El Paso Health is a local, private, non-profit organization.  It is a Texas-licensed health maintenance organization (HMO) established by the El Paso County Hospital District to enter into contract with the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) for the purpose of improving access to medical care for STAR and CHIP members in El Paso and Hudspeth Counties.

For more information, on El Paso Health, visit their website.

Fourth Measles Case Confirmed in El Paso; Number of cases continues to increase

The City of El Paso Department of Public Health (DPH) has confirmed that a male toddler has tested positive for measles (rubeola). This is the fourth confirmed case of the virus in El Paso in less than two weeks.

“We need our community to focus on making sure that they are up-to-date with their measles or MMR vaccine,” said Robert Resendes, Public Health Director. “When we vaccinate ourselves and our children we are not only protecting ourselves and our family, but also reducing the chances of the disease spreading to others in our community.”

Health officials say this particular virus is very contagious. In fact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 90 percent of people who are not vaccinated, who are exposed to the virus will become infected.

Measles is spread through coughing and sneezing and the disease usually begins with fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes. These symptoms are followed by a rash that spreads from the head down to the hands and feet.

Measles can live in an airspace where an infected person was, for up to two hours.

Those who are concerned that they are showing signs and symptoms of a measles infection should visit their medical care provider, or those who would like more information may call 2-1-1 to receive further instructions.

It had been more than 25 years since El Paso saw its last case of measles before these four recent cases.

To learn more about measles and the MMR vaccine please visit

El Paso Health Supports Sparks’ Socorro Ramirez Community Center with $5k Donation

The Sparks Housing Development Corporation, along with the Socorro Ramirez Community Center, were the recent beneficiaries of at $5000 check from El Paso Health.

Leaders from El Paso Health presented a check to the Socorro Ramirez Community Center, located in the Sparks neighborhood just east of the city’s limits.

“We are very grateful to El Paso Health for this donation. The funds will help us to provide a much needed space for our children and their families. We are glad to continue to partner with El Paso Health to bring needed services to our colonia families,” said Leticia Favela de Castro, Board Member of the Socorro Ramirez Community Center.

The donation funded the completion of a computer lab at the center, which provides residents and colonia families in the area with basic needs.

“We are proud to share our resources with the Socorro Ramirez Community Center and we hope that the residents and neighbors will benefit from the new computer lab and access to technology,” said Frank Dominguez, President and CEO of El Paso Health.

“It is critical that students be able to reinforce what they learn at school by using computers after they head home to study and finish homework.  In addition, we know first-hand that adults who need to apply for Medicaid and CHIP are more efficient when they have access to computers.”

The Socorro Ramirez Community Center is located at 106 Peyton Road.

El Paso Health is a local, private, non-profit organization and Texas-licensed health maintenance organization (HMO) established by the El Paso County Hospital District to enter into contract with the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) for the purpose of improving access to medical care for STAR and CHIP members in El Paso and Hudspeth Counties.

El Paso Health CEO to Lead Statewide Health Plans Board

Officials with the Texas Association of Community Health Plans (TACHP) this week announced that Frank J. Dominguez, President and CEO of El Paso Health, has been appointed Chairman of the Board of the organization.

As 2018 Vice-Chair, Dominguez assisted in directing a membership of 12 Texas-based companies that collectively serve over 2 million Texans and who are committed to supporting and improving the health needs of people living at low to moderate incomes.

In his new role, he will continue to promote the advantages of locally established health plans in member and provider satisfaction, to maintain connection to community resources important for low-income populations, and to improve the quality of healthcare.

“Frank will step in as TACHP chair with the unanimous support of the community health plans in Texas. He is passionate about his work on behalf of Texans needing healthcare and is also a successful businessman known for his savvy with running an efficient and quality operation,” said Kay Ghahremani, President and CEO of Texas Association of Community Health Plans.  “Frank’s combination of heart and innovation has caught the eye of Texas policymakers. TACHP is fortunate that Frank has agreed to take on this important role.”

“We are proud of the work that Frank does at the state level.  We look forward to watching him continue to help Texans improve their health in this new role with TACHP,” said Steve DeGroat, Board Chairman of El Paso Health.

“Frank is the ideal leader to assume this tremendous responsibility,” said Jacob Cintron, President and CEO, University Medical Center of El Paso.  “He has proven time and again that his expertise is essential to the success of our health plans.  It gives all of us in El Paso a real sense of pride that his expertise will now benefit the rest of our state.”

El Paso Health is a local, private, non-profit organization.  It is a Texas-licensed health maintenance organization (HMO) established by the El Paso County Hospital District to enter into contract with the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) for the purpose of improving access to medical care for STAR and CHIP members in El Paso and Hudspeth Counties.

For more information, call 915-532-3778 or visit the El Paso Health website.

El Paso Health Presents Back to School Luau Health Fair on Saturday

El Paso Health will host a Back to School Luau Health Fair this Saturday, July 14, 2018, from 9:00am-2:00pm at its offices located at 1145 Westmoreland Drive.

“These hot summer days call for outdoor fun and we are excited to offer a tropical luau experience for families in our community,” said Frank Dominguez, President and CEO of El Paso Health. “School will be starting soon, so this event allows El Paso Health to give our guests a jump start on getting ready for with health screenings, new backpacks and pantry staples.”

The luau activities will include jumping balloons, a dunk tank, face painting and games for children along with plenty of family entertainment and music. Law enforcement vehicles, including a fire truck and the El Paso County Sheriff’s Show H2 Hummer, will be onsite.

The Latino Medical Student Association at Texas Tech will present a “Teddy Bear Clinic” and special appearances will be made by Moana, Maui, and the Little Mermaid.

The health fair will focus on health screenings for adults. 1,000 free backpacks will be given away, as well as 200 mobile food pantry bags (one per family). Families can also learn more about car seat safety during onsite demonstrations.

El Paso Health is a local, private, non-profit organization. It is a Texas-licensed health maintenance organization (HMO) established by the El Paso County Hospital District to enter into contract with the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) for the purpose of improving access to medical care for STAR and CHIP members in El Paso and Hudspeth Counties.

El Paso Health Sponsors Car Seat Safety Program

El Paso Health, the only locally operated non-profit health maintenance organization (HMO), will be sponsoring the 2017 Car Seat Safety Program.

“It is important for us to make sure we do something for the community that benefits families,” said Frank Dominguez, CEO of El Paso Health. “El Paso Health serves children and pregnant women so it’s a perfect fit for what we do, day in and day out. Prevention is not just going to the doctor to get immunizations; it means safety.”

The monthly clinics, coordinated by the University Medical Center (UMC) Foundation, distribute free car seats, instruct families with Child Passenger Safety Education and evaluate children for safe travel.

Just last month, El Paso Health presented the UMC Foundation Volunteer Corps with a $60,000 donation to fund the three year program.

Since the car seat safety program began in September of 2015, the UMC Foundation has provided 2,153 new car seats to families in the El Paso community; 2,404 children have been evaluated for safe travel; 1,426 families have been instructed regarding child passenger safety education and 1,162 car seats have been destroyed and deemed no longer safe.

El Pasoans are invited to schedule an appointment for a car seat check by contacting Carolyn Williams, UMC Volunteer Corps Program Manager, at 915-521-7229, ext. 8052 or via email at

El Paso Health Names Janel Lujan New VP of Operations

On Monday, El Paso Health, the only locally operated non-profit health maintenance organization (HMO), announced the appointment of Janel Lujan as Vice President of Operations.

“Over the course of her time with the company, Janel has contributed significantly to the success of the business particularly in achieving the substantial growth El Paso Health has seen over the last 10 years,” said Frank Dominguez, President and CEO of El Paso Health.  “She has provided outstanding expertise to our operations and fundamental leadership to our employees.”

Ms. Lujan, a 10-year veteran of El Paso Health, has both a Bachelors of Psychology and a Masters of Social Work from Arizona State University.  She began her career with El Paso Health as a Social Work Case Manager II, and was subsequently promoted to Case Management Coordinator, Clinical Supervisor, and Director of Health Services.

Most recently, she served the company as Senior Director of Operations.

El Paso Health Hosts Annual Back-To-School Events; 1000 Backpacks Scheduled for Giveaways

El Paso Health announced its 2017 lineup of annual back-to-school health fairs, along with the presentation of 1000 backpacks for giveaways for local students.

“Over the years, we have engaged with students and their families as they head back into classrooms,” said Frank Dominguez, President and CEO of El Paso Health.

“El Paso Health is proud of our commitment to the community and this is just one of many ways we connect with those with the greatest need.  We hope that these events afford everyone a fresh start for the new school year,” Dominguez added

Each event is free, family-friendly, and open to the public.  Attendees will have access to information, resources, and no cost health screenings.  Entertainment and special appearances by Super Heroes are also planned.

Backpacks will be distributed while supplies last.

The El Paso Health Back-to-School Health Fairs are scheduled for:

Saturday, August 12th from 9:00am – 12:00pm

Eisenhower Community Center  |  5628 Eisenhower Avenue

Saturday, August 26th from 9:00am – 12:00pm

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso  |  4801 Alberta

For more information, call 915-532-3778 or visit

UTHealth School of Public Health in El Paso Celebrates 25-Year History, Large Graduating Class

HOUSTON – (May 11, 2017) – As The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health in El Paso prepares to graduate its largest class in more than 15 years, the campus also celebrates 25 years in the El Paso community.

The UTHealth School of Public Health in El Paso opened in 1992 less than a mile away from the U.S.-Mexico border and is one of six campuses for the school. Its researchers have led groundbreaking studies on the unique health problems facing border populations and have helped promote health services for the Mexican-American community.

Researchers also focus on areas such as childhood obesity and microbial risk assessment of water quality.

“The El Paso campus is so important in the community because of how it has provided a public health standard and structure in the region,” said Kristina Mena, Ph.D., associate professor and interim regional dean of the El Paso campus. “What makes this campus so unique is that students can obtain a degree from the largest medical center in the world without ever having to leave El Paso and that fact has drawn people to us.”

Since the campus’ inception, graduates have gone on to complete medical residencies through the M.D/M.P.H program, while others have accepted prominent positions at public health agencies, non-profit organizations and foundations, as well as positions in academia.

In 2014, pediatrician Hector Ocaranza, M.D., M.P.H, graduated from UTHealth School of Public Health in El Paso with a master’s degree in public health. He now serves as the El Paso City-County health authority and serves as a reputable source for guidance regarding outbreaks and other public health issues.

“We have a very diverse campus in terms of students and faculty. Our faculty represent the core disciplines of public health,” Mena said. “What I am most proud of is that even though the research each of us do is different, we have all been able to learn and engage with the community. That has been an enriching part of my experience here.”

To commemorate the special occasion, the commencement ceremony and anniversary celebration have been combined to offer students, their families and community leaders the opportunity to learn about the mark the campus has made in the community.

Paul L. Foster, chairman of the Board of Regents at The University of Texas System and founder of Western Refining, will serve as keynote speaker at the May 18 celebration. 

Key UTHealth School of Public Health El Paso researchers and findings over the past 25 years:

Kristina Mena, Ph.D., was recently awarded the Cutting Edge Award by the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The award recognizes women who have a proven track record of success and have broken boundaries. Mena was reappointed to serve a second term on the USEPA Chartered Science Advisory Board and the Drinking Water Committee. She has led research in water quality, food safety and human health risk assessment.

Mena, who specializes in microbial risk assessment, shared her expertise during the 2016 Summer Olympics held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. After The Associated Press conducted a study on the water quality in Rio and found high levels of pathogens, the news organization asked Mena to translate those findings and provide an assessment of what the data meant for public health. Based on the numbers from the study, Mena determined that there was a high chance for infection if the water was ingested.

Additionally, Mena has conducted risk assessments to evaluate the transmission of pathogens in the farm and hospital environments.

Louis Brown, Ph.D., leads four projects that focus on health promotion interventions. One project is Teens Against Tobacco Use (TATU), where youth serve as health educators and health policy advocates. A second program, Healthy Fit, allows community health workers to administer a health screening and use motivational interviewing to help participants follow through on recommendations for cancer screenings, immunizations, physical activity, nutrition and a weight loss support group. Red de Coaliciones Comunitarias is a network of more than 20 youth substance use prevention coalitions across Mexico that help enhance community coalition capacity and functioning. Brown’s newest project, Youth Advocating for Policy EXecution (Youth APEX), is an after-school project that trains high school students to become advocates for tobacco policy change.

George Di Giovanni, Ph.D., specializes in laboratory and field-based research for the detection, infectivity determination and molecular analysis of waterborne pathogens to aid development of control strategies. Ongoing bacterial source tracking projects identify animal and human fecal pollution sources in watersheds across Texas to help restore water quality and protect public health. Other projects focus on specific waterborne pathogens and research solutions to support sound drinking water regulations.

Eric C. Jones, Ph.D., conducts three research projects on disaster impact, which includes fieldwork on the relationship between social networks and individual well-being. Jones is also using social network analysis to support two projects on public understanding of science. One aspect focuses on rural science fairs in several communities in Arizona and a second focuses on middle school students’ online classroom conversations about science and technology.

Nuria Homedes, M.D., Dr.PH, has served as a specialist in preventive and internal medicine. Homedes has helped in implementing projects aimed at changing the health care delivery system through health promotion activities and continuing education activities for physicians and nurses.

Roberto Rodriguez, Ph.D., conducts research on the relationship between enteric or intestinal viruses and human chronic diseases. Some of his research also focuses on water disparities issues in communities around the U.S.-Mexico border.

Patrick M. Tarwater, Ph.D., has conducted research on the effectiveness of antiretroviral therapies on the incidence of opportunistic infections before and after AIDS diagnosis. Additionally, Tarwater has contributed his expertise in studying the effects of population density on the spread of disease.

El Paso Water, City Health Department partner for ‘Zika Zero’ Event Saturday

As we approach the wetter months here in the Borderland, El Paso Water – along with local health officials – are looking to inform residents on the threat of the Zika Virus.

The World Health Organization has declared Zika a public health emergency, and while the vast majority of cases are outside the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is monitoring hundreds of cases in the United States.

Texas has had 63 reported cases.  To date, no cases have been reported in El Paso.

“El Paso Water is pleased to partner with The City Public Health Department and Environmental Services and other community partners on the ‘Zika Zero’ campaign, said Lisa Rosendorf, El Paso Water spokeswoman and member of the City’s Zika Task Force.

“We all need to learn what actions to take to protect ourselves and our families from this virus,” she added.

For that reason, Rosendorf is encouraging the public to attend the “Zika Zero at TecH20: A Family Learning Event,” Saturday at 10751 Montana. The event, which will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., is free to the public.

Experts will share information with adults on travel advisories, health risks and Zika transmission.

The event will also feature educational activities for children, including the opportunity to look through microscopes at mosquitoes with scientists from the University of Texas at El Paso.

The CDC notes that Zika is spread by the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti species mosquito—aggressive daytime biters that can also bite at night. The CDC also warns that the virus can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects.

While many people infected with the virus won’t show any symptoms, common signs include: fever, rash and joint pain. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.

As a proactive measure to ensure that El Paso residents limit breeding grounds and the possibility for mosquito-transmitted diseases, the City of El Paso Department of Public Health has asked the public to toss any items around the exterior of their home that retain water.

Health officials have said that rains create breeding grounds for mosquitos that are often responsible for spreading diseases such as the West Nile Virus and have the potential to introduce Zika to the El Paso area.

Health department spokesman Armando Saldivar said the reason the City, County and other partners are working together to get the word out on Zika in the region is because if just one person is infected with the virus, a simple mosquito bite to that person could start a chain reaction and spread the virus.

“Unlike other mosquito-borne viruses, with Zika, an uninfected mosquito can be infected if it bites a person carrying the virus,” Saldivar said. “This creates the possibility of ballooning cases if we don’t prevent transmission. This is why we are pushing for zero cases in the region.”

Aside from urging people to eliminate retaining water from homes and yards, health and city officials are also encouraging residents to take the following safety measures during mosquito season.

 Wear long-sleeve shirts and long pants

 Stay in cool places with air conditioning and windows and door screens to keep mosquitos outside

 Use insect repellents

 For more information visit under the Zika Virus page.

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