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Home | Tag Archives: Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso

Tag Archives: Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso

$1.5 Million Will Fund Jim and Julie Cardwell Endowed Chair in Neurology

Thanks to a generous $750,000 gift from the Jim and Julie Cardwell Fund and the Cardwell Family Foundation, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) announced Wednesday that they would establish an endowed chair in the department of neurology.

“We have a serious physician shortage in El Paso and Southern New Mexico,” El Paso businessman Jim Cardwell said. “This is an opportunity to bring TTUHSC El Paso to the forefront in the training of physicians. Hopefully some of them will stay here in El Paso, but if not, at least we’re training more, so there are more doctors. We need more access to medical providers so that families do not have to leave our region to receive specialty care.”

“The inspiration for this gift was to help the future generations of this region,” Cardwell said. “This is a building block of many things to come.”

TTUHSC El Paso is matching the gift, establishing the Jim and Julie Cardwell Endowed Chair in Neurology. The chair will be supported by a $1.5 million fund thanks to the combined gift and match.

The gift and endowed chair are part of a long-term effort to increase the number of neurologists available to treat the El Paso community.  The Cardwell Family Foundation is an affiliate of the El Paso Community Foundation.

Matching funds are being leveraged by TTUHSC El Paso to recruit and attract physicians in specialty areas that are underserved in our region. The goal is to build upon these specialties so that both patient care and research expertise expand over time.

There are additional matching funds for endowed chairs and professorships in several areas, such as psychiatry, emergency medicine, orthopedics, surgery and internal medicine.

There is a shortage of neurologists nationwide, leading to a “neurology desert” in areas with no neurologists.

Though El Paso is not in that situation, with about 20 practicing neurologists, there are too few for a city this size, and El Paso patients are faced with waiting lists, said Dr. Salvador Cruz-Flores, professor and chair of TTUHSC El Paso’s department of neurology.

According to the American Academy of Neurology, a city should have three to five neurologists for every 100,000 inhabitants – a minimum of 35 if there are 700,000 people in El Paso County. El Paso neurologists serve patients from the entire Paso del Norte region, Dr. Cruz-Flores said.

About 45 percent of the care provided by neurologists at TTUHSC El Paso is uncompensated care for the uninsured or underinsured. Though part of their mission, Dr. Cruz-Flores said this adds to the need for more neurologists.

“This endowment is meant to grow the activities of the department of neurology, perhaps creating more residency opportunities and clinical lines of service such as a multiple sclerosis clinic, or growing an epilepsy service,” Dr. Cruz-Flores said.

“In general, this will expand the services of the neurology department with the idea of providing more access to neurological care for our community.”

For more information on how to make an investment in the future of health care in the Paso del Norte region and take advantage of matching funds, contact Andrea Tawney, associate vice chancellor of TTUHSC El Paso’s Office of Institutional Advancement, at andrea.tawney@ttuhsc.edu

TTUHSC El Paso Accredited for Area’s First Geriatric Psychiatry Training Program

After recently gaining accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, along with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, will soon begin offering the first training program in the El Paso area for geriatric psychiatry.

“We have a health care emergency with the aging of our population,” said Peter Thompson, M.D., professor and department chair of TTUHSC El Paso’s department of psychiatry. “Ten thousand baby boomers are retiring a day. Our geriatric population is just exploding and we need people who are experts to treat these individuals.”

The training program for resident physicians is desperately needed in El Paso because of a shortage of medical care for the elderly, both locally and nationally, Dr. Thompson said.

The fellowship in geriatric psychiatry will be a combined program with the VA, with most of the funding coming from the VA. The VA’s site director is Deborah L. Dallam, M.D., who is board certified in geriatric psychiatry. The accreditation allows for two residents to take part in the fellowship.

The yearlong training will be split between working in TTUHSC El Paso’s clinical rotation and facilities of the El Paso VA health care system.

Another important part of the training will be the use of the national Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) as the model of service, said Ricardo Salazar, M.D. Dr. Salazar is an associate professor in TTUHSC El Paso’s department of psychiatry, chief of the division of geriatric psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences and head of the new training program.

The residents will spend time at El Paso’s Bienvivir, one of the pioneer programs in the nation for all-inclusive care of the elderly.

“We will be exposing the residents to this interdisciplinary model of care, where they have social workers, psychologists, physicians in primary care, etc.,” said Dr. Salazar. “They’ll also have rotations in palliative care medicine and end-of-life issues.

“We’re also going to be working very closely with the University Medical Center where the trainees will be exposed to different psychopathologies through the psychiatry consult service, and they will be rotating through the geriatric acute care for the elderly unit that we have at UMC,” said Dr. Salazar. “So, it’s going to be a very diverse program.”

The long-term hope is that, after the fellowship, the residents will stay in the El Paso region, helping to care for the elderly.

“We are the only training site in the nation that will be concentrating on serving the elderly population on the U.S.-Mexico border and joining the few accredited programs in the Southwest,” said Dr. Salazar. “Our fellows will receive unparalleled academic and clinical training in a multicultural and vibrant city.”

TTUHSC El Paso Professor Awarded $50,000 Grant for Sepsis Research

Wendy Walker, Ph.D., assistant professor in Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso’s Center of Emphasis in Infectious Diseases, recently received a $50,000 grant to study how the immune system plays a role during the life-threatening infectious process termed sepsis.

The 2019 Society of Critical Care Medicine Weil Research Grant will allow Walker to continue research that focuses on how different immune cells contribute to the body’s response during this life-threatening disorder, which has a mortality rate of up to 50 percent.

“The immune system is a double-edged sword in this context, because it is essential in fighting the infection, but over-activation of some of its parts can contribute to a worse outcome,” Walker said.

Each year, at least 1.7 million adults in America develop sepsis, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2017, 4,268 Texans died as a result of septicemia, a bacterial infection that spreads into the bloodstream, triggering sepsis. Texas’ death rate was seventh-highest in the United States.

Using a mouse model of sepsis, Walker is working toward understanding the different roles in sepsis of two populations of immune cells, known as macrophages and monocytes, with a long-term goal of manipulating their actions to improve clinical outcomes.

“This grant will allow me to define the functions of these cells as sepsis develops,” Walker said. “I hope that the new insights that we learn will give us an idea of how we might target them to reduce mortality and, ultimately, to cure this serious disorder.”

The Weil Research Trust was created in 2015 to fund research grants. Named for the Society’s founder and first president, Dr. Max Harry Weil, the Weil Research Trust represents the Critical Care Medicine Society’s commitment to the discovery and innovation needed to improve medical care.

TTUHSC El Paso Fires Up Holiday Celebration Friday Night

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso’s Cookies, Cocoa and Holiday Cheer celebration gets the holiday season underway for the fourth consecutive year.

The annual event will offer a free light show, food and health care information for El Paso families. The light show is presented by the same team behind the Fred Loya holiday light show.

After the show, TTUHSC El Paso’s seasonal campus lights will be turned on for the first time. After snapping some pictures of the lights, attendees can visit the selfie station and are encouraged to share via the hashtag (#TTUHSCEP).

Special guests will include Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, the Grinch, Cindy Lou Who, Belle, and the Snowflake Princesses from the movie “Frozen.”

Photo booths will provide free photos with Santa Claus and the other special guests. In addition to a performance from the holiday special guests, the Jefferson/Silva High School Drumline will take the stage.

For the first time, this year’s festivities will include a health fair. TTUHSC El Paso students will offer blood pressure readings, the United Way will give out discount prescription cards, and representatives from several TTUHSC El Paso departments and clinics will be on hand with information.

Treats and apple cider will be catered by Crave Kitchen and Bar, with hot cocoa generously provided by Price’s Creameries. Also, the first 1,000 guests will receive a TTUHSC El Paso drawstring backpack.

Sponsored by El Paso Electric, all activities will be free, including parking in campus lots.

What: Cookies, Cocoa and Holiday Cheer

When: 6 p.m. Friday, November 30  |  Light show will begin about 7 p.m.

Where: Medical Education Building (MEB) lawn, 5001 El Paso Drive

Golf Tournament, 5K Fun Run This Weekend Support Medical Clinic in Sparks

Medical students from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso will host two weekend events to benefit the Medical Student Run Clinic (MSRC) located in the Sparks community in far east El Paso County.

The MSRC provides free medical services to the underserved community.

“We’re doing a Sparks weekend,” said Liliana Bonilla, a second-year medical student and a member of the student leadership team at the MSRC. “It’s going to be a lot of fun, and all the proceeds go to a great cause. The clinic runs on grants and fundraising, so participating in these events helps provide health services to the Sparks community.”

Started in 2013 by Paul L. Foster School of Medicine students, the MSRC operates twice a month on Tuesday evenings.

The MSRC provides free primary health care screenings, such as diagnostics, blood work and patient education. Run entirely by students with faculty oversight, the clinic not only benefits the Sparks community, but gives students real-life opportunities to hone their medical and Spanish-language skills.

On Saturday, the Hearts for Sparks Golf Tournament moves to Topgolf El Paso for the first time. Six-person teams will battle for prizes in front of a crowd of leaders, volunteers, and faculty from the MSRC, as well as other physicians from the El Paso area. Participants can register at Online.

On Sunday, the Sprint for Sparks 5K Fun Run will take place along Scenic Drive. The race will begin at 8 a.m. at Newman Park. Participants can register via this link.

SATURDAY

What: Hearts for Sparks Golf Tournament

When: 8:45 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 27

Where: Topgolf El Paso, 365 Vin Rambla Drive

SUNDAY

What: Sprint for Sparks 5K Fun Run

When: 8 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 28

Where: Newman Park, 2212 Alabama Street

TTUHSC El Paso’s Medical Practice Reaccredited for Providing Top-Quality Patient Care

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso’s medical practice has been reaccredited by The Joint Commission for outpatient care.

Accreditation by TJC is a symbol of quality that reflects a commitment to providing safe and effective patient care.

Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso, a multi-specialty medical practice with seven locations throughout the city of El Paso, underwent a rigorous on-site survey in April 2018. TJC’s team of surveyors evaluated the clinic sites for several quality standards: care coordination, monitoring of procedures involving sedation or anesthesia, infection prevention and control, medication management, and patient education and training.

“[Having The Joint Commission accreditation] is a badge of honor,” said Michael J. Herrera, assistant director for the TTUHSC El Paso Office of Quality Improvement. “It says we are at a higher standard of quality and a higher standard of patient safety. We’re taking these extra steps for our patients.”

Established in 1975, TJC’s ambulatory health care accreditation program encourages high-quality patient care in all types of outpatient facilities. Today, the program serves 2,100 clinical providers, with more than 8,500 sites serving over 83 million patient visits annually.

TJC develops its accreditation standards by consulting with health care experts and providers, performance measurement experts, and patients. Scientific literature and expert consensus also are used to create the standards, which help organizations measure, assess and improve performance.

“The Joint Commission accreditation provides ambulatory care organizations with the processes contributing to improvements in a variety of areas, from the enhancement of staff education to the demonstration of leading practices within the ambulatory setting,” said Michael Kulczycki, M.B.A., CAE, executive director for The Joint Commission’s ambulatory health care accreditation program. “We commend Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso and its staff for achieving this pinnacle demonstrating a commitment to patient safety and quality.”

The hundreds of providers, residents and staff at the clinics are critical to maintaining the high standards required for TJC accreditation.

Irma Montes-Gomez, TTUHSC El Paso’s senior director for quality improvement/occupational health, added that TTUHSC El Paso conducts quarterly inspections of its clinics to maintain compliance with TJC standards and other regulatory agencies even while not under survey.

In addition to TTP El Paso’s reaccreditation this year, TJC recently conferred Comprehensive Stroke Center status for University Medical Center of El Paso. UMC is an affiliate and primary training site for TTUHSC El Paso’s medical and nursing students.

TTP El Paso’s TJC accreditation went into effect in April 2018 and will last for three years.

The Joint Commission provides accreditation to Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso. As the clinical practice of TTUHSC El Paso, Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso has received accreditation under the legal parent name of TTUHSC El Paso.

TTUHSC El Paso Students to Honor Kharisma James During Day of Service

About 200 Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) medical students will participate in community service events Saturday, September  15, as part of the annual Corazón de Oro (Heart of Gold) community outreach event.

This year’s Corazón de Oro will honor Kharisma James, who graduated from the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing in May 2017. James passed away Aug. 13 after being struck by a car while picking up her children at Tippin Elementary School in El Paso.

Organized by TTUHSC El Paso’s Student Government Association (SGA), Corazón de Oro 2018 will include students from all three TTUHSC El Paso schools—the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS)—in an effort to give back to the community. The students will volunteer at 13 different sites.

SGA President Sajid Leelani said the event serves as a reminder to TTUHSC El Paso students of why they went into the medical field: to serve the community. He said students also asked to honor James, who often answered that call to service.

“Kharisma James was one of the founding officers of the SGA,” Leelani said. “It’s a day of service, and she was also very much about service. She served in the military. She was a nurse and she served in the SGA. So we are honored to remember her on this day.”

Sept. 15 will also mark the fourth anniversary of the RotaCare Clinic. The El Paso RotaCare clinic was opened by the Rotary Club of El Paso in September 2014 in the Lower Valley to provide free medical care for those in need. The clinic provides learning opportunities for TTUHSC El Paso’s medical students. As part of the anniversary celebration, students will host a health fair at the clinic Saturday morning.

 

List of sites – Students will volunteer at the following sites from 8 a.m. to noon Sept. 15:

YWCA, 201 E. Main St.: Students will assist with transitional living center activities.

Center Against Sexual and Family Violence, 580 Giles Road: Students will provide landscaping and facility maintenance.

Compadres Therapy, 6631 Strahan Rd.: Students will provide maintenance around the barn.

GiGi’s Playhouse, 960 Chelsea St., Suite B: Students’ volunteer work to be determined.

Habitat for Humanity, 11221 Rojas Drive, Building B: Students will work on a restoration project.

El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank, 9541 Plaza Circle: Students will help sort food.

Salvation Army, 4300 E. Paisano Drive: Students will reorganize thrift store donations.

Rescue Mission Center of El Paso, 130 N. Cotton St.: Students will sort donations and clean living areas.

Candlelighters of El Paso, 1900 N. Oregon St., Room 402: Students will sort donations and provide maintenance.

Opportunity Center for the Homeless, 1208 Myrtle Ave.: Students will distribute meals and organize donations.

Baptist Clinic, 2700 N. Piedras St.: Students will clean and organize at the clinic’s new location.

RotaCare Clinic, 301 S. Schutz Drive: Students will assist at the health fair.

Texas Special Olympics: On Sept. 8, students took vitals for athletes.

TTUHSC El Paso Cancer Intervention Program Recognized by National Cancer Institute

A Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso initiative that is increasing the number of screenings for colorectal cancer across West Texas has caught the eye of the National Cancer Institute.

The federal agency has added TTUHSC El Paso’s ACCION (Against Colorectal Cancer in Our Neighborhoods) program to its database of Research-Tested Intervention Programs, making ACCION instructional and educational materials available to public health practitioners across the world.

Colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of death from cancer in the U.S. for both men and women. But in many cases the disease can be cured, or even prevented, with early detection through colorectal cancer screenings.

Unfortunately, many at-risk people don’t have easy access to colorectal cancer screenings. Poverty, lack of health insurance, lack of transportation, and low levels of health education are some of the barriers that prevent adults from receiving screenings. The beginning recommended age for colorectal cancer screenings is 50.

“If you get screened and you get the appropriate follow-up, you really do prevent cancer,” Shokar said. “You find it early and the outcome is a lot better.” | Photo Courtesy TTUHSC El Paso

Launched in 2011 by , director for Cancer Prevention and Control at TTUHSC El Paso, ACCION brings colorectal cancer screenings and preventative information to the community, in settings such as churches, health fairs, food pantries, low-income housing complexes, community centers and clinics serving the uninsured.

Its aim has been to increase screening rates across West Texas, currently around 50 percent, compared to a national average of about 70 percent. The program has been funded by grants from the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT).

“If you get screened and you get the appropriate follow-up, you really do prevent cancer,” Shokar said. “You find it early and the outcome is a lot better.”

The program uses promotoras—bilingual community health care workers—to connect with at-risk individuals. ACCION currently works with over 160 community organizations to help make screening more accessible.

“People have big transportation barriers,” Dr. Shokar said. “They don’t have access to cars, or the person with the transport is working and they only have one car. It’s very important that this program go to the community where people live, work and play, and that’s what we try to do.”

The success of the program has led to additional CPRIT funding. In August 2017, CPRIT awarded Dr. Shokar a three-year, $3.7 million grant to implement ACCION in major hospital and clinic systems throughout El Paso County. The grant will also be used to expand the program into West Texas; ACCION’s service area will now cover a 25-county area by partnering with service providers in those areas.

And now, thanks to the National Cancer Institute, the methods and materials behind the ACCION’s success can reach across the globe.

Learn more about ACCION and download program materials from the NCI’s RTIPs website.

PodMed TT Offers Podcast Listeners Latest Medical News

When medical professionals want to stay in the loop on breaking medical news, there is one podcast they tune into week after week: PodMed TT.

Hosted by Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) President Richard Lange, M.D., M.B.A., and Johns Hopkins Medicine Director of Electronic News Media Elizabeth Tracey, M.S., PodMed TT covers trending research published in medical journals each week.

The long-running podcast series was originally produced by Johns Hopkins Medicine. Longtime fans were disheartened when Johns Hopkins discontinued the podcast in 2017. But thanks to support from loyal listeners, Dr. Lange and Tracey found a way to restore the program under the umbrella of TTUHSC El Paso.

“After 14 years, we weren’t ready to give it up,” Dr. Lange said. “The ability to take complex studies or complex scientific research and bring it to our listeners on a weekly basis is still very important to Elizabeth and me. So even though we changed it from Hopkins to TTUHSC El Paso, there was never any question that we were going to continue it.”

The podcasts pack as much information as possible into a short, 10-minute recording. Dr. Lange and Tracey highlight four studies each week, making sure to keep the topics fresh, Tracey said. The duo focuses on peer-reviewed research published in the world’s most respected and influential medical journals.

PodMed TT can be found on iTunes or other podcasting apps. Tracey also recaps the podcast on her weekly blog, which can be found at eptechview.ttuhsc.edu

TTUHSC El Paso Designated ‘Hispanic-Serving Institution’

The U.S. Department of Education has recognized Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) as a Title V Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), making it the second Health-Related Institution in the nation to receive this designation and the only one located on the U.S.-Mexico border.

To qualify as an HSI, an institution must have an undergraduate enrollment of at least 25 percent Hispanic students, among other criteria. As of 2017, 41 percent of TTUHSC El Paso’s student body identified as Hispanic. Recognition as an HSI opens doors to new sources of grant funding through the Department of Education and other federal agencies.

Based on 2015 data used to make the HSI designation, 72 percent of TTUHSC El Paso’s undergraduate nursing students identified as Hispanic, compared to a state average of less than 30 percent. Twenty-three percent of TTUHSC El Paso’s medical students identified as Hispanic, while the state average is about 15 percent.

With Hispanics driving population growth in the state and nation, this means TTUHSC El Paso is ahead of the game in terms of Hispanic representation.

“Recognition as a Hispanic-Serving Institution is a catalyst for growth,” said TTUHSC El Paso President Richard Lange, M.D., M.B.A. “As a university created in a Hispanic-majority community, we have an opportunity to advocate for the nation’s fastest-growing demographic, which is still vastly underrepresented in health care. Being an HSI will give us the funding we need to close that gap.”

The HSI designation was established under Titles III and V of the Higher Education Act of 1965 to increase higher education accessibility for Hispanics. Grants for HSIs, which include the National Science Foundation’s Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Hispanic-Serving Institutions program, also enable HSI-designated institutions to grow and refine their programs.

“At TTUHSC El Paso, we see our diversity as one of our major strengths,” said Vice President for Outreach and Community Engagement Jose Manuel de la Rosa, M.D., M.Sc.

“Our university values cultural, socioeconomic and intellectual diversity because it enriches our lives and our community as a whole, promoting access, equity and excellence. We strive to create an environment of mutual respect, appreciation and inclusion of differing values, beliefs and backgrounds throughout all our programming. It is a major achievement for us to be recognized by the Department of Education as one of the few Health-Related Institutions in the country to be designated a Hispanic-Serving Institution. It reflects success in meeting our mission of serving our El Paso and border communities.”

TTUHSC El Paso’s HSI status went into effect in April 2018. As of August 2018, three TTU System institutions have been designated as Hispanic-Serving Institutions: Texas Tech University, Angelo State University and now, TTUHSC El Paso.

TTUHSC El Paso’s School of Medicine Reaccredited for 8-Year Term

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso’s (TTUHSC) medical education program has been granted full accreditation for eight years without citations by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME),

According to TTUHSC officials the announcement is the “best possible outcome of an application for continuing accreditation.”

The LCME is the U.S. Department of Education-recognized accrediting body for programs leading to the M.D. degree. There are three stages of accreditation: preliminary, provisional and full. The Paul L. Foster School of Medicine has been fully accredited since 2013.

Richard Brower, M.D., associate dean for medical education, said the LCME’s survey team was impressed by the school’s educational resources, committed faculty, and well-documented philosophy and theoretical basis for its curriculum.

Clinical integration is key to the PLFSOM’s curriculum. Unlike many traditional medical schools, PLFSOM students are immersed in diagnostic reasoning and clinical skill-building from the very start of their medical education. They learn the scientific foundations of medicine and related diagnostic skills based on common clinical presentations throughout the first and second years.

During this phase they also participate in community explorations and assessments, as well as a unique program of fully integrated Spanish language instruction.

“The LCME is very interested in the modernization of medical education,” Dr. Brower said. “And we were well-prepared to emphasize how the development and evolution of the PLFSOM curriculum has been deliberately based on settled principles of adult learning and educational psychology — this definitely worked in our favor.”

From the first day of medical school, PLFSOM students are taught to think like a doctor. Active learning is encouraged through simulation exercises in the school’s Center for Advanced Teaching and Assessment in Clinical Simulation. ATACS uses high-fidelity manikins that simulate everything from cardiac arrest to a vaginal birth.

Students also interact with “standardized patients,” real people trained to act out symptoms of medical conditions. These simulation activities help students learn to recognize conditions while developing their people skills and bedside manner.

In the final two years of medical school, students interact with actual patients in a wide range of clinical settings, and gain knowledge in ways that no textbook or simulation could ever teach. These experiences provide students with the background to lead the nation in medical care and prevention upon graduation.

With accreditation through 2026, PLFSOM leaders are looking at ways the school can continue to evolve.

“The great thing about the school’s definitively positive accreditation outcome is that we know we’re on an eight-year cycle, and this establishes an advantageous timeline for educational program enhancement and growth” Dr. Brower said.

With TTUHSC El Paso’s Medical Sciences Building II slated for completion in 2019, TTUHSC El Paso’s priority now will be to align its physical planning with its educational planning and enrollment goals.

The PLFSOM’s LCME accreditation is the third accreditation to be awarded to TTUHSC El Paso in 2018. Previously accredited under Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, TTUHSC El Paso was granted separate institutional accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges in June.

Also in June, the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing earned its 10-year programmatic accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

More information about the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine may be found at online.

TTUHSC El Paso President Elected to Chair FDA Advisory Board

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso President Richard Lange, M.D., M.B.A., has been appointed as panel chair for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Circulatory Systems Devices Panel.

“I look forward to working with the FDA to accomplish those goals, to bring these devices to the public earlier and as quickly as possible, while still ensuring their safety,” Dr. Lange said.

Dr. Lange, who is also dean of the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine at TTUHSC El Paso, is a practicing cardiologist and has served on the FDA Circulatory Systems Devices Panel since 2010.

His term as chair will last four years, at a time when the FDA is going through important changes, including efforts to move drugs and devices through the approval process faster, especially for breakthrough drugs and devices.

The panel reviews and evaluates data about the safety and effectiveness of marketed and investigational medical devices for use in the circulatory and vascular systems.

They then make appropriate recommendations to the FDA commissioner.

Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing Announces New Dean

Stephanie Woods, Ph.D., M.S.N., has been named the new dean of the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing (GGHSON), effective July 1.

“I am very excited to join the leadership team and faculty of TTUHSC El Paso, build on the excellent foundation in place, and advance a strategic plan that will rank the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing highly among state and national nursing programs,” Woods said.

Woods joins Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) after nine years as associate dean for the Houston J. and Florence A. Doswell College of Nursing at Texas Woman’s University, Dallas Center. She has served on the faculties of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) and the University of the Incarnate Word.

According to a news release from Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, “She is an accomplished leader who has held executive roles in health care and higher education in San Antonio and Dallas.”

Woods holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas Woman’s University, a master’s degree from UTHSCSA, and a doctoral degree from the University of Texas at Austin. She has more than 35 years of experience in nursing and brings a passion for developing clinical leaders who advance practice, set policy, occupy board seats, and educate the nursing workforce.

She has served on the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas Board, the Board of Managers for the Parkland Health and Hospital System and the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council Foundation Board.

Nursing School Achieves 10-Year Accreditation

The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) has accredited the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing’s undergraduate nursing programs for a 10-year term.

“Accreditation assures our stakeholders and communities of interest that we are providing a high-quality, rigorous and relevant nursing education program, which is continuing to benefit our community and surrounding region,” said William Michael Scott, D.N.P., R.N., GGHSON associate dean of academic programs.

The GGHSON, which had 200 undergraduate students enrolled in fall, was established as Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso’s second school in 2011 as a response to a severe nursing shortage in the greater El Paso region.

The GGHSON received its initial five-year accreditation from the CCNE in 2012.

Since then, the GGHSON has aggressively worked to address the shortage by preparing nurses with the skills they need to advance in the profession. To date, the school has graduated 376 B.S.N. students and added a Master of Science in Nursing to its program offerings.

While a national shortage is likely to persist over the next two decades, a 2017 study showed a nearly 50 percent improvement in shortage ratios compared to a 2012 study.

The B.S.N. is currently offered in two tracks: the Accelerated B.S.N. and the Registered Nurse (R.N.) to B.S.N. The Accelerated B.S.N. track consists of 16 consecutive months, combining the independence of online learning with educational and clinical experiences in state-of-the-art simulation labs and clinics.

The R.N. to B.S.N. track is designed for the professional nurse who is employed in nursing practice, but desires the marketability and broader education of a baccalaureate degree. The R.N. to B.S.N. track is 100 percent online, with clinical experiences arranged where the student lives.

The new 10-year CCNE accreditation period of the GGHSON’s undergraduate programs is effective through September 2027.

The CCNE is an autonomous accrediting agency, based in Washington, D.C., that sets educational standards for baccalaureate and higher-degree nursing programs nationwide.

TTUHSC El Paso Achieves Highest-Level Accreditation Designation

Officials with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) announced Monday that the college has been granted separate accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

In addition, the SACSCOC visiting team commended TTUHSC El Paso for its “culture of excellence.”

Independent accreditation by SACSCOC is a milestone in TTUHSC El Paso’s history. Formerly, TTUHSC El Paso was covered as an affiliate of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) in Lubbock, Texas.

“Receiving commendation from SACSCOC speaks not only to the rigor of our programs, caliber of our resources, and strength of our organization, but also to the excellence of our people,” said TTUHSC El Paso President Richard Lange, M.D., M.B.A. “We could not have done this without our tremendous students, faculty and staff.”

As the accrediting body for institutions of higher education across the Southern U.S., SACSCOC affirms that its accredited institutions have “a purpose appropriate to higher education and… resources, programs, and services sufficient to accomplish and sustain that purpose.” In addition to setting high standards for programs of higher education—which determines eligibility for Title IV, or federal financial aid funds—the commission also works to influence legislation that impacts the work of its member institutions.

“SACSCOC accreditation empowers TTUHSC El Paso to continue to focus its efforts on the Paso del Norte region, with essential health care preparation programs in medicine, nursing, graduate biomedical sciences and dental education. These programs and their graduates have an unparalleled and positive impact on the health and future of our region,” said Valerie Paton, Ph.D., TTUHSC El Paso senior vice provost.

As part of the SACSCOC accreditation process, institutions must prepare a self-assessment addressing more than 60 standards. These standards cover the institutional mission, governance and administration, institutional effectiveness, educational programs, student support services, and physical and financial resources, among others.

TTUHSC El Paso’s SACSCOC accreditation is effective June 14, 2018.

For more information on the accreditation and the honor, visit the SACSCOC website.

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