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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

TTUHSC El Paso’s conservation efforts yield double-digit energy reduction

With a growing campus, energy consumption at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso could easily eat up a larger and larger portion of the university’s budget.

However, efforts by the team in TTUHSC El Paso’s Physical Plant and Support Services have led to a 14.6% reduction in energy use during the past three years, despite the campus’ square footage growing by 11.5%.

The energy savings have been part of a long-term effort to improve equipment and gain more control of cooling and heating in university buildings, said Leopoldo Pereyra, managing director of Physical Plant and Support Services.

The effort began back in 2010, as the university slowly began to fill buildings that had not been at capacity.

“We identified some issues in how the energy was managed,” Pereyra said. “There were several infrastructure upgrades that needed to be done to prepare the university for the future. We needed updates on the controls and mechanical systems. Because energy costs are a significant amount of the university’s budget, that’s where we need to concentrate if we want to find savings.”

The upgrades began paying off in 2015, Pereyra said, with annual energy savings of about 6%. Those savings have continued to be put back into upgrades to gain further energy consumption reductions.

One ongoing upgrade effort that can be seen around campus is the upgrade to LED lighting, which consumes less energy.

“We’ve already upgraded all main hallways of the Medical Education Building, numerous areas in the Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso clinics, the Academic Education Center and the Medical Sciences Building I,” Pereyra said. “And just recently, the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing invested their own funding into upgrading the lighting of their building. So that building is top of the line in mechanical equipment and lighting fixtures. We are in excellent shape for the future, especially with the conservation culture we have developed at TTUHSC El Paso.”

“TTUHSC El Paso employees play a big role in helping the university consume less energy and help empower the campus community to be good stewards of private and public funding,” Pereyra added.

“One very important thing is to turn off the lights,” Pereyra said. “Once they leave their offices, turn off everything that is drawing electrical current: the computers, the lights. That’s a big help. The campus can help us obtain our goals. It may seem like a small thing, but if you have staff and students doing the same thing, it can add up to big savings.”

The energy use reductions helped the university save more than $500,000 from 2015 to 2018.

TTUHSC El Paso Professor Named Neurocritical Care Society Fellow

Salvador Cruz-Flores, M.D., M.P.H., professor and founding chair of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso’s department of neurology at the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, has been elected a Fellow of the Neurocritical Care Society.

“We’ve done good work in El Paso in creating the Comprehensive Stroke Center,” Dr. Cruz-Flores said.

“This is a nice recognition, as it acknowledges the work we have done to improve the care of patients, increase neurological knowledge and educate the medical and lay communities about stroke and other neurological emergencies.”

Dr. Cruz-Flores, who also serves as University Medical Center of El Paso’s neurocritical care medical director, said being named a fellow is a recognition of his part in improving neurocritical care in El Paso, including his role in opening the first neurocritical care unit at UMC and in obtaining the hospital’s Comprehensive Stroke Center and Level I Stroke Center designations last year by The Joint Commission and the State of Texas, respectively.

UMC is the first and only hospital in El Paso with these designations.

The NCS is a multidisciplinary, international organization whose mission is to improve outcomes for patients with critical neurological illnesses.

Becoming a fellow of the society is based on contributions to the field of neurocritical care in the areas of professionalism, collaborative multi-professional practice, program development, scholarly activity and leadership.

TTUHSC El Paso Professor Named Editor-In-Chief of Journal of Investigative Medicine

Richard W. McCallum, M.D., FACP, FRACP (AUST), FACG, AGAF, professor and founding chair of the department of internal medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso), has been appointed editor-in-chief of the Journal of Investigative Medicine (JIM), the official publication of the American Federation for Medical Research, in collaboration with the British Medical Journal.

Dr. McCallum is also an honorary professor at the University of Queensland Medical School in Brisbane, Australia.

Dr. McCallum, a gastroenterology specialist who currently directs the Center for Neurogastroenterology and GI Motility, enters this prestigious position with years of editorial experience with numerous medical research journals. He is currently the editor-in-chief of Gastrointestinal Disorders, an online medical journal based in Basel, Switzerland.

The Journal of Investigative Medicine covers all topics and specialty areas related to laboratory, translational and clinical biomedical research.

“The journal is the kind of publication that all junior faculty aspire to publish in,” Dr. McCallum said. “I am mentoring my young faculty to submit their abstracts and go to the appropriate medical meetings and conferences with one of the goals being to–hopefully–publish in this journal.”

As editor-in-chief, Dr. McCallum plans to implement some new ideas for the publication.

“One of my goals for the journal is to be more personable and hands-on while continuing to produce quality articles and improve impact factor,” he said. Dr. McCallum also wants to use his role to assist faculty with mentoring, career development and academic advancement.

Dr. McCallum said another plus for the university is the association with the American Federation for Medical Research. The federation is an international, multidisciplinary association of scientists with a history that reaches back to 1940.

TTUHSC El Paso is “at the national level now,” Dr. McCallum said. “We’re competing with more established medical schools around the nation, and being associated with this journal is an incentive for our university to aspire to achieve higher standards and maintain national recognition.”

Coldwell Foundation donates $100k for Study of Anti-Pancreatic Cancer Agent

The Lizanell and Colbert Coldwell Foundation has donated $100,000 to help Ramadevi Subramani Reddy, Ph.D., study a potential treatment for pancreatic cancer.

Subramani Reddy, a researcher at the Center of Emphasis in Cancer Research at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, is studying the anti-cancer effects of gedunin, a natural compound from the Azadirachta indica tree native to the Indian subcontinent.

Early research suggests gedunin could serve as an anti-cancer agent against pancreatic cancers.

Though pancreatic cancer survival rates have been improving, the disease is still largely considered incurable. The five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer is 9 percent, according to the American Cancer Society.

Nearly 46,000 people will die nationwide of pancreatic cancer in 2019.

The Lizanell and Colbert Coldwell Foundation gives to Texas organizations to further the advancement of medical sciences, and research institutions dedicated to medical research, especially for the cure and prevention of heart disease and cancer.

$3M gift by Rick, Ginger Francis to TTUHSC El Paso will be matched by University

On Tuesday, officials with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso), along with the Paso Del Norte Community Foundation and Rick and Ginger Francis, announced a $3 million gift to the university.

“We love El Paso and the borderland region and feel it is important to make a difference on our watch,” Rick and Ginger Francis said. “We’ve had success and we want to share that success with the community, leaving it a better place for future generations.”

The Francis’ $3 million gift to TTUHSC El Paso will go to endow four deanships, as well as the endowed chair for the TTUHSC El Paso president, named in their honor.

This gift will be matched by TTUHSC El Paso, doubling its impact.

“Endowed positions allow us to attract and retain talented leadership from across the country who embody our university’s mission. That is what we have done in assembling an exceptional group of deans for our university,” said TTUHSC President Richard Lange, M.D., M.B.A. “Endowed deanships are one of the greatest ways to amplify what we do best here at TTUHSC El Paso: educate the next generation of health care professionals and conduct research on health issues affecting our border population.”

“TTUHSC El Paso has created an institution that will forever impact El Paso with new educational opportunities for future generations,” Rick and Ginger Francis said. “This gift will go toward the next phase of attracting the best and brightest faculty to help propel the university forward.”

Additionally, the Francis have established the Ginger G. and L. Frederick Francis Foundation in the Paso del Norte Community Foundation.

Tracy Yellen, CEO of the PDN Community Foundation, said the gift illustrates the collaboration needed to push the West Texas region forward.

“Rick and Ginger established the Ginger G. and L. Frederick Francis Foundation as a donor advised fund in the Paso del Norte Community Foundation to facilitate their charitable giving and support organizations like TTUHSC El Paso that are essential to the future of our region,” Yellen said. “We are honored to partner with Rick and Ginger and TTUHSC El Paso in this way. It is a testament to Rick and Ginger’s leadership and generosity, and the power of collaboration.”

The gift comes as the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine celebrates its 10-year anniversary. TTUHSC El Paso would not be what it is today without the generous support of many champions, including Rick and Ginger Francis — Texas Tech alumni with a long and meaningful history of leadership and giving.

University officials add that, Rick and Ginger Francis were among the earliest and most ardent supporters of TTUHSC El Paso before shovels even broke ground on what is the campus today.

TTUHSC El Paso will be the only health sciences center in Texas to have all its deanships endowed. The deans lead the four schools that comprise TTUHSC El Paso: the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and – coming in 2021 – the Woody L. Hunt School of Dental Medicine.

UTEP Awarded $324k grant to expand Men’s Diabetes Program

The Diabetes Garage, a men’s diabetes management and self-care program, will offer men in Texas who have the disease the gift of health to last a lifetime.

With support from a $324,800 grant, Jeannie Concha, Ph.D., assistant professor in UTEP’s Department of Public Health Sciences, will implement the program in El Paso and in two other Texas cities by 2021.

Concha received the grant from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“Despite the availability of diabetes treatment and management programs in clinical and community settings, men remain underserved,” Concha said. “The Diabetes Garage was created to provide men a space where they could talk about their diabetes with other men. What we are also finding is the men come to the garage with a lot of information and a lot of misinformation about diabetes. The Diabetes Garage is a place to help men organize and prioritize accurate information to meet their needs.”

Created by UTEP in collaboration with the El Paso Diabetes Association (EPDA), Southwest University, University Medical Center, and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, the Diabetes Garage uses automotive maintenance and repair analogies to engage men in diabetes education and support sessions.

They learn how to manage their glucose and prevent diabetes-related complications, such as limb amputations, impotence, blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks and strokes.

According to the CDC and the National Institutes of Health, men of Mexican descent are 150% more likely to have diabetes compared with non-Hispanic white individuals. Hispanic men also are 50% more likely to die from diabetes or chronic liver disease.

Concha will lead the project with co-principle investigators Gregory Schober, Ph.D., visiting political science professor, and Laura Gonzales, Ph.D., English assistant professor.

They will work with Texas DSHS to implement the program in El Paso County, San Antonio, and Harlingen.

Funds also will be used to enhance the services provided by The Diabetes Garage in El Paso County. The program is currently recruiting men with type 2 diabetes to participate in sessions offered at the EPDA located at 3641 Mattox Street

The next available Diabetes Garage series will be offered from 5-8 p.m. Aug. 20, 6-8 p.m. Aug. 27, 6-8 p.m. Sept. 3, 5-8 p.m. Sept. 10, and every other month thereafter. Participants will receive a Diabetes Maintenance Manual, Diabetes Essentials Toolbox with a glucose and blood pressure monitor, and certificate of completion.

For residents wishing to register, call the El Paso Diabetes Association at 915-532-6280 or email caalvidrez@miners.utep.edu.

McKee Foundation gives $10k to Support Southwest Brain Bank

For the third consecutive year, the El Paso-based Robert E. and Evelyn McKee Foundation has donated $10,000 to the Southwest Brain Bank at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso.

The Brain Bank is a research organization that collects, studies and distributes brain tissue to scientists who study mental disorders. Studying brain tissue enables scientists to develop new approaches to diagnosis and improve treatments. Obtaining brain tissue from those with and without illnesses is essential to continue this important work.

The McKee Foundation has a history of philanthropy going back to 1952. TTUHSC El Paso was honored to join the list of organizations the foundation supports when it first donated to the Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso Breast Care Center in 1995.

Since then, the foundation has donated more than $130,000 to the university — most recently, three annual $10,000 gifts to the Southwest Brain Bank

Louis McKee is the only surviving child of Robert and Evelyn McKee’s eight children. Louis McKee, 84, has been a trustee since 1958 and is now president of the McKee Foundation.

Based in El Paso, Robert McKee ran what was, at the time, the “world’s largest individually owned construction company,” Louis McKee said. The foundation’s office is full of the history of Robert McKee’s construction business, as well as the history of the foundation. Louis McKee works hard keeping that history alive, writing books and creating DVDs that tell his parents’ story.

“We’ve given away nearly $17 million since 1952, despite the fact that we’re not a large foundation, just one that my mother and dad created,” Louis McKee said. “I think they would be glad to see it continuing the way it is.”

Lawmakers approve funding for Hunt School of Dental Medicine at TTUHSC El Paso

The Texas Legislature has approved a $250.7 billion, two-year state budget that includes an appropriation of $20 million to establish the Woody L. Hunt School of Dental Medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso.

The Hunt School of Dental Medicine, expected to welcome its first class of students in 2021, will be the first in Texas in over 50 years and the very first at a health sciences center based on the U.S.-Mexico border.

“We are very pleased that our state lawmakers recognized the need to close the gaps of dental health disparities in West Texas and support the creation of the Hunt School of Dental Medicine in El Paso,” said TTUHSC El Paso President Richard Lange, M.D., M.B.A. “I applaud our El Paso legislative delegation for their work in pursuing funding for the school, and thank the community for supporting our vision of improved dental health care for the Borderland and West Texas.”

El Paso has a 57 percent shortage of general dentists compared to the national average, and is designated as a Dental Health Professional Shortage Area by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The vision of a dental school for the region became a reality in 2016 when businessman Woody L. Hunt and his wife Gayle gifted $25 million to TTUHSC El Paso through the Hunt Family Foundation to establish the school.

That gift was soon followed by a $6 million grant from the Paso del Norte Health Foundation to fund the dental school’s curriculum.

The Hunt School of Dental Medicine will be housed in the five-story Medical Sciences Building II, now under construction on the TTUHSC El Paso campus.

The 86th Texas Legislative Session concluded on Monday, May 27. The spending bill now heads to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk for his signature.

GECU presents donations to TTUHSC El Paso; Will support Nursing, Student Run Clinic

On Tuesday, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso officials thanked GECU for their donation in support of improved health care for the West Texas region.

“We are so grateful to be a part of the incredible work and impact that Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso is making in our community,” Long said. “We hope that students will achieve their goals through the incomparable resources and opportunities that TTUHSC El Paso provides. We are so proud to partner with universities that believe in the value of education.”

GECU announced a gift of $5,000 to go toward nursing scholarships, and $4,000 in support of the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine’s Medical Student Run Clinic.

Andrea Tawney, Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for Institutional Advancement at TTUHSC El Paso, said she was thankful for GECU’s commitment to health care in West Texas.

“TTUHSC El Paso is happy to be ‘Teamed Up For Health’ with GECU,” Tawney said. “The Medical Student Run Clinic does such important work for the community of Sparks, bringing health care to an underserved area. Scholarships are an investment in students who have a calling to serve our community as nurses. Support from our partners is critical for our students to succeed but also inspire them to push forward and complete their nursing degree.”

The Medical Student Run Clinic provides free primary health care screenings and other health care services to the Sparks community in Far East El Paso County.

Volunteer work at the clinic provides students from the Foster School of Medicine with an opportunity to work in a real clinical environment while also developing a relationship with the community.

In a show of solidarity, GECU President and CEO Crystal Long declared Tuesday as TTUHSC El Paso day with GECU.

TTUHSC El Paso and GECU team members donned “Teamed Up for Health” T-shirts, symbolizing the positive impact the collaboration will have.

Gallery+Story: The Journey Home – An El Paso Micro-Preemie defies odds

A baby who weighed just over a pound when she was born last fall is now at home, happy and healthy in her mother’s arms.

Carla Duran gave birth to Camila Duran in November, four months before she was due. Weighing only 1 pound, 4 ounces and at 22 weeks gestation, Camila was considered a “micro-preemie” – a special patient that would require lots of care to beat an extremely low survival rate of 0 to 5 percent.

But little Camila is a fighter. On March 6, she was discharged from El Paso Children’s Hospital without any major health problems.

“She just has mild respiratory illness, which is not un-expected for a baby born at extreme prematurity,” said Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso pediatrician Devaraj Sambalingam, M.D., FAAP, who helped deliver Camila.  TTP El Paso is the clinical arm of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso.

Dr. Sambalingam is part of the team who cared for Camila in The Laura & Pat Gordon Family Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Level IV at El Paso Children’s Hospital. He said Camila went home on oxygen support, which is normal in cases like this, and would soon be weaned off the oxygen as her lungs grew stronger.

Dr. Sambalingam said it is rare for a baby born so premature to survive without significant health issues. According to a 2017 study in the New England Journal of Medicine, babies born between 22 and 24 weeks gestation have a very low chance of survival, and if they do survive, are likely to have serious neurological problems.

Throughout the duration of the study, only one percent of babies born at 22 weeks’ gestation survived without neurodevelopmental impairment.

TTP El Paso pediatrician Ajay Pratap Singh, M.D., FAAP, who delivered Camila and has cared for her since birth, said medical teams that deal with complicated births “have to be ready for all eventualities.”

“We were actually prepared for this baby to not make it,” Dr. Singh said. “To see this baby go home is a very happy, joyous moment for us. This is a miracle child for us, and I will remember her for the rest of my life.”

It’s an experience mother Carla Duran will never forget either. She said two weeks before her daughter was born, she felt something was not quite right. Speaking in Spanish, Carla Duran described it as an “unusual pressure” within her body.

“Every time I walked, I felt like I needed to rest, because it felt like I needed to go to the restroom,” Carla Duran said.

A few days later, she went to the restroom and discovered she was bleeding. She was taken to University Medical Center of El Paso and was told she could not leave because she was already completely dilated.

Four months earlier than anticipated, it was time to bring Camila into the world.

After a successful delivery, Camila was placed in the Level IV neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at El Paso Children’s Hospital.

For weeks, physicians, nurses and other members of the neonatal team remained by her and her family’s side as Camila gradually gained weight and reached the milestones necessary to be released from the NICU.

“I thank God for all the doctors here, and that God enlightened them to take care of my daughter,” Duran said. “I thank them for helping my little girl so much. They were there always attending to her, helping to do all they could and more.”

While doctors, much like quarterbacks on a football team, tend to get credited with success, Dr. Singh is quick to point out it’s a team effort to provide the best health care for patients.

UMC, El Paso Children’s Hospital and TTP El Paso work in partnership on cases such as Camila’s premature birth and decide on a course of action for the patient.

“As a doctor, we are automatically given credit for something which is not truly dependent on us,” Dr. Singh said. “We do play a part, but it’s a combined-multitude, multidisciplinary team effort — from the bedside nurse, to the volunteers, to the respiratory therapist, to the speech therapist, to the radiologists, and to other specialists. It is not just me. It is everybody who works here.”

El Paso Electric donates $10,000 to TTUHSC El Paso Initiatives

At the 2019 Community Partner Awards Reception, El Paso Electric donated $10,000 to the Texas Tech Foundation in support of programs at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso.

The gift will be split between nursing scholarships, the Medical Student Run Clinic and sponsorship of the university’s Cookies, Cocoa and Holiday Cheer community event, which invites the community to the campus to enjoy holiday treats, festive skits and a holiday lights show.

Nursing scholarships are especially important in El Paso to help students who normally could not afford school, helping to ease the nursing shortage in the city.

The Medical Student Run Clinic provides free primary health care screenings to the Sparks community in Far East El Paso County.

Volunteer work at the clinic provides students from the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine with an opportunity to work in a real clinical environment while also developing a relationship with the community.

Eddie Gutiérrez, vice president of strategic communications, customer and community engagement, said community partnerships and giving are important to El Paso Electric.

“While providing safe, clean, reliable and sustainable energy for our growing community is at the core of our business, serving as a community partner is part of our mission in moving us all forward. The EPE Community Partner Program is incredibly intentional about who is awarded these donations, ensuring that these organizations are making a positive and local impact.”

El Paso Electric gave out awards to more than 70 community partners at the April 11 event.

$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

STEP 728
EP ELEC 2019 728×729
Bordertown Undergroun Show 728
Amy’s Ambassadorship
Mountains 728
Khalid 728
Soccer/Volleyball 728
Utep Football Generic 728
Lucha 728