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Home | Tag Archives: TTUHSC El Paso

Tag Archives: TTUHSC El Paso

TTUHSC El Paso’s Woody L. Hunt School of Dental Medicine receives CODA Initial Accreditation

The Woody L. Hunt School of Dental Medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso has received the final accreditation necessary to open the dental school next year.

On January 30, the school received initial accreditation of its Doctor of Dental Medicine program from the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). CODA is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education.

The Hunt School of Dental Medicine has already received approval of their doctoral program by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

The dental school, set to welcome its inaugural class of students in July 2021, will be the first dental school to open in the state in more than 50 years. It will be the first dental school in West Texas, the fourth in the state of Texas and the first on the U.S.-Mexico border.

El Paso is designated as a Dental Health Professional Shortage Area by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. El Paso County has only one dentist for every 4,480 residents, compared to a national average of one dentist for every 1,639 residents, according to recent data from the Texas Health and Human Services and the American Dental Association.

The addition of the Hunt School of Dental Medicine to the TTUHSC El Paso campus will help reverse this trend and put El Pasoans and other West Texas residents on a track to better oral health.

One great benefit to the community will be the dental clinic that will accompany the school. The 38,000-square-foot clinic, equipped with 130 treatment chairs, will be located on campus, where students, under faculty supervision, will provide reduced-cost dental care.

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.

In June 2019, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a $250.7 billion, two-year state budget approved by the Texas Legislature. The budget included an appropriation of $20 million to establish the Hunt School of Dental Medicine at TTUHSC El Paso.

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

TTUHSC El Paso Raises $775k for Medical Student Scholarships

On Monday,  Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) officials announced that the school has raised more than $775,000 for medical student scholarships as part of its campaign celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine.

“This effort is unprecedented, and I could not be prouder,” said Andrea Tawney, Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for TTUHSC El Paso’s Office of Institutional Advancement. “The entire team at TTUHSC El Paso collaborated to help raise more funds than ever for our students, and they reached this milestone in just nine months. We are so grateful for the outpouring of community support.”

The donations will benefit incoming and current medical students by funding new Foster, Excellence, and Anniversary Scholarships. This is TTUHSC El Paso’s most successful scholarship fundraising drive to date.

The Foster, Excellence, and Anniversary Scholarships are designed to recruit medical students to the Paso del Norte region and give talented young people from the border region the opportunity to attend medical school locally. TTUHSC El Paso created the Anniversary Scholarship in honor of the 10th anniversary of the Foster School of Medicine, which graduated its first class in 2013.

“Together, these scholarships help TTUHSC El Paso remain competitive while also investing in the local workforce and the future of health care in our region,” said Richard Lange, M.D., M.B.A., founding president of TTUHSC El Paso and dean of the Foster School of Medicine. “As one of only two Hispanic-serving medical schools in the country, it’s incredibly important that we recruit and retain talent in our region.”

The anniversary campaign raised scholarship support through many channels, including direct donor gifts, endowed scholarships, matched funds, and sponsorships for the Foster School of Medicine’s 10th anniversary celebration, “A Red Tie Affair for A White Coat Occasion.”

During the event, more than $50,000 was raised, which will be matched by Dr. Carlos and Mrs. Rocio Viesca, and Dr. Richard and Mrs. Bobette Lange.

“Because of the Anniversary Scholarship, I can start medical school this fall focused on becoming a great doctor instead of worrying about how to pay for my studies,” said Andrea McWilliams, an Anniversary Scholarship recipient and incoming medical student. “I was elated to find out I had been awarded a scholarship, and I hope that when I graduate, I will be able to give back to this community that has given so much to me.”

The February 28 celebration was attended by more than 600 community members and featured special honoree Dr. Jesus Guzman, a Foster Scholar and first-generation college and medical student.

Event guests were also able to “shop” and purchase books and tools that first-year medical students need, such as white coats and stethoscopes, at the pop-up shop, “M.D. To Be.”

“Thanks to our community’s generous support, students in El Paso can attend medical school without having to leave town,” said Dr. Lange. “Ten years ago, the medical school set out to improve access to quality health care in our region, and today, with student-run clinics serving low-income residents, residences for recent graduates, and physicians choosing to stay in El Paso to practice, we are doing just that.”

In the last decade, TTUHSC El Paso has graduated 523 doctors and medical residents and contributed $227 million annually to the local economy.

For information about TTUHSC El Paso, the 10-year anniversary of the Foster School of Medicine, the celebration or how to contribute to the scholarship fund, please visit the website.

UTEP, TTUHSC El Paso Increase Opportunities for Collaborative Research, Education

On Monday, University of Texas at El Paso and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso officials renewed their commitment to work collaboratively and expand opportunities for biomedical and health science research between both institutions. 

UTEP President Heather Wilson and TTUHSC El Paso President Richard Lange, M.D., M.B.A., recently signed an agreement in which research-oriented faculty at both universities will engage in joint research projects that involve neuroscience, drug therapies, cancer prevention, and health disparities to advance health-related research, education and health care practices in the Paso del Norte region.

To facilitate these projects, each institution has taken steps to streamline their institutional review board (IRB) process, which reviews research proposals and provides oversight of research studies involving human subjects. 

“Our faculty identified some barriers to working together and showed us how to fix them,” UTEP President Heather Wilson said. “Rick Lange and I each believe UTEP and TTUHSC El Paso should be close partners in research and teaching. This is a good step toward deepening our partnership.”

“TTUHSC El Paso and UTEP share a mission of eliminating health care disparities in the Paso del Norte region while researching treatments for diseases that affect our border population,” said TTUHSC El Paso President Richard Lange. “Collaborative research helps open the door for discoveries that will benefit the health of our community, and we look forward to a strong partnership between our universities.”

UTEP and TTUHSC El Paso each will appoint a faculty or staff member to serve on the IRB of the other institution. Following guidelines implemented by The University of Texas System, one institution’s IRB can serve as the IRB of record. IRB administrators will meet regularly to share information and address and solve problems. They also will participate in preparatory sessions to determine which institution’s IRB will be used for each research project.

Both universities plan to conduct joint educational campaigns to raise awareness among faculty and researchers on how to collaborate and secure IRB review on joint projects.

TTUHSC El Paso, TTP El Paso partner with Paso Del Norte Health Information Exchange

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso and its clinical practice, Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso, have partnered with the Paso Del Norte Health Information Exchange (PHIX) to improve patient care in the Borderland.

“TTUHSC El Paso and TTP El Paso have been close partners of PHIX for many years,” said Emily Hartmann, executive director for PHIX. “We are thrilled that they are now sharing data through the health information exchange. Their partnership is vital to improving care coordination and quality in our community.”

Established as a nonprofit health information exchange (HIE) in the El Paso region, the mission of PHIX is to improve health through collaboration and data technology.

PHIX centralizes health information from different hospitals and providers to create an electronic community health record for each patient. This community health record enables providers and care managers to see the full scope of a patient’s health history across the continuum of care.

With their doctors conducting more than 200,000 clinic visits each year, TTP El Paso is the region’s largest multispecialty medical group practice. The group, with over 250 specialists and subspecialists, provides care for the entire family at several locations across El Paso.

These community health records include health information from multiple PHIX partners in the El Paso region, as well as the U.S. Veterans Administration and U.S. Department of Defense.

Health leaders in El Paso created PHIX to solve a fundamental problem in health care, which is unreliable and inefficient sharing of health information.

“When health records are not shared efficiently, care coordination is difficult, lab tests are unnecessarily repeated and patients are left struggling to remember their medications every time they see a new provider,” PHIX officials shared. “PHIX improves the efficiency, quality and safety of patient care by ensuring that providers have secure, electronic access to essential medical information at the time of care.”

PHIX follows all federal and state guidelines, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), to ensure that only authorized users have access to health data.

PHIX’s data exchange partners include TTUHSC El Paso and TTP El Paso, The Hospitals of Providence, University Medical Center of El Paso, El Paso Children’s Hospital, Emergence Health Network, Centro San Vicente, Project Vida, Centro De Salud Familiar La Fe and the City of El Paso Department of Public Health.

TTUHSC El Paso Treats Middle School Students to a Health Sciences “Medventure”

Late last month, hundreds of sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders from El Paso County learned about careers in the health sciences at TTUHSC El Paso’s ninth annual Medventure for Your Future health sciences fair.

The free event, organized by the Office of Admissions’ Outreach Programs, is an effort to build interest in the health sciences at a young age. More than 600 students attended the one-day event designed to expose kids to a hands-on science environment and teach parents ways to encourage their children toward the health sciences.

Medventure for Your Future sponsors included Wells Fargo, Enterprise Foundation, Star Kids Pediatric Dentistry, and the Ysleta Independent School District.

Workshops offered on Saturday included “Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse” and “The Radical Field of Radiology.”

Tours were held in the Medical Education Building and other buildings on campus.

Author:  – TTUHSC El Pas

TTU System Chancellor to Honor TTUHSC El Paso Associate Professor With Distinguished Teaching Award

Texas Tech University System Chancellor Tedd L. Mitchell, M.D., and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso President Richard Lange, M.D., M.B.A., will present the annual Chancellor’s Council Distinguished Teaching Award to Thwe Htay, M.D., an associate professor in the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine.

“I am very grateful to be a recipient of the Chancellor’s Council Distinguished Teaching Award,” Dr. Htay said. “This award is a great honor. It raised me to another level with being included in a very distinguished group of educators. This moment is the highlight of my career as a physician and educator. It also motivates me to do better for our learners and also for the institution.”

The awards are made possible through philanthropic gifts to the Chancellor’s Council. Award recipients each receive a $5,000 stipend and an engraved medallion.

Dr. Htay has taught medical students and internal medicine residents at TTUHSC El Paso for four years. Prior to arriving at TTUHSC El Paso, Dr. Htay was a faculty member at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio where she taught medical students and residents, and mentored junior faculty for 10 years.

She also served as a clinical faculty member of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at Odessa in the early 2000s.

“I’ve learned so much practicing medicine in the last two decades,” Dr. Htay said. “I have a motivation to share those experiences with the future generation of physicians and medical students. Some of those experiences cannot be fully described in textbooks or medical journals. All patients I have seen over the past two decades taught me many lessons to be passed along to our students.

“After all those years, teaching became my passion,” Dr. Htay said. “It is a very stimulating experience. I love the school environment because it is very intellectual, diverse and motivating. I love working with medical students because they are energetic and full of endless possibilities. They are our future. They will be saving thousands of lives in the years to come, where I could only save a few.”

Dr. Htay stays clinically active by seeing patients at the Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso internal medicine outpatient clinic with residents. She also serves as director of the clinical skills course for first- and second-year medical students.

As clinical skills course director, she is responsible for curriculum design, course development, grading, and training standardized patients and faculty. Dr. Htay also provides mentoring and career counseling to students and residents.

The Chancellor’s Council is a giving society that supports Chancellor Mitchell’s priorities of impacting student lives through scholarships, recognizing faculty achievement, and encouraging excellence across the TTU System and its four component institutions: Texas Tech UniversityTexas Tech University Health Sciences CenterAngelo State University and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso.

More on Dr. Htay

Medical School: Institute of Medicine 1, Yangon, Myanmar – 1994

Residency: Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at Odessa Internal Medicine Residency Program – 2000

American Board of Medical Specialties: American Board of Internal Medicine

TTUHSC El Paso to host inaugural Conference on Simulation-Based Medical Education

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, in collaboration with University Medical Center of El Paso, New Mexico State University, the University of Texas at El Paso and William Beaumont Army Medical Center, will present the inaugural Simulation Educator and Operations Conference for the Southwest Region.

The one-day event will feature 30 regional and national leaders in simulation-based medical teaching. Simulation-based medical education tools include high-technology, lifelike patient manikins that allow students to practice clinical procedures without the risk of harm.

Additionally, simulation education prepares students, residents, physicians and first responders to provide high-quality care during critical, mass-casualty incidents.

Officials share that both TTUHSC El Paso students and residents, as well as Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso, were prepared for an influx of gunshot-wound victims during the Aug. 3 mass shooting at a Cielo Vista-area Walmart thanks to the training they received at the TTUHSC El Paso Training and Educational Center for Healthcare Simulation (TECHS).

With more than 20 educational sessions, the conference will focus on simulation technology and operations, delivery of simulated education, techniques in evaluation and assessment, and best practices in administration and research.

There will be a panel discussion with administrators from UMC, El Paso Children’s Hospital and WBAMC to review how simulation educators can help meet the needs of local health care organizations and prepare medical students to deliver high-quality and safe patient care.

The conference is designed for health care educators in the medical, nursing, and allied health professions, as well as anyone working with simulation technology, operations or administration.

Simulation equipment manufacturers will be present to demonstrate some of the newest innovations in health care simulation technologies.

What:   Inaugural Simulation Educator and Operations Conference

When:  Friday, Jan. 31, 2020

Where: TTUHSC El Paso Medical Education Building, Auditorium 1200, 5001 El Paso Drive

State Rep. Blanco presents Resolution to Honor Paul L. Foster School of Medicine’s 10-Year Anniversary

To commemorate the 10- year anniversary of the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, State Rep. César Blanco presented a resolution to Richard Lange, M.D., M.B.A., Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) president.

“This medical school is not only contributing to the economic activity of our city, but directly serves to improve the physician shortage that West Texas faces,” said Representative Blanco during the presentation.

“Thanks to the Foster School of Medicine, talented students from the Paso del Norte region with a passion for medicine and serving the community have the option to apply for medical school in their hometown.”

Blanco, who represents TTUHSC El Paso in the Texas State House of Representatives, has been a key supporter of the Foster School of Medicine. His resolution comes one month before TTUHSC El Paso holds the medical school’s 10th anniversary celebration, “A Red Tie Affair for a White Coat Occasion,” on February 28.

“We are thankful for Representative Blanco and the entire El Paso delegation for their continued support of the students, faculty, and staff at the Foster School of Medicine,” Dr. Lange said. “This resolution not only recognizes the tremendous work being done at TTUHSC El Paso, but also celebrates the positive impact we are making to the health care and education in our region.”

Opening its doors in 2009 with an inaugural class of 40 students, the Foster School of Medicine became the first medical school located on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Since graduating from the school, more than 500 alumni are either currently practicing physicians or in residency programs throughout the United States.

The Foster School of Medicine has 403 students currently enrolled, most of whom have contributed several thousand hours in community service through its student-run clinics and volunteer programs.

The school continues to be a pioneer in health education through a curriculum focused on training students in simulation labs with high-tech mannequins, beginning clinical rounds within the first year of study, and requiring all students to learn medical Spanish.

TTUHSC El Paso Receives $500k for Endowed Professorship in Psychiatry

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso will establish an endowed professorship in the Department of Psychiatry thanks to a generous $500,000 gift from the J. Edward and Helen M.C. Stern Foundation.

TTUHSC El Paso will match the gift for a total fund of $1 million.

The endowed professorship in the TTUHSC El Paso Department of Psychiatry will help improve and grow mental health resources available to the community. The gift will also assist with the recruitment of faculty researchers, residents and students.

“What we’ve done here is just beyond anything I ever thought of since I’ve been on the board,” said Stern Foundation Chairwoman Barbara Wheeler during a Jan. 28 event on campus to announce the creation of the endowed professorship.

“We have tried over the years to get involved with mental health issues and medical issues,” Wheeler said. “(The endowment) is something that will grow and benefit the community.”

“As a board, we are honored to carry out Dr. J. Edward Stern’s wishes,” said Ginger Francis, a Stern Foundation board member. “We look forward to the TTUHSC El Paso Paul L. Foster School of Medicine moving forward in the development of a robust psychiatry program which will, in turn, improve the support of those in need in our community.”

The Stern Foundation was established in 1993 by the late J. Edward Stern, M.D., and his wife, Helen M.C. Stern, Ph.D., who devoted their lives to improving health care for the El Paso community.

Dr. J. Edward Stern, who earned his medical degree from Columbia University in New York City, was one of the founding practitioners at El Paso’s Providence Memorial Hospital, where, starting in 1952, he would practice for the next 40 years.

A board-certified psychiatrist, Dr. J. Edward Stern was one of a group of physicians who lobbied for the first mental hospital in El Paso and helped to establish the psychiatric ward at Providence. He received many awards and honors in his lifetime, and pioneered the early establishment, evolution and practice of neurology, psychiatry and internal medicine in El Paso.

Dr. J. Edward Stern’s wife, Dr. Helen M.C. Stern, also led a long and rewarding career as a clinical psychologist. She was considered a leader in the diagnosis and treatment of schizophrenia. She worked as a clinical psychologist with the United States Army and Veteran’s Administration. Later, Dr. Helen M.C. Stern established a thriving clinical practice in El Paso.

The Sterns spent many years practicing medicine in El Paso, establishing themselves as leaders who helped make expert mental health care more accessible to residents of the Paso del Norte region. Their legacy continues to touch lives today through the J. Edward and Helen M.C. Stern Foundation and its committed board members.

Gift by El Pasoans Ed and Margie Escudero to support Hunt School of Nursing Scholarships

During a special event on campus earlier this month, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso announced a gift from El Pasoans Ed and Margie Escudero in support of scholarships for students of the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing.

The Escuderos have strong ties to the Texas Tech University System and the El Paso community. Margie Escudero is a proud graduate of the TTUHSC School of Nursing in Lubbock and a member of the President’s Development Council for TTUHSC El Paso.

Ed Escudero is the president and CEO of High Desert Capital LLC. He and his wife Margie raised their two children in El Paso.

The gift announcement event was held during new-student orientation for the Hunt School of Nursing.

“Ed and I are very excited to be able to give back,” Margie said, speaking to the gathering of students taking the first steps of their nursing careers. “I grew up in El Paso, I went to the TTUHSC School of Nursing, and I love being a nurse.”

Margie started her career as a critical care nurse and also worked as a school nurse for the El Paso Independent School District.

“Nursing for me was so fulfilling, and I am so happy to see that you have chosen this career,” Margie said, addressing the incoming students. “What you are going to experience will be amazing.”

Margie thanked her husband for supporting her love of nursing and her love for the Texas Tech community.

Speaking to the students, Ed shared his and Margie’s background as first-generation U.S. citizens and first-generation high school and college graduates.

“I will tell you that this is the game changer for us — education,” Ed said. “I promise you in the future that you will be here giving the donations, and you’ll be able to give back to your community — but it starts with an amazing education.”

Hunt School of Nursing Dean Stephanie Woods, Ph.D., R.N., thanked the Escuderos for their support. She said the school’s nursing students’ success would not be possible without support from community leaders like the Escuderos.

“Scholarships mean everything. It is one thing to be academically qualified to get into the nursing program, but it is another thing to have the financial resources to finish the program,” Dr. Woods said.

Author:  – TTUHSC El Paso

TTUHSC El Paso, UTEP team up for International Space Station Research

Biomedical research scientists from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso and The University of Texas at El Paso are partnering up to send “artificial mini-hearts” to the International Space Station to better understand how microgravity affects the function of the human heart.

The three-year project, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the space station’s U.S. National Laboratory, brings together TTUHSC El Paso faculty scientist Munmun Chattopadhyay, Ph.D., and UTEP biomedical engineer Binata Joddar, Ph.D.

The researchers will collaborate in their Earth-bound labs to create tiny (less than 1 millimeter thick) heart-tissue structures, known as cardiac organoids, using human stem cells and 3D bioprinting technology.

The project is one of just five research proposals selected by the NSF and ISS National Lab in 2019 as part of the organizations’ second collaboration on tissue-engineering research.

The NSF recently awarded Dr. Chattopadhyay $256,892 and Dr. Joddar $259,350 for their roles in the project.

Dr. Chattopadhyay is an assistant professor in TTUHSC El Paso’s Center of Emphasis in Diabetes and Metabolism, part of the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine’s Department of Molecular and Translational Medicine. Dr. Joddar is an assistant professor in the UTEP College of Engineering and leads research in the university’s Inspired Materials and Stem Cell-Based Tissue Engineering Laboratory.

By exposing the organoids to the near-weightless environment of the orbiting space station, the researchers hope to gain a better understanding of a health condition known as cardiac atrophy, which is a reduction and weakening of heart tissue.

Cardiac atrophy often affects astronauts who spend long periods of time in microgravity. A weakened heart muscle has difficulty pumping blood to the body, and can lead to problems such as fainting, irregular heartbeat, heart valve problems and even heart failure. Cardiac atrophy is also associated with chronic disease.

“Cardiac atrophy and a related condition, cardiac fibrosis, is a very big problem in our community. People suffering from diseases such as diabetes, muscular dystrophy and cancer, and conditions such as sepsis and congestive heart failure, often experience cardiac dysfunction and tissue damage,” Dr. Chattopadhyay said.

The first year of the project, which began in September, will focus on research design. During this phase, Dr. Joddar will use 3D printing to fabricate the cardiac organoids by coupling cardiac cells in physiological ratios to mimic heart tissue.

The second year will be centered on preparing the organoid payload for a rocket launch and mission in space. The third and final year of the research will involve analyzing data from the experiment after the organoids are returned to Earth.

The project will also provide an educational opportunity for the El Paso community, with a workshop for K-12 students to learn about tissue engineering projects on the space station. It will also include a seminar for medical students, interns and residents about the benefits and challenges of transitioning research from Earth-based laboratories into space.

Dr. Chattopadhyay said she is excited to be part of a collaborative effort with her colleague Dr. Joddar that will literally take their Borderland biomedical research to new heights.

“Knowledge gathered from this study could be used to develop technologies and therapeutic strategies to better combat tissue atrophy experienced by astronauts, as well as open the door for improved treatments for people who suffer from serious heart issues due to illness,” Dr. Chattopadhyay said.

TTUHSC El Paso Mobile Care Van to provide free immunizations to Children in Underserved Communities

Children in underserved communities throughout the El Paso area will have access to the new TTUHSC El Paso Mobile Care Van this week as the van hits the road for the first time ever.

“TTUHSC El Paso’s new Care Van will provide quality health care while promoting the university’s mission of improving the lives of people in our community by focusing on the unique health care needs of the border population through education, research and patient care,” TTUHSC El Paso officials shared via a news release.

Vaccination services will be offered by the mobile clinic, which is run by third-and-fourth-year medical students from the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine. The students will work with Immunize El Paso during Saturday’s visit to the Montana Vista and Sparks areas.

This visit is especially important because parents can have infants and young children vaccinated early, rather than waiting until they begin school. Vaccines will be free for children ages 2 months to 18 years of age.

The vaccines that will be administered include: influenza, MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis), meningitis, HPV (human papillomavirus), polio, hepatitis B, hepatitis A, varicella and Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type B). Parents will receive free education about these vaccines.

The Caring for Children Foundation of Texas generously donated the full-time, exclusive use of a Care Van mobile health unit to TTUHSC El Paso to address the great need for access to health care in the Paso del Norte region.

The van will be used by the Foster School of Medicine’s Mobile Medical Student Run Clinic, the Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso (TTP El Paso) Family and Community Medicine Clinic at Kenworthy and the future Woody L. Hunt School of Dental Medicine’s public clinic.

The Caring for Children Foundation of Texas, which is sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, purchased the van and will pay all costs associated with its use, including insurance, maintenance, tolls and gas.

What:   TTUHSC El Paso Mobile Care Van Visit and Vaccination Clinic

When:  Saturday, Jan. 18, 8 a.m. to noon

Where: K-5 Bakery and Grocery  |  513 Ascencion Street

The Care Van will be used by the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine’s Mobile Medical Student Run Clinic, the Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso (TTP El Paso) Family and Community Medicine Clinic at Kenworthy, and the Woody L. Hunt School of Dental Medicine’s public clinic.

TTUHSC El Paso receives $165k to help launch new mental health program for youngsters

The Paso del Norte Health Foundation recently awarded Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso a $165,000 grant to assist with the launch of a program to improve mental health care for children and adolescents in the El Paso region.

The grant will help pay for start-up consultation services to establish the West Texas regional hub of the new Child Psychiatry Access Network (CPAN) at TTUHSC El Paso. The state-wide network is part of the Texas Mental Health Care Consortium created by Senate Bill 11, a school-safety bill signed into law this year by Gov. Greg Abbott.

“Senate Bill 11 initiatives greatly expand mental health care for Texas’ school-age children by direct care and increasing the number of child psychiatrists,” said Peter Thompson, M.D., chair of the Department of Psychiatry at TTUHSC El Paso. “The Paso del Norte Health Foundation is funding the TTUHSC El Paso Department of Psychiatry’s efforts to design and implement these initiatives.”

The Department of Psychiatry at the Foster School of Medicine will lead the West Texas CPAN hub. Start-up consultation services to establish the hub will be provided by the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute.

“We are pleased to partner with the Department of Psychiatry at TTUHSC El Paso to expand mental health services for children and adolescents,” said Tracy J. Yellen, CEO of the Paso del Norte Health Foundation.

“The CPAN program will be a wonderful addition to a continuum of mental and behavioral health support services in our community increasing access for children and families.”

CPAN will give pediatricians and other primary care physicians improved access to psychiatrists — including child and adolescent psychiatrists — and other behavioral health professionals to help meet the mental health needs of children and adolescents in the Borderland and across West Texas.

CPAN will incorporate telemedicine — teleconference and videoconferencing services — to assist with evaluating patients’ needs and provide pediatricians with expert psychiatric consultation.

This service allows children to be treated by their own pediatricians while expanding improved mental health care to young persons living in all areas of West Texas covered by TTUHSC El Paso’s Department of Psychiatry service area. The counties in this area are: Brewster, Crockett, Culberson, El Paso, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Kinney, Loving, Maverick, Pecos, Presidio, Reeves, Terrell, Val Verde, Ward and Winkler.

Dr. Thompson said CPAN will ensure the greatest impact for improving mental health care to children in urban El Paso and rural communities throughout the West Texas service area.

El Paso, and most other counties across West Texas, are designated as Health Professional Shortage Areas (HSPAs) in mental health. For example, El Paso County has only one psychiatrist for approximately every 22,000 residents, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. This shortage is even more acute for psychiatrists specializing in mental and behavioral health care for children and teens, with only a handful providing services to these groups

TTUHSC El Paso 2019 SARP Symposium winners announced

The Paul L. Foster School of Medicine’s 2019 Scholarly Activity and Research Program (SARP) Symposium was held late last month, now the winners have been announced.

“We would like to congratulate all of our poster presenters for doing a wonderful job on their SARP requirements and for making this year’s SARP symposium a great success,” said Carolyn D. Mack, D.B.A., associate director for the SARP program in the Department of Medical Education. “Also, a big thank you to all the SARP mentors, faculty reviewers, poster judges and monitors.”

SARP co-directors are Curt Pfarr, Ph.D., college master and professor of cell and molecular biology in the Department of Medical Education, and Marine Coue, Ph.D., college master and professor of cell and molecular biology and genetics in the Department of Medical Education.

Forty-six students presented posters to a panel of faculty judges on November 20-21.

Six students were selected to receive $1,000 travel awards to attend national-level meetings or conferences.

The SARP Symposium $1,000 travel award winners are (in alphabetical order):

  • Liliana Bonilla, MS3, “Early Cardiometabolic Risk: The Prevalence of Compensatory Hyperinsulinemia in U.S. Populations,” mentor: David P. Cistola, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Madison Craft, MS3, “The Use of Hybrid Autograft and Allograft for Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction Gives Outcomes Equivalent to Autograft Alone,” mentor: William Weiss, M.D.
  • Kristina Flores, MS2, “Nimbolide Inhibits Pancreatic Cancer by Altering the Phosphoproteome,” mentor: Ramadevi Subramani, Ph.D.
  • James Fong, MS3, “Replacing Didactic Lectures with Integrated Case-based Sessions Improves Student Outcomes in an Integrated Pre-clerkship Curriculum,” mentor: Diana Pettit, Ph.D.
  • Nikhil Jaiswal, MS2, “Nanoparticle-Based Delivery of IL-4 pDNA for Counteracting Neuroinflammation,” mentor: Huanyu Dou, M.D.
  • Rose Yeh, MS2, “Combining a Conditional Suicide Gene with CCR5 Knockout for Anti-HIV Gene Therapy,” mentor: Himanshu Garg, Ph.D.

Five additional students rounded out the top poster presenters for the symposium. These students are (in alphabetical order):

  • Madeline Dixon, MS2, “Understanding the Mechanism of Pregnancy Induced Risk Reduction of Breast Cancer,” mentor: Rajkumar Lakshmanaswamy, Ph.D.
  • Christopher Pastrana, MS2, “Generations of In Vitro Granuloma for Mycobacterium Studies,” mentor: Jorge Cervantes, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Natalie Satterfield, MS2, “Histone Modifications and CXCR4 Chemokine Receptor Signaling in Hyperglycemic DRG Neurons,” mentor: Munmun Chattopadhyay, M.Sc., Ph.D.
  • Kelsey Van-Noy, MS3, “The Process of Prescribing New Medication in Children and Adolescents: How Does Patient Education Regarding Side Effects Affect Adherence?” mentor: Laurel Payne, M.D.
  • Kevin Woods, MS3, “Cardiac Safety and Clinical Efficacy of High Dose Domperidone for Long-Term Treatment of Gastroparesis,” mentor: Richard McCallum, M.D.
Foster School of Medicine students presented their research during the 2019 SARP Symposium.

Author:    – TTUSCH El Paso

TTUHSC El Paso Nursing Graduates to be honored at Commencement, Pinning Ceremony

Seventy-six students who have completed the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) program at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso’s Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing will be recognized during a commencement and pinning ceremony, alongside 32 registered nurses (R.N.s) who have completed the school’s R.N. to B.S.N. program.

During the ceremony, graduates will be presented with a nursing pin by a person of their choosing, usually a friend or family member. The time-honored tradition is a symbol of newly graduated nurses entering the nursing profession.

“This graduating class will always be linked to the tragic events of the August 3 mass shooting at the Cielo Vista-area Walmart,” said Stephanie Woods, Ph.D., R.N., dean of the Hunt School of Nursing. “On that day, members of this graduating class were at University Medical Center (UMC) of El Paso and Del Sol Medical Center when those two emergency departments received victims of the shooting.”

Ten nursing students were at UMC and 15 students were at Del Sol Medical Center that day.

“In an instant, the students began to understand the importance of a well-prepared trauma team and the value of professional nursing. I have no doubt that many of this class will choose emergency and critical care nursing,” said Dr. Woods. “I believe that future leaders for trauma centers will be graduating on December 14. These students have been forever touched by the inhumanity of one man and the caring of hundreds more.”

Dr. Woods will be the keynote speaker at Saturday’s commencement ceremony.

Students in the Accelerated B.S.N. program take up to 17 credit hours per semester for four successive semesters. The rigorous program allows students to graduate in 16 months after working through a curriculum designed for cross-disciplinary collaboration. This is the only accelerated nursing program in the region.

What: Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing commencement and pinning ceremony

When: 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14

Where: The Plaza Theatre, 125 W. Mills Avenue

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