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Home | Tag Archives: umc

Tag Archives: umc

Another First For UMC: ‘Freezing Balloon’ Used To Reduce Cancer Risk

In another exclusive-first at University Medical Center of El Paso (UMC), doctors this week began treating Barrett’s Esophagus with a new surgical “freezing balloon” procedure involving state-of-the-art surgical equipment and techniques.

The new tool at UMC: The C2 Cryoballoon. UMC is the only hospital in El Paso that treats Barrett’s Esophagus and offers the C2 Cryoballoon treatment.

Barrett’s Esophagus is a common precancerous condition that affects 3.3 million adults in the United States and is the primary cause of esophagus cancer.  Barrett’s Esophagus is caused by chronic inflammation and repeated exposure to stomach acid that affects the tissue lining in the esophagus.

How it works: C2 Cryoballoon treatment gets rid of unhealthy, diseased or damaged tissue by freezing it away by spraying cold nitrous oxide into the balloon to reach the affected area. C2 Cryoballoon treatment has less side effects, provides better outcomes, patients report less pain after the treatment and it removes unhealthy cells without damaging healthy tissue.

“I am happy that we are able to bring this technology to El Paso,” said Jacob Cintron, President & CEO. “Our community will no longer have to travel to other cities, such as San Antonio or Houston for this procedure as they can now remain here with their loved ones and friends.”

With the addition of this new technology, UMC’s Center for Diagnostic & Advanced Endoscopy now has the entire spectrum of options available to treat the various severities and types of Barrett’s Esophagus for the El Paso community.

Dr. Antonio Mendoza-Ladd, a Texas Tech physician working at UMC, worked on three cases this week using the C2 Cryoballoon technology.

One of those patients, 87 year old, Ralph McCurdy was diagnosed with Barrett’s Esophagus via an endoscopy procedure. “My doctor referred me to UMC.”  As Dr. Mendoza-Ladd explained, “this is important for our community so we are able to treat patients like Mr. McCurdy before they develop to a more severe stage. With his treatment we can treat the affected areas before a patient gets cancer and save them from surgery, chemotherapy and even save lives.”

C2 Cryoballoon treatment is now available at University Medical Center of El Paso.

For information on services available at the Center for Diagnostic and Advanced Endoscopy, click here.

UMC’s Level 1 Trauma Center Receives Verification From American College of Surgeons

University Medical Center of El Paso’s Scherr-Legate Level 1 Trauma Center has again been verified as a Level 1 Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons (ACS).

This achievement recognizes the trauma center’s dedication to providing optimal care for injured patients. UMC is home to the only Level 1 Trauma Center in a 280-mile radius of El Paso.

During its recent review, the Level 1 Trauma Center registered no (zero) findings, registering 100 percent compliance/adherence to ACS standards of care.

“This is another great statement on the high level of care that UMC represents in our community,” said Jacob Cintron, President & CEO. “For two decades, we have been home to the only Level 1 Trauma Center in our region and we will continue our tradition of high quality, high standard of care for all trauma patients arriving at our hospital by helicopter or ambulance.”

Established by the American College of Surgeons in 1987, the COT’s Consultation/Verification Program for Hospitals promotes the development of trauma centers in which participants provide not only the hospital resources necessary for trauma care, but also the entire spectrum of care to address the needs of all injured patients. This spectrum encompasses the prehospital phase through the rehabilitation process.

Verified trauma centers must meet the essential criteria that ensure trauma care capability and institutional performance, as outlined by the ACS’s Committee on Trauma in its current Resources for Optimal Care of the Injured.

The ACS is a scientific and educational association of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical education and practice and to improve the care of the surgical patient.

The College has over 72,000 members and it is the largest association of surgeons in the world. Longstanding achievements have placed the ACS in the forefront of American surgery and have made it an important advocate for all surgical patients

UMC To Send Team To Support Hurricane Victims

In response to calls for support and other assistance for victims of Hurricane Harvey, University Medical Center of El Paso is sending a contingent of physicians and nurses to San Antonio.

“The devastation brought to our State by Hurricane Harvey has us pulling together as Texas communities and hospitals to support all victims and each other,” said Jacob Cintron, President & CEO.

“I am so proud that we had so many of our staff volunteer. However, for now at least, the call is for a small group but we stand ready to send more, as well as ready and able to treat any victims of the storm, should they be sent to us here in El Paso.”

UMC on Monday received a request from hurricane relief officials seeking:

  • Doctors
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Nurses

Victims from Houston and surrounding areas have been relocated to San Antonio and other Texas cities. UMC’s team will support two large shelters in San Antonio, with each shelter providing accommodations and relief services for 2,800 people.

Video+Story: UMC Foundation Purchases Nearly $400K in Equipment for Advanced Endoscopy

John Yagger had started to dread going out to a restaurant to eat. It had become a nightmare because he never knew if his meal was going to stay down due to constant indigestion and a difficulty in swallowing.

“I went to see the doctor,” he said, “and I had a hard time swallowing. They did an x-ray and he said I had an obstruction in my throat.” As a result, John was diagnosed with a condition called Barrett’s Esophagus.

“(Barrett’s Esophagus) is a complication of gastric acid reflux,” states Dr. Cesar Garcia. “It is where the lining of the esophagus changes to a tissue that resembles the lining of the small intestine.”

Dr. Carmela Morales, gastroenterologist adds, “Although Barrett’s is considered a benign condition, unfortunately there’s a risk of progress to esophageal cancer.” Dr. Sandeep Patel agrees. “And that is what we call intestinal metaplasia…it is one of the leading precursors to esophageal cancer which is one of the fastest growing cancers in the United States.”

Before John Yagger came to University Medical Center‘s Center for Diagnostic and Advanced Endoscopy, the only option given to him was to remove his esophagus and to move his stomach higher. “As you can imagine,” says Dr. Morales, “that surgical procedure is very complicated and has a high degree of operative complications and mortality.”

University Medical Center’s Center for Diagnostic and Advanced Endoscopy offers a new non-invasive procedure using radio waves to deliver heat through a catheter to eliminate any diseased tissue in the esophagus. Healthy tissue is left untouched and is allowed to continue to grow. Treatment of suspicious lesions can dramatically decrease and prevent esophageal cancer.

“Ablation is a procedure done with different technologies,” states Dr. Antonio Mendoza-Ladd. “One of them is burning the layer that forms in the esophagus. It can be done with heat or it can be generated with cold energy.”

John’s cancer was removed completely through high frequency ablation. He was able to return to his home the same day of the procedure. In fact as John adds, “We stopped and had breakfast on the way home. Now you beat that one!”

Ablation is just one of many unique procedures only available in El Paso at UMC’s Center for Diagnostic and Advanced Endoscopy.

“We are going to be doing cryotherapy for Barrett’s,” says Dr. Mendoza-Ladd. “We are doing endoscopic ultrasound which this time is only available at UMC. Endoscopic ultrasound opens the gate to do a lot of interventional procedures. We go into the vial ducts. We can go into the pancreas. We can go into the abdomen, really.”

Dr. Garcia agrees, stating, “This is really important because we are providing a service to the community where before they needed to travel to San Antonio or Albuquerque to get these procedures done.” Furthermore, states Dr. Patel, “…what that means is that essentially we are the gastroenterologist’s gastroenterologist. These patients with complicated liver disease, bowel disease, pancreatic disease, esophageal disease….like Barrett’s come to UMC because we have the equipment. We have the technology. We have the service line and the skill set to take care of these patients in a minimally invasive endoscopic manner.”

Thanks to donor support, University Medical Center’s Foundation of El Paso has purchased three EVIS towers for the Center of Diagnostic and Advanced Endoscopy for a total of $147,288. These towers are used in every endoscopic procedure.

Also purchased were two colonoscopes for $82,898 and the Covidian HALO Ablation system to treat Barrett’s for $145,000. In addition and funded through a generous donation from Transtelco was the Texas Society of Gastroenterology and Endoscopy  Live Conference for $20,588.

Dr. Morales best states how “the community – by these generous donations – have really made these significant purchases a reality, and it is a true privilege as a community member and as a health care professional to be able to provide health care for El Pasoans in El Paso.”

El Paso Families Invited to Special Health Fair Saturday

El Paso Families are invited to attend a special health fair for school physicals with EKG screenings from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, July 22, at the new UMC East clinic at 1521 Joe Battle Boulevard.

The event will also have free backpacks for the first 300 students who attend the event with their parent or guardian. This event will be more than a typical health fair for back to school physicals. UMC will feature Sports Physicals with EKG screenings ($20) for students getting ready to join their school’s sports teams.

These EKG screenings are to give parents extra peace of mind that their children are ready to start sports for the fall semester.

Features of this special family health fair include:
• First 300 children will receive a backpack!
• Super Hero Appearance (from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.)
• Informational Booths
• Free Health Screenings (BMI, Blood Pressure, Glucose)
• Sports Physical with EKG ($20 charge)

UMC will be offering Texas Health Steps check-ups and Well-Child check-ups for children with Medicaid or CHIP.

Senator José Rodríguez files Special Session Education Bills

Austin – Sen. José Rodríguez has filed a number of bills for the upcoming Special Session, which begins on Tuesday.

The bills filed address the most important issue that should be central to the Special Session, school finance, as well as ensuring that the state does not sanction discrimination against LGBTQ Texans, and providing greater opportunity for mail-in ballot voting while ensuring ballot integrity.

Details and comments by the Senator are as follow:

Education

  • S.B. 40 by Rodríguez, Garcia, Menendez, Watson, West, Whitmire & Zaffirini (comprehensive school finance reform): This bill provides a long-term solution for school finance reform by removing inequitable provisions not based on actual costs, increasing funding for vulnerable student populations, and updating the system as a whole to ensure all our children will get a quality education.

“It is long past time for comprehensive school finance reform, something that not only is necessary but is supported by an overwhelming majority of the public and legislators,” Rodríguez said.

  • S.J.R. 6 by Rodríguez, Garcia, Menendez, Watson, West, Whitmire & Zaffirini (requires state to provide 50 percent of school funding): This joint resolution provides for a constitutional amendment that will require the state to pay its equal share of the operating costs of public schools.

“The State is increasingly funding schools on the backs of local property taxpayers, while at the same time, complaining about high local taxes. True tax reform must take into account the main driver of property taxes – schools, which are the State’s constitutional obligation. In fact, the State’s share of the base funding for schools has decreased from 43.5 percent in 2015 to 37.7 percent in 2019. To address this, I have filed legislation that would require the State to fund at least half of our schools’ operating costs. This would dramatically reduce local property taxes and help ensure quality education for all Texas students.

  • S.B. 41 by Rodríguez, Garcia, Menendez, Watson, West, Whitmire & Zaffirini (increases bilingual education weight): This bill increases the ELL education funding weight from the current weight of 0.1 to 0.25. This funding weight has not been updated since 1984. Updating it would alleviate achievement gaps, expand dual language programs, reduce recapture payments, and help the almost one million students that need additional services.

“The investment in our students is an investment in our future,” Rodríguez said, regarding funding weights. “This is long overdue.”

  • S.B. 37 by Rodríguez (teacher stipends): This bill creates a $500 stipend for those with at least three years of experience, and $500 for those in TEA-determined shortage areas. These stipends would take effect in 2019, since this was not budgeted for in the current biennium. To attempt to implement the stipends now would constitute an unfunded mandate on schools, forcing either local tax increases or cuts elsewhere.

Quality teachers are the backbone of our education system and we need to recruit and retain the best, especially in the areas of math, science, bilingual education, special education and career and tech that are currently in short supply,” Rodríguez said. 

Equal rights for LGBTQ Texans

  • S.B. 38 by Rodríguez, Garcia, Hinojosa & Whitmire (comprehensive LGBTQ non-discrimination): This bill prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in the areas of housing, public accommodation, employment, and state contracting.

“Discrimination of any kind runs counter to the values of opportunity, personal faith, and freedom that all Texans hold dear. However, members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community still have experiences of discrimination in Texas, without any recourse at law,” Rodríguez said. “There are examples across the state of LGBT people being denied housing for themselves and their family, losing a job because of their sexual orientation or gender identify, or being denied service at business held open to the public. 

“Discrimination is also bad for business. An inclusive Texas is crucial to recruiting and retaining talent, attracting entrepreneurs and company relocations, and maintaining a strong travel and tourism industry.

“S.B. 38 will ensure that all Texans can live in our great state without fear that they will be denied the same protection afforded their friends and neighbors, simply because of who they are or whom they love.”

Voting

  • S.B. 36 by Rodríguez (absentee voting by mail): Current law limits mail in ballots to voters who have a disability, are 65 years old or older, in jail but otherwise eligible, or will be out of town Election Day. Mail in ballots reduce long lines at the polls, ensure greater access to the ballot, and have been proven to be reliable. Currently, 27 states and the District of Columbia offer “no excuse” absentee voting, which does not require an applicant to provide an excuse to request a mail in ballot. California, Oregon, and Washington were the first to pass this law in the 1980s, and studies from early 1990s showed an increase in voter turnout.

“I hope any discussion about reforming mail in ballot fraud will include proposals to expand access for the vast majority of eligible voters,” Rodríguez said. “Texas consistently ranks on the bottom in terms of voter turnout – eighth to last in 2016 – and that is the real problem when it comes to our election reform.”

UMC Announces Three Top Nurses In DAISY Ceremony

Three nurses at University Medical Center (UMC) were recognized for their exceptional care as patients continue their path to better health, thanks to the DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune System) Program.

DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. The DAISY Foundation was formed in November 1999, by the family of J. Patrick Barnes who died at age 33 of complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP).

The nursing care Patrick received when hospitalized profoundly touched his family. His family started the now-national awards program to ensure the nurses of excellence and compassion are recognized.

This quarter’s winners are Rosario Gallegos from Telemetry, Elizabeth Templado from Geriatrics, and Daniel Flores of the Surgical Unit.

“I am so proud of Rosario, Elizabeth and Daniel for the work they have done and continue to do for our patients,” said Cindy Ann Stout, Chief Nursing Officer. “Their level of service and compassion is part of what nursing is all about.”

UMC officials added, “One of the special things about being a nurse is the chance to spend so much time helping patients heal…Congratulations to each of these nurses for the high level of care they provided our UMC patients.

Previously, UMC recognized DAISY Award-winning nurses monthly in gatherings at each nurse’s work center. The program now recognizes nurses quarterly in a major ceremony so that the great work these nurses accomplished would be recognized by all Associates in a large celebration in the UMC Cafeteria.

UMC Hires New Chief Medical Officer

University Medical Center of El Paso has a new “top doctor” today as Joel Hendryx, D.O., joins the hospital as its new Chief Medical Officer.

“I am excited that Joel is joining our team today,” said Jacob Cintron, President & CEO. “Our hospital responds to the needs of our community and those needs require a multifaceted, highly skilled, talented, and dedicated team. He will be charged with leading and implementing the clinical direction for the hospital, while staying abreast of new models in healthcare delivery. He will also have a great level of input on the development of strategies to achieve business goals and objectives. El Paso’s complex and vast healthcare needs require that we remain strategic, nimble in our readiness to respond to patient needs, and thoughtful about our long-term business results.”

While typically found in major hospitals of its size, in both the public and private sectors, UMC now has a Chief Medical Officer for the first time in more than a decade.

Dr. Hendryx is widely recognized in El Paso as one of the foremost physician leaders who is able to blend healthcare industry experience, private practice, large-organization leadership, and a passion for ensuring better outcomes for patients.

“I’m excited about joining the tradition and excellence of UMC as they continue the job of taking care of the healthcare needs of El Paso county residents,” said Dr. Hendryx. “It’s an honor and a privilege to begin working here today. As a leader, I will focus on consensus building, while always striving for excellence.

“I will also make it a priority to encourage policy making that ensures high levels of safety, quality and patient care, both mentally and physically,” he added. “I am thrilled to be working with a very talented administration team and all the health care providers. UMC has many of the brightest minds led by the Board of Managers, Jacob Cintron, and the multifaceted teams, schools of doctors, nurses and support staff that have taken care of the citizens of El Paso.”

Dr. Hendryx comes to UMC from the Hospitals of Providence East, where he was Vice Chief of Maternal Child departments. He also served on the Board of Trustees at the Hospitals of Providence East, as well as a Trustee on the Baptist Health Care Systems Board of Trustees.

He is a graduate of the University of Texas at El Paso as well as the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine.

University Medical Center Hosts Major Hiring Fair Wednesday

For those that that are currently employed as a Registered Nurse, other healthcare professional or just someone passionate about working in healthcare, University Medical Center  (UMC) is hosting  a job fair today, between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Via a news release, officials with UMC say they have “an excellent compensation and benefits package – With Nursing positions available in our Intensive Care Unit, Neuro-ICU, IMCU, Cardio-PACU, as well as many non-nursing positions.”

You can join the team by attending their hiring fair May 31, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 1521 Joe Battle, the UMC East Clinic.

WHO: University Medical Center of El Paso

WHAT: Hiring Fair for Nurses and anyone interested in working in healthcare, hundreds of open positions

WHERE: 1521 Joe Battle (at the corner of Joe Battle and Vista Del Sol)

WHEN: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday, May 31

TFCU Team Donated Over 6k Books to El Paso Children’s Hospital Foundation

What started as an internal book drive hosted by our Teacher’s Federal Credit Union’s (TFCU) Credit Union Young Professionals (CUYP), turned into an inter-department competition to collect the most books.
“Our team has the reputation of going the extra mile when it comes to customer service; it doesn’t surprise me that the TFCU team has the same mindset when it comes to giving back to our community,” said Max Villaronga, CEO and President of TFCU.

He added, “It is our hope that the books donated will allow the children going through a difficult time, to experience the small joy of escaping into their imagination through the power of storytelling.”

TFCU team member, Maria Aldridge, organized a pancake fundraiser in her free time to purchase books. Some of our employees reached out to educators from Bel Air High School and Lee Elementary for gently used books.
Mrs. Berry, a long-standing TFCU member and Sageland Elementary teacher, donated 1,200 books to the cause.

In total, 215 TFCU employees collected 6,690 books for the young patients at El Paso Children’s Hospital and University Medical Center, an average of 31 books per employee.

UMC Hires Jon Law as new Chief Strategic Officer

University Medical Center of El Paso’s announced Monday the hiring of Jon Law as UMC’s new Chief Strategic Officer.

Mr. Law is widely recognized in the El Paso healthcare community as one of the foremost strategic minds in modern healthcare, most recently serving as the CEO of PHIX Network, previously known as Paso del Norte Health Information Exchange. While at PHIX, Mr. Law focused on bringing together a unique collaborative of major health care leaders in El Paso to improve the sharing of health information.

“Jon’s experience and expertise as a strategic thinker in healthcare make him an ideal fit for our team, our mission, and our hospital,” said Jacob Cintron, President & CEO. “Throughout our history in El Paso, UMC has been good at understanding how to best strategically serve our ever-growing community. As the needs of our patients, industry and hospital change, our strategic focus must not only be in step but prepared for what’s ahead. I’m confident Jon can help us do that.”

Mr. Law has 24 years of experience serving in the nonprofit sector, including two years as a full-time volunteer at Annunciation House homeless shelters in Cd. Juárez, Chihuahua and El Paso, Texas. He spent 12 years serving the Paso del Norte Health Foundation (PDNHF) in various roles, including Chief Operating Officer and President.

“One of the first things I have been charged with accomplishing is the update of UMC’s Strategic Plan,” said Mr. Law. “My goal is to facilitate the plan in such a way that it is a ‘living’ document and never becomes a book that sits on a shelf waiting for the next update. While I know many staff at UMC, I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone else on the UMC team. Both of my children were born at UMC. After he was born, my son spent two weeks in the intermediate care nursery. Through these experiences, I saw that the organization has many talented and committed employees

“I am also really looking forward to bringing my experience at the Health Information Exchange to UMC. Health Information Technology is a key part of the changing healthcare landscape,” he added “I’m hoping that my Health Information Exchange experience will complement other experts on the UMC team to help the organization continue in its efforts to adapt to these changes.”

Mr. Law completed his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at the University of Arizona, and his Master of Public Administration (MPA) at the University of Texas El Paso.

UMC Trauma Program Gets $32,000 Grant For Injury Prevention

University Medical Center of El Paso’s injury prevention initiatives received a significant boost with the announcement by the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center that UMC is the recipient of a $32,000 grant for its Buckle Up For Life child safety seat program.

UMC’s child safety seat initiatives, managed by its Trauma Services Injury Prevention and Education team, has helped thousands of El Paso families understand the importance of ensuring children are safely restrained and protected in automobiles.

“I am so proud of our team,” said Jacob Cintron, UMC President & CEO. “They do so much to educate our community, and this grant will fortify their work in the coming year to reach more people with a message of safety while also making car seats more accessible to those who need them.”

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, in partnership with Toyota, awarded similar grants nationwide 2017 – 2018 in the Buckle Up for Life/Abróchate a la Vida child passenger safety grant program.

This program is a community-based initiative designed to reduce the risk of motor vehicle-related injury and death. The grant funds partnerships in at risk populations with special emphasis in Hispanic and African American communities.

According to Ana Acosta, UMC’s Trauma Prevention Technician/ Safe Kids El Paso Coordinator, the funds are going to go a long way toward the purchase of car seats, equipment and necessary materials for outreach events, informational handouts, giveaways, and other materials to build and improve UMC’s existing community outreach programs. “It’s important that families and our community understand the importance of automobile safety when it comes to their children. This grant is not only good for us but great for El Paso.”

UMC seeks candidates to serve on EPCH Board

University Medical Center of El Paso (UMC) seeks candidates to fill four (4) seats on the El Paso Children’s Hospital Board. UMC will appoint four members to the new EPCH Board; the new board will begin functioning January 2016.

“We want this process to be as efficient and expeditious as possible as we have an urgent need to fill these seats,” said UMC Board Chair Steve DeGroat. “We want to throw our net far and wide in hopes we can find a few truly outstanding candidates eager to serve on the EPCH Board.”

Candidates interested in applying for one of the four seats being appointed by UMC to the EPCH Board, should review the application packet at www.umcelpaso.org (top right of the home page)

Highly desired (though not required) qualifications of ideal candidates:
·        Visioning and strategic thinking ability
·        Policy leadership
·        Understanding of governance roles and processes.  
·        Dedication
·        Sufficient time and energy to serve on the EPCH Board
·        Financial and business experience
·        Integrity
·        Ability to evaluate managerial skills
·        Corporate and civic leadership
·        Involvement in the community
·        Flexibility and Creativity
·        A bachelor’s degree from an accredited educational institution of higher learning or the equivalent in work or business experience shall be required of all Board appointees.
·        Prior board experience

Absolute disqualifiers shall include the following:
·        Unpaid and uncontested local property taxes
·        Unpaid child support
·        Any history of suing the hospital as a plaintiff or plaintiff’s attorney
·        Conviction for a crime of moral turpitude or official misconduct
·        Any revocation of professional license held by the potential appointee

Author: University Medical Center

UMC, Children’s Hospital reach agreement on operating plan

In two releases sent minutes apart Wednesday evening, officials with University Medical Center (UMC) and El Paso Children’s Hospital (EPCH) confirm that both sides have agreed to the Joint Plan/Final Settlement agreement. The agreement now has to be filed with the Bankruptcy Court and the court must sign off on the agreement.

The proposal ends nearly nine months of on-again, off-again negotiations, dueling releases and lawsuits. Below are statements from both hospitals, in their entirety.

UMC Statement:

Today, University Medical Center of El Paso, El Paso County Commissioners Court, and El Paso Children’s Hospital, reached final agreement on a settlement and joint plan that will reshape the 3-year relationship between the two hospitals. The joint plan will now be filed, which will begin the process the hospitals hope will culminate in its acceptance by creditors and approval by U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Christopher Mott.  In reaching an agreement on a joint plan, UMC and EPCH ended 8-months of intense on and off again negotiations, contentious litigation, and several aborted efforts to reach an agreement.

The joint plan provides for EPCH to remain separately licensed, with a separate board and CEO. It also will facilitate the exchange of services between the hospitals and focus on maintaining and growing patient volumes. “This has been an extremely long road for all of us, especially for the people of El Paso,” said Steve DeGroat, UMC Board of Managers chair. “While there were many obstacles along the way, everyone stayed positive, hopeful that we could find a way to preserve and maintain the vision of a separate Children’s Hospital. With this joint plan, I believe we have accomplished that. Up until literally the very final moments, our legal and management teams were negotiating the terms of and working to finalize the joint plan. We’re ready to present it to the public.”

As part of the agreement now incorporated in the joint plan, UMC has deposited $7 million in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court registry to satisfy EPCH’s creditors, giving the hospital a boost of stability as it begins anew. UMC also suspended its efforts to file a separate plan with the Bankruptcy Court, while EPCH agreed to halt the lawsuits pending against UMC and El Paso First. Those lawsuits will be dismissed upon approval of the joint plan.

The joint plan and settlement, if confirmed by the Bankruptcy Court, should result in a much stronger and more financially stable EPCH upon its emergence from bankruptcy – targeted before year-end, with new, experienced management. The joint plan will be made publicly available after it is filed with the Bankruptcy Court. The Bankruptcy Court, at its most recent hearing, thanked EPCH, UMC, and El Paso County Court of Commissioners and their representatives involved in the process for their efforts to come together on a joint plan and encouraged everyone to continue to work to get the case “over the goal line.”
   

EPCH Statement:

Today, El Paso Children’s Hospital, University Medical Center of El Paso, and El Paso County Commissioners Court, reached a global resolution on a settlement and joint plan that will reshape the relationship between the two hospitals. The joint plan filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court will begin the process to culminate acceptance of the plan by EPCH’s creditors.

EPCH, UMC, and El Paso County Commissioners made significant progress in doing the right the thing for El Paso, the taxpayers, and our children. In reaching a global resolution on a joint plan, all parties found the common ground needed to settle differences fairly while keeping the best interests and well-being of the children in the forefront.  

“When we began this bankruptcy process, EPCH sought protection from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to restructure its debts and emerge as a stronger organization.  We made a promise to our community, staff, physicians, and the families and patients that we serve, that there will be no change in the quality of healthcare provided at EPCH and that our Board is committed to maintaining a separate licensed children’s hospital.  EPCH has not wavered in this promise and has reached a resolution that will allow us to emerge as a children’s hospital for which you will be proud.

We knew this process wasn’t going to be easy and we are humbled by the continuous support we have received from our community, the patients and families we serve, as well as for the unwavering support from the local pediatricians who trust us to care for their patient.

The dream the voters approved became a reality when El Paso Children’s Hospital opened.  Today, that dream remains alive and full of hope for the region this hospital serves. We know that there would have to be compromise from everyone if there ever was going to be a global resolution. We realized we were close, and it did not take long for our legal teams to work to get us where we are today.  With this plan, our hospitals will work much more closely together, while making the best use of our resources, and keeping intact a separately-licensed hospital that continues to provide excellent pediatric healthcare to the critically-ill and injured children of our region”, stated EPCH CEO Mark Herbers.

The joint plan and settlement, if confirmed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, should result in a much stronger and more financially stable EPCH upon its emergence from bankruptcy – targeted before year-end.  The joint plan provides for EPCH to remain separately licensed, with a separate board and CEO, and allows El Paso County Commissioners to approve any increases or decreases in EPCH services, and pays EPCH’s creditors in full.  It also will facilitate the exchange of services between the hospitals and focus on maintaining and growing patient volumes.

As part of the agreement now incorporated in the joint plan, UMC has deposited $7 million in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court registry to fund payments to EPCH’s creditors, giving the hospital a boost of stability as it begins anew. UMC also suspended its efforts to file a separate plan with the Bankruptcy Court, while EPCH agreed to halt the lawsuits pending against UMC and El Paso First. Those lawsuits will be dismissed upon approval of the joint plan.

The joint plan is publicly available with the Bankruptcy Court.

UPDATE: El Paso Children’s Hospital issues response to UMC

In a Monday afternoon release to the media, officials with University Medical Center (UMC) of El Paso announced that no agreement had been reached with El Paso Children’s Hospital (EPCH).

A few hours later, EPCH had a response of their own. Both are included below.

EL PASO CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL STATEMENT:

For the past two weeks, the respective parties (EPCH, UMC, CCC) devoted considerable time, effort, and resources to these negotiations. El Paso Children’s Hospital met every deadline that the County Commissioners Court and UMC set forth and negotiated in good faith. El Paso Children’s Hospital accepted UMC’s Thursday offer based on their terms and deadlines.

El Paso Children’s Hospital is stunned by the latest developments from UMC. EPCH timely accepted the offer as it was explained to us by legal counsel to UMC. If any miscommunication occurred it is between UMC, County Commissioners Court and their legal counsel.

As we have stated before, El Paso Children’s Hospital will continue serving the best interests of the critically ill and injured children of our community and surrounding region. Our commitment to this community has not wavered.  We will maintain the mission and vision of El Paso Children’s Hospital, embodied in the proposition approved by the voters of El Paso County.  

UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER STATEMENT:

The University Medical Center of El Paso (UMC) today announced that it has not reached agreement with El Paso Children’s Hospital (EPCH) on its most recent term sheet. UMC welcomes EPCH to assist in the development of a joint plan, however. UMC intends to submit a plan for consideration by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and its fellow creditors.

Both the UMC Board of Managers as well as Commissioners Court met and conferred many hours today. However, there were three separate deadlines for acceptance of UMC’s term sheet. Each of those deadlines passed without acceptance of the initial term sheet from UMC. UMC cannot allow this issue to continue to exhaust taxpayer dollars and consume precious resources that should be dedicated to care of El Paso’s families.

 “We have gone as far as we can go in our efforts to reach a resolution with Children’s Hospital,” said James N. Valenti, President & CEO of UMC. “We want to bring this bankruptcy to closure, and we remain resolute in our determination to ensure the vision of El Paso to have a Children’s Hospital is available to all. We intend to protect the mission and vision and the successful operation of the Children’s Hospital for years to come.”

“We still have litigation ahead and a plan to submit to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court that we intend to present in the coming weeks,” he added.

UMC will continue to dialogue with county commissioners and all interested organizations that can provide assistance toward saving the Children’s Hospital and the exceptional services it provides.

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