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Home | Tag Archives: University Medical Center of El Paso

Tag Archives: University Medical Center of El Paso

Gov. Greg Abbott appoints Dr. Alan Tyroch Chair of Governor’s EMS and Trauma Advisory Council

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott designated Alan Tyroch, M.D., as chair of the Governor’s Emergency Medical Services and Trauma Advisory Council (GETAC).

Dr. Tyroch, professor and founding chair of surgery at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, has served on the advisory council since 2012. He was reappointed to the council by Gov. Abbott in 2018 and served as the council’s vice chair since 2019. Dr. Tyroch’s appointment as chair took effect on July 30 and he serves at the leisure of the governor.

The advisory council makes recommendations to the Texas Department of Health and Human services regarding the EMS/trauma system in order to ensure that the community receives comprehensive and efficient emergency care.

The advisory council plays a critical role in helping to make sure the Texas EMS/trauma system is prepared for potential mass casualty incidents including natural disasters and shootings like the August 3, 2019 mass shooting that killed 23 and wounded 24 in El Paso.

Dr. Tyroch said the COVID-19 outbreak throughout the state has presented challenges that could affect health care systems, but he remains hopeful that his appointment as chair of GETAC will provide a voice for the Borderland.

“The pandemic has impacted the state economically, and I just hope it doesn’t impact the EMS and trauma health care system too much financially,” Dr. Tyroch said.

Having an El Paso physician on the advisory council is meaningful because of the city’s location, which is far from other metropolitan areas of Texas.

“First of all, we’re not a small city. We’re the sixth largest city in Texas,” Dr. Tyroch said. “That’s a pretty good size, but we’re so far away from Austin – we’re closer to cities in California than we are to Austin. It’s important to have a voice to represent the El Paso region.”

Dr. Tyroch is also chief of surgery and trauma medical director at University Medical Center of El Paso. He is board certified in general surgery and surgical critical care.

Dr. Tyroch is a member of the American College of Surgeons, Texas Surgical Society, American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, Society of Critical Care Medicine, Southwestern Surgical Congress, Western Surgical Association, American Trauma Society, Pediatric Trauma Society, Texas Medical Association, and El Paso County Medical Society. He received an Associate’s in Applied Sciences from Temple College, a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from Texas A&M University, and a Doctor of Medicine from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

Additionally, Dr. Tyroch completed a general surgery internship at Baylor College of Medicine, a general surgery residency at Phoenix Integrated Surgical Residency Program, and a Trauma and Surgical Critical Care Fellowship at the University of California of San Francisco, Fresno campus.

Actor Matthew McConaughey, wife Camila, headline donation of 25k Surgical Masks for UMC

University Medical Center of El Paso is the recipient of 25,000 surgical masks, through Actor Matthew McConaughey and his wife, model Camila McConaughey, on behalf of the Lincoln Motor Company.

While the McConaugheys are the road trip, delivering more than 125,000 face masks to select hospitals across Texas, UMC’s delivery is currently enroute from Austin, via UPS.

The masks will be put to immediate use at UMC, where many of El Paso’s COVID-19 patients are recovering and being cared for.

“All of us at UMC are grateful to Matthew, Camila and Lincoln for this generous donation,” said Jacob Cintron, President & CEO.

“Masks are vital to reducing the potential spread of infectious disease. At this unprecedented time in our history, knowing that so many people from across our state and nation are finding ways to support our healthcare community and the patients we care for, we are all heartened and strengthened in this journey. On behalf of all of us at UMC and our El Paso community, thank you.”

Another 20,000 masks will also be distributed to the El Paso County Medical Society. “Thank you, so much, Matthew, Camila, and Lincoln Ford for your generous donation to the physicians of El Paso,” said Dr. Alison Days, President, El Paso County Medical Society. “We feel honored to be one of the cities chosen for this donation.”

The masks will be donated through the UMC Foundation, a separate 501(c)(3) organization that manages all major donations to the hospital.

“This donation of surgical masks to the hospital, through UMC Foundation, is a milestone of generosity to the El Paso community,” said Estela Casas, UMC Foundation Executive Director.

“We, too, are grateful to Matthew, Camila and Lincoln for their kindness and thoughtfulness, at a time when it is needed most.”

Matthew and Camila McConaughey are both very active on social media and have been logging their journey of donations to fight the novel coronavirus COVID-19. “If you can, please go to Facebook and Instagram and thank them at @officiallymcconaughey, @camilamcconaughey, @iamcamilaalves, @torchnet, or @lincolnmotorco,” said Jacob.

“I am sure they would love to hear from people and patients in our community who will benefit most from their generosity.”

TTUHSC El Paso celebrates National Nurses Week, All 86 students in Hunt School of Nursing complete clinical hours

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El PasoHunt School of Nursing kicked off National Nurses Week by announcing all 86 students in its graduating class have completed clinical hours required for graduation.

National Nurses Week, which begins each year on May 6 and ends May 12, recognizes the immeasurable contributions and impact nurses have on the lives of people in our community.

TTUHSC El Paso will honor the nurses and nursing students on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic who have tirelessly cared for members of the community during this difficult time.

Our nursing students have committed to an accelerated program, which is 16 months rather than 24 months, and have sacrificed jobs, and an income, while they work toward their degree,” said Stephanie L. Woods, Ph.D., R.N., dean of the Hunt School of Nursing.

Our faculty was faced with the question: How do you weigh the risk and benefit of asking our students to help patients with a virus that still comes with so many unknowns? Our students helped answer the question for us by responding overwhelmingly that completing their degree was their number one priority.

As of 2019, the Hunt School of Nursing has graduated more than 600 students, with 90% of those graduates staying in the region. The school of nursing currently has partnerships with every hospital in the El Paso community, which includes both clinical rotation opportunities and job placements post-graduation.

To celebrate National Nurses Week, TTUHSC El Paso will host an appreciation breakfast on May 7 for nurses and nursing students at teaching hospitals, including University Medical Center of El Paso, El Paso Childrens Hospital and The Hospitals of Providence – Transmountain Campus.

More than 500 meals will be provided through a donation from Bruce and Jackie Gulbas. Bruce Gulbas is president of National Restaurant Supply and a member of the TTUHSC El Paso Presidents Development Council.

The nursing students at the Hunt School of Nursing have proven to be the true heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Bruce Gulbas. Not only are they risking their lives every day to protect our community, but they are also determined to finish the clinical hours needed for graduation. This determination and selflessness are perfect examples of how the community is coming together during these critical times. We thought this was just one small way we could show how truly appreciative we are of their sacrifices.

For the entire week, TTUHSC El Paso will honor nurses in the community in a number of ways, including free meals, student testimonials and new donor announcements.

TTUHSC El Paso will also celebrate nurses with congratulatory messages on giant “greeting card” yard signs from Card My Yard, displayed outside of multiple El Paso hospitals during National Nurses Week. Nurses are encouraged to take photos in front of the signs and tag TTUHSC El Paso on Facebook (@TTUHSCEP), Twitter (@TTUHSCEP) or Instagram (@TTUHSCEP).

The celebration week will also include a virtual commencement ceremony for the Hunt School of Nursing, held at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 9, via Facebook Live.

The virtual ceremony will follow traditional ceremony programs, with remarks from Richard Lange, M.D., M.B.A., president of TTUHSC El Paso, and Stephanie L. Woods, Ph.D., R.N., dean of the Hunt School of Nursing.

As each name is read, a photo of the graduate will be shown on screen. To watch the ceremony this weekend, click here.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated 2020 as the Year of the Nurse for the vital role they play in providing health services.

TTUHSC El Paso will join the WHO in a year-long effort to celebrate the work of nurses and highlighting the challenging conditions they often face in the workforce.

In July, nursing students in the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing (GGHSON) began their first clinical rotations at The Hospitals of Providence Transmountain Campus. The group of 10 students began their shifts as part of the school’s Chronic Care in Nursing course.


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 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.

UMC Recognized for ‘Commitment To Quality Stroke Care’ By AHA/ASA

On Wednesday, officials announced that University Medical Center of El Paso (UMC) had received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.

“UMC is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our stroke patients by implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke initiative,” said Jacob Cintron, President & CEO.

“The tools and resources provided help us track and measure our success in meeting evidenced-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes. Our UMC and partner physicians from Texas Tech, along with our exceptionally talented Neuroscience and Stroke teams, have ensured a level of quality and stroke care that is much higher than what is typical at other hospitals throughout our country.”

The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

“UMC is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our stroke patients by implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke initiative,” said Jacob Cintron, President & CEO.

“The tools and resources provided help us track and measure our success in meeting evidenced-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes. Our UMC and partner physicians from Texas Tech, along with our exceptionally talented Neuroscience and Stroke teams, have ensured a level of quality and stroke care that is much higher than what is typical at other hospitals throughout our country.”

To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke.

“We are pleased to recognize UMC for their commitment to stroke care,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., national chairperson of the Quality Oversight Committee and Executive Vice Chair of Neurology, Director of Acute Stroke Services, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. “Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get With The Guidelines quality improvement initiative can often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates.”

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States.

On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

Minimally invasive procedure that fixes hole in heart now performed at UMC

On Thursday afternoon, officials with Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso announced that their doctors now perform a treatment for a heart birth defect that affects up to 25% of people.

The procedure that closes the defect—known as an atrial septal defect, or ASD; and a smaller defect which causes stroke, called patent foramen ovale, or PFO—takes a much different route than the past use of open-heart surgery.

Doctors open a vein/vessel near the groin and insert a long, thin tube called a catheter. The catheter, loaded with an alloy device called an Amplatzer septal occluder, is guided into the interior of the heart. Once in place, the occluder is released, and it expands into a circular coil that closes the hole.

About 15 years ago, almost 90% of these type of congenital heart defects were repaired through open-heart surgery, said TTP El Paso interventional cardiologist Harsha Nagarajarao, M.D., who serves as co-director of the Cardiovascular Catheterization Laboratory at University Medical Center of El Paso.

Today, the transcatheter coil occlusion procedure is widely used across the world to treat heart holes.

Dr. Nagarajarao and other TTP El Paso interventional cardiologists perform the procedure at UMC. TTP El Paso is the clinical practice of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso.

The doctor said up to 25% of people are born with this kind of hole in the heart. Not all of them will require surgery, but those that present with stroke will need to have the hole closed, he said.

Dr. Nagarajarao, who also serves as an assistant professor in the division of cardiology at TTUHSC El Paso, adds that there is a large, unmet need in the area for treating this type of heart defect. To help increase the numbers of physicians capable of treating the defect, Dr. Nagarajarao is helping train TTP El Paso physicians for certification in the procedure.

Earlier this year, a 36-year-old man who suffered multiple strokes over two years with no indication of a cause was referred by TTP El Paso’s neurology department to Dr. Nagarajarao’s cardiology team.

The doctors determined he had a PFO which was responsible for his stroke and scheduled him for the coil occlusion procedure.

The surgery, performed by Dr. Nagarajarao, was a success and significantly reduced the risk of stroke for the patient. The surgery took about two hours and required only light anesthesia.


UTEP, UMC Announce New Pharmacy Services Partnership

On Thursday, officials with the University of Texas at El Paso and the University Medical Center of El Paso announced a new partnership that will bring new and greater access to pharmacy services for thousands of UTEP students.

Through a new and innovative agreement between two of our region’s oldest and most dedicated organizations working for the benefit of all who call El Paso home, students will have access to prescriptions anywhere UMC services are located.

“Our new partnership with UTEP is in keeping with our mission of providing greater access to care for all El Pasoans,” said Jacob Cintron, UMC President & CEO.

“UTEP has been a true partner with UMC for many years, whether through their College of Health Sciences and School of Nursing programs, and many other opportunities we have had to work together. UTEP students are part of our El Paso family, our friends, our neighbors and the future leaders in our community. Through this program, we are hoping to take one less concern away from students so they can focus on their education while having much greater access to the prescriptions they need, at the same low prices they’ve come to expect.”

“This new partnership provides enhanced services for UTEP students,” said UTEP President Diana Natalicio.

“Their access to affordable pharmaceutical services will now be offered during expanded hours at multiple locations across the community. We thank our partners at UMC for not only enabling us to broaden our pharmaceutical services for UTEP students, but for their collaborations with us on so many other fronts as well.” 

  • This new partnership allows both on- and off-campus students to access medications at seven different locations.
  • Through this partnership, students can purchase their prescriptions at the same or lower cost than they would have paid at the Student Health and Wellness Center.
  • Students can utilize insurance coverage (public or private) to pay for prescriptions.
  • Students can receive expanded continuous service for pharmacy access. UMC pharmacies are open mornings through early evenings for student convenience, Monday through Saturday.
  • Students will have access to UMC pharmacies even during Spring Break or the Winter Break, at locations close to their homes in El Paso.

UMC’s Poison Center Hosts Medication ‘Take Back Day’ Saturday

University Medical Center of El Paso’s West Texas Regional Poison Center will be the site of a major medication/pharmaceutical Take Back Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, October 27, at the Poison Center located directly behind UMC.

UMC Officials say, “Saturday’s “take back” gives the public the opportunity to do their part in preventing poisonings, medication abuse and/or misuse and medication theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted medications.”

The public is invited to bring their pills for disposal to any of the five locations listed below.  All medications are accepted except needles, liquids, and inhalers. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Poison Center/Local Coalitions Sponsored locations will include:

1. West Texas Regional Poison Center on 4625 Alberta Ave. (behind UMC)
2. West Side YMCA on 7145 N. Mesa
3. Bowling Family YMCA on 5509 Will Ruth
4. Loya Family UMCA on 2044 Trawood Dr.
5. Corpus Christi Catholic Church on 9205 N. Loop Dr.

The event is taking place in collaboration with El Paso Advocates for Prevention Coalition, Rio Grande Safe Communities Coalition, Prevention Resource Center Region 10,  YMCA, and the US Drug Enforcement Administration.

For more information about the proper disposal of medications or about the “Take Back Day” events, call the poison center at 1-800-222-1222.

State Of The Art Orthopedic Table Purchased By UMC Foundation

70-year-old Alamogordo, New Mexico resident Steven Dutton was riding his dirt bike, when he hit a yucca tree with his handlebars and lost control of his bike.

Steven fell over a 20-foot cliff and landed on a pile of rocks, breaking his hip. The injuries were serious and he was unable to stand.   Steven was away from any help and did not have any cell phone reception.

“I had bruises on my both arms; both of my thumbs were purple and my legs were purple. Thank God I had on my helmet,” he said. “I couldn’t stand up so I just start dragging myself over rocks, cacti and everything. I probably made about half a mile in 8 or 9 hours. I got to a creek so I decided to spend the night at the creek.”

Late that night, Steve checked his cell phone and fortunately for him, he had one bar left on his cell phone. He called a friend.

Soon after he was found in the New Mexican desert, he was taken to the local hospital in Alamogordo. Due to the severe trauma injuries he had, he was transported to University Medical Center of El Paso where he met Dr. Adam Adler, an orthopedic surgeon.

“Mr. Dutton presented to UMC with a left hip fracture dislocation. There’s a couple of us that treat this injury and I was one of them and I happened to be on call that day. We decided that a total hip replacement was the best option, and we used our shiny new Hana table.”

The Hana Orthopedic Table is a state of the art fracture table that enables surgeons to approach the hip from the anterior with one single incision.

“With this table we can move the legs independently, apply traction, and also have some attachments which will allow us to move the femur bone into place. It also allows us to use a much smaller incision.”

Thanks to this table, doctors don’t cut through muscles which means the recovery is much faster and the hospital’s stay is shorter.

Acquired through UMC Foundation thanks to a donation from Scherr-Legate, UMC of El Paso is the only hospital in the city to use the Hana Orthopedic Table for hip replacement surgeries due to trauma related injuries.

UMC Welcomes El Paso Leader in Pediatric Care

Families in east and west El Paso now have the benefit of one of the most experienced and admired pediatricians in our community with the addition of Mary C. Brower, M.D., to University Medical Center of El Paso’s new large clinics.  

El Paso’s two largest community clinics (UMC East – at 1521 Joe Battle; and UMC West – at 6600 North Desert Blvd.) opened last spring and have already served thousands of patients. Each clinic was designed and built to provide a near-hospital-like experience, in terms of variety of care, but in a friendly atmosphere close to El Paso’s greatly expanding communities. 

Throughout the last 20 years, Dr. Brower has cared for El Paso’s children and watched many of them grow to adulthood. “Her addition to UMC brings a level of pediatric experience and expertise to our clinics that families can depend on,” said Jacob Cintron, President & CEO. “She has cared for many thousands of patients and families in her career, and many of those patients have had children of their own and will only choose Dr. Brower for care. She is special. We are lucky to have her at UMC.”

As of today, families throughout El Paso can make appointments to see Dr. Brower at UMC East and UMC West clinics by calling (915) 790-5700

“I have always wanted to be part of a hospital such as UMC, a hospital that serves everyone in our community,” said Dr. Brower. “As a physician, we look for opportunities to care for patients who need us most, with facilities that offer the best technology that improves chances for each patient to return to good health. In El Paso, that place is UMC. I know that choosing the right place for general pediatric care can be very stressful for parents. That is why it is so important that I take time to get to know the parents, and this helps me provide more effective care for their children.”

Dr. Brower is a graduate of Stanford University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Biology; and graduated from Medical School at the University of Texas Medical Branch.  Prior to joining UMC, Dr. Brower worked with El Paso Pediatric Associates (since 1996). 

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