window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'UA-29484371-30');
Thursday , May 28 2020
EPCON_2020 728
Amy’s Ambassadorship
Covid-19 Fund 728
Spring Training 728
Mountains 728
Utep Football Generic 728
West Texas Test Drive 728
john overall 728×90
Elizabeth 728
Home | Tag Archives: university medical center

Tag Archives: university medical center

UMC’s Nurse Family Partnership Program seeking donations for 60 at risk, first time moms

Some were looking for work, others had jobs; then the COVID-19 Pandemic instantly changed the lives of more than 60 at-risk, first time moms in the Nurse Family Partnership (NFP) Program at University Medical Center.

Officials working in the program say that the families now struggle to provide their babies with diapers, wipes, lotion and more.

“Most moms were laid off,” said Valerie Watters, MSN, RN, CLC and Supervisor of the NFP Program. “Their partners aren’t paying child support because they, too, have been laid off. Both parents are struggling. Any item is appreciated much. Your donations not
only help the mothers of NFP, but our community.”

The NFP Program pairs a vulnerable new mom early in her pregnancy with a UMC registered nurse.

Each new mother in the program receives continuous nurse home visits until the child reaches two years of age. The Program started in 2010 and is the only NFP home visitation program in El Paso.

“This is precisely what the COVID-19 Compassionate Care Fund is about,” said Estela Casas, Executive Director for UMC and El Paso Children’s Hospital Foundation.

“This is a great moment for the entire community to stand up for these first-time moms who have
enormous courage against all odds.”

For those wishing to help the new moms, supplies can be purchased by clicking here, the El Paso Children’s Hospital Foundation registry page at Walmart.

To drop off supplies, residents can contact Valerie Watters at 915-838-5143.

Cash donations to the Foundations’ COVID-19 Compassionate Care Fund can be made online, by clicking here.

UTEP Nursing Clinical Instructor Recognized by University Medical Center

Mary Leon, clinical nursing instructor at The University of Texas at El Paso’s School of Nursing, was awarded University Medical Center’s (UMC) inaugural 2019 Faculty of the Year Award.

During the fall 2019 semester, Leon supervised 40 UTEP students participating in the maternal/newborn care clinical rotation experience at UMC. This clinical experience provides students an opportunity to apply theoretical concepts and implement safe patient care to mothers and newborns at the hospital. UMC recognized

Leon for going above and beyond in supervising students and submitting all required documents accurately and in a timely manner. The award was presented in February 2020.

Leon began her career as a labor and delivery staff nurse in 1978 at Thomason General Hospital (now UMC) after graduating with an associate degree in nursing from El Paso Community College. She earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from UTEP.

Leon has taught intermittently in UTEP’s nursing program since 1992. She also was a clinical nursing instructor at New Mexico State University from 2014 to 2018. Leon previously served as a labor and delivery charge nurse and hospital nursing supervisor at what is now the Hospitals of Providence Memorial Campus and as a maternal/newborn charge nurse and hospital nursing supervisor at Del Sol Medical Center.

Out of 374 students currently enrolled in UTEP’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program, 96 of them participated in clinical rotations in UMC’s specialty units such as the intensive care unit, emergency department, the mother and baby unit, and the medical-surgical department during the spring 2020 semester.

As a precautionary measure, on March 27, 2020, the School of Nursing suspended all clinical experiences for traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing students in the fifth, sixth and seventh semesters until further notice.

Traditional BSN students in the eighth semester are able to continue their clinical experiences if the clinical site agrees.

by Laura L. Acosta – UTEP Communications

Fort Bliss, North Carolina National Guard, University Medical Center train to save lives

Fort Bliss Soldiers and agencies exercised the ability to deliver patients to level one trauma care for the first time in four years, during training on September 4, 2019.

Soldiers assigned to 5th Armored Brigade, First Army Division West coordinated a mass casualty exercise that helped North Carolina National Guard medics prepare for an upcoming deployment. At the same time, the exercise tested communication between ground units, air medical evacuation operations, and the emergency department at University Medical Center to ensure critically injured patients receive the highest level care available.

Right now, 5th AR is training and validating 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team, North Carolina National Guard for their upcoming deployment to the middle-east. This mass casualty exercise began as a rehearsal to address one of the most dangerous situations that could arise during any unit’s training; a vehicle roll-over.

Master Sgt. Trey Albertson, medical operations noncommissioned officer in charge assigned to 5th AR said, “The incident was one of the big concerns of both the brigade commander and the Division West commanding general: a late night movement of Soldiers with a vehicle roll-over.”

Observer/ Coach Trainers assigned to 5th AR recreated that exact scenario using both medical training aids and live role-players. The 30th ABCT responded by sending more than 70 medical personnel over the two-day exercise to evaluate, treat and prepare the casualties for evacuation.

“The level of preparedness they had was impressive,” said Albertson. “Even the most deployed active-duty units have hiccups, that’s going to be part of everything we do. But [30th ABCT’s medics] overcame every single obstacle flawlessly and just kept moving.”

Casualties are sent to different treatment facilities depending on their level of injury. A UH-60 Blackhawk assigned to 2nd General Aviation Support Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment, 4th Infantry Division transported the most severe cases to level one trauma care at El Paso, Texas’ University Medical Center.

“This allows us to rehearse the full circle of MEDEVAC coverage,” said Staff Sgt. Matt Oneill, a flight medic assigned to 2-4 GSAB. “We get to coordinate patient pick-up with medics on the ground, provide in-flight care, and practice patient transfer to the next level of care.”

Communication plays a key role in making sure everyone is prepared to play their part in providing care to injured people.

“Our main goal here is to improve the communication between us and [Fort Bliss],” said Ashby Payne, emergency department nurse educator at UMC. “Historically we’ve had a real problem communicating with Fort Bliss MEDEVACs when you guys have critical patients.”

Payne said an exercise like this hasn’t happened since 2015 and there are a lot of nurses that have come and gone in that four-year span. She said that new nurses come to UMC to gain experience in a level one trauma center and receiving air MEDEVAC patients.

“The reason why the military is different than our other helicopters is because they do not turn their rotors off,” said Payne. “Helicopter safety seems to be a little bit more intimidating for our civilian employees and frankly it’s more exciting.”

Albertson said at the end of the two-day event, both Army medics and UMC staff felt more confident in their ability to treat and transport patients to the level of care they need.

“In this case, every moving piece between the civilians, aviation, range control and the OC/Ts on the ground just came together in one well-oiled machine,” said Albertson.

Author: Staff Sgt. Timothy Gray – 5th Armored Brigade

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For residents wishing to register, call the El Paso Diabetes Association at 915-532-6280 or email

UMC Unveils New Mission, Vision Statements For El Paso

On Tuesday afternoon, officials with University Medical Center of El Paso unveiled their new mission and vision statements.

According to officials, the changes are to “better describe the hospital’s purpose and direction for the future.”

UMC’s new mission statement is: To heal, to serve and to educate.

“Mission statements capture what an organization does,” said Jon Law, UMC Chief Strategic Officer.  “We wanted to make our new version as direct as possible. We heal patients including those without insurance or financial resources.

“We serve through our hospitality and commitment to giving each patient an optimal experience,” Law stated. “And, we educate the future health care leaders of El Paso. Our partnerships with Texas Tech, UTEP, El Paso Community College and other educational institutions are key to our mission. This is what we do.”

UMC’s new vision statement is:  To be the first choice for healthcare in the Southwest.

“This vision expresses our goal to ensure our region knows that we can be ‘their first choice’ for care,” he added. “Having a Level 1 Stroke Center and a Level 1 Trauma Center are key pillars toward this vision. We want to continue to grow service lines and improving the patient experience so that the region views UMC El Paso as their ‘first choice.’”

This is just the latest in recent changes for the hospital.  Originally named R.E. Thomason General Hospital in honor of the city’s former Mayor, U.S. Congressman and Federal Judge, Mr. Robert Ewing Thomason, in 2009, the hospital was renamed University Medical Center of El Paso.

Other significant changes to the hospital – according to UMC’s website – have been:

In 2011, UMC completed an expansion and renovation of the hospital’s Level 1 Trauma Center & Emergency Department, critical care and nursing units, to all private rooms with state-of-the-art facilities.

In 2012, UMC completed, on behalf of El Paso taxpayers, the construction of the El Paso Children’s Hospital, region’s only hospital of its kind, equipped with state-of-the-art facilities.

In 2013, UMC initiated a comprehensive clinical plan to expand its Outpatient Clinics throughout the El Paso region to improve access to care for many El Pasoans.


UMC Garners National Recognition From American College of Surgeons

University Medical Center of El Paso joins 83 other hospitals across the country recently recognized by the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) as having achieved meritorious outcomes for surgical patient care in 2017.

As a participant in ACS NSQIP, UMC is required to track the outcomes of inpatient and outpatient surgical procedures and collect data that assesses patient safety and can be used to direct improvement in the quality of surgical care.

“This is a fantastic accomplishment, marking yet another milestone of excellence in patient safety and care,” said Jacob Cintron, President & CEO.

“We have come so far in raising the bar for the quality of care in our hospital, in our city and throughout the southwest region,” he added. “This recognition singles out UMC’s positive surgical outcomes and is something we can all be very proud of. Dr. (Alonso) Andrade, our NSQIP Surgical Champion, as well as Dr. Alan Tyroch (UMC’s Chief of Surgery and Trauma Medical Director, and Professor and Founding Chair of Surgery at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso), our entire surgical team of physicians, nurses, techs, and a focus on patient safety made this recognition possible.”

TTUHSC El Paso leaders also lauded UMC’s recognition for achieving outstanding surgical outcomes, which is a reflection of its commitment to quality and its partnership with the school and its physicians. As part of the partnership, faculty members in the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine (PLFSOM) see patients at UMC.

“This recognition makes clear that at UMC El Paso residents have access to the best surgical doctors and care possible,” said Richard Lange, M.D., M.B.A., president of TTUHSC El Paso and dean of the PLFSOM. “We are proud to have some of the best surgeons practicing at UMC and teaching students at TTUHSC El Paso.”

The ACS NSQIP recognition program commends a select group of hospitals for achieving a meritorious composite score in either an “All Cases” category or a category which includes only “High Risk” cases. Risk-adjusted data from the July 2018 ACS NSQIP Semiannual Report, which presents data from the 2017 calendar year, were used to determine which hospitals demonstrated meritorious outcomes.

UMC has been recognized on both the “All Cases” and “High Risk” Meritorious lists.

Each composite score was determined through a different weighted formula combining eight outcomes. The outcome performances related to patient management were in the following eight clinical areas: mortality; unplanned intubation; ventilator > 48 hours, renal failure; cardiac incidents (cardiac arrest and myocardial infarction); respiratory (pneumonia); SSI (surgical site infections-superficial and deep incisional and organ-space SSIs); or urinary tract infection.

The 83 commended hospitals achieved the distinction based on their outstanding composite quality score across the eight areas. Seventy-one hospitals were recognized on the “All Cases” list, and 71 hospitals were recognized on the “High Risk” list; the 71 hospitals represent 10 percent of the 708 calendar-year 2017 ACS NSQIP hospitals.

Fifty-eight hospitals were recognized on both the “All Cases” and “High Risk” lists, 12 other hospitals were on just the “All Cases” list, and 13 other hospitals were on the “High Risk” list only – yielding 83 hospitals in total.

ACS NSQIP is the only nationally validated quality improvement program that measures and enhances the care of surgical patients. This program measures the actual surgical results 30 days post-operatively as well as risk-adjusts patient characteristics to compensate for differences among patient populations and acuity levels.

The goal of ACS NSQIP is to reduce surgical morbidity (infection or illness related to a surgical procedure) and surgical mortality (death related to a surgical procedure) and to provide a firm foundation for surgeons to apply what is known as the “best scientific evidence” to the practice of surgery.

Furthermore, when adverse effects from surgical procedures are reduced and/or eliminated, a reduction in health care costs follows. ACS NSQIP is a major program of the American College of Surgeons and is currently used in nearly 850 adult and pediatric hospitals.

The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and to improve the care of surgical patients.

The College has more than 80,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world.

UTEP Nurse Practitioners Deliver Comprehensive Stroke Care

Isabel Zuniga was 14 when her family made a painful decision that changed the rest of her life.

After Zuniga’s father suffered a catastrophic stroke, her family chose to withdraw life-sustaining treatment.

“Stroke treatment wasn’t as advanced as it is now,” recalled Zuniga, one of four neurology nurse practitioners in University Medical Center’s certified Comprehensive Stroke Center, the first and only Level 1 stroke center in West Texas and New Mexico.

“I figured if I could help a family from ever having to decide to withdraw care or help them go through making that decision for their loved one, then there was a whole purpose for me to experience that with my dad and get to where I am today,” she said.

Zuniga and her colleagues – Demetria Castrellon, Edwin Lopez and Guillermina Nelson – are all graduates from The University of Texas at El Paso’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program for Adult/Gerontologic Acute Care Nurse Practitioners (AGACNP). They also were key in helping UMC obtain its designation as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Joint Commission in March 2018.

“We’re part of the only team in El Paso that provides in-house neurological care to treat even the most complex stroke cases 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” explained Zuniga, a student in UTEP’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program.

The School of Nursing’s AGACNP program is designed to train nurse practitioners to respond to patients with critical life-threatening illnesses, including cardiac arrest, respiratory failure and stroke. Since 2013, more than 100 nurse practitioners have graduated from UTEP’s AGACNP program, the only one of its kind in the borderland.

Students learn how to treat neurologic emergencies such as ischemic strokes, which are caused by blood clots in the brain, and hemorrhagic strokes, which occur when a blood vessel breaks and bleeds into the brain.

“There are lectures on radiology such as reading [CT] scans to determine the placement of the bleed or area of ischemia in the brain that incorporate principles of rapid treatment of stroke,” said AGACNP program director Kathleen M. Cox, DNP.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that more than 795,000 people have a stroke in the United States each year and about 140,000 of them die. It is also a leading cause of serious long-term disability in adults.

In UMC’s Comprehensive Stroke Center, nurse practitioners are part of an interdisciplinary team of neurointerventionalists, neurologists, neurosurgeons, emergency medicine physicians and registered nurses. They work together to provide the highest level of stroke care in a timely manner to improve patients’ chances at recovery.

“There’s a saying in stroke that ‘time is brain,’” said Zuniga, referring to the death of brain cells that occurs when the brain is deprived of oxygen during a stroke. It means that the faster a stroke patient receives treatment, the less damage to the brain.

“From the time the patient comes through the door, we have 60 minutes to assess the patient,” Zuniga continued, “and to do lab tests, give medication, get CT scans and get the patient prepped for surgery to extract the blood clot or send them to the neuro intensive care unit for observation.”

The Joint Commission requires hospitals to have one or more advanced practice nurses (APNs) on its stroke team to be eligible for comprehensive stroke center certification. APNs such as nurse practitioners are expected to support delivery of evidence-based acute stroke assessment and management, provide expert nursing consultation and practice oversight, develop and deliver acute stroke continuing education programs, participate in performance improvement processes, and participate in stroke research.

Carla Escobar, the nurse manager for UMC’s Neurological Intensive Care Unit, said the center’s nurse practitioners provide continuity of care to stroke patients.

“We have three board certified critical care neurologists that run our neuro ICU, and the four nurse practitioners are the next layer along with a layer of residents,” explained Escobar, who will graduate this summer from UTEP’s MSN in Nursing Systems Management program.

“The nurse practitioners are in the ICU from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day providing day-to-day care, and they have a really good relationship with our nursing team because they come from nursing,” she said. “It really makes the orders and patient care elements function seamlessly because they know what we need as nurses, but yet they have the provider background, too.”

According to UTEP School of Nursing officials, more than 60 percent of El Paso nurses earned their degrees at UTEP.

By enabling local students to study and work in El Paso, UTEP’s nursing program is producing nurses who are in demand because they are familiar with the culture and language of the community they serve.

“The benefit of having AGACNPs from our own community is that they know this community and provide culturally relevant care,” Cox said. “They speak Spanish and are members of this community.”

Zuniga, Edwin Lopez and Guillermina Nelson earned their UTEP bachelor’s degrees in 2007. Nelson and Zuniga also graduated together from the MSN program in 2015. Nelson said working with fellow alumni is an opportunity to show the community what UTEP grads have to offer.

“Working with all UTEP (nurse practitioner) graduates in the stroke unit at UMC makes me very proud,” Nelson said. “I definitely relate better to my fellow nurse practitioners and (I’ve) worked (alongside) them at (patients’) bedsides for many years. We all know our strengths and weakness and we know the struggles the (nurse practitioner) community (faces) when it comes to utilizing our role to the fullest potential.”

For more information about UTEP’s nurse practitioner programs, click here.

Author: Laura L. Acosta – UTEP Communications

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.”

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.

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.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court confirms UMC / EPCH Plan; Both side share statements

After many months of litigation and a filing for bankruptcy protection by El Paso Children’s Hospital (EPCH), U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Christopher Mott today confirmed a plan that will result in a new affiliation with University Medical Center of El Paso (UMC), will bring about the emergence of EPCH from bankruptcy.

“This is a tremendous victory for all of the families in El Paso who were concerned that the vision of voters to have a first-rate Children’s Hospital in El Paso would disappear forever,” said Steve DeGroat, UMC Board of Managers Chair.

DeGroat continued, “Many people, from our legal team to board members to hospital administration and staff, put in countless hours yet never lost hope that we would be able to rescue Children’s Hospital from its financial tailspin. The plan we agreed on is the foundation of a new era and relationship between our two hospitals.

“Today’s confirmation solidifies a willingness of both hospitals to do the right thing for our community,” he added.
As part of the plan, the UMC Board of Managers is responsible for nominating the majority of seats on the EPCH Board. This has already occurred and becomes official with today’s confirmation.  

In a press conference held this afternoon, EPCH Board Chair Rosemary Castillo issued the following statement:

“The Board of El Paso Children’s Hospital thinks it fitting for us to make a statement as we come to this juncture in the history of El Paso Children’s Hospital. 

In 2007, El Paso taxpayers passed a bond for a separately licensed and separately governed Children’s Hospital.  From the beginning, the Children’s Hospital board took to heart its responsibility of governance and to fulfill that taxpayer mandate. The Children’s Hospital board has always been dedicated wholly and entirely to the mission and vision of maintaining a separately licensed, separately governed Children’s hospital, and to the support of the clinical services and excellent care that is being provided by its dedicated medical staff and employees. 

When the hospital opened, we were optimistic about the future. We believed that UMC shared our goals to ensure a successful launch of the hospital, and we believed that UMC would honor its promises to not profit from El Paso Children’s Hospital. A true partnership with a shared vision would have allowed the parties to negotiate in good faith and to remedy the loss of Medicaid revenues when changes in reimbursements occurred. Unfortunately, this spirit of cooperation and shared goals with UMC was lost along the way. 

Bankruptcy was this Board’s last resort. We sincerely believe that the financial dispute could have and should have been resolved early on, and we made every attempt to do so. It is unfortunate that those who had the ability to cure it, did not.  After unsuccessful mediations, protection within the bankruptcy court became the only option to correct our debts and to restructure our financial obligations. We knew this process wasn’t going to be easy, but it was the right thing to do. 

As a board we made a commitment to the families and patients that we serve, our staff, and our physicians, that the Children’s Hospital would continue to maintain its high quality of care and remain a place of hope and healing for the sick and injured children. We committed to emerging from this process by the end of the year, and that our financial obligations would be corrected and rightsized as a result of bankruptcy. 

We have delivered on each of these commitments. 

EPCH, UMC, and El Paso County Commissioners reached a compromise for El Paso, the taxpayers, and our children. Today, the Federal Court approved the confirmation of the Joint Plan, allowing the Children’s Hospital to exit bankruptcy and start anew. We challenge our community to hold UMC and the El Paso County Commissioners Court accountable to protect what the voters approved in 2007. 

On January 8, 2016, El Paso Children’s Hospital begins a new chapter and will have a new partnership with UMC.  Both hospitals need to work more closely together, and make the best use of shared resources, while keeping intact a separately-licensed hospital that continues to provide excellent pediatric healthcare. 

The new Board Members will take the helm of an excellent children’s hospital that has been a source of pride in this community. They will have the honor and privilege of overseeing a children’s hospital that saves lives, a children’s hospital that helps children heal and live normal lives, and they will hear countless stories of families who benefit from having this Children’s Hospital in the borderplex.   

They will assume the responsibility of a hospital that is home to highly-skilled, caring physicians and nurses who function in a first-rate medical center dedicated “exclusively” to children.  A hospital that has reduced outmigration of infants and children by 80%, when going out of town was the only option before we opened. 

A hospital that is an Institutional Member of the Children’s Oncology Group. A children’s hospital that has adopted numerous protocols for hard to treat and resistant cancers, as are available at facilities such as St. Jude’s, and M. D. Anderson and Sloan Kettering. The only children’s hospital in the borderplex that has achieved this distinction. They will meet all of the excellent neonatal and pediatric subspecialists caring and treating our children.  They will appreciate that seven of our physicians have been recognized as Best Doctors in America®, and that only five percent of doctors in America earn this prestigious honor. 

They will witness the care that is first in class, as evidenced by national quality standards. They will know that the hospital that they are serving to protect has been cited for Excellence by the Joint Commission, has been granted Institutional Membership by the Children’s Oncology Group, has been accredited in MRI by the American College of Radiology, has been accredited by the College of American Pathologists, and has earned the Quality Respiratory Care Recognition by the American Association for Respiratory Care. 

We have no doubt, the new Children’s Hospital board will embrace what we have been working so hard to protect. We recognize the new board has a big responsibility to implement what was agreed to by all parties in the Joint Plan, and to continue to grow programs and services offered by El Paso Children’s Hospital, where miracles happen every day. 

From its inception, El Paso Children’s Hospital has faced tremendous adversity and throughout that time we have seen the emergence of strong leaders in support of EPCH. I want to thank the current and former El Paso Children’s Hospital Board members for their tireless and voluntary dedication to protecting the independent operation of the children’s hospital. 

We thank the countless supporters we have had throughout this process.  Thank you to our courageous Medical Staff and the community pediatricians, who despite personal and professional risk defended the mission of the El Paso Children’s Hospital in the press and in federal court. They spoke with great conviction and stated the things that only they could say about the future of El Paso’s only dedicated Children’s Hospital. 

Thank you to our staff and employees for their commitment to quality and to the care of their patients. We are aware that you could have left Children’s Hospital, and perhaps El Paso, for certainty in your lives and profession, but you didn’t. Instead, you chose to stay and work to make El Paso Children’s Hospital what it is today. Thank you to the families who wrote letters of support asking how they could help. Thank you to the patients in our Hematology Extremely Awesome Teens program, who wanted to help.  Thank you to the children in our community who called and wanted to donate their piggy banks. You have all proven that even the smallest voice can make a large difference. 

Thank you to the many social media writers who emerged to correct the inaccurate reporting and biased stories portrayed by certain media outlets.  Thank you to the group of community members who formed to hold our elected leaders accountable. 

To all of you, our army of supporters, who stood behind us and supported us, thank you.  Because of you, El Paso Children’s Hospital and its mission continues. Now, we look to the future with a renewed sense of purpose and focus.”  

Author: University Medical Center/El Paso Children’s Hospital

EP Children’s Hospital asks for explanation on rejections


In the continuing war of words and dueling releases from University Medical Center (UMC) and El Paso Children’s Hospital (EPCH); an early-Tuesday morning release from EPCH is asking for an explanation of the rejection that occurred yesterday.

The release also includes a timeline, from EPCH, alleging UMC and the county “don’t want to settle.”

Below is there statement in full:

El Paso Children’s Hospital issued the following statement today:

This morning, the Board of El Paso Children’s Hospital (EPCH) asked for representatives of UMC and County Commissioners Court to explain the rejection of EPCH’s acceptance of an interim proposal that the parties have been negotiating for nearly two weeks.  

EPCH Board Chair Rosemary Castillo reaffirmed that the EPCH board had accepted, UMC’s counter-offer.  “We were only given a couple of hours Monday morning to respond to UMC’s counter proposal.  We gave approval to the terms as explained by UMC’s counsel.  We still don’t know why they think we changed any terms. The interpretation of this last issue was first discussed between counsel last Thursday when UMC surprised us with a totally new term in its counteroffer.”

On Friday, EPCH gave a timely response to UMC’s Thursday offer of an interim agreement with two alternative proposals, including one that would have resolved the litigation completely.  EPCH gave UMC three days to consider and respond to the opportunity to end the litigation.

“We wanted to show them that we are more than willing to drop the litigation if they recognize that the obligations to UMC have to be modified to reflect the market place for the children’s hospital to thrive,” said lead litigation attorney Patricia Tomasco, a partner with Jackson Walker in Austin.  “Despite discussions between counsel all weekend, UMC has yet to even respond to EPCH’s global offer.  Rather, UMC went back to its prior offer delivered on Thursday and then rejected EPCH’s attempt to accept it.”

Tomasco reiterated that. “We offered to talk at 11 p.m. last night and again at 6 a.m. this morning.” EPCH Board Chair Rosemary Castillo expressed frustration with UMC’s and Commissioners Court’s actions. “It certainly looks like they don’t want to settle. We make a global offer and they don’t even respond. We accept their interim proposal and they say ‘no you didn’t!’ It makes no sense.”

El Paso Children’s Hospital is committed to serving the best interests of the critically ill and injured children of our community and surrounding region.


Thursday, September 24th
o        UMC adds totally new term to counter-offer:  Children’s gets 45 more days to find a strategic partner, Children’s postpones lawsuit till January

Friday, September 25th
o        10:00 am – EPCH presents UMC with counter-offer (Plan A and Plan B) to UMC
o        Commissioner’s Court indicates…”want the weekend to review”
o        Escobar says Commissioner’s Court will convene with UMC Board of Managers at 8:30 am Monday in a special session before the Commissioner’s Court regular meeting

Monday, September 28
o        10:00 am  – UMC sends EPCH counter-offer rejecting abated rent, requires approximately $5 million Disproportionate Share payment EPCH expects to receive in December to go to UMC
o        11:00 am – EPCH agrees to terms of counter-offer, says, “Yes” to concessions.
o        12:00 noon – UMC Board of Managers and Commissioner’s Court respond rejecting EPCH plan which includes EPCH’s agreement to concessions requested two hours earlier.

Tuesday, September 29
o        Emergency hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Austin.  UMC will ask Mott to allow UMC to submit its own plan and end EPCH exclusivity.

Monday, October 22
o        Trial set to determine whether the Children’s hospital has been overcharged for rent and/or services by UMC.

Spring Training 728
john overall 728×90
Elizabeth 728
EPCON_2020 728
Amy’s Ambassadorship
West Texas Test Drive 728
Mountains 728
Get Shift Done 728
Utep Football Generic 728
Covid-19 Fund 728