January 17th, 2013
When the city last ventured into property designations near then-Thomason Hospital, there was such an outcry that it backed off.
This time, establishing a Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone in the area may be accepted by the area's residents. This
time, gone are the false rumors of property takeovers -- and those feared words, "eminent domain." This time,
private property owners in the Medical Center of the Americas area can choose to participate. Or not.
The last time,... [more]
October 2nd, 2012
EL PASO, Texas — Pediatric specialists weren't easy to find in El Paso until the Children's Hospital opened.
Some of the doctors who work there recently saved a baby girl with a surgery that couldn't be performed anywhere else in the city.
Ashley DeHaro turned 4 months old at the hospital Wednesday. She's recovering after an emergency surgery she underwent last week.
Pediatric surgeon Dr. William Spurbeck,... [more]
September 11th, 2012
Through a new biomedical engineering graduate program, leaders at the University of Texas at El Paso are trying to enhance high-skilled biotechnology jobs that will target the region's health care needs.
It's not just a push for UTEP's aspiration to reach tier-one research status.
The program would forge collaborations with the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, where students in the program would take clinical rotations at the medical school and... [more]
April 2nd, 2012
The Rock Kiss bar, with its neon pink walls, stands a few steps from the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, the state's newest medical school. Although a sign advertises happy hour, the bar is shuttered, having been acquired by the growing school to make way for a parking lot, trees and shrubs.
Across the street, a children's hospital opened earlier this year, as did an adjacent women's hospital within a recently renovated county hospital.
Thus, in... [more]
February 13th, 2012
The Medical Center of the Americas will receive $3 million from the city of El Paso during the next few months toward development of the Biomedical Tech Center.
On June 14, 2011, City Council voted to dedicate 75 percent of franchise fees the city receives from El Paso Electric for development of MCA. The remaining 25 percent of franchise fees received from EPE will be used to support technology-based business or as a "deal-closing fund."
In the... [more]
February 13th, 2012
Maybe it's a pediatrician thing, but Dr. Bradley Fuhrman puts people at ease and exudes the feeling that everything's OK.
But the months leading up to the opening of the 122-bed El Paso Children's Hospital and the arrival of patients this week have been crazy.
Just last week there was a major state inspection, before which very little could be moved in and after which everything has to be moved in - fast.
Fuhrman, 65, isn't tall or... [more]
January 16th, 2012
EL PASO, Texas -- U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi continued her trip through the Borderland with a tour of the TTUHSC Paul L. Foster School of Medicine on Saturday (Jan. 14). Pelosi was escorted by El Paso Congressman Silvestre Reyes, who is pushing for more funding for our health and sciences education in the region.Reyes said he wants Pelosi to get a good feel of what's going on at the medical school and... [more]
December 5th, 2011
Ted Houghton, Chair of the Texas Transportation Commission, participated in a Q&A with the El Paso Inc., Ted Houghton gives his thoughts on the MCA Foundation and the development of the MCA campus. Below is an excerpt of that Q&A.
There have probably never been more transportation projects started in El Paso than since Ted Houghton became the first El Pasoan to serve on the Texas Transportation Commission in 2003.
Houghton's colleagues say that's no coincidence. His... [more]
November 4th, 2011
Specialization. That would certainly be one of the stamps that identify our faster-than-ever pace toward becoming the recognized Medical Center of the Americas.
"Specialization" has been added to the mix with the opening of the University Medical Center's Women's Pavilion and Outpatient Center. It's to be staffed by physicians who specialize in high-risk pregnancies.
There have been other stamps en route to MCA status.
"Land" was donated for Texas Tech's four-year medical school adjacent to the UMC campus.
November 3rd, 2011
Cutting-edge cancer treatments will be available to some El Pasoans because of a $1.5 million grant awarded to Texas Tech's Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, officials said Wednesday.
"This allows us to establish and open clinical research here in El Paso that will directly affect patients," said Dr. Zeina Nahleh, chief of the school's Division of Hematology and Oncology. "They will have access to new medications, new treatments that they would not otherwise have... [more]
October 29th, 2011
In just a few weeks, the city will have its first hospital exclusively for women.
University Medical Center of El Paso will unveil its first women-only hospital at 11 a.m. today at University Medical Center, 4815 Alameda. Public tours of the facility will run until 2 p.m.
Housed on the first five floors of the 10-story east tower, the $103 million Women's Pavilion and Outpatient Center will feature 90 private rooms, three operating suites and two nurseries.... [more]
October 25th, 2011
An established research center is a main component as we take steps to become the foremost hub for studying and treating health problems indigenous to life on the southern border.
Achieving that will give El Paso its third large economic driver. Trade with Mexico and Fort Bliss lead the way at present. The University of Texas at El Paso is also a considerably large player.
Last week City Council gave El Paso a good booster... [more]
October 24th, 2011
Texas Tech's nursing school in El Paso has put the finishing touches on its transformation into a stand-alone, fully accredited school.
To celebrate, Kent Hance, chancellor of the Texas Tech System, was in El Paso Monday to meet the school's inaugural class.
With classes now under way at Texas Tech's Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing in El Paso, the hope is that Texas Tech can now follow through with its promise to do the same with... [more]
October 20th, 2011
The El Paso City Council this week took another step to incubate biomedical companies at the Medical Center of the Americas.
The medical center is a major pillar in the council's economic-development strategy.
The council on Tuesday voted to lease an 11.7-acre parcel to the Medical Center of the Americas Foundation to be used for a biomedical research park. The council also took the first step to create a tax-increment reinvestment zone at the medical... [more]
October 15th, 2011
El Paso is fortunate to have Dr. Bradley Fuhrman, a highly credentialed pediatric physician, as the first pediatrician-in-chief for El Paso Children's Hospital.
Not only is he credited by the Journal of American Medical Association as having literally written the book on caring for critically ill children, he invented the Fuhrman pigtail catheter now widely used to drain infection-caused air and fluid from around the lungs or heart.
Fuhrman's book is titled "Pediatric Critical Care."... [more]
August 23rd, 2011
Since 2005, El Paso Electric has paid $98.5 million in franchise fees to use city streets and other rights-of-way.
And even though the utility pays the fees, the funds come from customers’ pockets, and go straight to the city.
When the El Paso City Council raised the franchise fee in 2005 from 2 percent to 3.25 percent of the utility’s gross revenues – or from $8.3 million a year to $15.5 million –... [more]
August 23rd, 2011
Inside El Paso’s medical school, internationally renowned scientists work on cures for HIV, search for genes that underlie major mental illnesses, and study new treatments for cancer. It’s all part of the school’s ballooning $12-million research portfolio.
And the man heading up that new research at the fledgling, four-year-old school is Dr. Charles Miller, associate dean for research at Texas Tech’s Paul L. Foster School of Medicine.
Forget the... [more]
July 11th, 2011
In a modest office on the eighth floor of the Chase building, Emma Schwartz is shaping El Paso's future.
If she is successful in her mission to create a Medical Center of the Americas, which will require substantial community support, the payoff would include thousands of new jobs delivering cutting-edge health care to the region and medical science advances that, in many cases, target diseases suffered disproportionately by border residents.
Schwartz, president of the foundation responsible with... [more]
July 4th, 2011
Emma Schwartz, president of the Medical Center of the Americas Foundation, is working on a project that could shape El Paso for decades to come.
The initiative is designed to make the Sun City a biomedical hub, from specialty hospitals to medical research, to manufacturing and distribution of medical supplies. If the project takes off, it would inject money into the economy and create jobs with good pay.
At the heart of the Medical Center of the... [more]
June 27th, 2011
The University of Texas at El Paso plans to explore new ways to make medical school more affordable and diverse with the help of a recently awarded $1.5 million grant.
The funding comes from a $4 million grant through the University of Texas System Board of Regents for the Transformation in Medical Evaluation initiative. The grant will serve as a two-year pilot program to address challenges in high medical school costs and low Hispanic medical school... [more]
June 2nd, 2011
City Council on Tuesday recognized the importance of the Medical Center of the Americas by putting $3.3 million per year into the MCA.
Another $1.2 million will be used to attract jobs from outside El Paso and to finance business incubators.
El Paso Electric ratepayers who live within city limits will foot the bill for the allocations. For example, 45 cents on a $60 electric bill goes to support economic development. It's known as a franchise fee.
June 1st, 2011
The city will devote $3.3 million a year to developing the Medical Center of the Americas and an additional $1.2 million to finance business incubators and try attracting jobs from elsewhere.
The funds -- earmarked for economic development -- are part of a franchise fee paid by El Paso Electric ratepayers within city limits. If such a customer gets a $60 electric bill, 45 cents goes to support the economic development fund.
Last month, the City Council... [more]
May 13th, 2011
University Medical Center of El Paso (UMC) will receive the President’s Award during the 2011 conference of the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (NAPH) in Chicago June 22-24. The President’s Award is the highest honor NAPH bestows on one of its member hospitals. In a notification letter to UMC, NAPH President Larry Gage wrote that the award is being granted in honor of the extraordinary transformation UMC has made in recent years,... [more]
April 17th, 2011
AUSTIN -- Leaders of El Paso's growing medical school want to believe that things will change.
The Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, part of Texas Tech's Health Sciences Center, stands to lose about $13 million, or 30 percent of its state money, under a budget approved by the House.
But Dr. Jose Manuel de la Rosa, the school's founding dean, is pinning his hopes on a different proposal from the state Senate that could be voted... [more]
March 13th, 2011
El Paso's public medical facilities cannot offer doctors the top dollar or expensive perks that some private hospitals use to lure prized recruits.
But even when medical specialists are in short supply nationwide, people who recruit for the Texas Tech University Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, University Medical Center and El Paso Children's Hospital say they are finding highly qualified individuals who want to work in El Paso.
What is drawing doctors to the region?
"It's sort... [more]
March 10th, 2011
EL PASO - A local medical foundation has partnered with a healthcare real estate developer, a technology venture development firm and an architecture firm specializing in healthcare design to create a bio-medical campus here.
The Medical Center of the Americas Foundation, which brings together entities in El Paso dedicated to health research, service delivery and education in the Paso del Norte region and the Americas, recently selected Hammes Company, E-Cubed Ventures LLC and Perkins+Will Inc. to... [more]
February 27th, 2011
City projected to finish year with $105,000 budget surplus
Last fall, as the El Paso City Council and the public-safety unions battled over money, the city appeared to be in a precarious situation.
But after concessions by the unions and cuts elsewhere in the budget, El Paso appears to be in better fiscal shape than some other Texas cities and far better than elsewhere in the country.
After the city closed the books on the first... [more]
February 24th, 2011
While universities across Texas flinch at the prospect of having their budgets slashed, the fledgling four-year medical school here in El Paso faces a proposal that targets its budget with cuts that are three times as deep.
“We are stuck with deep, deep cuts, unless we are able to convince the state Legislature that we are in a unique situation,” Dr. Jose Manuel de la Rosa, dean of Texas Tech’s Paul L.... [more]
February 8th, 2011
Now here's something to get excited about. El Paso as a world-class biomedical center? Why not? Plans are already in the works to make that dream a reality. The Medical Center of the Americas is getting the ball rolling this week as companies from around the nation are meeting to begin creating a plan.
It's going to be a detailed, $300,000 community development that truly involves the community -- UTEP, El Paso Community College, New Mexico... [more]
February 4th, 2011
The Medical Center of the Americas -- which could create significant economic and health benefits for this binational region -- is preparing to launch.
Next week, a team of companies from around the country is set to begin creating a detailed plan, which will include local universities and medical facilities as well as the city and county of El Paso, Fort Bliss, White Sands Missile Range and New Mexico State University.
The $300,000 community development plan, which... [more]
February 3rd, 2011
Rodolfo "Rudy" Mata is the new chairman of the Medical Center of the Americas Foundation board, and Maria Elena Flood has been named vice chairwoman.
The foundation is completing a master plan for a 140-acre medical complex anchored by the Texas Tech University medical school and University Medical Center.
Mata operates his own law firm. Flood is a retired assistant professor at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso, and she helped get the... [more]
July 13th, 2010
EL PASO, Texas -- U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-El Paso) announced today that Department of Health and Human Services Secretary (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius will visit El Paso July 19-20 to mark the 10th anniversary of the United States-Mexico Border Health Commission (BHC) and also meet with local health care leaders in the community.
This will be her first visit to El Paso since her confirmation to lead the department. She is the fourth Cabinet-level official to... [more]
January 31st, 2010
The small office on the 15th floor of the Chase Bank Tower Downtown might not look like a portal to the future of El Paso's medical economy, but it is.
It is the headquarters of the Medical Center of the America's Foundation, the local nonprofit founded in 2006 that is guiding the development of a campus of medical facilities encompassing University Medical Center and Texas Tech's Paul L. Foster School of Medicine.
The city incorporated the 140-acre... [more]
September 23rd, 2008
The City Plan Commission approved the Medical Center of the Americas master plan this morning. It goes next
to the City Council, now scheduled for Oct. 7.
"This allows us to move forward," said Ralph Adame, a member of the non-profit MCA board.
The MCA is meant to be a "keeper of the vision," an organization that maintains a big-picture view of a medical campus that incorporates Thomason, Texas Tech and other institutions and businesses that want... [more]
September 22nd, 2008
Although it's nothing like it was the first time around, judging from the comments at public meetings to discuss the Medical Center of the Americas, the biggest issue to come up is the hardest to overcome -- trust.
That's an issue at the core of politics at any level, and in El Paso politics, it is the lack of trust that is the underlying force behind the community's difficulty to unite completely behind proposals. The lack... [more]
September 7th, 2008
Residents and business owners where the proposed Medical Center of the Americas would be located, as well as members of the City Plan Commission, got their first look at a master plan for the project. The plan involves developing some 200 acres near Thomason Hospital and the Paul L. Foster Medical School to attract health-care related industries.
About 50 people turned out Wednesday night for the meeting at the Silva Health Magnet School. Home owners repeated... [more]
August 15th, 2008
Almost 10 years in the making, depending how it's calculated, the Medical Center of the Americas will hit a key
stage over the next several weeks as the master plan outlining general land use for more than 200 acres is vetted
A schedule approved by the City Plan Commission Thursday tentatively sets the first public meeting on the plan
for Aug. 21, with a follow-up Sept. 10 and Sept. 11, at which time... [more]
October 12th, 2007
An exchange of letters between business leader Woody Hunt and state Sen. Eliot Shapleigh sheds light on some
of the issues involved in building a medical center in El Paso, and that medical center's relationship with UTEP.
The exchange began with a letter from Shapleigh to Hunt on Aug. 31, expressing a concern that the community
did not benefit as much as it should have from a decision to place a new school of nursing... [more]
September 14th, 2007
For the second time since UTEP signed on as a partner in the proposed medical center, the UT System has
decided to place a major health-related asset on the UTEP campus instead of the Medical Center of the
Americas, a site anchored by Thomason and Texas Tech in Central El Paso.
Unlike the last time, however, when the placement of a biosciences research building seven years ago caused a
blowup between state Sen. Eliot Shapleigh... [more]
August 24th, 2007
Texas Tech officials announced this morning that Paul Foster is donating $50 million to the planned Texas Tech four-year medical school in El Paso. Paul Foster is the president and CEO of El Paso company Western Refining. Texas legislators this year approved funding to hire staff and faculty at the school, and the first class of four-year medical students is set to begin in August 2009. The school will be named after Paul Foster, Texas... [more]
August 3rd, 2007
EL PASO, TX – (August 3, 2007) – Woody L. Hunt, Chairman of Hunt Family Foundation, and Marcus J. Hunt,
the Foundation’s President, announced today a matching grant commitment in the total amount of $500,000 to
the Medical Center of the Americas Foundation in El Paso. The matching grant commitment is tied to the
planning and development of the new Medical Center of the Americas’ complex, an initiative to create an
integrated campus of medical... [more]
June 10th, 2007
Now that the Texas Tech University medical school campus is taking shape on 10 acres near Thomason Hospital in Central El Paso, and a 2009 date is set for entry of the school's first class, attention is turning toward what will be developed in the surrounding area.
The not-for-profit Medical Center of the Americas Foundation wants to have a hand in how the area develops. It has hired consultants to put together a $700,000 master development... [more]
April 17th, 2006
The Medical Center of the Americas project is picking up steam, with a presentation to the mayor’s Medical
Cabinet April 12 that led to a resolution to support funding a master plan.
The resolution could become a recommendation to the City Council in the next few months. The Council would
be asked to help fund the master plan for development of the Medical Center of the Americas.
It’s unclear at this point how much the... [more]
March 20th, 2006
One of the most ambitious economic development projects in El Paso's history, mired in politics and
semi-moribund for the past couple of years, is about to reemerge. The project, the Medical Center of the
Americas, would cluster medical assets in the area now dominated by Thomason and Texas Tech.
The idea is that Thomason's $120 million expansion, Tech's nascent medical school, and the affiliated labs and
centers, along with a children's hospital, would create a... [more]