VA Secretary visits with MCA and Texas Tech Foster School of Medicine
May 23rd, 2012
On May 23, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki visited with the MCA Foundation and TTUHSC Paul L. Foster School of Medicine. Discussion focused on residency and research programs that exist between the VA Medical Center in El Paso and the medical school. Discussion also touched on the potential to increase research activities with El Paso’s VA center and improve healthcare services and care delivery to the region’s veterans. Some talk was also given to the topic of possibly building a VA hospital in El Paso. Shinseki said he plans to return to his D.C. office, discuss El Paso with his team and re-evaluate priorities.
Included in the meeting with Secretary Shinseki was J. Manuel de la Rosa, MD and Charles Miller, PhD. both from the medical school; as well as Robert Skov, Emma Schwartz and Noemi Rojas from the MCA Foundation.
Shinseki’s briefing by the MCA and TTUHSC-El Paso is among a series of meetings that have taken place with national figures, including U.S. House of Representatives Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi earlier this year.
On May 27, the El Paso Inc. published a Q&A with Silvestre Reyes who talked about the future of El Paso’s VA medical center:
Q: El Paso is getting a new $1 billion Beaumont Hospital, but there will be no VA component included. What will become of the VA clinic at Beaumont and where will veterans and retirees receive VA services?
There’s three options: One is they can continue with the partnership and move to the new William Beaumont. Veterans don’t like that option because it’s kind of isolated on east Fort Bliss and hard to get to.
The second option is to remodel or rebuild the current William Beaumont to keep the veterans facility there. That is very expensive because that William Beaumont was built under Cold War standards, which means there will have to be a serious investment to bring it up to today’s standards.
Option No. 3 is to find another location. What the Medical Center of the Americas has offered is to be considered. They’ll provide the space for the new VA facility. It consolidates VA services under the MCA banner, which gives us future opportunities for research and development in the same place as the medical school.
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi gives undivided attention to the Paso del Norte and the MCA
[originally posted Jan 16, 2012]
On Saturday, Jan. 14, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Silvestre Reyes were on the MCA campus to discuss national issues as it affects the Paso del Norte region in terms of healthcare delivery, graduate medical education funding and biosciences research and innovation.
Leader Pelosi met with Dr. Manuel de la Rosa of TTUHSC Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, Woody Hunt of the MCA Foundation Board of Directors, Dr. Jose Luna of University Medical Center of El Paso Board of Managers, and Larry Duncan of the El Paso Children’s Hospital. Leader Pelosi also received information on UTEP, NMSU and William Beaumont Army Medical Center.
(Pictured: Dr. Manuel de la Rosa takes Leader Pelosi on a tour of the Medical Education Building.)
Before touring the medical school, the group briefed Pelosi for 45 minutes on the MCA and the region's goals for becoming a life sciences powerhouse and the challenges. During that meeting, Pelosi expressed appreciation for the region’s collaborative spirit and offered to help remove legislative barriers that stiffle the growth of this emerging life sciences community. She was aggressively supportive of the call for opposing graduate medical education cuts. She was also receptive to the message that the status of the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine as a new school precludes the school from competing for national grants. She offered possible solutions for making adjustments in the language of legislation for new medical schools and leveling the grant playing field.
Leader Pelosi’s visit is among a series of visits to the MCA campus by national dignitaries since 2009, which is the year that the medical school opened with its first class, Thomason Hospital changed its name to University Medical Center, UTEP opened its Biosciences Research Building, and construction began on the El Paso Children’s Hospital.
Other visiting dignitaries have included Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives Steny Hoyer in 2009, Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives Joe Straus in 2009, a group of officials from the National Institutes of Health in 2010, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius in 2010, U.S. Senator from Texas John Cornyn in 2010, and U.S. Congressman from Texas Ciro Rodriguez in 2010.
Every visit has been a community-backed effort to impress upon high level government officials the region’s needs as a fast-emerging life sciences community. The MCA is moving toward becoming an important contributor to the nation in terms of healthcare services delivery, medical education and biosciences research that directly affects the country’s military, border and Hispanic populations.
Medical Center of the Americas
The Medical Center of the Americas (MCA) is an integrated complex of medical facilities currently anchored by University Medical Center of El Paso and the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Paul L. Foster School of Medicine. The MCA is also site to the developing El Paso Children’s Hospital and a future biomedical research park. It is located in the international city of El Paso, Texas where two nations, three states (Texas, New Mexico and Chihuahua) and the U.S. Army’s second largest installation converge. It has a combined population of 2 million consisting largely of Hispanics, military personnel and a substantial border community.
The MCA Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that works to advance the development of the MCA campus and advance the Paso del Norte community research agenda. The Foundation is the keeper of the vision to position the Paso del Norte region as the global leader of health delivery, education and research concentrating on issues unique to the Hispanic, border and military populations.
(Picture: After touring the Medical Science Building, Leader Pelosi walks through the public art park of the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine. Woody Hunt is on her right side. Dr. de la Rosa is on her left.)
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