El Paso County Hospital District
Friday Letter from the President & CEO
May 2, 2008
Radiology Residency Program:
Tech-El Paso Founding Dean Manuel de la Rosa and I called a news
conference this week to officially announce what can only be described
as fantastic news for the community.
The school has received the green light from the Accreditation
Council for Graduate Medical Education to launch a brand new residency
program. Beginning this
summer, physicians who want to specialize in radiology can do their post
graduate training right here in El Paso!
Residency Program is yet another important milestone in Thomason’s
evolution into a
It is the first new residency program to be approved on our
campus in 15 years! The
initiative was the brainchild of Dr. Arvin Robinson, the Medical
Director of our Diagnostic Imaging Department and the Chairman of Texas
Tech’s Department of Radiology.
Dr. Robinson came to our campus three years with a vision to
better meet the community’s needs.
One of the ways he is doing that is through this new residency
program. Those who complete
it will help alleviate the region’s shortage of radiologists.
To help ensure
that Dr. Robinson’s vision became a reality, Thomason has committed
significant funding for the initiative.
We are investing close to two million dollars over the next four
years to fund the residents and an estimated $20 million for capital
equipment. Among the new technology Thomason is making available for the
- Three MRIs
- Three CT
- Four Direct
- C Arm and
Portable Radiographic Units
as part of Thomason’s Master Site Facility Plan, the hospital will
increase the size of its Imaging Department, including our facilities in
Northeast El Paso, by more than 50%.
The existing department is 20,445 square feet.
When the construction is complete, the department will occupy
31,382 square feet. We are
excited about this initiative and are looking forward to welcoming the
new radiology residents in July.
Emergency Department Changes:
Tech tapped long-time emergency medicine physician Dr. Brian Nelson to
chair its Department of Emergency Medicine this week following an
announcement that Dr. Robert Woolard had decided to step down for
personal reasons. Dr.
Woolard, a Professor in the department, will now focus on research and
clinical care. Dr. Nelson is
no stranger to the post. He
served as the department’s first chair and remained at its helm for 11
years. He also serves as the
Medical Director of Thomason’s Emergency Department and Level I Trauma
Center. He has worked in
Thomason’s Emergency Department for 25 years.
In addition to Dr.
Nelson, the department’s leadership team consists of Dr. David Bryan,
who has been name Vice Chair of Emergency Medicine, and Dr. Veronica
Greer, who is the new Medical Director of the Emergency Medicine
Residency Program. Thomason
fully supports this team and all of our Emergency Medicine faculty and
we have complete confidence in their ability to build upon the
department’s strengths and to enhance patient care.
In fact, these are
very exciting times in Emergency Medicine.
As part of Thomason’s Master Site Facility Plan, the hospital is
investing millions of dollars to double the size of our existing
Emergency Department and Level I Trauma Center.
And we are committed to expanding the Emergency Medicine
Residency program from 24 to 30 resident physicians by next year.
Additionally, another faculty physician will be joining the
department on June 1st.
Lastly, I want to
welcome Rellon Powers, RN, to his new position as Nurse Manager of our
Emergency Department. Mr.
Powers comes to us from
where he worked for nearly 10 years, most recently as the Administrative
Director of Emergency Services.
He has a Bachelors of Science degree in Nursing from the
of Texas at El Paso and is an inductee into the Sigma
Theta Tau International Honor Society and the Phi Theta Cappa Honor
Society. Welcome Mr. Powers!
Col. John Powell,
Commander of William Beaumont Army Medical Center, relinquished his
command this morning during a special ceremony in his honor on the
hospital’s grounds. Col.
Powell is being deployed to
where he will be assigned to the Multi-National Security Transition
Command as Assistant Chief of Staff, Health Affairs Lead Partner.
During his 22 months of service here, Col. Powell was extremely
successful in moving the Beaumont
campus forward in preparation for the influx of troops Ft. Bliss
will receive under the Base Realignment and Closure Act.
His departing comments were very complimentary of the
community and of the soldiers under his command.
I enjoyed working with Col. Powell and wish him nothing but the
best. I’m also looking
forward to continuing the strong partnership Thomason has developed with
William Beaumont as Acting Commander Col. Karen Gausman assumes her new
Thomason hosted a
luncheon this week in honor of the hospital’s 150 volunteers as part of
the festivities surrounding National Volunteers’ Week.
Our corps of ordinary El Pasoans who give of their time and
talents are among the most dedicated volunteers in the city.
Each month, they spend an estimated 1,300 hours “on the job”
manning our Information Desk, providing pastoral care, rocking babies in
the Neonatal Intensive Care Units, escorting visitors to their
destinations, etc. Our team
would not be complete without them and we thank them for their service.
Thomason received word this week from the American Diabetes
Association that the hospital’s Diabetes Education Program has been
re-accredited for another three years.
Applicants for accreditation are assessed as to whether their
programs meet stringent national standards for diabetes self-management
program makes the grade, which is especially important in this community
where so many people suffer from diabetes.
Our certified Diabetes Educators provide individualized training
and support to hundreds of patients in an effort to help them understand
and manage their disease and prevent potentially serious complications.
Carol Smallwood, Vice
President of the El Paso County Hospital District and CEO of El Paso
First, our wholly-owned, not-for-profit insurance company, has been
named to the Board of El Paso’s Mental Health/Mental Retardation agency.
Ms. Smallwood will work with her colleagues to help the agency
fulfill its mission of ensuring that recovery-based services are
available for persons with mental illness and developmental
running of the Kentucky Derby, the first leg of horse racing’s coveted
Triple Crown, is tomorrow at Churchill Downs and I’ll be watching with
even more interest than usual.
Family friends have a horse in the race!
Denis of Cork, owned by the
family, is in the 16th post position.
He’s said to be a long shot, but it will be exciting to watch.
Have a great weekend!
James N. Valenti
President & Chief Executive Officer
El Paso County Hospital District
El Paso, Texas