Jose Manuel de la Rosa, MD, MSc, of El Paso received the Platinum Award, the top honor in the Texas Medical Association (TMA) Award for Excellence in Academic Medicine. Dr. de la Rosa received the award today during TexMed, TMA’s annual conference, in Austin.
The multilevel award program, created in 2012 by TMA’s Subcommittee for Academic Physicians, is designed to recognize academic physicians who are consummate teachers, role models, and medical professionals. A physician selection committee chooses the platinum winner from a pool of physician applicants in the gold-level recognition category. Physicians can self-submit applications or nominate others for bronze-, silver- and gold-level recognition, based on their years in an academic position.
“I am honored to be recognized for doing what I love,” said Dr. de la Rosa. “As a pediatrician, I felt compelled to teach; not only teach the families I cared for, but the students navigating their way through medical school. This award is icing on a career I truly have been blessed to live.”
Throughout his more than 25-year career, the board-certified pediatrician has mentored a host of medical students, residents, and physician faculty.
Dr. de la Rosa currently serves as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Texas Tech Health Sciences Center-El Paso, where he continues to teach. Dr. de la Rosa also oversees Student Services, Educational Affairs, the Office of Diversity Affairs, and the Office of Global Health Affairs. He was the founding dean of the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, leading the school’s accreditation process. Prior to the medical school’s creation, he served as regional dean of the El Paso regional academic health center. And, for several years, he oversaw residency training at his institution.
“Manny is my mentor and friend. He has encouraged me to advance and develop my career since college,” said Arthur Islas, MD, MPH, of El Paso, a former student of Dr. de la Rosa’s.
As founding dean of the first medical school on the U.S.-Mexico border, Dr. de la Rosa has been instrumental in developing a unique curriculum that prepares students to practice medicine on the border and beyond, said Kathryn Horn, MD, an associate professor at the health sciences center, who nominated him for the award.
Dr. de la Rosa helped establish the Kellogg Community Partnership Clinics, school-based clinics run by medical students that provide health services to colonia residents in the El Paso area. He also designed a community medicine curriculum — now a nationwide model — that teaches cultural sensitivity, awareness, and competence in medicine. And he championed a requirement that all medical students at the school take medical Spanish.
“Dr. de la Rosa works tirelessly to meet the health care needs in El Paso and beyond,” said Dr. Horn. “He strives to eliminate social barriers so that all residents have access to the health care they need.”
Former President George Bush appointed Dr. de la Rosa to the United States/Mexico Border Health Commission in 2003, and he continues to serve. He is a frequent spokesperson for border health issues.
Dr. de la Rosa has been a delegate from the El Paso County Medical Society to the TMA House of Delegates, TMA’s governing body, and has served as a consultant to TMA’s Council on Medical Education. Dr. de la Rosa was named Physician of the Year by the National Hispanic Medical Association in 2013 and also received the organization’s Distinguished Service Award.
In his community, Dr. de la Rosa helps recruit local youth into health professions through his involvement with Communidades en Accion of El Paso, and he serves as a volunteer member of the El Paso Independent School District’s community curriculum review committee. He was inducted into the El Paso Business Hall of Fame in 2010.
Surenda Varma, MD, of Lubbock, last year’s platinum award winner, said, “I have had the privilege of knowing Dr. de la Rosa since he was a medical student. He is a most talented physician and a great teacher.”
Dr. de la Rosa received his medical degree from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine in Lubbock. He completed his residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He received a master of science degree in clinical epidemiology from Harvard School of Public Health.
Dr. de la Rosa was among 18 physicians who were recognized by TMA at its annual meeting through the academic award program.
TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing more than 48,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 110 component county medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans.