UMC Earns Visionary Award for Excellence in Stroke Care

University Medical Center of El Paso has been recognized by Texas Nurse Practitioners for excellence in stroke care. At its 30th Annual Fall Conference Sept. 7 in Dallas, the organization presented UMC with its Visionary Award. The rare award has been presented only twice before.

“We’re thrilled to be giving this well-deserved recognition to UMC-El Paso, which has served as a health care leader and trailblazer in the El Paso community and surrounding region for over a century,” said Robert Metzger, President of Texas Nurse Practitioners. “In addition to being a community leader and standard bearer for complex stroke care, UMC-El Paso recognizes and appreciates the high value of nurse practitioners and leads the way in delivering patient-centered, compassionate care.”

On March 9, UMC, a teaching hospital and affiliate of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, announced its designation as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Joint Commission. UMC is the first and only hospital in El Paso with this designation, with the closest certified hospitals hundreds of miles away in San Antonio and Phoenix.

This designation, which takes years to accomplish, requires hospitals to demonstrate an ability to provide 24/7 neurointervention, stroke, neurocritical care and neurology coverage.

As an affiliate of TTUHSC El Paso, UMC’s Texas Tech Physicians are also faculty members in the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine. This gives medical students and residents a unique opportunity to train in an environment where they will be exposed to extreme cases, better preparing them for what they may encounter in their careers as physicians.

Salvador Cruz-Flores, M.D., chair of TTUHSC El Paso’s Department of Neurology and neurocritical care medical director for UMC, said this type of recognition highlights what is possible when two institutions work to fulfill a shared vision.

Dr. Cruz-Flores added that the recognition from Texas Nurse Practitioners spotlights the importance and impact of nurse practitioners as members of a health care team.

“The Visionary Award puts El Paso, and specifically UMC and TTUHSC El Paso, on the map as a center where we can provide neurological care,” Dr. Cruz-Flores said. “I hope that this model can be expanded to other areas of care in neurosciences and other specialties. I also hope that this distinction stimulates and encourages people thinking about becoming nurses or already engaged in nursing school to pursue advanced nursing degrees.”

The Visionary Award is presented to an individual or entity to recognize programs, projects or research that represent excellence in patient care and use nurse practitioners as valuable partners in the health care system.

Visit the Texas Nurse Practitioners website for more information.