From the Desk of the Founding Dean

Border Health – I am currently attending the United States–Mexico Border Health Commission Meeting in Washington, D.C., where we are looking forward to a meeting with Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the new secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Committee members from the U.S. side are focused on recruiting more health care professionals to the U.S./Mexico border, and awaiting important findings from American and Mexican border universities supporting this.  Most importantly, we received a situation report on unaccompanied minors from both the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and DHS Refugee Affairs Division. As public health officials situated on the border, we conveyed our concerns for the magnitude of this humanitarian crisis and demanded it be treated as any other man-made disaster –- by responding with empathy for the health care needs of our children and the public without allowing political rhetoric to interfere with our mission.

Beginnings – July signifies the beginning of a new academic year on our campus. Next Tuesday, July 1, we welcome our new residents, and the following day, the next class of the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine arrives. Next month, a new Texas Tech Physicians (TTP) office will also open at Hague – near UTEP. Our team of physicians looks forward to continuing to serve their current patients – while providing the opportunity to introduce a new segment of El Paso to their services. And for many of our latest Seed Grant recipients, it is time for them to delve into their latest research in an effort to provide further data regarding medical conditions that affect many. Looks like the beginning of a fruitful year.

New President – Speaking of new beginnings, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso President Richard Lange, M.D., begins next week on July 1. President Lange will usher in the next era of growth for this vital institution. I look forward to working with each of you in making President Lange’s transition a smooth one, while introducing him to the intricacies of this one-of-a-kind university. Needless to say, this will be my last blog. It has been an honor and a privilege to sit in the driver’s seat for the last 15 years, navigating this journey alongside my TTUHSC at El Paso family. I look forward to continuing to serve as TTUHSC El Paso vice president for health affairs as President Lange takes over the wheel for the next leg of the journey — becoming our nation’s preeminent health care university.

– Jose Manuel de la Rosa, M.D.