TTUHSC El Paso and West Texas Regional Poison Center at UMC Chosen to Establish Southwest Center for Pediatric Environmental Health

Service Area Will Span Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana

The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) El Paso has been awarded a grant from the American College of Medical Toxicology to establish and manage the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU) for Federal Region 6. The PEHSU will be established under the TTUHSC El Paso Department of Emergency Medicine, Division of Medical Toxicology. The West Texas Regional Poison Center at University Medical Center (UMC) of El Paso will serve as the point of contact for the program, as it has since 2005.

The goals of the PEHSU are to:

  • Reduce environmental health threats to children;
  • Expand and enhance access to pediatric environmental medicine expertise;
  • Strengthen pediatric environmental medicine and public health prevention capacity through education and expanded collaborative relationships with medical schools, residency programs, schools of nursing and other allied health programs, and schools of public health; and
  • Deliver relevant education and consultative services to assist in the care of pediatric patients and the education of their families and health care providers in addressing environmental health threats to children.

“I would like to heartily thank all those who wrote letters of support, agreed to serve as consultants, and dug in to complete the grant application in a very short timeframe,” said Stephen W. Borron, M.D., MS, professor at the TTUHSC El Paso Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, medical director of the West Texas Regional Poison Center at UMC El Paso and director and chief medical consultant of the Southwest Center for Pediatric Environmental Health.

“Through the generosity and benevolence of our colleagues at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Tyler, and in particular the current Region 6 PEHSU Director Dr. Larry Lowry, the unit will assume PEHSU activities and the name of Southwest Center for Pediatric Environmental Health .”

“Larry Lowry and I are confident the Southwest Center for Pediatric Environmental Health is in good hands,” said Jeffrey L. Levin, M.D., M.S.P.H., senior vice president for clinical and academic affairs at UT Health Northeast. “We have always enjoyed our working relationship with Texas Tech and the West Texas Regional Poison Center, and look forward to our ongoing successful collaboration.”

EPA Region 6 comprises a large geographic area, including Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana. In order to assure meaningful representation throughout the region, experts have been recruited from the areas of pediatrics, reproductive medicine, occupational and environmental medicine, and toxicology from four of the five states and six metropolitan areas in Texas to serve as consultants.

About Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso, the Texas Tech University System’s fourth university, has a mission to provide education, research, and patient care to West Texas. It is comprised of the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing and is a regional campus for a Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. The university has a clinical practice called Texas Tech Physicians which is part of the largest network of healthcare physicians in West Texas. Research focuses on cancer, diabetes & obesity, infectious diseases, and neurosciences.

About University Medical Center of El Paso

About UMC:  For 100 years, University Medical Center of El Paso (UMC) has been providing exceptional, high quality care for the entire El Paso region. As El Paso’s only not-for-profit, community owned hospital and healthcare system, UMC is home to the region’s only Level I Trauma Center and was recently chosen by El Paso as its No. 1 preferred hospital. UMC’s mission is to enhance the health and wellness of the El Paso community by making high quality, affordable healthcare services accessible to all, while providing healthcare-related education, research and innovation. Throughout 2015, UMC celebrates its centennial.