Medical and Health Notes: El Paso, Texas


COVID-19 funding opportunity 

The foundation seeks Letters of Intent from eligible organizations for their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, prepare for a potential second wave or future crisis, or transform their operations for future success. To learn more, visit or contact Michael Kelly, Vice President of Programs at

Texan by Nature Award

The Paso del Norte Trail was selected among the 2020 Conservation Wranglers in partnership with Texan by Nature. The program recognizes six innovative conservation projects across Texas for their science-based and results-driven approach to conservation along with their ability to positively impact people, prosperity, and natural resources. The foundation provided funding and coordination for the trail and partnered with municipalities and community organizations in the region to develop the 68-mile countywide trail.

Building a legacy

The boards and staff of the Paso del Norte Health Foundation and the Paso del Norte Community Foundation are pleased to share the 2019 Annual Report: Building a Legacy. The online annual report highlights the collaborative work to improve health, education, social services, economic development and quality of life in the region, grants awarded, and an accounting of foundation resources.

The foundations invested $25.1 million in grants and charitable projects in 2019 – and $219.9 million since 1995. The two also partnered with the Fundacion Paso del Norte para la Salud y Bienestar, which raised an additional $600,000 for initiatives and collaborations to promote health and well-being in Ciudad Juárez.

Find the report online at


COVID-19 partnership

The City of El Paso, Medical Center of the Americas Foundation and Paso del Norte Health Foundation created the COVID-19 Enhanced Regional Public Health Partnership that aims to improve communication and coordination between public sector officials, private sector partners and healthcare providers, and strengthen their collective capacity to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in the region.

The partnership recruited Battelle, an international science and technology company, for technical assistance and support. The partnership has increased access to personal protective equipment to local healthcare providers and businesses, provided guidance to employers on pandemic best practices, and helped coordinate with Battelle and area hospitals on PPE decontamination.

Clinical trials

The MCA Foundation supports bringing additional clinical trials to our region through the coordination of the Clinical Trial’s Consortium, a forum that facilitates ongoing dialogue and discussion among key industry stakeholders from the El Paso, Juárez and southern New Mexico region.

Since the launch of the CTC, the region has seen a growth in our clinical trial infrastructure and has gained eight new clinical trial sites and 38 new clinical trials within eight specialties: nephrology, urology, family, pain, pulmonary, dermatology, neurology and immunology.

The region has also seen an increase in high-skilled, high-wage jobs, including 32 trained principal investigators, eight clinical research coordinators/study manager positions and two executive positions.

Medical device industry

The El Paso/Juárez region is home to more than 35 medical device manufacturers, including three of the world’s top five global medical device companies, that produce hundreds of millions of devices each year. Many of these manufacturers, both corporate OEMs and contract, are leading the charge to produce and develop emergency medical supplies in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

BIO El Paso-Juárez, a non-profit organization representing the bi-national medical device manufacturing cluster, has brought together critical stake holders and support organizations to help streamline requests for PPE directly to manufacturers, connect suppliers to the manufacturing network, support manufacturers through work-place safety inspections and audits, and facilitate open exchange of information.


Expanding NICU services 

The Hospitals of Providence’s new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Transmountain Campus, completed in March, was a $4 million investment to accommodate the fast-growing needs of Northwest El Paso and Southern New Mexico. The newest in El Paso, the NICU is a six-bed unit that combines advanced technology and highly trained healthcare professionals to provide specialized care for newborn infants born with an illness or prematurely.

ER visitor policy update

The Hospitals of Providence understands the critical role loved ones play in providing comfort and support in a patient’s care during a time of emergency.

With this in mind, the visitation policy now allows one designated visitor to accompany a patient in the emergency room.

Visitors will be screened for fever, respiratory symptoms or travel to high risk locations prior to entering the hospital, and are required to wear a facemask, and sanitize their hands prior to entering the facility.

Robotic surgery reducing patient stays

The Hospitals of Providence continue to invest in the latest robotic surgical systems advancing treatment and procedures for orthopedic, gastrointestinal, gynecological and numerous other surgeries in the El Paso area.  The da Vinci Surgical System, MAKOplasty and NAVIO Surgical System allow for more efficient, safer and minimally invasive procedures, providing patients with shorter hospital stays, fewer complications and less pain post-surgery.

The da Vinci Robotic System offers a magnified 3D high-definition vision system to allow for smaller incisions and reducing scarring. MAKOplasty offers patients needing joint, knee and hip procedures, with a minimally invasive option requiring less recovery time. The NAVIO Surgical System offers better outcomes for patients needing a partial or total knee replacement.

Preparing for your little one’s arrival 

During this time of social distancing, free prenatal and maternity webinars are available online offering information on breastfeeding, preparing for childbirth and prenatal education. Virtual tours of the Labor and Delivery Units are available. Patients may access the webinars and virtual tours via

Memorial Campus is proud to offer a Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the highest level of care in the region. The East Campus and Memorial Campus also introduced the Obstetric Hospitalist Program offering 24/7 in-house obstetrical and emergency room coverage by Board Certified OB physicians, providing optimal treatment for obstetric concerns or emergencies.


EEG services 

Physicians in the Department of Neurology at Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso specialize in diagnosing and treating neurological conditions and diseases. The department’s Epilepsy Clinic was founded in 1990 and provides opportunities to treat a range of epileptic cases throughout the city and in several West Texas communities.

The Epilepsy Clinic in June began providing electroencephalogram services (EEG) at Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso at Hague.

The procedure records brain electrical activity noninvasively with the use of electrodes, which are placed on the patient’s head for short or prolonged periods of time. EEG readings provide information on a patient’s risk of epileptic or ongoing seizures.The clinic will perform routine EEGs and ambulatory EEGs, in which patients return to their homes with EEG equipment.

Physicians then download electrical brain activity recorded after a 24-48 hour period to evaluate for seizure activity.

Doctors join Texas Tech team 

• Colby M. Genrich, M.D., is a recent addition to the Department of Family and Community Medicine, but has been a member of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso community since 2018.

Genrich received training from the TTUHSC El Paso Sports Medicine Fellowship and graduated from the program in 2019. He specializes in general family medicine, sports medicine and academic medicine. He uses many modalities in his practice, including ultrasound and ultrasound-guided injections to offer relief to patients with pain in the muscles, bones, ligaments and nerves.

• Sushma Reddy Yerram, M.D., became a member of the Department of Neurology in 2019. Yerram completed her residency training in neurology at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She is board-certified in neurology and received sub-specialty training in clinical neurophysiology and epilepsy at the University of Rochester.

Yerram sees local patients with various neurological disorders, including a special focus on patients with epilepsy disorders needing surgical evaluation. One of only 23 board-certified neurologists serving El Paso, she also works in the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit at University Medical Center of El Paso.

• Mary Ann Son, M.D., is new to the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She completed her residency and fellowship training at Maimonides Medical Center in the heart of Brooklyn and is fellowship-trained in minimally invasive gynecology surgery.

Son is board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology and her interests include complex women’s care, such as chronic pelvic pain, abnormal uterine bleeding, infertility and fibroid management.

• Stephanie Nemir, M.D., Ph.D., an El Paso native, serves as a reconstructive and cosmetic surgeon, as well as an assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at the Foster School of Medicine. She’s the director of breast reconstruction at the Breast Care Center.

Nemir is a graduate of the Baylor College of Medicine and also holds a doctorate in bio-engineering from Rice University. She completed her residency in integrated plastic surgery at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. She continued her education with fellowship training in reconstructive microsurgery and advanced cancer reconstruction at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

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