About the ATACS Center
The Center for Advanced Teaching and Assessment in Clinical Simulation (ATACS Center) was designated by the TTU System Board of Regents in September 2009. Hoi Ho, M.D., served as director of the ATACS Center from 2008 to 2015. Currently, Sanja Kupesic, M.D., Ph.D., directs the ATACS Center. Assisting Dr. Kupesic are the director of the research division and three assistant directors, who each supervise five full-time staff members. The educational assistant director supervises the Medical Skills course coordinator and trains 50 standardized patients — real people trained to act out clinical scenarios. The technical assistant director supervises three specialists, and is responsible for the operation and technical support of the center. The administrative assistant director supervises a senior business assistant, and is responsible for budgeting, contracting, purchasing, and communications and marketing.
Director, Center for Advanced Teaching and Assessment in Clinical Simulation
Associate Academic Dean for Faculty Development
Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Kupesic Plavsic, M.D., Ph.D., is an acclaimed expert in the field of reproductive medicine and ultrasound. Before coming to the U.S., she headed the Division for Reproductive Endocrinology and Menopause at the University of Zagreb Sveti Duh Hospital in Zagreb, Croatia for 10 years.
Dr. Kupesic has been invited to speak at 285 major international meetings, congresses, symposia and conferences. She has presented novel data at numerous scientific gatherings and served as principal investigator on four long-term clinical projects.
She has published 220 peer-reviewed articles and authored or coauthored 447 chapters in textbooks and 338 abstracts and proceedings. She has edited 24 books, four slide atlases, two videos and five educational DVDs. Her publications have been cited more than 4,800 times.
In 2005, Dr. Kupesic was awarded the international William Liley award for her contributions to the field of human reproduction, perinatal medicine and ultrasound. In 2014, she became a member of the International Academy of Human Reproduction (IAHR), and an honorary professor at Buenos Aires University in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University in Moscow, Russia. Since 2001, she has been a visiting professor and human reproduction fellowship codirector at Dubrovnik International University Libertas in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Dr. Kupesic has received numerous local, regional and national awards for her accomplishments in research and teaching, including the dean’s innovation in medical education award, professor of the year award, residents’ teaching award, dean’s excellence in teaching award, and special recognition for outstanding contributions to institutional faculty development and mentoring programs. She authored the innovative clinical presentation-based curriculum for reproductive medicine at the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine. Dr. Kupesic has also led a successful accreditation site visit by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare, which led to the five-year accreditation of TTUHSC El Paso’s Center for Advanced Teaching and Assessment in Clinical Simulation (ATACS) in April 2017.
Dr. Kupesic is also secretary of the international society Fetus as a Patient and executive board director of the Ian Donald Inter-University School of Medical Ultrasound. She serves as peer reviewer for 23 major international journals, and an editorial board member of the Journal of Clinical Ultrasound; European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology; and Donald School Journal of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Currently, Dr. Kupesic is a full professor of obstetrics and gynecology, associate dean for faculty development, and director of the ATACS Center at TTUHSC El Paso. Her major research interests include human reproduction, pelvic ultrasound, medical education and clinical simulation.
Director, Research Division, Center for Advanced Teaching and Assessment in Clinical
Assistant Academic Dean for Faculty Development
Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Zuber D. Mulla, Ph.D., serves as a professor of obstetrics and gynecology and assistant dean for faculty development at TTUHSC El Paso. Dr. Mulla earned his Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of South Florida College of Public Health in Tampa. He has published over 80 papers in peer-reviewed journals. He is a recipient of the Outstanding Teacher Award from the El Paso Regional Campus of the University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston, and a recipient of the 2017 University of South Florida College of Public Health Outstanding Alumni Award. Mulla’s professional interests include faculty development, clinical simulation research, women’s health, and perinatal epidemiology.
He joined TTUHSC El Paso in 2006.
Director, TTUHSC El Paso Collaborative Educational Program
Clinical Professor of Medicine
Consultant for ATACS
Hoi Ho, M.D., is the former director of the Center for Advanced Teaching and Assessment in Clinical Simulation (ATACS) (2008 to 2015) and a former faculty member of the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine (1986 to 2015). Dr. is board-certified and licensed in the state of Texas, and has won numerous national and internal awards, including the Best Doctor in America Award from 2004 to 2015, as well as the Lifetime Teaching Award and TTUHSC El Paso’s President’s Outstanding Professor Award, amongst others. Dr. Ho’s work has been published in numerous scholarly and medical journals, and he has hosted various presentations in El Paso and across the world. In addition to clinical simulation, Dr. Ho’s clinical interests include general medicine, infectious diseases, hematology, and geriatric medicine. Dr. Ho has completed numerous courses in advanced teaching, institutional faculty mentoring, and faculty development to help further develop junior faculty members, residents, and community health care providers in the following areas: effective teaching and application off adult learning principles; effective integration of evidence-based medicine with medical education; effective approaches for performance assessment; effective oral presentation skills; and applications of mobile computing platforms in medical education, clinical practice, and research. Dr. Ho currently serves on the ATACS Center’s board.
Currently, Dr. Ho serves as the director of the Collaborative Educational Program (CEP), a five-year project sponsored by TTUHSC El Paso to support two medical schools in Vietnam: University of Medicine and Pharmacy - Ho Chi Minh city, and Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine, also in Ho Chi Minh City. The program’s mission is to establish self-sustainable faculty development programs and standardized clinical simulation centers at the two universities.
Dr. Ho has been with TTUHSC El Paso since 1986.
Director of Operations
Hector Aranda is a faculty associate and the director of operations for the Center for Advanced Teaching and Assessment in Clinical Simulation (ATACS Center), with twenty five years’ experience in information technology and ten years’ experience in clinical simulation. He joined the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine in 1996. Aranda graduated with honors from the University of Phoenix with a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. He joined the ATACS Center in February 2008, where he now directs five staff members that serve as support for the center. Aranda obtained his Certificate in Healthcare Simulation Operation Specialist (CHSOS) from the Society of Simulation in Healthcare in 2015.
In 2010, Aranda received the Texas Tech University Quality Service Award, given to those who provide excellent customer service in the performance of their jobs. That same year, he also received an award for outstanding contribution to the Faculty Development Course IX. He has presented numerous times at the International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH) yearly conference and also serves in the IMSH committee for peer review on course proposals. Aranda also serves on the peer review for abstracts for the Association of Standardized Patient Educators (ASPE) Conference.
Currently, he serves in the role of faculty associate in facilitating simulation modules on ultrasound and laparoscopic virtual reality simulators. The courses he participates on are the Sub-Internship Obstetrics Elective (Obstetrics), Advanced Obstetrics Elective (Obstetrics), Minimal Invasive Surgery Elective (Obstetrics), and Surgical Anatomy Elective (Surgical Anatomy).