The TTUHSC Board of Regents approved ATACS as a Center within TTUHSC El Paso in September 2009. The Founding Dean appointed Dr. Hoi Ho as the Director of the ATACS Center. Assisting the Director are three Assistant Directors who supervise five full-time staff members. The Educational Assistant Director supervises the Medical Skills Course Coordinator, and trains 40 Standardized Patients. The Technical Assistant Director supervises 3 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 budget, contract, purchasing, and communication & marketing.
Sanja Kupesic Plavsic, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, Center for Advanced Teaching and Assessment in Clinical Simulation
Associate Academic Dean for Faculty Development
Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
SANJA KUPESIC PLAVSIC, M.D., Ph.D.
By her colleagues Dr. Kupesic Plavsic is considered an acclaimed expert in the field of Reproductive Medicine and Ultrasound. She holds a M.D. and Ph.D. degrees and also a University Professorship, and possesses clinical skills and experience in academia and scientific research. Before coming to the USA, during the course of ten years she was heading the Division for Human Reproduction, Reproductive Endocrinology and Menopause at Sveti Duh Hospital, Medical School, University of Zagreb, Croatia.
In a capacity of invited speaker she attended 270 major international meetings, congresses, symposia and/or conferences and has documented the ability to successfully present novel data at scientific gatherings. Her presentation skills, oral and written communication abilities were always rated as superb. As a principal investigator she has coordinated four long-term clinical projects.
She has published 182 peer reviewed articles and authored or coauthored 380 chapters in textbooks and 334 abstracts and/or proceedings. She has edited sixteen books, four slide atlases, two video tapes and three educational DVDs. Her publications were cited more than 3.100 times. Since 1992 she is the Secretary of the "Fetus as the Patient Society". Since 1997 she is the Board member of the Croatian Medical Academy. In 2000 she was elected a member of the Scientific Committee of the World Association of Perinatal Medicine, and in 2001 a member of the Board of European Society for Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation. From 2004-2006 she was the president of the Croatian Society for Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology, vice president of the Croatian Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and vice president of the Mediterranean Society for Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Since 2010 she is a member of the Education Committee of the World Association of Perinatal Medicine and Executive Board member of “Ian Donald Inter-University School of Medical Ultrasound”. Since 2011 she is visiting professor and Human Reproduction fellowship co-director at Dubrovnik International University in Croatia.
In 1994 Dr. Kupesic was awarded National Academy prize for the best scientific paper published in 1993, in 1996 the Zagreb award for science, in 1999 European House award for science and National award for the best scientific paper published in year 2000. In 2005 she was honored with International award William Liley for contribution to the field of Gynecology, Human Reproduction, Perinatal Medicine and Ultrasound.
Currently she works as the Assistant Academic Dean for Faculty Development and Professor of OB GYN and Radiology at Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, Texas Tech University in El Paso. She received four excellence-in teaching awards: Dean’s Innovation in Medical Education Award (2009), Professor of the Year Award (2011), Excellence in Residents’ Teaching Award (2011) and Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Award (2011).
Her experience as a lecturer at undergraduate and postgraduate courses, as well as at scientific meetings and workshops has helped her to achieve the ability to translate scientific matters to different layers of audience in a practical manner. Her current major research interests include Faculty Development, Medical Education, Reproductive Medicine, and application of ultrasound in the field of Infertility, Menopause, Gynecologic Oncology and Early Pregnancy.
Safa Farrag, M.D., FACP
Associate Director, Center for Advanced Teaching and Assessment in Clinical Simulation
Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine
Safa Farrag, M.D., FACP, is an assistant professor of general internal medicine at Paul L Foster School of Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center of El Paso, Texas, USA. Dr. Farrag is a fourth year medical student’s clerkship director. She completed Internal medicine residency at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center of El Paso two years ago and started her academic career at the same institution, during which she has published few peer-reviews and case reports on different aspects of internal medicine. Presently Dr. Farrag serves as an associate director of the center of Advanced Teaching and Assessment in Clinical Simulation ( ATACS), she has worked with the ATACS team for the past year, during which she initiated a few research projects: “The use of Electronic medical records for residents’ education and evaluation” and” Simulation based Curriculum for Teaching Students Procedural Skills during Their Sub I Rotation”, which is a simulation based curriculum for the 4th year medical students, along with other projects involving tele- medicine, ultrasound and bedside teaching. She also has a special interest in women’s health, and participating in several projects involving breast cancer survivors. Her major research interests include medical education, clinical simulation and women’s health.
Dr. Farrag has successfully completed the Faculty Development Course 2014-2015, provided by Texas Tech University HSC El Paso, Paul L Foster School of Medicine, during which she completed the following modules: How to Organize a Simulation Session, Workshop on Harvey Simulator & Echocardiography, Workshop on Central Nervous System Examination Skills, and Workshop on Hand Held Ultrasound Scanner. Dr. Farrag has also participated and presented in the 3rd annual clinical simulation conference of west Texas, and currently serve as a track chair for the Internal medicine workshop sessions of the upcoming 4th annual clinical simulation conference of west Texas. She has attended the Stanford Medicine 25 Skills Symposium of 2015, a 2-day course to augment bedside clinical skills teaching, polish physical exam maneuvers, and to apply evidence based physical finding on daily residents’ and students’ rounds.
Claudia V. Cortez serves as the education assistant to the director for the center for advanced teaching and assessment in clinical simulation at the TTUHSC El Paso Paul L. Foster School of Medicine. In this role she trains and oversees the standardized patient program and assists in training clinical faculty in utilizing state of the art medical simulators as part of the school’s medical curriculum.
Claudia holds a Bachelor of Science from Texas Tech University and earned a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in May of 2012. In addition to being a Texas Tech University System alumnus, she has also worked for the Texas Tech University System for over 10 years. She has worked as an accreditation coordinator for HealthNet.edu, where she was responsible for accrediting 16 medical continuing education programs in 38 states. Claudia has also functioned as the section manager for the Telemedicine division of the F. Marie Hall Institute for Rural and Community Health where she was responsible for coordinating medical care for over 300 incarcerates in the Texas State prison system and over 30 rural communities in west Texas with medical specialists at TTUHSC in Lubbock via high resolution video conference. While in Lubbock, Claudia also served as a board member in two nonprofit organizations that support the independent living movement and making Lubbock more accessible for people with disabilities.
J. Hector Aranda, B.S., CHSOS
I am a unit assistant director for the ATACS Center with twenty years of experience in information technology, seventeen of those years working at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso Paul L. Foster School of Medicine. I graduated with honors and a 4.0 GPA in obtaining my Bachelor of Science in information technology from the University of Phoenix. I joined the ATACS center in February 2008 as a senior analyst where I now direct three staff members that serve as support for the center's technical unit.
I am the unit coordinator, a/v specialist for the Center for Advanced Teaching and Assessment in Clinical Simulation (ATACS) for the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, TTUHSC El Paso. I have been at the center for four years and I am proud of the fact that I was part of the group that put together the center.
My responsibilities at the center include coordinating simulation and clinical skills events, support of MS1, MS2, clerkships, faculty development, CME, and the mentoring program, just to name a few. I ensure that the facility is prepared to run the events by setting up and maintaining all equipment. I also take video and photography for the center of the events. In addition, I keep the inventory for ATACS using a RFID system by tagging all supplies, equipment and simulators.
In my leisure time I enjoy photography, gardening, and being with my family.
I am a lifelong resident of El Paso, Texas working as a unit coordinator for the Center of Advanced Teaching and Assessment in Clinical Simulation (ATACS) and was hired in January of this year. I have over ten years of experience in the audio visual field and have been working with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso Paul L. Foster School of Medicine since 2010. I am currently attending the Art Institute of Pittsburgh working on obtaining my degree in graphic design, I expect to graduate this summer. Along with experience and knowledge in photography and videography, I keep up to date on the latest technology which helps enhance the learning experience at the ATACS Center.