Message from the Chair

The Department of Internal Medicine – Transmountain is a new department of the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine. The department has clinical operations at The Hospitals of Providence Transmountain Campus and the adjacent Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso at Transmountain clinic site.

Opened in 2017, the department serves the primary and subspecialty medical needs of West El Paso and Southern New Mexico. We are in a very rapid growth phase with a superb group of physicians already on site and many more being recruited.

The mission of our department is to deliver outstanding, efficient, cost effective and compassionate medical care for the region in an environment enriched by medical education, innovation and research.

Patient Care

  • We are a comprehensive medical center serving patients locally, regionally and from across the border. We provide accessible, state-of-the-art health care and are committed to the highest quality and safety standards.
  • Our highly skilled and qualified clinician educators are committed to excellence in patient care and advancing knowledge through innovative research.
  • We support the needs of internal medicine patients at The Hospitals of Providence Transmountain Campus, in addition to the adjacent outpatient clinic.
  • We collaborate with other prominent state and national medical centers to bring our patients the best available care and treatment options.
  • We foster coordinated, multidisciplinary transitions of care in collaboration with other community physicians who may not be affiliated with TTUHSC El Paso.

Medical Education

  • We develop and enhance academic education for the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso.
  • Our goal is to attract and retain top medical students and internal medicine residents who will help fulfill the regional demand for physicians.
  • We are developing multiple rotations and clerkships for the PLFSOM.
  • We are initiating a new, ACGME-accredited internal medicine residency program with slots for five to seven residents. This program will offer a unique experience with an emphasis on primary and preventive care with a good balance of inpatient, ICU and outpatient experiences mixing urban and rural populations. Residents will be recruited through the NRMP and will abide by all its rules and regulations. The start-up timing of the residency program will be determined by the overall strategic landscape of the department, including patient volumes and number of faculty recruited to support the program.
  • We work synergistically with the Office of Continuing Medical Education to expand CME activities for the region across multiple health care disciplines.

Health Care Delivery Beyond Hospital Boundaries

  • In collaboration with the Department of Family Medicine – Transmountain, we are developing a model of cost-effective health care delivery that focuses on seamless access to primary medical care, providing opportunities for preventive interventions and bridging inpatient and outpatient health care delivery. Our model aims to improve specific clinical outcomes, decreasing inefficiencies in health care and enhancing patient compliance. Outcomes will be measured by objective benchmarks that are accurate, precise, risk-adjusted and monitored over time.
  • We are also developing an innovative “Simply Bridging Program” that includes small care teams composed of a health care providers (NPs or PAs), a social worker or case manager, and medical students. These teams will be supervised by a medical director overseeing operations and medical care. The goal of this program is to address the medical needs of high-risk populations at home or in an outpatient setting before they escalate or become an acute health crisis, ultimately helping to prevent hospitalizations, higher health-care costs and adverse outcomes. Tools to be used in this program will eventually include HIPAA-compliant mobile applications that can facilitate access care teams, simplify communication within the health care system, transition care management (TCM), etc.  Index cases for inclusion in this program are identified while a patient is hospitalized in the acute-care setting and then adequately bridged to TCM or chronic-care management with arrangements for an office visit by their primary care team within 72 hours of hospital discharge.
  • This health care delivery model also enhances basic health education in the regional community by developing and delivering patient support groups and town hall meetings. These meetings will strengthen the reputation of the hospital, promote healthy living habits and facilitate access to medical care.
  • This community outreach program will not only provide new opportunities for research, scholarly productivity and innovations in the area of public, preventive and community health care, but it will also help us understand community-based problems and track local epidemiological trends. 
  • In the future, we hope to explore potential international collaborations with the state of Chihuahua, Mexico, for improved health care delivery and medical education, including simulation, telemedicine, tele-education and joint clinical research.

Clinical Research

  • Our department aims to develop, support and expand the basic infrastructure needed to promote clinical research. To support this goal, we are developing a clinical trials unit that will support faculty and residents in their clinical research endeavors. The unit will seek, attract and facilitate participation in externally-funded clinical trials and provide resources for junior faculty to develop original research proposals, carry them to completion and publish results in peer-reviewed medical journals.
  • We are also developing a clinical research guest program with nationally and internationally acclaimed researchers to interact with our faculty and residents.

 

The Department of Internal Medicine – Transmountain, in collaboration with The Hospitals of Providence Transmountain Campus, is paving the way for new clinical, educational and research activities in the growing border region. Our department will be a catalyst for measurable changes by working synergistically with hospital and community physicians, as well as other departments in the PLFSOM.

Patients under our care receive state-of-the art, personalized medical services of the highest standards. 

I believe that physicians and staff on our team will find a high level of personal and professional satisfaction in our mission of enriching the quality of life on the border.

 

Dan Schuller, M.D.
Chair and Professor
Department of Internal Medicine - TM