West Texas Hospitality Generates Strong Support, Friendship

Monzer Hourani and Richard LangeWhen Monzer Hourani first arrived in Texas 50 years ago, he was sorely disappointed. Where were all the cowboys and Indians? Not to mention the pistol-wielding bandits and defenseless damsels of the frontier.

This was not the same Texas that John Wayne and Hollywood had portrayed.

Despite this initial shock, Monzer stayed in the Lone Star State and today, proudly calls himself a full-fledged Texan. It didn’t take long for the Lebanese immigrant to fall in love with the state’s abundance of warm and welcoming personalities, including those at TTUHSC El Paso.

Monzer first took interest in TTUHSC El Paso in 2013. As the founder and CEO of Medistar, a national medical real estate development company, Monzer was invited to the West Texas campus to discuss the possibility of constructing a new medical campus in the city.

“I liked TTUHSC El Paso from day one,” Monzer said, recalling his first meeting with university leadership. “Everyone treated me so nicely—Dr. Manuel de la Rosa, Frank Stout, Dr. Michael Romano; they honestly felt like family.”


A New Friendship

During the nearly four years it took to make the medical campus dream a reality, Monzer and TTUHSC El Paso administration regularly met for planning and development. But they also got to know each other, developing a strong friendship.

In one meeting that Monzer casually set up on his birthday — he was not planning to celebrate — TTUHSC El Paso staff surprised him with a birthday cake. Later that same day, they treated him to cuisine from his home country Lebanon. Naturally, the surprise was a hit and Kashkaval, Halloum and Akkawi — Monzer's favorite Middle Eastern cheeses — have made appearances at celebrations since.

TTUHSC El Paso Associate Vice Chancellor Victoria Pineda wouldn’t have it any other way.

“We love and welcome those who contribute to the mission of our university,” Pineda said. “Once you become a part of TTUHSC El Paso, you become a part of our close-knit family.”

Pineda and TTUHSC El Paso President Richard Lange, M.D., M.B.A., have even joined the real estate giant for a lively day at the rodeo and an elegant evening at an opera house where Hourani personally served as guest conductor.

Passionate about classical music, Monzer has been proficient at reading music since he was a young boy in Lebanon. When he isn’t developing health care infrastructure throughout the U.S., he plays the piano and diligently listens to virtuosos like Brahms, Bruckner and Beethoven.

“Monzer is especially talented, so we were honored when he invited us to the symphony orchestra,” Pineda said. “We are happy to share in and celebrate the accomplishments of our friends.”



In January 2017, TTUHSC El Paso’s partnership with Monzer and his company Medistar came to fruition with the grand opening gala of The Hospitals of Providence Transmountain Campus. The campus, which included a 106-bed hospital and 110,000 square-foot medical clinic, will help TTUHSC El Paso in its mission to meet the severely underserved health care needs of El Paso and southern New Mexico.

That same mission recently inspired Monzer to take the partnership a step further.

“Over the past few years I’ve seen firsthand how dedicated TTUHSC El Paso is to serving the community and progress in health care,” Monzer said. “TTUHSC El Paso is a major force in the southwest and they are going to have a positive impact on the region — that’s why I am now dedicated to helping the university with its goals in every way possible.”

Inspired by the university’s efforts and the kindness of institutional leadership, Monzer recently gave TTUHSC El Paso a large gift. His gift will establish the endowed chair of pediatrics and support all future chairs of the Department of Pediatrics at TTUHSC El Paso.

The CEO of Medistar won’t be leaving West Texas anytime soon. Monzer is looking into developing more medical real estate — infrastructure that’s still in high demand — in the region.

“I love El Paso; the atmosphere of work and promise is very strong in the city so I hope to continue carrying out projects here and continue my relationship with TTUHSC El Paso,” he said.

Although it’s no John Wayne western, Monzer is happy with the life he has found in Texas.

He said, “Working with TTUHSC El Paso has been something very nice in my life. I am grateful for having the opportunity to meet everyone that I have and to have found a place that I feel real belonging to.”