Newswise – EL PASO, Texas – The opening of the Hunt School of Dental Medicine and the Texas Tech Dental Oral Health Clinic would not have been possible without the help of our community.
This teamwork is symbolized by an 8-foot sculpture – by renowned El Paso artist Julio Sanchez De Alba – which now welcomes visitors to the Texas Tech Dental oral health clinic.
Officials from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso revealed the artwork Feb. 24 in the presence of the Texas Tech University System Board of Trustees and Paso del Norte Health Foundation board members. The unveiling took place before the regents meeting at the TTUHSC El Paso campus.
Known locally and around the world for his art, Sanchez De Alba brought together three red, green and blue human figures holding hands to create his sculpture. The design is a nod to the logo of the Paso del Norte Health Foundation, a major supporter of the clinic and the new Hunt School of Dentistry.
“To me, this design represents a diverse group of people working together. That’s what the clinic is doing for El Paso by training future dentists to help our community,” said Sanchez De Alba. “I love this concept, and it makes this sculpture more meaningful to me. I’m proud to bring it to life on the TTUHSC El Paso campus.
With a steel frame and fiberglass exterior, Sanchez De Alba’s creation is built to survive the harsh weather of El Paso and will welcome visitors for decades. The sculpture is an apt representation of how TTUHSC El Paso, the Borderland community, and partners like the Paso del Norte Health Foundation opened the first dental school in Texas in 50 years, along with its state-of-the-art clinic.
“We are very proud to stand alongside our partners at TTUHSC El Paso for this special unveiling of a sculpture inspired by the Health Foundation logo and dedicated to the power of partnerships,” said Tracy J. Yellen, CEO of the Paso del Norte Health Foundation. . “None of our work is possible without the partnership of hundreds of organizations and individuals committed to health and quality of life in our region. The sculpture is a life-size representation of the Health Foundation logo, which represents our unique frontier culture that unites people from three states and two countries to improve health. He is special to us for many reasons – and even more so now that he is here on the TTUHSC El Paso campus.
The Paso del Norte Health Foundation has been a strong supporter of the dental school and clinic since the idea was first introduced. The foundation contributed $6 million in 2016 to help with the recruitment and hiring of world-class faculty, the school’s accreditation process, and the development of the nation’s most innovative dental curriculum. He donated an additional $5 million in 2021 to help with the initial operations of the Hunt School of Dental Medicine and the Texas Tech Dental Oral Health Clinic. This financial commitment has helped TTUHSC El Paso build a state-of-the-art dental clinic and school where highly sought-after faculty with proven expertise teach the next generation of dentists.
“The Hunt School of Dental Medicine is proud to be a health partner in our region with the Paso del Norte Health Foundation,” said Dean of the Hunt School of Dental Medicine Richard C. Black, DDS, MS “Without their early and continued support, it would not have been possible to open the doors of our clinic or the first dental school in Texas in over 50 years.
About Hunt School of Dental Medicine and Texas Tech Dental Oral Health Clinic
The Hunt School of Dental Medicine opened in 2021 and offers the most innovative curriculum in the country, just like the Foster School of Medicine did 10 years ago. As part of its efforts to improve accessibility to oral health care in the community, the school offers discounted dental care at its 38,000 square foot public dental clinic, the Texas Tech Dental Oral Health Clinic. . The facility is equipped with 145 treatment chairs where students work with faculty to provide high quality oral health care to Borderland residents. The clinic expects more than 60,000 patient encounters each year once the first four classes of the Hunt School of Dental Medicine begin training.
A first for any dental school in the country, students at the Hunt School of Dental Medicine begin their clinical training and patient interaction during their first semester. As part of the program requirements, dental students learn medical Spanish, which enables them to overcome language and cultural barriers to provide the highest quality oral health care.
About the Paso del Norte Health Foundation
The Paso del Norte Health Foundation (Health Foundation) directs, operates, and invests in initiatives, programs, and policies to promote health and prevent disease in the Paso del Norte area. The Health Foundation was established in 1995 following the sale of Providence Memorial Hospital to Tenet Healthcare Corporation. The Health Foundation seeks to ensure that people living in far west Texas, southern New Mexico and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico have the knowledge, resources and skills to lead healthy lives.