The City Magazine August 2022

Page 1

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Letters addressed to The City El Paso Magazine become the property of the magazine, and it owns all rights to their use. Letters may be edited for space. All rights to the contents of this magazine are owned in full by the magazine and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the Editor in Chief. Views expressed herein are those of the authors and advertisers and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the ownership or

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August 2022


6 3 3 0 M O N TA N A

915.775.2000 11

August 2022

From the


ne of the best things about what I do is that I’m able to spend time with some of the most impressive people in the city, the people pushing our community forward. This month, I spent some one-on-one time with one of

El Paso’s most sought after doctor -- luckily not for medical reasons. During our photoshoot with Dr. Alozie, we discussed the whirldwind of COVID starting with the severity and number of cases in El Paso before the availability of vaccines, and how grateful we are to be more-or-less back to our lives after a few shots and a few boosters. In speaking with this very learned man, I found that we had many similarities when it comes to our viewpoints on taking safety precautions but also doing what we love, which is, of course, travel. Putting Dr. Alozie on the cover was a no-brainer for us because he doesn’t only represent El Paso’s medical community, but he also leads a pretty cool lifestyle that includes a wonderful family, killer sense of style, and an impressive sneaker collection. I wish I was able to spend time with each of the special doctors in this issue, but feel like I now know them after reading through these pages. It’s important to educate ourselves on our local healthcare community before we need their expertise, and I hope readers are able to learn more about each doctor because they’re pretty great. In this issue, you’ll also find out more about El Paso’s local business landscape. As an entrepreneur myself, I understand how important supporting small local businesses are and truly believe that we play a huge part in making sure our economy -- and city -- keep thriving.



“Your voice matters. Let’s hear it. Scan the QR code to send audio advice to the editors."

August 2022






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From the


helley loves to tell the story about how I started as an intern with her -- 10 years ago! -- with the singular goal of being a medical and science writer. She indulged my curiosity in all things blood

and guts while also assigning various beauty, fashion, enterprise, and sports stories -- but my affinity for anatomy persisted. The first book I remember receiving was called “Germs Make Me Sick” and was given to me by my mom when I was a kid and she was in nursing school. Today, my mom holds a PhD in nursing and has always encouraged me to remember to “go back to the basics” when it comes to problem-solving and critical thinking: whether it be the fundamentals of microorganisms that infect healthy cells, figuring out how to navigate through life, or deciding on an outfit. Our annual medical issue was a welcomed challenge that the editorial team worked on to determine the most relevant topics to our great city, while avoiding the politics of public health mandates and the apathy of COVID fatigue. In these pages, you’ll find stories of medical successes throughout El Paso that have been achieved by the dedicated medical community, whose accomplishments can sometimes get lost in the flurry of daily news cycles. From med student Hani Annabi being appointed Student Regent for the Texas Tech Univeristy System’s Board of Regents (a VERY big deal!), to UMC being honored for its innovative vaccine efforts in collaboration with the city and county, to Dr. Shawn Diamond’s gifted

Our biologies and lifestyles were undoubtedly changed three years

hands, it’s clear that these medical professionals are much more than

ago when the August 3rd shooting occurred, with many of us still

clinical experts: they’re living, breathing, human beings who value their

haunted by PTSD and wary of if/when it’ll happen again. Artist Tino

community and are driven to improve it.

Ortega continues to help the community heal, first with his 3D mylar balloon murals in honor of the 23 victims that can be found throughout

I’m so excited for readers to learn more about Dr. Oge Alozie, our

El Paso, and is now working on the permanent memorial that will be

cover star and infectious disease expert! During our photoshoot with

installed at Ponder Park.

photographer Jordan Licon, we learned about his personal life (which includes being a pet-parent to two bunny rabbits that his son cares for),

As August approaches autumn, I hope the community continues to be

his affection for sneakers, and his zest for life.

united in its efforts to heal and move forward, as well as appreciate the many accomplishments of our medical community who keep us safe.

If you think about it, the science of biology and mission of a lifestyle magazine aren’t too different. Both are concerned with the study

I’m not a physician but suspect that might be just what the doctor

(and beauty) of life, how we coexist in our environments, and how

ordered – and if you’re not sure, let’s ask Dr. Alozie!

we evolve.


“Your voice matters. Let’s hear it. Scan the QR code to send audio advice to the editors."

August 2022



August 2022


24 24







The Man Behind the Mind

Medical Innovations & TEAMWORK



Here and Now








August 2022

Contributors Erin





Managing Editor


















August 2022


August 2022


August 2022

Uplifting the Community

3 AfterAugust rd | By: ERIN COULEHAN photos courtesy of: TINO ORTEGA |


August 2022


he community has not been deterred

public input regarding a permanent work of

from honoring the victims of the August 3rd

art to commemorate the victims, comfort

mass shooting at the Cielo Vista Walmart

the families, and continue to showcase the

two years into a pandemic, but rather, has

resilience of the Borderland.

remained “El Paso Strong” as we approach the third anniversary. The drive to support persists.

(The proposed public art piece is part of the City’s Public Art Program, which is funded in compliance with an ordinance that requires two percent of every capital

From individual posts and hashtags on social

improvement project budget within the city

media to public memorials, El Pasoans have

to be used for original art.)

been collaborating on continued efforts to commemorate the lives lost to the tragedy

Ponder Park was selected for the new

while also uplifting the community.

memorial’s location after serving as the community




In 2021, the City of El Paso’s Museum and

following the shooting. Since then, the site

Cultural Affairs Department hosted a series

is remembered as a place where separation

of community meetings to seek and discuss

and fear led to unity and support. 21

Uplifting the Communit y After August 3rd

August 2022

homage to being raised in El Paso and encourages the discovery of finding similarities with people despite their differences.

He remembers the community’s response following the shooting. “The city came together for a common cause after the incident happened” says Ortega. “As an artist, I wanted to do something to lift up the community,” he continues. Albert “Tino” Ortega was chosen after hundreds of artists submitted resumes and work samples in the hope of being selected for the

Ortega has been honoring the victims of the shooting around town

opportunity to create the artwork for the memorial.

for the last three years with his 3Dmylar balloon murals, which he says are an unofficial memorial that he wanted to do after meeting

“I’m still in disbelief about being chosen and am honored to even

with victims’ family members.

be considered for this project,” says Ortega. Creating the murals in remembrance of the victims is a way to find


Ortega is a well-known local artist who is self-taught and recognized

some light in one of the community’s darkest memories.

for his murals that look like realistic mylar balloons. His work pays

“It’s a side project that I’ve been working on while trying to beautify

August 2022

the city and bring more artwork into the community in order to have a sense of togetherness,” says Ortega. The first in the series of 3D murals reads “I (Heart) EP” as three silver and red mylar balloons located at 3900 Rosa Avenue. Another, found off Montana and Virginia, is a play on self-care phrasing that reads “Don’t Be Self Conchas.” Ortega creates each mural with the 23 victims and the El Paso

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Nurturing the Hearts August 2022

of our Healthcare Heroes | By: MARGO LEPE |


August 2022


urses are credited as being the






heart of healthcare, but even the

pandemic has caused our healthcare system

healthiest of hearts can become weary.

over these last couple of years. Although

By now, most (if not all of us), have been

some of them may have dodged actually

affected by COVID-19. Some of us have

getting infected, the majority working in

tested positive, others of us turned up

hospitals would say, mentally and emotionally,

asymptomatic. Something we probably can

they became, and still may be, fatigued, by

all agree on is we are tired and so over it.

the constant battle they continue facing as

We owe a huge debt to nurses, who continue

they take on an ongoing virus that continues evolving faster than anyone has seen.

to provide comfort, compassion and care -all of it with no prescription.

With nearly 20-years of being a nurse, Margarita Monreal thought she had seen

It is hard to ignore the effects COVID-19

it all. Then, COVID-19 hit and burnout,

has taken on people alike and society as a

hammered harder. The Intensive Care nurse

whole. The social and economic hits caused

may probably be one of the few nurses who

by the pandemic became a crisis no one

seems to have remained unaffected, at least

ever imagined and experienced. For a lot of

when it comes to ever testing positive for the

Americans, life seemingly carried on as usual.

virus. While her overall health remains well,

However, the repercussions of COVID-19 are

she says the mental toll it has taken on many

still being felt locally and around the world by

in her field really is inconceivable.

many people and organizations. Among those are healthcare systems across the globe and

Mental Health America reports at the start of

the healthcare workers who strengthen it.

the COVID-19 pandemic 93 percent of health care workers were experiencing stress, 86

Nurses, doctors and hospital staff are among a

percent reported experiencing anxiety, 77

unique group of people who have not stopped

percent reported frustration, 76 percent 25

August 2022

reported exhaustion and burnout, and 75

“There was this extra worry added to the

“If you are burnt out, then you do not feel

percent said they were overwhelmed.

circumstances of having patients who were

well, you do not think well and you do not

so sick, especially prior to the vaccine, and

function well. Therefore, there is a much

While most of us can relate to some or all

we did not know who was going to overcome

higher risk of making mistakes. When

of these conditions, we should keep in

Covid or who was going to succumb to it,”

administering medicines, this can be very

mind these are the individuals caring for us

she says.

dangerous. You become impatient and spend less time with patients and families, while

when we find or fall into any of these states. workers

Before the vaccine came out, she dealt with

being unable to answer and guide them

worried about exposing loved ones was

numerous troubling instances, which are still

through very stressful circumstances they

also significantly high, as well as feeling

etched in her memory.

find themselves in,” says Monreal.

getting enough emotional support, and those

As a firm believer in how vital it is to leave

Even though Monreal would say she is just

struggling with parenting.

one’s problems or worries at home and notes

doing her job, Las Palmas ICU Director Isela

the consequences nurses face if they dont

Lazcano-Beanes describes her as being a

attend to their mental health.

valuable nurse who brings her entire self





emotionally and physically exhausted, not

As a veteran nurse, Monreal and her teams’ duties became substantially more demanding.

to the forefront of each of her shifts and says you will never meet a bigger patient advocate than Monreal.


August 2022

Exceed Your Standards of Beauty

Monreal says her ICU team members are

There are many signs and stages of burnout,

all that way and it is important for her to

some include:

continue to train others with that in mind.

• Compulsion to prove oneself • Neglecting one’s own needs

El Paso’s Las Palmas’ ICU recently recognized

• Displacement of conflicts

Monreal with the “I CARE” award that stands

• Withdrawal and denial

for “Integrity, Compassion, Accountability,

of emerging problems.

Respect and Excellence.” It is important to recognize when burnout Her director and peers describe her as being

kicks in, especially if you are someone who

“quiet, unassuming and fiercely independent.”

cares for others like nurses and physicians. It is crucial to make a personal crisis plan,

Lazcano-Beanes says the longtime nurse

in order to recognize any sign of burnout

is a perfect example of someone who is

and be able to reset before you end up as a

dedicated to her work, shows up for her

patient yourself.

shift, is ready to meet the demands of the ICU and goes home to care for her 90-year-

This past July, the American Medical

old mother -- and, if needed, assist with her

Association issued an advisory to address

grandchildren, one with special needs.

burnout in healthcare workers pursuant to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monreal is unique in the standards and

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strength she upholds and exudes, especially

“Addressing health worker burnout is about

in such a grueling position as the one she’s

more than health,” wrote Vivek Murthy,

kept for so long. She advocates, however,

U.S. Surgeon General Vice Admiral in the

not just for her own health and that of those

advisory. “It’s about reflecting the deeper

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she cares for, but also for those who work

values that we aspire to as a society. Health

with her and for those who never will work

workers have had our back during the most

Mon - Sat: 9AM-5PM Sunday: 9AM-12PM

with her in the healthcare field.

difficult moments of the pandemic. It’s time for us to have theirs.”

Earnestly, she is just one of many unsung heroes navigating unprecedented times. Even heroes, however, need care.

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August 2022

Connecting Kids

with Care Across Texas | By: ERIN COULEHAN photos courtesy of: TTUHSCEL PASO AND DR. SARAH MARTIN |


August 2022


sychiatrists in El Paso are working

The Consortium initiatives are:

hard to increase kids’ access to

• the Child Psychiatry Access

mental health care while also decreasing stigma





state. The Texas Child Mental Health

Network (CPAN) • The Texas Child Health Access Through Telemedicine program (TCHATT)

Care Consortium (TCMHCC) is funded by

• Child Pyschiatry workforce expansion

the Texas Legislature via the Texas Higher

• Research

Education Coodinating Board to establish

• Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

five different mental health initiatives. These

Fellowship Expansion

intiatives were created to enhance mental health care access and quality for children

Dr. Sarah Martin helps lead the hub for this

and adolescents through inter-institutional

region as medical director of TCMHCC at Texas

collaboration the leverages the expertise of

Tech University Health Sciences Ceter El Paso.

12 medical schools in Texas, as well as local

Martin’s role is to improve behavioral health

and state government agencies, and mental

care access for kids and teens, reshape access

health organizations.

to resources for current and future primary care providers, as well as child and adolescent psychiatrists through the five initiatives that span 16 counties in Southwest Texas.


Connecting Kids with Care Across Texas

“Kids can now get care even if they live in a county that doesn’t have a psychiatrist or maybe doesn’t have a pediatrician.”

August 2022

“We represent El Paso County and 15

or maybe doesn’t have a pediatrician,”

other counties that go all the way to Eagle

says Martin.

Pass, the Ozona area, and Pecos. It’s set up so every person in Texas can call their

One of the challenges of overcoming the

local hub for help and we can let them

stigma of mental health care, says Martin, is

know what services are available in their

taking the steps to the first appointment. Virtual

area and also how to get services in their

appointments expanded access for people in

area,” says Martin.

need of care who live in rural communities.

Martin says the work of the Consortium is not

The Consortium also works with school

only concerned with providing direct care, but


also learning about the communities within

conversations about mental health.






each county and providing virtual services Destigmatization

that reach different populations.




programs are helping kids, adolescents, The shift to virtual plaftforms pursuant to the

teachers, and administrators become more

COVID-19 pandemic has made people more

familiar -- and more comfortable -- with the

open to try telepsychiatry like those offered by

language of mental health that help identify

the Consortium. Moreover, patients and parents

and express the need for care.

do not have to commute to appointments. “It’s much more normalized now to seek “Kids can now get care even if they live in

help for mental health and to think of it as

a county that doesn’t have a psychiatrist

something that takes work to maintain.

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August 2022

We’ve been pretty successful because the media is covering mental health more, and parents and teachers are talking about it more,” says Martin. The Consortium also develops creative methods to provide care to underserved populations, while also recruiting new members for its workforce. To address the needs, Martin and her team have created community programs that help expand the reach and utilize the Child Psychiatry Access Network to help doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, and more. “We help primary care providers learn more about psychiatry and then become comfortable prescribing psychiatric medications. We help them find resources for patients through a hotline that’s open everyday,” says Martin. Through the hotline, Martin and her team are able to provide three referrals per patient when called with questions, which significantly increases a patient’s potential for positive outcomes. “We’ve received enough funding that we’re able to negotiate the things that prevent patients from getting the right care within the right timeframe,” says Martin. “Just like a medical problem, if you



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treat a psychiatric problem when it first emerges, then you’re going to have a much better outcome than if you wait.”


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August 2022








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August 2022

Changing the Game in Local Healthcare | By: CLAUDIA FLORES photos courtesy of: DR. ALDO MASPONS |


August 2022

Aldo Maspóns MD CEO

JP García CTO

José Alamo DMD CFO

UT Southwestern

Stanford University

Boston University


magine an app where at hands reach you

created an app where physicians can take

can stay connected with your doctor if you

care of multiple patients at a time without

need to. Follow up questions? No problem,

having to invest in getting a lot of admin help,

because VeMiDoc is here to change the

or hiring a lot of themselves.”

game in healthcare and was created by local doctors and tech entrepreneurs.

For Maspón and his Co-Founders, Jose Alamo, DMD, and JP Garcia, the goal of VeMiDoc is

The app ensures patients have the opportunity

to improve the outcome of both patients and

to receive safe and convenient care from the

doctors through a bilingual platform, especially

palm of their hands that alleviates the strain

since according to Maspón, a physician has

of taking time off work, transporting sick

an average of 40 to 60 patients a day who

family members, soaring gas prices, and

experience wait times of up to three to four

time in waiting rooms. Patients are able to

hours, as well as other demanding tasks to

schedule appointments with doctors they

take care of during work hours.

trust, as well as participate in video chat. According to Maspón, the idea of creating an Moreover, VeMiDoc allows for the easy

app originated during training for his fellowship.

transfer of data between patients and their care providers. The app is also designed with

“My research was finding and trying to figure

the physicians in mind.

out certain characteristics for patients that ended up in the hospital and what I saw was engagement

that patients who were impoverished, or

application. It helps physicians improve

had chronic disease and couldn’t get a hold

medical outcomes of their patients,” Aldo

of their physician were the ones who ended

Maspón, MD, Co-Founder of VeMiDoc said.

up in the hospital -- so we created an app to

“A lot of patients need follow ups and there’s

focus on those patients,” Maspón said.





not enough physicians that we have, so we


V e M i D o c C h a n g i n g t h e G a m e i n L o c a l H e a lt h c a r e

August 2022

Available in both, iOS and Android, patients can download the app at no cost and create an account by completing a quick form with their personal information. Patients can search and request their local physicians then add them to thei ‘My Care Team’ section in their profile. Once the app is downloaded, the profile is setup and the physicians are selected, patients can request appointments. “What happens is that physicians, depending on what kinds of patients they have to manage at a time, let’s say they have a specific disease, enroll the patients into the app that have that disease,” Maspón said. “Then, the app communicates with those patients and sends them questions to check on them and see how they’re doing. If they answer a certain way, that’s worrisome, then the app notifies the physician that patient one out of 1000 needs more attention and to bring that patient in sooner.” As society moves forward with technology, and groundbreaking innovations are seen in the medical field, Maspón believes it is important for El Paso to develop more of its own technology to compete with other large cities in Texas. “If we don’t develop our own technology, other cities, other groups are going to come into our parcel and eat our lunch where they’re going to be telling us what to do,” Maspón said. “We should be creating this own environment for ourselves. In this case, it’s health tech. If we don’t do it for ourselves, someone from outside of El Paso is going to come in and take that part of our economy away from us.”


August 2022

According to Maspón, VeMiDoc is partnering with El Paso University Medical Center and El Paso Children’s Hospital to expand his reach and service to the local community, having more than 30 physicians available on the app and has made more than 30,000 successful connections in El Paso. Most recently, the founders have been in negotiation to expand VeMiDoc’s service to other cities such as Houston and San Antonio. “We just got accepted into mass challenge accelerator group and so, we’re in the startup space,” Maspón said. “The mass challenge accelerator is the premier accelerator group program for the country and what it does is it helps health tech companies get a larger footing in the assets.”


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medical professionals Get to know some of El Paso’s finest

physicians as we profile doctors throughout the city. The doctors in the pages to follow all share characteristics of compassion, knowledge, and love of the community that help promote the health of the city of El Paso and the people who make it so special.

Dr. Maria Elena De Benedetti Zunino, MD, FACC Dr. Maria Elena De Benedetti Zunino, MD, FACC, discovered her

clinical diagnosis during medical rounds was fascinating. I enjoyed my

passion for sciences, chemistry, and physics in her early years as a

time at the hospital, so I decided to come back the next year.”

middle school student, and today is a prominent cardiologist in El Paso. Today, she’s a valued cardiovascular disease specialist at El Paso Her love of learning extended throughout her education that

Heart Center, a Providence Physicians Partners Practice.

included discovering the wonders of anatomy and physiology, then ultimately, medicine.

De Benedetti Zunino is half Italian and half Peruvian, born in Peru and raised in Italy. Lima, Peru is where she was first inspired to practice

“During high school, I started volunteering in a local hospital,” she says.

medicine after volunteering in the burn unit at the National Pediatric

“During this experience, I discovered my true calling for becoming a

Institute when she was 15 years old.

doctor. I enjoyed spending hours talking to the patients, and found that 40 | SPECIAL ADVERTISING

El Paso Heart Center West: 1575 N Mesa, Suite D, El Paso, Texas 79912 East: 1139 Caper Road, El Paso, Texas 79925

“I had direct interaction with the patients and their families. These

“A physician is characterized by the way he or she treats their

children were suffering so much, and that was when I started to

patients,” she explains. “Compassion is a trait that I strive never

experience the compassion and the joy of helping others. This led me

to lose and always exhibit. Compassionate medical care is what

to decide to enter the medical field,” she says.

distinguishes a good doctor from a great doctor.”

De Benedetti Zunino completed her internal medicine residency at

De Benedetti Zunino says she chose cardiology because of the

Columbia University in New York City, then continued on to the Henry

acuity of the disease, and she’s able to help critically-ill patients by

Ford Hospital Heart and Vascular Institute -- one of the most prestigious

performing lifesaving procedures.

cardiology programs in the United States -- to complete fellowships in cardiovascular disease and cardiac rhythm device implantation.

“I’ve implanted thousands of pacemakers, but it still amazes me to see how much more energetic patients feel after a pacemaker implantation.

Her extensive training and expertise is matched by her dedication to

We see patients with intractable chest pain that get coronary

the patients she serves.

revascularization and they feel better right away,” she explains.

Photographed by: JOHN HORTA and JORDAN LICON


The field of cardiology is ever-evolving, and De Benedetti Zunino has

Cardiology is an exceptionally demanding field that comes with a

enjoyed attending several advanced training sessions since she’s

great deal of responsibility that De Benedetti Zunino is happy to take

been in El Paso.

on by running her own practice, while also seeing her own patients.

“We can now place leadless pacemakers through patients’ femoral

“I am always present when my clinics are run and I am there to see or

veins without opening the chest,” she says. “It’s amazing what we

directly supervise patient care in my clinic. I’m also very involved in the

can do, and I’m humbled to be part of the generation of doctors who

hospital care of patients,” she says. “If a patient gets sick and ends up

are trained to perform these advanced and life-saving procedures.”

in the hospital, I will go to see them and take care of them -- no matter which hospital they are at; I’m credentialed at all the hospitals in El Paso.”


Despite her busy professional life, De Benedetti Zunino always makes time for her family. She fell in love with her husband during medical school in Peru, who is a physician working in oncology research and drug development and a medical director in the pharmaceutical industry. Together, the couple has three children, who are all active athletes in town and enjoy the warm weather and summer days that El Paso has to offer. Photographed by: JOHN HORTA and JORDAN LICON



West Texas Pain Institute At West Texas Pain Institute, Dr. Raul Lopez offers patients with chronic pain customized care through a variety of treatment options that range from spinal cord stimulation and kyphoplasty to regenerative treatments such as stem cell therapy. Dr. Lopez is double board-certified in pain medicine and anesthesiology. “West Texas Pain Institute,” says Lopez, “is a pain management practice that was established to treat any patient who is suffering from acute or chronic pain in order to improve their quality of life and enable them to live without pain.” Dr. Lopez was born and raised in El Paso and values living in the binational and bicultural community with his wife, Jacqueline, and the couple’s two children, Raul and Renata, for its unique lifestyle. He was inspired by his community to become a doctor and give back. “I became a doctor to help bridge the gap in access to care and help serve the medically-underserved population. Growing up in El Paso, I would take my grandmother to a pain specialist, where I saw how he helped to improve her quality of life and ability to function,” says Dr. Lopez. Dr. Lopez earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin and later earned his medical degree at The Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus, Ohio. Upon graduation he completed his residency in anesthesiology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, as well as completed a fellowship in interventional pain medicine. Today, his style of care remains consistent with the level of attention and thoughtfulness he would want for his own family by working

West Texas Pain Institute

diligently to determine the origin of each patient’s source of pain.

7878 Gateway Blvd. East, Suite 402

The patient-centered approach is fundamental to achieving positive

El Paso, Texas 79915

patient outcomes. 11450 Gateway Blvd. North, Suite 2100 “The best part of my job is being able to help patients in need who are

El Paso, Texas 79934

suffering from acute or chronic pain to re-establish pain-free lives by utilizing procedures, interventions, and therapies,” he says.

Photographed by: JORDAN LICON

(915) 313 - 4443


Sun City Orthopaedic and Hand Surgery Specialists Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Sun City Orthopaedic and Hand

physicians have over 100 years of combined experience specializing

Surgery Specialists is the largest independent orthopaedic practice in

in all facets of orthopedics.” Sub-specialties of the surgeons and

El Paso serving the community with two locations across town.

medical practitioners at Sun City Orthopaedic include:

“As an independent practice, our medical providers afford the freedom

Joint Replacements

to care for the patients of Sun City Ortho without the red tape that comes

Sports Medicine

with being employed by large corporations that run big hospitals”,

Foot and Ankle surgery

states Toni Sides, CEO. ”These freedoms include the ability to provide


care at more affordable costs, schedule appointments within 24 hours,

Pediatric Orthopeadic surgery

as well as provide individualized care on a patient to patient basis.”

Biologic therapy Adult Reconstruction Surgery

Founded in 2012 by Dr. Eric Sides, Sun City Ortho has grown over

Occupational Medicine

the course of the past 10 years to include providers from all different


orthopaedic sub-specialties. “Not only do we specialize in hand


surgery, as our name suggests,” states Dr. Sides, “our board certified 46 | SPECIAL ADVERTISING

These diversified specialties give the team at Sun City Ortho the ability to manage any patient need from non-operative conservative management to complicated subspecialty surgical care that is unique in El Paso. With a vastly diversified team comes a wide variety of patients from all walks

From left to right: Eric Sides, M.D., Fernando Aviles, M.D., Daniel Vande Lune, M.D., Grace Spears, R.N., F.N.P., Desiree Diebold, D.P.M., Paul Chubb, D.O., Art Gutierrez, PA-C, Andrew Evans, PA-C and Michael Mrochek, M.D.

of life. “We’re proud to say we accept all insurances and welcome the tiniest of new born babies, athletes who have been injured on the field, service men and women, hard working El Pasoans hurt on the job, all the way to our dear elderly patients here to improve quality of life,” states Toni Sides, CEO. Sun City Orthopaedic and Hand Surgery Specialists is always taking new patients. To schedule an appointment with this highly specialized team, simply call them at (915) 581-0712 to be seen in less than 48hrs. The Staff at Sun City is standing by and happy to answer any questions regarding scheduling, billing, insurance, workers compensation, surgery and all questions from start to finish of care. Photographed by: ANOTHA CREATIVE

Sun City Orthopaedic and Hand Surgery Specialists West: 820 Redd Rd., Bldg B, El Paso, Texas 79912 (915) 581-0712 East: 1387 George Dieter, Suite 106 D, El Paso, Texas 79936 (915) 833 - 7312 SPECIAL ADVERTISING | 47

915 Pediatrics For top-notch pediatric care, parents in El Paso need look no further than 915 Pediatrics. Dr. Gilberto Gomez is one of the practices providers who strives to make a meaningful difference in the lives pediatric patients. “I became a Pediatrician because of the joy I get from working with and caring for children,” says Dr. Gomez. “I try to treat and do everything for children as if they were my own.” Dr. Gomez is an El Paso native and is accredited by the American Academy of Pediatrics. His love of his community inspires him to serve families throughout El Paso. “El Paso is home. The people are hardworking and appreciative. It’s great seeing patients and their families all over town.” 915 Pediatrics has been open for less than a year, but Dr. Gomez has been a practicing pediatrician for nearly 20 years. “I finally decided to start my own practice. We will care for your child with the respect they deserve to the best of our abilities. We like to keep it fun, too,” he says. 915 Pediatrics strives to create a comforting environment that is also conducive to open communication, healing, and learning. Additionally, the clinic aims to help build a healthy community one child at a time. Dr. Gomez says the most rewarding part of his job is watching his patients grow up and says witnessing the growth and maturity is a truly humbling experience. “I work hard and take pride in what I do,” says Dr. Gomez. “I’m a kid at heart and have fun everyday at work.” 915 Pediatrics 3261 Joe Battle El Paso, Texas 79936 (915) 257-5862


Photographed by: ANOTHA CREATIVE

Ricardo Reyna, MD You’ve picked the perfect baby swing, car seat, and crib. But what

by medical professionals who are devoted to providing you with the

about a pediatrician? What should you consider when choosing a

highest quality pediatric care in a warm and caring environment.

pediatrician? If you are looking for a practice with a team of experienced, compassionate, and just a more personal approach to health care, then

We welcome you to experience pediatric care differently. The right

we welcome you to Dr. Ricardo Reyna’s medical practice.

pediatrician can make a big difference in your child’s health and wellbeing. We consider it a blessing and privilege to be able to serve you

We pride ourselves in providing a more personal patient experience by

and your family.

always striving to go above and beyond just the practice of medicine. We daily make an effort to provide an experience that families may

To us, it’s more than just another doctor visit, it’s a personal doctor visit!

not find with other offices. Ricardo Reyna, MD Doctor Reyna and Alejandra Valenzuela DNP both passionately bring a

100 E Schuster Ave

personal approach to healthcare that can truly make a difference in the

El Paso, Tx 79902

lives of your children. Our office team of customer service is driven

(915) 317-5900

Photographed by: JOHN HORTA


El Paso Pulmonary 4305 N. Mesa El Paso, Texas 79902 (915) 532-2477

Dr. Adolfo N. Anchondo, MD Dr. Adolfo N. Anchondo, MD at El Paso Pulmonary Association is an

Born in El Paso, Dr. Anchondo graduated from Universidad Autonoma

expert in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and committed to alleviate

de Chihuaha School of Medicine in Chihuahua, Mexico, where he grew

pulmonary ailments including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary

up. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the Texas Tech

disease, emphysema, and diagnosing cancer, among many others.

University Health Sciences Center El Paso, followed by a fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.

“My goal is to inform my patients about their health concerns in a detailed holistic manner as well as their treatment options. Then I

Dr. Anchondo and his wife came back to El Paso to raise their family

will focus on providing the best treatment and care to them and their

and to serve the community they love. “Eighteen years ago, I started

families. The best part of my job is building a relationship based in trust

working in private practice. I have gained a lot of professional experience

and support with my patients and their families,” says Dr. Anchondo.

and a deep understanding of my community. It is a privilege for me to serve the El Pasoans with the best care possible using evidencebased medicine with maximum compassion,” he stated.


Photographed by: JOHN HORTA

Prestige Oral and Facial Surgery Center 5925 Cromo Dr., Ste. B El Paso, Texas 79912 (915) 283-4730

Prestige Oral and Facial Surgery Center At Prestige Oral and Facial Surgery Center, oral and maxillofacial

“The El Paso community is near and dear to me,” he says. “It is a

surgeon Dr. Gerardo J. Guillen, is able to live out his dream. Guillen

community composed of unity and love toward thy neighbor, and I

says he always had an interest in the field and honed his skills under

love being an integral part of it.”

the tutelage of gifted mentors. Guillen serves the community through his practice, which is “During dental school, I was exposed to many facets of the profession

committed to high-quality care. Prestige Oral and Facial Surgery

and developed a niche for the oral and maxillofcial surgery specialty.

Center developed a state-of-the art facility where experienced and

Since then, I have taught as well as practiced the specialty.”

knowledgeable staff are prepared to address the needs of patients.

Guillen, originally from Maracaibo, Venezuela, has been practicing for

Services include dental implants, oral pathology, tooth extraction,

more than 20 years and has provided high-quality oral care locally for

orthognatic surgery, and more.

the last four years, but that doesn’t mean he’s done learning. “Our practices prides itself in providing an experience for each of our “I am constantly looking for ways to improve and maintain my skill so

patients. We treat each case with compassion, always remembering

that my patients are best-served.

to treat our patients the way we would treat our family,” he says.

El Paso is now home to Guillen and his family, and he enjoys giving back to the region. Photographed by: JORDAN LICON


Carlo M. Hatem, MD Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine Dr. Carlo Hatem, a Board-certified physician in critical care, pulmonary diseases, sleep medicine, improves lives across El Paso every day. Hatem is the current Director of the Lung Cancer Screening Clinic at the El Paso Pulmonology Association, Chairman of Critical Care Medicine at The Hospitals of Providence, and Chief of Staff at The Hospitals of Providence East Campus. Hatem says the most rewarding aspect of his role as a doctor is making a meaningful difference in patient’s lives by providing quality care. “The most recent example is a 20-year old athlete who suffered a cardiac arrest and was in a coma for several weeks,” he says. “But thanks to the care we provided and the efforts of a legion of nurses and therapists, he ultimately woke up and is now recovering with his loving family,” he adds. At the El Paso Pulmonary Association, Hatem’s current focus is on researching new treatments for COPD, asthma, and bronchiectasis that includes numerous ongoing studies with innovative treatments. Hatem and his team are committed to serving the community throughout the challenges of the pandemic. “We are highly involved in providing the best possible care during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing diagnostic testing, vaccinations, and treatments,” he says. Hatem has a great love for the El Paso community that is evident through the passion and care he gives to patients. “People are warm and caring,” he says. “I appreciate the strong family support system and also love the variety of cultural backgrounds.”

El Paso Pulmonary Association 4305 N. Mesa El Paso, Texas 79902 (915) 532 - 2477


Photographed by: JORDAN LICON

El Paso Family Orthodontics Dr. Michelle L. Espina, a Board-certified orthodontist at El Paso Family

El Paso Family Orthodontics works to create relationships with

Orthodontics, always knew she could improve people lives.

patients that are anchored in assertive communication, trust, and mutual cooperation, while also providing thorough care.

Today, she does so by enhancing the oral health of patients while also restoring confidence by reinventing their smiles.

Espina has refined her technical and medical knowledge, and applies her skills to the benefit of her patients.

“My style of care as an orthodontist can be described as highly-organized and detail-oriented,” says Espina. “I make sure my patients and their

“The best part of being an orthodontist is the anatomy and mechanics

parents understand why orthodontic treatment is important and that it

when doing a treatment: the technicality in each adjustment is

won’t take two hours to fix an issue, but rather, it will take patience and

fascinating,” she says. “But what I love the most is starting with a

a long satisfying process to achieve the ultimate goal for their smile.”

patient who is shy and insecure about their smile turn into a confident and self-loving person.”

Espina is committed to providing the El Paso community with the latest technologies, top-tier orthodontic care, and a team who will listen to patients.

El Paso Family Orthodontics 5925 Cromo Dr. El Paso, Texas 79912

“As the doctor,” says Espina, “I make sure to provide clear and solid

(915) 307 - 9688

answers for any concerns you might have. We are a team when it comes to orthodontics, and it is our commitment to assist you in any way that we can.”

Photographed by: JORDAN LICON


Advertising Executives






Call (915) 225-0265 and

st e p i n to t h e n e w n o w

The City Magazine is proud to introduce our account ad executives. This team has over 20 combined years in experienced marketing and advertising. Skilled in implementing a wide array of print and digital advertising techniques, TCM Ad Executives are able to supplement brand awareness, increase consumer engagement and achieve ultimate client satisfaction. Their commitment to this community is rooted in their desire to facilitate growth as they work to promote El Paso’s most reputable and engaged businesses.

Local Businesses PROFILES

Local businesses in El Paso contribute to the economic ecosystem that is vital to the city’s survival that also add flavor to our unique region. This month, we’re excited to feature local business experts who are instrumental in shaping the community that they love, while also looking forward to continued success.

Hotel Indigo El Paso Downtown

Hotel Indigo El Paso Downtown 325 N. Kansas, El Paso, Texas 79901 (915) 532 - 5200


CIRCA 1963

The luxury of a vacation meets the convenience of home in

of Hotel Indigo in El Paso is decorated with artwork from local and

downtown El Paso at Hotel Indigo. The mid-century architecture

regional artists from El Paso, Ciudad Juárez, and Marfa, Texas.

combined with contemporary design in the heart of West Texas is emblematic of the vibrant Mexican and American cultures that

Guests can count on waking up to locally-gown and roasted coffee,

makeup the bustling metropolis.

lounging in one of the cabanas at the fifth-floor outdoor pool area that boasts breathtaking views of the U.S.-Mexico border, and enjoy

Hotel Indigo’s first property was opened in Atlanta, Georgia in

cocktails and snacks from their room or the hotel’s outlets.

2004 across from the Fabulous Fox Theatre in the city’s Midtown neighborhood. The brand quickly expanded across the globe, but no

Dining options are available at Hotel Indigo without having to leave

two hotels are alike.

the property.

From New York City to Hong Kong, Shanghai to Singapore, or Paris to

On the fifth-floor of Hotel Indigo is Circa 1963, a rooftop bar and

El Paso, each of Hotel Indigo’s properties offers cultural enrichment

cocktail lounge that takes its namesake as an homage to the

that celebrates each location’s unique identity.

Downtown Motor Inn. At Circa 1963, patrons can enjoy craft cocktails made by award-winning mixologists, daily bar specials, and summer

In El Paso, the vibrant and modern color palette corresponds to the

pool parties.

colors of the Chihuahuan Desert, from the Franklin Mountains to the Borderland’s breathtaking sunsets.

Additionally, Circa 1963 invites guests to enjoy an evening of live music with local talent Billy Pando on Thursday nights.

El Paso’s history can be found in the walls of Hotel Indigo, which was once home to the 1960s-era Downtown Motor Inn. Today, the interior

Circa 1963 features indoor space at its lounge and bar, as well as ample outdoor seating on its 800 square foot terrace.

Photographed by: ANOTHA CREATIVE



Mamacitas, located on the ground floor, offers local fare with a

oversized murals and artwork that are reflective of downtown El

modern twist for brunch, lunch, and dinner that includes a multitude

Paso’s unique cultural geography.

of vegan and organic menu items in an eclectic environment that also serves as excellent Instagram backgrounds.

Guests can work and play as they see fit with the availability of complimentary Wi-Fi offered in each guest room, as well as throughout

Guests are able to take in panoramic views of the Franklin Mountains and

the hotel. Moreover, 24-hour business services and 24-hour fitness

northwestern sky on the terrace, and can also enjoy alfresco dining by

centers with flat panel TVs are located on-site to ensure guests stay

moonlight, or a romantic nightcap by one of several outdoor fireplaces.

connected, efficient, and fulfilled.

Inside the rooms, guests can indulge in spa-inspired bathrooms that

Hotel Indigo also offers spaces for business or social gatherings that

feature glass-enclosed walk-in showers, rainfall-inspired and / or handheld

are infused with local character and functionality to create an intimate

showerheads while being invigorated with Aveda bathroom products.

atmosphere that bolsters creative connections and collaborative work.

Hotel Indigo exudes stylish comfort that can be found in the guest

For a truly remarkable experience, guests need look no farther than

rooms that feature plush bedding, comfortable work spaces, and

Hotel Indigo, an iconic landmark located on the corner of Kansas and Main Street.


Joseph Locke Local business owner Joseph Locke always knew he wanted to make a positive impact on his community. After learning how Realtors can help families, Locke was inspired and started his own real estate business in 2018. “From the day I started my real estate business, I knew I wanted to become a top-producing Realtor in El Paso and make an impact on hundreds of families,” he says. “Starting out as a Realtor, the golden question was “How can I help more people?’” Locke recognized the connective power of social media and began posting content across various social media platforms, his biggest platform to date is on TikTok. As his business has grown, his posts have achieved millions of views and he is now nearing 40,000 followers. “My social platforms have allowed me to meet -- and ultimately help -- dozens of clients buy, sell, and invest in El Paso real estate. I’ve even sold many homes virtually to outof-state clients,” he says. Today, he is a Multi-Million Dollar Producer and was voted Top 10 El Paso Realtors on Social Media by Property Spark this year. Locke, who was born and raised in El Paso, says the best part is being able to serve the city he loves and knows best. “I’ve lived in El Paso my whole life so I’m able to help out-oftown clients navigate the local market while sharing all of our city’s beautiful areas,” he explains. “I truly love what I do and pride myself on being available around-the-clock for all my clients,” noting that his business philosophy is “relationships over transactions.” “I love to stay connected with all my clients and become great friends with them,” says Locke. “Being invited to weddings, baby showers, and more is a testament to the lifelong relationship I create with my clients.”

Joseph Locke (915) 667 - 5748


Gamwell Technologies Gamwell Technologies is one of the city’s leading providers of

500 Global MSP for provided solutions and customer service, five

information technology (IT) and cyber security services, with a core

years in a row.

focus on customer service and mission to give clients peace of mind by delivering the right combination of business, security, and

“GamwellTech is made up of an extremely talented and dedicated

technology services.

group of men and women who are 100 percent customer-focused,” says Adam. “We truly care about our clients,” he adds.

Unlike many of its competitors, GamwellTech provides complete managed security services and not just simply resells third-party tools.

One of the most rewarding aspects of being a business owner, says Adam, is the ability to stay true to who he is as a person and overall

Adam and Cecilia Gamwell started the El Paso-based company

vision for the company.

in 2007 after recognizing a gap in the market for small and midsize businesses, as well as a growing need for enterprise level

“I’ve always been a people person and believe that success

IT management, security, and support services. GamwellTech was

truly does come from humility and empathy for others,” he says.

the area’s first true IT Managed Service Provider and named a top

“GamwellTech’s foundation of people first, is very important.”


Photographed by: JORDAN LICON

Gamwell Technologies 221 North Kansas, 8th Floor El Paso, Texas 79901 (915) 613 - 4866

Some of Gamwell’s accomplishments have included, spearheading large projects for Johnson Space, YISD, as well as many medical

safe, secure, and productive regardless of location restrictions or other potential roadblocks often at no cost.

practices located in the El Paso area. Gamwell credits the company’s continued success to an amazing GamwellTech’s business values are at the core of the

team and overall commitment to their clients.

company’s mission and operations. The company prides itself on honoring, listening, and communicating respectfully with

“Our success is measured by the personal and financial success

each other, each client, and the community. Moreover, the

of our clients, our employees, our company, and our service to our

team at GamwellTech demonstrates integrity daily by fulfilling

community,” says Adam.

promises and providing transparency. The people and community first principles were the driving reason why GamwellTech stepped-up during the pandemic and helped enable companies and employees continue to work while staying SPECIAL ADVERTISING | 61

Zin Valle Vineyards 7315 Canutillo-La Union Road Canutillo, Texas 79835 (915) 877 - 4544

Zin Valle Vineyards “My connection to wine began in my childhood,” says Ryan Poulos,

of all kinds with quality wine from lesser-known but important wine

co-owner of Zin Valle Vineyards. “I grew up in El Paso watching my

regions, which Poulos says is his purpose.

parents restore this region’s wine history. You can’t be raised amidst that amount of perseverance and ambition without being influenced.

“My dream is that, someday, my own son will take the reins. If I

So in early 2020, I moved my wife and newborn baby boy back to El

want to continue to build something for him, Zin Valle Vineyards must

Paso from Austin so I could take over the family legacy,” he continues.

never deter from the principle of quality over quantity that my parents established long ago,” he says.

Zin Valle Vineyards proudly provides Tuscan-style soul with West Texas hospitality - importing wines from their Tuscan estate while also

In the meantime, he’s enjoying this opportunity to share a laid back

producing quality local wines. The effect is the coalescence of two

and unexpected wine experience with every customer that walks

worlds and two histories that create one unique experience.

through the tasting room door, offering complimentary wine tastings and live music every weekend.

Today, as the leader of Zin Valle Vineyards, Poulos is channeling his parent’s ambition, while also bolstering his own leadership style.

“I want everyone to leave feeling enriched and connected,” says

Zin Valle Vineyards continues to surprise and delight wine drinkers

Poulos, “and never intimidated by our wine story.”


Photo provided by: RYAN POULOS

The LIBRE Initiative The American Dream remains within reach for many in the region thanks






to the passion and expertise of those willing to give back. The LIBRE

sponsorships, and Hispanic Heritage Month events.


Initiative empowers people to expand and enhance their potential. “We strive to bring people together to advance solutions that create the “The LIBRE Initiative is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization that

freedom and opportunity for people to realize their full potential. Our goal

strives to collaborate with a diverse group of people,” says Karla

is to work with anyone to do good and no one to do harm,” says Sierra.

Y. Sierra, M.B.A, Grassroots Engagement Director of The LIBRE Initiative. “If we can help you or your organization in any way, please

Sierra is passionate about serving others, which was solidified when

feel free to contact us.”

she served in the Peace Corps from 2010 to 2013.

The LIBRE Initiative was founded in 2011 and established an El

“LIBRE allows me to be a servant-leader in the community where I

Paso location in 2016 where Sierra was instrumental in setting the

was born and raised,” she explains.

organization up for success. The LIBRE Initiative “We had to create and build partnerships with El Pasoans strategically and consistently. We partnered with local schools, non-profits, legislators, and small businesses to grow awareness of our efforts,” says Sierra.

Karla Y. Sierra, MBA (915) 218-4692

The LIBRE Initiative offers an array of community events that

Instagram: @libretexas

include financial literacy workshops, ESL courses, entrepreneurship

Facebook: @LIBRETexas



Dr. Di 64

iamond August 2022

Shines In El Paso



he discovery and knowledge of the

The work is exciting, and Diamond shares his

all those things with others like me, and

anatomy of the human body has inspired

cases on Instagram that showcase the range

Instagram is a platform that can make that happen. So that’s cool as well.

artistic and scientific hands and minds

of procedures and possibilities within the

since Leonardo da Vinci’s earliest anatomical

world of plastic surgery while also inspiring

studies between 1485 and 1515, which later

viewers with his enthusiasm. The City Magazine sat down with Diamond

and continues to evolve and inspire.

TCM Can you talk a little bit about your work in

contributed to the development of surgery

El Paso?

ahead of his two-year anniversary in El Paso. Dr. Diamond

In El Paso, Dr. Shawn Diamond, who joined Texas Tech University Health Sciences

The City Magazine

One of the very first surgeries I did at El Paso

Center El Paso and Texas Tech Physicians

What’s it like for you to be able to connect with

Children’s Hospital turned out to be a FEMAP

of El Paso as a specialist in plastic, hand,

people using social media and share something

case. It was a case that was brought from

microvascular, and reconstructive surgery

as intricate and intimate as surgery?

Juarez and this little girl had a deformity to her forearm after a trauma treated in Mexico. She

in 2019, is using artistic skill, surgical expertise, and technology to bolster medical

Dr. Diamond

was here to get a special operation. I actually

care in the Borderland.

I tell people I’m a plastic surgeon and they’re

moved her fibula bone, so her leg bone to

like, “Great, you’re doing face lifts and

her arm bone, to correct the deformity and

Brazilian Butt Lifts and that kind of stuff,”

it went really well -- and I just loved working

But he’s no stranger to El Paso.

but it’s hard to express the huge range

with the people. Plastic surgery has this

Diamond’s wife, Michelle, is a native El

of different things that we do as a plastic

portion of volunteerism, meaning people

Pasoan and the couple have two children

surgeon. The types of problems that we help

have traveled the world to fix cleft palates,

together who they love raising in El Paso.

fix in kids or adults with cancers, etc. So I

which we’re doing in association with Dr.

think that Instagram, which I only started in

Yates and other surgeons with FEMAP, and

“El Paso is a place where connection and

the last few months, was a way to express

then also the hand and burn type injuries. So

family connections matter,” he says.

how cool the things are that we do, what

there’s a part of me that always wanted to

the meaning of them is, and to try and make

provide volunteer-type work and go where

Diamond volunteers with FEMAP’s Craniofacial

things that are scary, a little less scary to

the need is. FEMAP offers a safe method

Clinic in Juarez where he and other physician

people. I think it’s an educational tool. A lot

to do that, meaning I know the patients are

volunteers and medical staff are able to

of my colleagues use it to share professional

taken care of and the families are taken care



developmental things. So research papers,

of. There’s excellent communication, we’re

improve the quality of life for vulnerable and

talks, and really connect because, you know,

taken care of, and we get to eat killer food.

underserved populations.

sometimes it does feel like I’m on a little

So it’s just fun. It’s so nice to be able to go

island. I do this specialty and it’s fun to share

and take care of our sister city.




Q & A : D r . D i a m o n d S h i n e s I n E l Pa s o

August 2022


like climbing. The first thing that brought me


You have such an awesome job in every

to El Paso was actually Hueco Tanks. I came in

I think the most distinctive thing that jumps

sense of the phrase. How do you take care

2000 or 2001 to go climbing and it’s like world

out is people are very nice. I trained in big

of yourself to make sure that you’re able to

famous climbing. I still like to climb and go to

cities and I typically was one of the nicer

take care of your patients?

Hueco. And that’s an awesome decompression.

residents. There’s epic stories of how loud

Dr. Diamond


each other and how many bad words they

I love to climb and hike. So I often go to the

You’ve been in big cities across the country

can say to each other. So I always thought I

Franklins on long hikes, or 1000 Steps, or

-- Boston, New York, LA. What do you think is

was pretty kind, pretty nice. But people in El

Mundy’s Gap. I love hiking, but I really, really,

most distinctive about El Paso?

Paso are so warm and so nice. I think that’s

residents or trainees or doctors could yell at

very distinctive. That’s not everywhere. Dr. TCM I heard that you got your undergraduate degree in sculpture, and forgive the pun, but it seems like sculpture and plastic surgery go hand-in-hand. Dr. Diamond I think I always had an interest in plastic surgery. Namely, because it’s all to do with form and function, and that’s the language


2019 2018 2014 2013




___________ B E S T I TA L I


that is in art school. And certainly in ceramics, which was my focus. It really speaks to each other. Plastic surgery is this field where you have to master the material, and the material is the human body. So you master skin, soft tissue, nerves, bone, etc. Every type of tissue and every type of wound healing. I just felt like plastic surgery was a special team where you really know the body, how it works, and how it heals in a really detailed, unique way in order to change form, function, and restore. TCM What’s it like for you before the surgery and you’re thinking “Okay, I’m going to take a fibula and put it in an arm”? Dr. Diamond It’s sort of like a chess game. That’s how I describe it. And the great chess players are not thinking about their current move. They’re thinking of six moves down the road. So I’m often thinking of both three dimensional space and then fourth dimensional time and motion. I’m thinking about what I’m doing, and what the next step and the next step, and the next step are, as well as what it’s going to be like in a year in two years, and three years; and sort of predict how someone’s going to move along and what I need to change. So in other words, it’s very highly planned out. There’s not a lot of freeform surgery. And then again, there’s not a lot of freeform art. It’s kind of like Jackson Pollock was very intentional in what he was doing. It’s not that what he was painting were just splatters.

BOOK NOW (915)621-3940


Meet the Man

August 2022

BehindM | By: ERIN COULEHAN Editorial photography and cover by: JORDAN LICON Family photos provided by: THE ALOZIE FAMILY |


the August 2022

Mind ind B

By now we’re all familiar with the face of Dr. Alozie, the infectious disease




guiding the community, state, and

country through the COVID-19 pandemic, while also running his own clinic, Sunset West Health -- but allow me to introduce you to Oge. In 2019, Dr. Ogechika Alozie made the transition from Chief Health Informatics Officer at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso to the Chief Medical Officer at Del Sol Medical Center as the pandemic hit, and didn’t realize the critical leadership role he would soon fulfill.


August 2022


August 2022

Meet the Man Behind the Mind

“In all honesty, I never started talking about

more like teaching, where we have a question

COVID trying to be a leader,” he says.

and have to find the nuance. I try to break it

Alozie recalls having early conversations about COVID-19 then being asked to participate in an interview, which he figured would be brief and take place in his office but he was quickly catapulted into the media spotlight. “I went out there and there were eight different reporters, and three of them were from Juarez,” he says. “And the next day, somebody called and asked me to do it again,” he continued. Alozie says it wasn’t a deliberate decision to become a public intellectual who relayed valuable information to the masses during a time of chaos and that “sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.” Fortunately for us, the humble doctor is as good as he is lucky -- probably better. “I pride myself on being a good teacher. And for me, providing information to the public was

“I always detested and despised the COVID porn that was so rampant in many places, like ‘the sky is falling and you’re going to die.’ Instead, it was what kind of options do we have for people to protect themselves?”

down so that it’s not complicated,” he explains. He’s appeared nationally to represent El Paso on CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg, NPR, and CBS during the pandemic. Alozie says ensuring that he provided accurate information (and didn’t frighten people on national television) was top of mind. “I always detested and despised the COVID porn that was so rampant in many places, like ‘the sky is falling and you’re going to die,’” he says. “Instead, for me, it was ‘What kind of options do we have for people to protect themselves?’” As a physician, Alozie believes in providing the best information available in order to meet people where they are rather than where he is at. The erudite approach at providing public information led to being appointed to 71

Meet the Man Behind the Mind


August 2022

Governor Greg Abbott’s Task Force on

“Whether it was Dr. Leo Loaiza and his wife,

grateful to be blessed with good health and


Dr. Ana Arroyave, and Dr. Rhonda Fleming,

time to enjoy his family.




they were all at the airport with their kids.

Response in September 2020.

My daughter was about two-and-a-half at the

“There’s the phrase ‘Work hard, play hard,’

The task force is composed of 11 experts

time, and my first welcoming memory of El

and I like both,” he says. “I’ll work hard then

and was created to provide the state

Paso is of her playing with the kids on the

I’ll play hard -- whether it’s traveling with my


luggage carousel,” he says.

son to Miami, or with the family to Italy, or to



London,” he continues.

protocols, and recommendations related to Texas’s responses to infectious diseases.

Alozie’s first “home” in El Paso was the

Additionally, the task force serves as a

DoubleTree in downtown El Paso and he’s

Although El Paso is now his home, Alozie

reliable source of accurate information and

reflective of how greatly the city and it’s

is originally from Nigeria and moved to the

education for people across the state.

skyline have changed since his arrival, as well

U.S. when he was four-months old then

as the way his family has grown.

later returned to Nigeria when he was 16 to complete high school and attend medical

“There’s lots of gray area in healthcare,” Alozie explains. “Medicine is a science, but

“It’s all about family,” he says. “Whether it’s

school. He’ll soon be visiting his mother in

it’s also an art. Part of the art is understanding

my daughter, who plays cello and does dance,

Nigeria, whom he hasn’t seen since October

people, listening to people, and caring about

or my son, who plays basketball -- it’s just


their opinions,” he says.

about being as available to them as possible. I just turned 50, and you realize -- when you’re

“For somebody to come here and just be

Alozie moved to El Paso in the summer of

on the other side of the years that you have

embraced by the community when I’m

2010 and fondly recalls some of his first

-- you really start to cherish the time.”

not El Pasoan; I’m not Hispanic; I don’t speak Spanish, but I understand some.

memories in El Paso, specifically running into folks at the El Paso International Airport who

After the whirlwind of his youth -- attending

Being embraced by the community while

would later become valued colleagues and

college, then med school, residency, and

consistently having that sense of warmth,

dear friends.

later fellowship programs -- Alozie says he’s

family, and friendship is huge,” he says.


August 2022


August 2022


August 2022

Beauty That Goes Beyond Skin-Deep | By: HEATHER HARMSTON |


August 2022


eauty starts from within but let’s face

idea of being poked and prodded, or the

it, feeling beautiful on the outside

potential hole in your wallet from the price tag,

certainly never hurt anyone. MedSpas

those who have never experienced the self

are all the rage and not at all a new trend. You

esteem booster of a MedSpa may be more

may ask yourself, what exactly is a MedSpa?

apprehensive than necessary.

Here is the most straight forward description

But Dr. Agullo’s offices creates both a

I found: “A MedSpa is a hybrid between a

welcoming and thoughtful energy that any new

Medical Aesthetic Clinic and a Day Spa that

patient can find comfort in.

operates under the supervision of a highly trained and specialized Physician.”

Valenzuela raves about her office environment in what I found to be the most pleasant and

Many local hotspots that offer a little nip, tuck

inviting of descriptions that had me wanting to

and tweaking have been around for years but

sign right up to try out a service or two.

the real questions are: “Our office is employed by some of the best What sets them apart?

injectors and skin care experts in El Paso. Most of our injectors are actually instructors who

How do you decide the right one for you?

teach other RNs and physicians on how to inject, which I think is pretty great,” she says.

You may have heard about the local celebrity doctor, Dr. Worldwide, in passing but I got

Another impressive tidbit of information I

the chance to dive into the quite impressive

learned was how often the staff gets together

resume of double board certified Frank Agullo,

for conferences, training and meetings inside

MD FACS who launched Southwest Plastic

and outside of El Paso.

Surgery back in 2013 and currently has multiple locations throughout El Paso, Texas (East and

Setting a comfortable environment for new

West locations included).

and existing patients is crucial, but the continuing education in the cosmetic and

I spoke with Medical Aesthetician Joselynn

medical fields to provide the best and most

Valenzuela, who briefly explained the vast

innovative services possible for clientele

amount of services Southwest Plastic Surgery

that seems to be at the forefront for this

and MedSpa provides. Let me tell you, it’s an

organization is just as important.

amazing buffet of sorts, where everyone leaves happy and fully-satisfied. From laser hair and

The continuing education, passion, and expertise

tattoo removal to hydrafacials (one of their most

of the team translates into the office environment.

in demand and common treatments), as well as body contouring and injections, there is a laundry

“One thing I hear a lot from our patients is

list of tailored options that any new patient can

that they can feel the good energy anytime

find that is fitting for their own personal needs.

they walk in and can feel how close we all are, because we really are like one big happy

The one thing that struck me about this

family. “They feel comfortable instantly,”

office culture is the comradery of the staff

says Valenzuela. “I feel like working in a

and professionals who perform the services

positive environment with positive people

on a daily basis.

really sets us apart from other MedSpas in El Paso. It’s also great to see how we can help

To be honest, the idea of fine-tuning your

patients with their insecurities and see the

appearance and overall physical features can

smile on their faces once they begin to see

be daunting for some. Whether it’s the mere

improvements and results.” 77

August 2022

Shot Success: Inside UMC’s Award-Winning Vaccination Efforts | By: ERIN COULEHAN photos courtesy of: UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER |


I n s i d e U M C ’ s Awa r d - W i n n i n g Va c c i n at i o n E f f o r t s

August 2022












community are two qualities that drive

organization that represents more than

University Medical Center as a leader in

300 hospitals that care for low income and

combating threats to public health that go

other marginalized populations, and awarded

back longer than a century. The availability

UMC with a 2022 Gage Award for COVID-19



Innovations. The award was presented by

challenged the community, but a small army

the association earlier this summer at the

of experts and multi-entity collaboration

organization’s annual conference in Boston.




ensured shots in arms for people across the region -- and the efforts were not unnoticed.

UMC started its vaccination campaign on December 15, 2020 and has provided more

Recently, UMC was honored by America’s

than 330,000 vaccinations in safe, fast, and

Essential Hospitals for its regional and

equitable ways.

binational COVID-19 vaccine efforts. UMC’s vaccination measures during the initial release

“Even with the challenges and heavy costs

of vaccines contributed to El Paso being one

of COVID-19, our hospitals found ways to

of the most vaccinated metropolitan cities in

innovate, improve care, and target upstream

the state and country.

factors that affect health,” says Kalpana Ramiah,




“Our hospital has served our community for

Vice President of Innovation and Director of

more than a century, and has been part of the

Essential Hospitals Institute.

response around the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1917 as well as our current COVID-19 pandemic,”


said Jacob Cintron, President and CEO of UMC.

coordinated effort between UMC, the City




“With the arrival of vaccines, we wanted to do

and County of El Paso, and more to establish

everything possible to facilitate getting hundreds

vaccination sites across the area that

of thousands of people vaccinated,” he


continued, adding that the vaccination response

• A mega HUB site

was due to combined efforts from community

• Four neighborhood health clinics

partners, nurses, physicians, and volunteers.

• A mobile health clinic to reach underserved / rural areas • 2 jail facilities



I n s i d e U M C ’ s Awa r d - W i n n i n g Va c c i n at i o n E f f o r t s


August 2022

August 2022

“It was an amazing partnership between UMC and first the County, and then the partnership with the international border,”


I n s i d e U M C ’ s Awa r d - W i n n i n g Va c c i n at i o n E f f o r t s

August 2022

Additionally, UMC worked with more than

window one day when her gaze landed on

150 community organizations to inoculate

the El Paso County Coliseum and she had

workforce members.

an idea.

The effort required decisive leadership

She coordinated with Judge Samaniego and

and coordination by Maria Zampini, Chief

Brian Kennedy, former CEO of the El Paso

Operating Officer at UMC and El Paso County

Sports Commission and the El Paso County

Judge Ricardo Samaniego.

Coliseum, to determine the logistics for the massive vaccine effort.

Preparation prior to the availability of the vaccines gave the Borderland an advantage.







postponed, the Coliseum -- and its skilled “We were authorized by the state way

logistics team -- made for an optimal venue.

in advance to be able to get the vaccine

Teams were assembled and strategies put in

because we had bought all the necessary

place, then it didn’t take long to watch the

equipment,” says Zampini, which included

operation succeed.

purchasing freezers to store the vaccines. “I said ‘We have Brian Kennedy, master of Once attaining the vaccines had been

logistics at the Coliseum for concert right?’

achieved, the next phase was distribution.

And then we have Jacob Cintron with the health care workers. So combining logistics with health care was really the the key to



















Zampini says she was looking out her office



Where Art Meets M


Injectables Laser Services Intimate Health Dermatologic Tailored Aesthetics


Karen Herman, MD 915.745.5888 7470 Cimmaron Plaza Building 13, Suite 100 El Paso, Texas

August 2022 what we’re doing,” says Judge Samaniego. “And that was as many as 5000 vaccinations a day at the Coliseum.” For example, the strength of the partnerships enabled vaccine distribution to vulnerable populations unable to commute to vaccine


sites like the one at the Coliseum, as well as residents in Juarez. “It was really such a wonderful effort,” says Zampini. “Titles did not matter to anyone, it

What are you missing out on?

was everyone coming together to make it happen -- and there was never a nay-sayer. It was ‘we can do this” or ‘let’s do more.’” The success of the efforts were evident at the time the bi-national vaccination efforts began, with more than 65 percent of El Paso’s population of people 12 and older fully vaccinated and more than 75 percent partially vaccinated. “It was an amazing partnership between UMC and first the County, and then the partnership with the international border,” says Judge Samaniego. Thousands of maquiladora workers from Juarez received the COVID-19 vaccines at the Marcelino Serna port of entry as part of the binational effort to establish herd immunity on both sides of the border. The recipients boarded buses and crossed to a neutral area of the port of entry where County employees were waiting to give the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, then boarded another bus with a medical provider who observed for negative reactions. “We had it all completely planned,” says Judge Samaniego. “We talk about binational and regional approaches to issues and crises.

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August 2022

Local Medical Student Talks Prestigious Appointment and Serving El Paso | By: ERIN COULEHAN photos courtesy of: TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY HEALTH SCIENCES CENTER EL PASO |


August 2022 medical student in El Paso is serving


The City Magazine

going on here in El Paso and how that fits into

the Borderland as a dedicated future

What does it mean to be the Student Regent?

the Texas Tech University System as a whole.

Hani Annabi


is a fourth-year medical student at Texas

I always say it’s similar to thinking of a Fortune

What made you choose to come back to El

Tech University Health Sciences Center El

500 company, where they have a board of

Paso for medical school?

Paso and was recently appointed by Texas

governors that makes various decisions. In

Governor Greg Abbott to serve on the Texas

the academic setting, we have the Board of


Tech University System’s Board of Regents.

Regents. Now here in Texas, public institutions

I consider El Paso home. I went to middle

each have one of their board members, a non

school and high school here so I have many

Annabi is the 17th student to serve on the Board

voting member to clarify, as a student from


of Regents and only the second student from

that university system. The student regent

teachers from all over who helped raise me

TTUHSC El Paso to do so, following Jeremy W.

position I sit on is part of the Texas Tech

and help me become the man I am today. And

Stewart who served in 2016 to 2017.

University System Board of Regents, which

so when I had the opportunity to come back

includes five distinct universities: Texas Tech

to El Paso to further my career in medicine,

Originally from Trenton, New Jersey, Annabi

University in Lubbock, Texas Tech University

and not only do that, but also be able to

moved to El Paso around six-years old and

Health Sciences Center, headquartered in

concurrently serve the people of El Paso,

later graduated from Coronado High School

Lubbock, TTUHSC El Paso, Midwestern State

that helped me get to where I am today. It

before earning undergraduate and graduate

University as well as Angelo State University.

was a win-win-win in my eyes. So that was

degrees from Johns Hopkins University

Essentially, I serve as the voice of the student

one of the reasons I wanted to come back to

in Baltimore, Maryland and later a second

body of the system, which incorporates

El Paso to help grow Texas Tech University

graduate degree from Georgetown University

roughly 63,000 students to speak on a wide

Health Science Center El Paso which for

in Washington, D.C.

variety of topics.

me is amazing to see the change and the

Annabi was inspired to become a doctor


has come here. To be a part of that, and to

following a trip to India where he had the

How does serving in this role bolster the work

continue that legacy and help grow it was a

opportunity to volunteer at a pediatric

you’re doing for the El Paso community?

special opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.



patients. One patient was a young boy with

Texas Tech El Paso is growing rapidly, and it’s

How does the sense of global awareness

a scar that extended the length of his torso,

having a huge positive impact not only on the

you gained while in India continue to impact

but who maintained an example of ever-

El Paso community, but also along the entire

the work you’re doing in El Paso?

present hope and optimism.

border that includes Juarez, Mexico. It’s one

physician while also representing at the state level. Hani Michael Annabi





growth that El Paso has had since Texas Tech

hospital in Hyderabad where he treated extremely




of the only medical institutions that sits on


“You walk in and you’re like ‘Man, these are

a border of this caliber. So, we obviously

The more people you work with, the more

tough conditions,’” says Annabi. “And then

have a wide variety of patients and have the

cultures you immerse yourself with, and

you see this little boy as happy as can be and

opportunity to treat them from a medical

the different perspectives you can see

it provided me with an understanding that

perspective, which is great in terms of how

from other people’s eyes gives you a better

medicine can give people an opportunity to to

that all fits in with the regent position. I have

understanding of how you can relate to

live their life and pursue whatever they want to

the opportunity to serve as a voice not only

people. El Paso is unique in the sense

pursue that otherwise they wouldn’t have had.”

for the Texas Tech University System as a

that the majority of people are of Hispanic

whole, but in particular, with me having boots

descent and speak Spanish, whether that

Since 2019, Annabi has held a critical role

on the ground here in El Paso, and being able

be from directly right here, our neighbors in

within the TTUHSC El Paso community

to speak on the population, the people that

Mexico, or elsewhere. And so to have that

through service activities and leadership.

make up this great city are able to have their

ability to work with people not necessarily

The City Magazine sat down with the future

voices heard at the regent level in Lubbock

from the United States, it’s special and

physician about what the Board of Regents

and beyond. So it’s just a great opportunity to

maybe something that’s often taken for

appointment means to him and how it is

provide that perspective, provide that voice,

granted here. Looking at the world differently

helping him further impact El Paso.

and to get people understanding of what’s

can teach you something new.


August 2022


August 2022

Medical Innovations and Teamwork Leading to Better Patient Outcomes | By: AMBER LANAHAN photos courtesy of: THE HOSPITALS OF PROVIDENCE |


ocal healthcare is making meaningful

the region. One of the more severe forms of

CLI is an advanced form of peripheral artery

strides to improving quality of life and

peripheral heart disease, Critical Limb Ischemia

disease with an array of warning signs and

health for El Pasoans by preventing

is the narrowing and hardening of one’s artery

symptoms. Some key symptoms of the

unnecessary amputations.

lining over time due to the buildup of fatty

disease are pain or numbness in the legs or

plaque deposits that is often associated with

feet, a notable decrease in the temperature

The Hospitals of Providence are taking steps

negative outcomes. For the city of El Paso, this

of said appendages (compared to the rest of

in the treatment of Critical Limb Ischemia (CLI)

evolution in treatment will serve as a beneficial

the body), and sores or blackening upon the

that is changing the lives of people across

alternative to more traditional methods.

toes and feet.


August 2022

Many of these acute symptoms follow one right

Drs. Laiq Raja, Jason Mendivil, and nurse practitioner

after the other, like a domino line, if the disease is

Lorie Henderson are a few of the many faces

left untreated or managed but new technology is

behind this impactful program. With efforts towards

increasing access to more innovative care.

program development going back as far as 2018, this team of experts with specializations in PAD CLI

and CLI treatment have come together to establish

advancement therapy, many El Pasoans suffering

the “circle of care” needed for a demographic of

from CLI managed their disease through medication.

patients that require regular observation.







For more advanced cases, the affected limb would require amputation. Providence’s CLI program

Dr. Raja is an interventional cardiology specialist

has now allowed patients to seek a less invasive

who has spent a good decade or so of his career

endovascular option.

recognizing the lack of treatment and diagnosis of PAD. Identifying the system’s failings in how it

Doctors are able to insert a catheter into an artery

addresses the patient’s needs, Dr. Raja has spent

located in the groin, opening up access to the affected

the time attempting to treat the disease while

section of the artery. From there, the surgical team

further developing treatment methods through

performs an angioplasty to widen the artery with a

revascularization. Connecting with his peers, Dr. Raja

series of balloons. These balloons are then inflated

has benefited through the insight of various minds

and, in doing so, expand the surrounding artery. This

regarding how one treats CLI and future follow-up

artery expansion dramatically improves the patient’s

methods for patients.

blood flow to the legs and feet. When proper flow to the appendage has been established, the surgeon

A podiatric surgeon, Dr. Mendivil, tends to focus

inserts a stent, a metal tube, to serve as a protective

his expertise on reconstruction limb salvage.

“framework” to the distressed artery. This stent maintains the open flow of blood from the limb to

Before the group’s CLI program, Dr. Mendivil would

the rest of the body.

be the one many patients see when the unfortunate time came for limb or appendage amputation. Having

The Hospitals of Providence’s decision as the first

borne witness to the longstanding after-effects

to implement this treatment method in the city

on amputees,from an altered gait and posture, Dr.

has propelled them to an advanced level of CLI

Mendivil works towards preserving as much viable

and Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) care that had

tissue as possible. To do so, Dr. Mendivil works to

yet to be seen.

understand the limb’s intricate vessels and how they connect to the affected tissue.


August 2022 In understanding the blood flow network, Dr. Mendivil can better locate the optimal angiosome, a piece of tissue fed by a distinct artery, for treatment. Through the revascularization method, blood flow to the patient’s affected limb ensures a greater chance for healing in the affected area while also preserving the highest amount of tissue possible. While physicians are vital in the ongoing treatment





practitioners like Lorie Henderson and other nurses assist the patient through the procedure from beginning to end. When a patient first walks through the doors, Henderson navigates the patient through



stages becoming

following the



greatest support throughout the treatment process. Henderson and nurses like her aid the patient through various means, but it’s in the post-op environment that their skills begin to shine. Monitoring the blood flow of the healing limb, Henderson pays close attention to ensure there’s no disruption in the healing process. If a disruption of blood flow is detected, the patient is sent back to Dr. Raja and Dr. Mendivil for reevaluation. The greatest goal for The Hospitals of Providence and these medical experts is true to the heart of all who practice medicine, a better quality of life for the patient. Dr. Raja, Dr. Mendivil, nurse practitioner Lorie Henderson, and many others work their hardest to push toward alternatives to amputation. These medical practitioners know better than most the struggles faced by CLI amputees post-op. With a team to help these patients understand their disease and undergo the necessary care and treatment, they are given a greater

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chance of successful transition before and after their CLI procedure.



Leaders and Legends Lift Spirits at El Paso Children’s Hospital | By: THE CITY MAGAZINE STAFF photos courtesy of: EL PASO CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL |


August 2022


hat do you get when you combine the El Paso Children’s Hospital Foundation, local heroes, and iconic athletes? Simple: A truly wonderful afternoon for pediatric patients, hospital staff, and families.

Such was the scene on July 8th as EPCH hosted ICON to ICAN x Music Beats Hearts, Lil Jay, and Aaron and Alvin Jones’ All the Way Foundation to lift the spirits of patients, families, and local healthcare workers.


E l Pa s o C h i l d r e n ’ s H o s p i ta l

August 2022

“This is such a wonderful opportunity for some of El Paso’s greatest athletes to come back, as well as several dignitaries to create lasting memories for our hospital community.” ICON to ICAN is a non-profit organization that offers disadvantaged and disabled children the opportunity to meet their icons. Music Beats Hearts is an organization that promotes the healing power of music. The


August 2022

Jones’ All the Way Foundation works to uplift youth across the country by promoting unity, diversity, and more. The day featured activities designed to bring smiles to those at the hospital that included NBA legends Tim Hardaway and Walter McCarty; local musical artist Krystall Poppin; NCAA Baseball star and El Paso native Ivan Melendez; El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego; El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser; El Paso County Commissioner Carlos Leon; and UTEP football star Deion Hankins. “Working with this incredible partnership over the last couple months to help orchestrate this visit has truly been an honor,” said Dr. B. Abigail Tarango, Executive Director of the El Paso Children’s Hospital Foundation. “Their energy is contagious, and I am confident that the patients, their families and the hospital team will be uplifted by the program we have created with the help of Aaron Jones and Tim Hardaway’s commitment to visit.” Athletes were hands-on with the kids as they distributed signed footballs and baseballs, tech devices like iPads and Beats Pills, as well as toys that were individually selected for each child. Lunch was served for each member of the EPCH staff, along private visits with patients and VIP guests, as well as an event wrap party with families of former patients. ICON Talks was founded by John Burns and John Hartsfield and collaborated with Music Beats Hearts founder Elie Maroun to bring the event to El Paso through the efforts of El Pasoan Mike Mendoza. “This is such a wonderful opportunity for some of El Paso’s greatest athletes to come back, as well as several dignitaries to create lasting memories for our hospital community,” said Dr. Cindy Stout, President and CEO of El Paso Children’s Hospital. “We look forward to a lasting partnership and we are so thankful to Elie Maroun for introducing these experiences to help encourage a healing environment here in El Paso.”


August 2022

What to Know About Menta l Heal th | By: LAJWARD ZAHRA headshot provided by: DR. JUSTIN KEPPLE |



s summer’s idle dog days wane, thousands of students across

those two ways. “From our caveman days, even further back, we

El Paso will be returning to school in August and September.

didn’t have horns or plated skin. We didn’t spit venom. We didn’t do

For most students, this is an expected transition they will

anything cool to protect ourselves against those big, bad Sabretooth

begrudgingly adjust our sleep schedules to. However, for

tigers, so we developed this [fight-or-flight] system to assess, identify

many other students, returning to school is also a cause for

and then respond to threats,” says Dr. Kepple.

more than just disappointment that summer is over. It’s also a cause for worry, panic, anxiety and even fear, that luckily, can be managed

The fight-or-flight response is responsible for that physiological response

using good mental health hygiene.

because that “huge surge of survival energy” when confronted with a stressor is what elevates our heart and respiratory rates to make us

As diagnosis of anxiety and depression increase for teens, it is

better equipped to fend off those Sabretooth tigers. Most famously,

important for schools, parents, and teen’s themselves to be cognizant

the fight or flight response creates a surge of adrenaline.

about mental health. I sat down with El Paso psychologist, Dr. Justin Kepple, to learn what anxiety really means and what we can do about it.

Understanding Anxiety Because there are many understandings about anxiety, scientific and colloquial, the process of determining exactly what anxiety is and its causes is complex. Clinical anxiety and diagnosing it is an incredibly scientific process and guided by a dense textbook, the DSM-5, that Dr. Kepple is referred to as the “psychologist’s Bible.” However, what more of us are familiar with is what Dr. Kepple refers to as the “colloquial understanding of anxiety,” a mixture of stress, worry, fear, and panic. Those are all “a cluster of symptoms to describe this biological response” to a stressful situation. The biological response is shaking, nervousness, and increased heart rate known as physiological anxiety. Then there’s cognitive anxiety which manifests as the “what if” thought patterns and the worry. Starting at the core, fight-or-flight response is basic human programming that helps us understand why anxiety manifests in

Managing Anxiety at School In school, we are confronted with stressors that we can’t fight or flee so this response has no outlet. The adrenaline that has nowhere to go makes us shaky and nervous. Dr. Kepple illustrates a scenario: “For example, you get called on to read and you weren’t paying attention and you’re like they’re like ‘Oh, man’. So, your palms get all sweaty, you’re breathing heavily, elevated heart rate, your face turns red, and all that good stuff. That is just your body saying ‘here you go, human, here’s all the energy you will ever need to fight or flight your problems.’ But how do you fight or fly in that kind of situation? You can’t go and beat up the teacher for calling on you to read and you can’t just run out the door and not read.” This turns us essentially into a “human pressure cooker.” Then, of course, our brain develops thinking patterns to prepare us for situations that elicit this response and that’s where that cognitive anxiety comes in. While this in-depth explanation did give me a new perspective on anxiety, I was curious whether back-to-school affects the intensity of human InstaPot moments. The answer was similarly complex 95

W h at t o K n o w A b o u t B a c k - t o - S c h o o l M e n ta l H e a lt h

August 2022

and “really depends on specific variables” according to Dr. Kepple.

Your body puts you in a low state of functioning as a way of protection

He sees many adolescent patients and notes that the COVID-19

and self-preservation. You have less desire to go out and be social

pandemic, and the continued shift from online school back to in-

and “you want to retreat and hibernate.” That avoidance is essentially

person school could be a “huge, huge” concern for students.

depression. “What we should be looking out for is when you find yourself avoiding things that you need to face head on.”

Additionally, the fact that many students were doing online school during that “important phase of social development” is an added

Even facing things head-on, when analyzed, has complex effects.

factor that impacts students’ back-to-school anxiety and their ability to

While anxiety makes you view everything through what Dr. Kepple

contend with it. Furthermore, with all the new COVID-19 variants, the

calls “survival goggles” that make problems appear overly scary and

politics of mask wearing add anxiety to mask wearing. If you choose

exaggerated, facing things makes us recalibrate and reassess our

to wear your mask, are you going to be associated with one side of

perspective on the stressor.

the political spectrum or the other?

Taking a Head-On Approach to Mental Health Questions about intensity lead to how anxiety can very easily turn into depression. Anxiety and depression often precipitate one another. Constant anxiety can basically “create a state where the body says,

Our brains remember that the stressor was not as bad as it had originally anticipated and adjust our reaction the next time that we are confronted with it.

Model Behavior Furthermore, Dr. Kepple suggests that parents seeking to prevent or help with anxiety in their children should model that behavior themselves.

‘alright human, I’ve let you take the reins long enough; it’s my turn to take over and keep you safe,’” explains Dr. Kepple.

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“The way children learn to deal with the world is initially modeled by their parents, right? But as you get older, you have TV and social media and friends and school,” he says.

How Schools Can Help These other influences, especially school


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and friends, can also have a beneficial impact when teaching students how to deal with anxiety. Schools especially can mitigate backto-school anxiety. Schools that promote inclusivity greatly help with back-to-school anxiety as much of it stems from not feeling comfortable or safe. Schools that also offer a variety of clubs and organizations where everyone can find their niche will also see less anxiety among their students. According to Dr. Kepple, “really fostering that connection of social support is one of the main ways that we cope with psychological distress across the board.” He also notes that taking the time to teach students stress

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management skills such as deep breathing,





physical activity will help student anxiety. He likens these practices to “literally

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brushing your teeth. From a very early age we’re taught up, down, left, right, two times every day. We are rarely taught ‘this is how you mitigate stress.’” But it can be done and there are many resources available to students for help.

Natural light Candid Authentic 97

Celebrating DOGust in

August 2022



e all know that good pets are never in the dog house and that pets play an integral role in our families. Today, many pets participate in family events and activities that include birthday

parties, weddings, trips to Starbucks, and so much more. “Being the best man at my sister’s destination wedding is something I’ll never forget,” says Ricky Armendariz of Claude, his 13-year old French Bulldog. “My fondest memory of Claude was his invitation and presence to support her during her special day!” A new study out of the University of Florida reports that having a pet may have beneficial medical impacts in humans, such as delaying cognitive decline. The greatest medical benefits were documented in people who’ve owned pets for longer than five years. The study’s authors explain that pet ownership can help contribute to cognitive health because of increased physical exercise, socialization, and game playing that keeps the mind and body active.


Ed, Doug, and Moose Garcia

Chris and Betsy Van Pelt

Pet parenthood reached new levels during the

While some pet parents and furbabies enjoyed

COVID-19 pandemic, with people becoming

lots of quality time during the shutdown days,

more reliant than ever on their pets. A 2021

others were focused on survival.

study from the journal “Animals” suggests that companionship with pets -- talking,

Blaine McNutt rescued Hamburger, a 2-year

caring for, playing, cuddling -- boosted mental

old English Bulldog, in July 2020 who was

health in humans.

found as a stray in Sunland Park suffering from both pneumonia and a nearly-fatal case

“During early days of the pandemic, we took

of heartworm. Today, McNutt is grateful to

a flight to Huntington Beach and spent a few

have recently celebrated the family’s two year

days on the empty beaches,” says Storm

“Hammy-versary,” and joins millions of other

Craig, who spent time traveling with Gnarla,

American pet owners who commemorate

a 2-year old Pitsky (Pit Bull / Husky). “I also

their pet’s special days.

took her to Austin and went to a place called Red Bud Isle. It’s a 5-acre island for dogs and

was the coolest thing ever!”


C e l e b r at i n g D O G u s t i n T h e C i t y

August 2022

Launch Parties

Blaine and Hamburger McNutt

DOGust 1st is the annual celebration for dogs (often from




strays) whose birthdays are unknown that was started in 2008 by the North Shore Animal League of America and




nationwide festivity. And we all know The City Magazine loves a celebration -- especially once a month! We’re excited to introduce an

Don’t miss out! The City Magazine throws the hottest parties in partnership with the best hosts.

Party with us! contact us: 100

inaugural monthly editorial, Pick of the Litter, that will be a flip on the traditional pet adoption narrative.

Ricky and Claude Armendariz

August 2022

C e l e b r at i n g D O G u s t i n T h e C i t y

While it’s common to talk about “rescue pets,” oftentimes it’s the animals who really rescue us once we take them home. The




Magazine share




stories not about how they rescued their pet, but rather, how their pet rescued them. Submissions can be emailed to

Jordan and Luca Licon

Storm and Gnarla Craig


August 2022


August 2022

Covering with the

‘People’s Museum’ | By: ERIN COULEHAN |


Covering the Cit y with the ‘People’s Museum’


Victorian-style mansion nestled in the Montana Avenue Historic District is home to the International Museum of Art, otherwise known as “the

People’s Museum.” Acclaimed architect Henry Trost designed the structure, which

belongs to them. It was Mr. And Mrs. Turney’s

was home to State Senator William Turney

gift to the city. And so it continues to be the

and his wife Iva from 1909 through 1939.

people’s museum that belongs to them.”

Today, the International Museum of Art

Mrs. Turney donated the home to the City of

remains a sanctuary of the arts for the

El Paso in 1940 following Senator Turney’s

people of the Borderland that also serves

death to honor the wish that their house would

as home to The City Magazine’s 10-year

become a home for the arts. Turney sold the

anniversary retrospective that runs through

house to the City of El Paso for one dollar.

the end of August. Before functioning as a museum, the What better way to celebrate the legacies and

building was used as a center for women’s

lifestyles of El Paso than a glamorous mansion?

contributions to World War II efforts, as well as a leased space for art aficionados

Many are familiar with Trost’s work, which

from1941 through 1954; itwas officially

includes the first skyscrapers in downtown

opened to the public as it is today in 1947.

El Paso like the Anson Mills and Abdou buildings that were celebrated for their

Since then, the International Museum of Art’s

modernity at the time of construction.

mission has been to support and encourage the visual arts in El Paso and the Southwest

But the Turneys wanted their home to be

through the exhibition of local, regional,

designed in a more traditional style.

and international art, lectures, gallery talks, education, and guided tours.

Much like the melting pot of cultures the region would later be known for, the mansion

The museum remains true to its nickname as

features a combination of different cultures

the People’s Museum because it’s entirely

and qualities that coalesce into a unique

supported by the people of the community.

identity: part Antebellum, part Greek, and “This is a community-based organization,”

part White House.

says Horton. “We’re a nonprofit, and we “We






purely exist, because of the people.”

international,” says Cynthia Horton, Vice President of the International Museum of

The International Museum of Art does not

Art’s board of directors. “And we want to

receive government funding and instead

represent everybody -- all peoples -- because it

relies on its “Pillars of Support” program.

August 2022

August 2022

“We’re so grateful. We’re trying to do things that will be here for the

next100 years.”


Covering the Cit y with the ‘People’s Museum’

August 2022

“We estimate that it takes about 275 dollars

The exhibits at the People’s Museum are as

For the last 10 years, The City Magazine has

to operate the museum each day, which is

much about remembering the past as they

been covering the very best coming out of

about 11 dollars an hour,” explains Emily

are examining contemporary issues.

El Paso and celebrated the mileston with the International Museum of Art.

Leedom, the International Museum of Art’s “We just had an exhibit of artwork by youth

newly-hired Executive Director.

from juvenile detention, which was great to

From the Pope’s visit to the Borderland and


give them an opportunity to do so. When

grand opening of the Plaza Pioneer Park

utilities and also support an array of pieces,

you talk about the People’s Museum, having

Hotel to CEO, Dr. Cindy Stout of El Paso’s

collections, and exhibitions.

an opportunity for kids in juvenile detention

Children’s Hospital and lawyer-artist Patrick

to show their work and really tie in what the

Gabaldon who leaves his mark on the

“Everybody has a story when they come in

heartbeat of the city was in their experiences.

community in and out of the courtroom, the

here,” says Horton, “and we want them to

Especially following the August 3rd shooting, it

magazine has been documenting our region’s

know that this is their museum. It represents

was important for them to do a poster contest

rich history amid a world-changing decade

every area of our community and culture. This is

on breaking the cycle of violence. It was just

that we believed was worth celebrating.

a place to learn about our history and the history

amazing,” Horton.






The City Magazine’s retrospective at the

of others -- a culture of others. What a gift.” Leedom is part of a new generation at the

International Museum of Art This exhibit

The International Museum of Art houses

International Museum of Art that Horton is

communicated the long-lasting relationship

diverse permanent collections as well as two

excited to guide and pass the proverbial torch to.

between the El Paso community and a modern periodical that endeavors to document the

changing galleries. The collections include work by Southwestern artists, like William

“We’re so grateful,” says Horton. “We’re

Borderland’s most exciting legacies and lifestyles.

Kolliker, and African, Asian, and Mexican art.

trying to do things that will be here for the

The goal was for visitors to learn about the local

next 100 years.”

print media industry, which is very much alive!


August 2022 The City Magazine is emblematic of the symbiotic relationship that exists between El Paso’s leading figures, small business owners, creatives, and community. The inspiration behind this exhibit is the El Paso community. The City Magazine would not exist without the city or county of El Paso, and it’s paramount to honor the evolution of our community over the course of the last world-changing decade. The City Magazine’s purpose is to ensure the achievements of the community are preserved through the longevity of the print. As guests explored the International Museum of Art and The City Magazine’s retrospective, we’re hopeful the legacies and lifestyles of this special region will inspire younger generations to continue to move forward and cultivate their own lifestyles and legacies.



August 2022


Reading M


edical Humanities is a gorgeous and intricate genre that combines the humanities, social

sciences, and the arts with the practice of medicine and expansion of scientific education.

Like strands of DNA that come together to form a double helix, merging the technical aspects of medical inquiry with the imagination of the arts serves readers, doctors, and patients by increasing our understanding while simultaneously stimulating our imaginations.

Body of Work: Meditations from the Human Anatomy Lab In




Christine Montross explores her time as a first-year medical student discovering the anatomy lab. Montross uncovers her own humanity while participating in the required cadaver lab, dissecting a human body she called Eve. The memoir explores the shapes, textures, and beauty that makeup the human form, while also taking the reader on a journey through the history of anatomy and one doctor’s quest as a student.


August 2022 Blood and Guts: A History of Surgery Contemporary medicine offers luxuries -- medical miracles, really -- that were once inconceivable. Veteran science reporter Richard Hollingham stitches together an extraordinary history of medical progress in vivid detail. From Joseph Lister’s antiseptic technique that made modern surgery successes possible, to renowned Victorian surgeon Robert Liston’s impressive 30-second amputation, to Walter Freeman’s lobotomies, the origins of surgical breakthroughs continue to push medical innovations and challenge surgeons’ imaginations.

Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science Atul Gawande is an acclaimed surgeon and author who uses true stories and real cases to examine the limits of medicine. Each chapter contends with the reality that the practice of medicine is not perfect, told from Gawande’s perspective as a surgical resident in Boston. Gawande is unflinching in his storytelling that centers on themes of failure, perseverance, overcoming technical shortcomings, and understanding that “hoofbeats usually mean horses, not zebras.” The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer The history of cancer is examined with a scientist’s precision written by oncologist and writer Siddhartha Mukherjee. The book provides a rare glimpse into the history of cancer as a disease but is ultimately a testament to the ingenuity, hubris, and determination of physicians committed to saving lives and changing the world. In providing clarity to readers seeking to understand cancer, Mukherjee also gives them an unexpected gift -- hope -- in his description of future treatments and innovations.


August 2022



Article Title

August 2022

ellness W

F a

Made Easy | By: HANNA LANGFORD |




trends seem to go through






overwhelming but are valuable once you know what you’re looking for. Social media has been an even bigger influence

on these ever-changing trends, drawing more interest in people to invest in themselves. One of the more popular focuses is building immunity and the concept of “clean.” From clean beauty to eating clean, this simple term was coined for the best concept in self-care all around. The greatest benefit of investing in immunity is that many immune-boosting vitamins and antioxidants do far more than help you fight an infection; they protect vital organs, the biggest of them all being your skin. Here are the easiest and most cost-effective ways to

Drink to Your Health

One of the biggest multitaskers to add to your daily routine will not only hydrate you, but also help to cleanse the body of toxins. A quick way to start your day right is to kick off your intake with lemon water. Keeping hydrated will also help regulate stress hormones like cortisol and help regulate your digestion to combat bloating. Hydration also impacts elasticity and appearance of your skin, so if you are big on skin care you should consider boosting your hydration game.

Veggie Good Nutrition

revamp your body from the inside out and

Another key player in wellness has always

finally feel as good as you look.

been greens. Spinach, kale, and broccoli are typically not first choices as far as being


August 2022 the center piece of a meal. Whether you opt for a green juice, or prefer a sauteed vegetable as a side dish, increasing intake in dark leafy greens will promote health from strengthening your immune system and reducing inflammation, to improving appearance of skin. Greens are packed with vitamins A, C, K and so much more. As seasons change, the most versatile foods will always be green vegetables. From a summer salad to a hearty soup in the fall or winter, if you learn how to incorporate these veggies in your meal plan to your liking, then they will go to work for your body. Fresh vegetables of the best quality can be found in most grocery stores, but you can always make a trip to our local Upper Valley Farmers Market or Bodega Loya for locally grown favorites.


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August 2022

S u s ta i n a b l e W e l l n e s s M a d e E a s y

Enjoy. Every. Moment.

Unplug & Unwind While nutrition is a vital component of building immunity, it does not provide everything your body may need. Another key aspect of a wellness routine is going to include recharging your battery. Incorporating rest days from your workouts and working on improving your sleep schedule can be crucial to improving your overall health and mental well-being. Continuous lack of sleep not only increases your risk of developing heart and kidney disease, but also affects your overall mood and focus. If you struggle with getting a good night’s sleep, try stocking up on walnuts and tart cherries as they increase melatonin levels. Ditching the screen time before bed has also been shown to be effective in better sleep as well.

our work to take over spaces that had their designated purpose. Keep work out of the bedroom and let it be your place to relax and decompress, look for things that promote comfort such as adjusting temperatures and swapping out pillows. For night shift workers struggling to adjust sleeping during the day, black out curtains and earplugs can help prevent waking up or troubles dozing off, while avoiding heavy or

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Incorporating new habits can be difficult to stick to but they do not have to always be complex or pricey. Sometimes the help that

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our body needs is as simple as making a couple changes to our grocery list or detoxing our bedrooms. Regardless of new wellness trends, you can always count on tried-and-true habits. Finding what works for you takes time but will result in the best investment: YOU.

@EpicEventsELP #enjoyeverymoment

As many people have transitioned to working remotely from home, it became easy to allow



The City Magazine’s July launch party

The Berkeley hosted

that celebrated men in

business from our community, Jon Barela, CEO of The Borderplex Alliance, featured on the cover. Live music, charcuterie, and cocktails gave guests a chance to mix business with the pleasure of networking.

| Photos by:ASHLEY VALADEZ |







An intimate collection of guests gathered at Hotel Indigo to honor some of El Paso’s most extraordinary figures: Dr. Cindy Stout of El Paso Children’s Hospital, basketball legend Tim Hardaway, and professional football play and entrepreneur Aaron Jones. The honorees brunched, mingled, and met to discuss the bright future of El Paso.

| Photos by: JORDAN LICON |






August 2022



A-1 Kitchens by Sierra ..................................................... Pg. 93

Poe Toyota .......................................................................Pg. 11

Ana Square Microblading and Permanent Makeup ..........Pg. 27

Premier Primary Care Clinic LLC. ...................................Pg. 112

Anotha Creative ................................................................Pg. 89

Prestige Oral and Facial Surgery Center ...........................Pg. 51

AV Photography ................................................................Pg. 67

Rejuvene M.D...................................................................Pg. 82

Borderland Bail Bonds ........................................................Pg. 9

Seiros Obscura Photography ............................................Pg. 97

Casa Buena Vista Homes ..............................................Pgs. 4-5

Southwest Plastic Surgery ...............................................Pg. 13

C.D. Lee Britton ................................................................Pg. 97

Sparkle Effects .................................................................Pg. 89

Desert Spirit Spa...............................................................Pg. 33

Sugar Skull Boutique ........................................................Pg. 74

Dr. Ricardo Reyna .............................................................Pg. 49

Sun City Orthopaedics and Hand Specialists.......Pgs. 10; 46-47

El Paso Children’s Hospital .......................Pg. Inside back cover

Stryker Security by Spectrum ...........................................Pg. 32

El Paso Family Orthodontics.............................................Pg. 53

Takase Real Estate Leaders ..............................................Pg. 96

El Paso Heart Center .................................................Pgs. 40-43

The City Magazine Account Execs ...................................Pg. 54

El Paso Pulmonary Association ................................Pgs. 50; 52

The City Magazine Advertise with Us ..............................Pg. 23

Energy Source Manufacturing ..........................................Pg. 19

The City Magazine Launch Parties .................................Pg. 100

Epic Events and Entertainment ......................................Pg. 113

The City Magazine Newsletter .........................................Pg. 83

GamwellTech .............................................................Pgs. 60-61

The City Magazine Ticketing .............................................Pg. 30

Great American Steakhouse ...........................................Pg. 101

The Edge of Texas ............................................................Pg. 23

Hotel Indigo .........................................................Pgs. 31; 56-58

The LIBRE Initiative ..........................................................Pg. 63

Hyundai of El Paso.................................... Pgs. 106; Back cover

The Manor at Ten Eleven ...............................................Pgs. 2-3

Instreamatic ......................................................................Pg. 38

The Mix Salon and Spa ....................................................Pg. 18

Intraceuticals ....................................................................Pg. 75

The State Line .................................................................Pg. 37

Italian Kitchen West..........................................................Pg. 67

UTEP Special Events ......................................................Pg. 107

Joseph Locke Realtor .......................................................Pg. 59

VIP Design ........................................................................Pg. 37

Mesa Street Bar and Grill ...................................................Pg. 1

Walgreens .....................................................................Pgs. 6-7

Minski Inc. ..........................................................................Pg. 8

West Texas Pain Institute ...........Pgs. Inside front cover; 44-45

Rejuvene MD....................................................................Pg. 82

Zin Valle Vineyards ............................................................Pg. 62

Play Lounge ......................................................................Pg. 15

915 Pediatrics ...................................................................Pg. 48

Pamela is a soccer player. But


when she couldn't breathe, our radiology team found out why and treated her condition.


El Paso Children's Hospital has the ONLY Pediatric


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Pamela is ready to

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There’s only one, El Paso Children’s Hospital! 4845 Alameda Ave. El Paso, TX 79905

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