New cancer treatment center could be built in El Paso

A new cancer treatment center could be coming to El Paso.

The Texas Legislature is expected to spend about $65 million to help build the center, which will be a collaborative effort between the Texas Tech University Health Science Center El Paso and the University Medical Center of El Paso, according to the State Representative Mary E. González and vice chair of the House Appropriations Committee.

The funding is included in the state budget approved by the Texas Senate on Friday. The budget will need to be approved by the House before going to Governor Greg Abbott.

“Cancer patients often have to travel to Houston or other cities to get advanced medical care. The trip is expensive, tiring and complicates the treatment”, said González. “My heart breaks when I see members of our community board planes and leave their families so they can get the health care they need.”

González said the funding is the result of a two-year effort between her, the El Paso legislative delegation, budget researchers and community leaders from UMC and TTUHSC.

“I am so happy that our effort paid off. The creation of the cancer center will be transformative for health and education. Soon, cancer patients will remain at home and receive state-of-the-art care,” said González. “The El Paso legislative delegation teamed up with other community leaders to make this happen. It really is a big step forward for our community.

UMC President and CEO Jacob Cintron issued the following statement:

We are grateful for the approval of significant funding that will bring more comprehensive cancer care to everyone in our region. This was a landmark project in our bond proposal last fall, and we are delighted that our delegation and their colleagues share our priority of bringing a cancer center to El Paso. El Paso is one of the largest cities in the country without a comprehensive cancer center.

This funding begins the journey to fill an incredible need and minimize/begin to eliminate the need for El Pasoans to seek care elsewhere. As we have done for the past 50 years, we look forward to expanding our strong partnership with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso and Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso in the cancer center’s success.

We join all of El Paso in thanking our delegation for championing this initiative, especially Appropriations Vice President Mary Gonzalez for leading this effort and Senator Cesar Blanco for his work in the Senate. This would never have been possible without the support and commitment of our El Paso County Court of Commissioners and the UMC Board of Directors.

We are working to learn more about what the total cost of the center will be, when it is expected to open and where it will be located.

Check back for updates.

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New cancer treatment center could be built in El Paso

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