After investing $1.2 million in renovations, The Hospitals of Providence has reopened the medical facility at 1755 Curie it took over last year.
The former El Paso Specialty Hospital, which was closed abruptly more than a year ago, is now The Hospitals of Providence Specialty Campus – the city’s first specialty hospital dedicated to spinal care, pain management and urology.
It opened Thursday.
“We provide great care from all of our hospitals but now (we provide) the ability to specialize in back injuries, spine injuries and pain management, which the majority of Americans experience, and this includes El Paso folks,” said Rob Anderson, CEO of the new specialty hospital and Providence’s Sierra Campus. “We have a big presence here, and the community relies on us to provide a lot of the health care because we do have 46% of the market share in El Paso.”
Renovations include everything from new neurosurgical equipment to prettier carpeting, Anderson said. The facility, which has five rooms available for surgery, is a one-stop shop for older folks who might have spinal injuries, chronic back pain, prostate issues or other conditions.
“The older population tends to have more prostate issues or even prostate cancer,” Anderson said. “You have all of this in one location to allow patients to access the care they need to live a normal life.”
Urologists from Rio Grande Urology will manage their cases on the second floor of the specialty hospital with access to three operating rooms.
Although the facility is more outpatient-oriented, it does have the capability to accommodate patients that may require overnight stays.
More than a year ago, the facility ran into financial and operational challenges when it was known as El Paso Specialty Hospital.
The former hospital was owned by physicians affiliated with El Paso Specialty Physicians Group and was under the management of the Nashville-based Surgery Partners Inc. before it declared bankruptcy and shut down in December 2018.
The facility remained idle until mid-2019 when The Hospitals of Providence, which is owned by Tenet Healthcare Corp., announced that it would lease the property to reestablish a hospital there. Providence was able to retain “a majority” of the physicians that practiced there, allowing them to stay in the borderland, Anderson said.
Reopening the facility as a specialty hospital will benefit the El Paso economy in several ways, he said.
“We had to hire more staff, so more jobs were brought in by us doing this. Tenet is a tax-paying entity which means we pay taxes on this building to give back to the community,” Anderson said. “And I think, more importantly, we are keeping those surgeons, who are high-quality, good surgeons, here in the market.”
The specialty hospital has 47 employees, and Anderson expects the number to rise to 80, including 10 to 15 physicians, over the next 90 days.
Dr. Carlos Omar Viesca was one of the physicians who operated at El Paso Specialty Hospital and is now a medical partner with Providence as a pain specialist.
As Viesca continues his practice at the same location he worked at for a decade, he is expecting to conduct his first vertiflex superion procedure, which he describes as a “game-changer.”
The procedure involves surgically placing a device in the spine of someone suffering with chronic leg, neck or back pain that essentially provides instant relief by lifting pressure off the spine.
“So we do a lot of things that are state-of-the-art in the management of back pain, and I just got trained this weekend to do something called the superion vertiflex,” Viesca said. “We have the training and now we are desperate to get the first one done.
“I try to be passionate about what I do.”
Bryan Mena, who is pursuing a degree in political science from UTEP, is an intern at El Paso Inc. He can be reached at email@example.com.