Home > Blog > April 2017 > Pima Medical Institute’s New El Paso Campus Opens

Pima Medical Institute’s New El Paso Campus Opens

Posted: April 18, 2017 by Elizabeth Baker
Pima Medical Institute's new El Paso, Texas campus.

El Paso residents may have noticed something’s different about the former Saddleblanket Co. building. The facade has changed drastically, students are bustling in and out, and cars are once again filling up what was long an empty parking lot.

After months of renovations, the building is now home to Pima Medical Institute’s new El Paso campus. Pima Medical first entered the El Paso market in June of 2014 when it agreed to teach out displaced Anamarc College students. The school closed suddenly, leaving more than 1,200 students struggling to find a way to graduate. The occupational therapy assistant students attending Anamarc College were able to finish their programs at Pima Medical Institute.

Now in its new location, Pima Medical is offering several healthcare career programs. Students have a variety of programs to choose from and have the opportunity to become diagnostic medical sonographers, occupational therapy assistants, veterinary technicians, dental assistants, medical administrative assistants, medical assistants, pharmacy technicians, phlebotomy technicians, and veterinary nurses. The El Paso campus will also be adding additional associate degree programs in the very near future.

“Currently we’re a little over 175 students, but we expect to have between 400 and 500 soon,” said Keever Jankovich, who oversees Pima Medical Institute’s new El Paso campus, which just opened in March.

In addition, the campus will employ approximately 50 people. Positions at Pima Medical’s El Paso campus include student services staff, program directors, instructors, admissions representatives and financial aid officers.

After conducting market research and talking with local healthcare providers, it became clear El Paso is struggling to fill much-needed healthcare positions. Students who attend Pima Medical tend to stay in El Paso and seek jobs. The new, expanded location will help fill that employment gap, Jankovich explained.

“It’s a really medically underserved community,” Jankovich said. “There are two new hospitals opening right now, so the demand will only increase. There’s a need for well-trained people who can walk in and be ready to go.”

Southwest X-Ray, a diagnostic imaging service with six locations, plans to provide externships to Pima Medical Institute students. Often if the student is successful at the externship, it can lead to a permanent position.

Southwest X-Ray’s CEO, Fernando Escarzaga, echoed Jankovich’s sentiments.

“This community is in dire need of medical personnel. Pima Medical will help provide an available workforce,” he said.

Escarzaga said his locations need healthcare professionals in a variety of fields, including diagnostic medical sonographers and medical assistant students to work in Southwest X-Ray’s various locations.

“Healthcare businesses in El Paso are often forced to hire outside of state,” Escarzaga said. “Having qualified graduates will mean local people are working.”

Students who enroll at Pima Medical’s El Paso campus will have access to hands-on labs stocked with new equipment, and at 40,000 square feet, it’s one of Pima Medical’s largest campuses.

“We’re working on setting up externships with a variety of businesses, including the new hospitals. We are the only school that focuses solely on medical careers,” Jankovich said. “That’s our niche. Pima Medical is in a unique position because healthcare has always been our only focus, since 1972. We’ve graduated more than 100,000 healthcare professionals in that time.”

Pima Medical Institute students volunteer at a health fair in El Paso, Texas. Pima Medical Institute students volunteer at a health fair in El Paso, Texas.
Pima Medical has 16 other campuses across the Western United States and an online education division. At several of them, the veterinary assistant and veterinary technician programs are offered, including in Houston. Students enrolled in those programs often get to work with local animal shelters—a partnership that Pima Medical has built in several cities. The new El Paso campus will be no exception.

“We have a full veterinary facility here. Because of that, we can house animals, provide them with spays and neuters, vaccines, teeth cleanings, etc.,” Jankovich said. “We will be able to assist shelters in providing animals with the care they need, while also giving our students real-world experience that will prepare them for their careers.”

The El Paso campus is located at 6926 Gateway Boulevard East. It currently offers two associate degree programs and six certificate programs; however, more are soon to be added. To learn more about the campus, schedule a tour by calling 800-477-7462.

In addition, on May 2, 3 and 4 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day, Pima Medical will host an open house, where future students can meet instructors, take tours, find out about career opportunities and much more. To RSVP for the open house online, visit www.pmi.edu/openhouse or call 800-477-7462.

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