POSTED: Tuesday, February 7, 2012 - 7:35pm
UPDATED: Thursday, February 9, 2012 - 11:30am
EL PASO-The El Paso Children's Hospital has a ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday and opens for business a week from today on Valentine's Day.
The new facilities boast state-of-the-art equipment, family friendly space, kids playrooms, and a pediatric emergency department. But the hospital believes its new staff will make the real difference for Borderland children and their parents. The hiring process has been not only the most important, but the most challenging task so far, according to Vice President of Operations at El Paso Children's Hospital, Elias Armendariz.
"Recruitment of talented individuals is always difficult anywhere you go. We're competing with Dallas, San Antonio, Houston for those talented individual.The most important thing is that the community understands that a children's hospital brings extremely talented individuals to the community to be able to care for the children of El Paso," said Doctor Maldonado.
Alfredo Maldonado, a doctor new to the staff, knows El Paso well.
"I grew up in the Northeast, went to Irvin for high school..finished in '95," Maldonado said.
He left the city to get his bachelor's at Yale in Connecticut and then went to medical school at Cornell in New York. He then completed his pediatric training on the East Coast, but El Paso was always close to his heart.
"Ever since I left the goal was to come back. Growing up here I was able to see that we needed pediatrics you know very much in the city. I remember having to go to clinics and wait hours and hours as a kid to get shots and things like that," Maldonado said.
When the opportunity came up at El Paso Children's Hospital, he jumped at it.
"I was gonna be at a point in my career where I'd be able to come back home so the stars aligned and it was nice," Maldonado said.
Doctor Maldonado is excited to be part of this new hospital and he says parents with severely sick children can breath a sigh of relief.
"Won't be having to be shipped out of town or travel long distances, be away from home to see these specialists.We'll have it right here at home," Maldonado said.
The El Paso Children's Hospital is expected to create more than 400 jobs in the area. It covers 225-thousand square feet on the upper floors of UMC.