EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — University Medical Center (UMC) of El Paso is celebrating 108 years serving the Borderplex region.
Last week, UMC celebrated a century’s worth of milestones and achievements.
When it first opened its doors in 1915, it was known as El Paso County General Hospital.
In 1959, the El Paso County Hospital District was created and approved by local voters, which paved the way for a new hospital building.
The hospital was to be named R.E. Thomason General Hospital, in honor of Robert Ewing Thomason, a former mayor of El Paso and a United States district judge for the Western District of Texas.
“As I throw this first spade of dirt,” R.E. Thomason said at the 1961 groundbreaking ceremony, “it is my hope and prayer that the fine, modern hospital to be erected on this site will stand for many years to care for the sick and suffering in El Paso and the Southwest.”
In 1963, the 335-bed R.E. Thomason General Hospital, built by Robert E. McKee General Contractor, opened to the public. Ten years later, in 1973, the hospital was designated as the primary teaching hospital of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) and in 1975, the hospital received accreditation by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals (JCAHO).
A $35 million dollar renovation and expansion project followed and improved its emergency department and pediatric intensive care unit. El Paso’s first heliport was added in 1986. The hospital was rebranded as University Medical Center of El Paso in 2009.
In honor of 108 years of service, banners citing UMC’s historic journey will hang at the main campus, located at 4815 Alameda Avenue, and at clinics throughout El Paso.