MCA Foundation Medical Briefs

March 5, 2021

The MCA’s Look into The Future: A Regional Healthcare Strategy

The Medical Center of the Americas Foundation (MCA) is launching a strategic planning process to develop a short- and long-term strategy for the MCA’s healthcare programs. The goal is to align the strategy with the healthcare goals of our community, especially considering what was learned about the regional healthcare industry and the health status of the population from the COVID-19 pandemic. The strategy is focused on improving health outcomes, increasing economic opportunity, and adaptability to disruptive forces, like pandemics. The strategy will encompass all aspects of medical care, including in-patient and out-patient care. Healthcare problems cannot be solved in a vacuum and bringing rich opportunities in healthcare to El Paso must be done collaboratively. There is urgency to crack the complexity of healthcare in El Paso as we emerge from the pandemic, and before we settle back into complacency. Please contact emma@MCAmericas.org to be part of this exciting process.

BIO El Paso-Juarez Emphasizes the Importance of a Biomedical Ecosystem

BIO El Paso-Juárez (BIO EPJ) nationally recognized for connecting the industry across the border and creating collaborative networks to build and drive biomedical manufacturing capabilities. BIO EPJ represents the region’s 40+ medical device manufacturers capable of developing Class I, II, and III and medical devices. The El Paso border area has five international bridges as well as two railway bridges that permit the bidirectional flow of merchandise. The manufacturing capabilities of the El Paso-Juárez region have grown over the years, allowing the specialization of manufacturing with automation, A.I., and nanotechnology. 

Being a member of Bio EPJ allows the medical device industry to enhance and improve innovation, collaboration, investment, and resilience of the regional medical device ecosystem.

MCA Innovation Center to Launch a Nurse to Innovator Program

The Nurse to Innovator (N2I) project seeks to link nurse innovators with makers to cross-pollinate skills and move products/working solutions that will increase worker health and safety into reality. The day-to-day nurse experience discovers and solves problems that plague healthcare settings. The N2I strategy is to inject a pipeline of nurse innovators directly into the COVID-19 crisis, changing the status quo on health, and on representation in innovation. Although nurse innovation is not new, we are creating nurse/maker linkages across the United States/Mexico border thereby developing a binational, multicultural, and multidisciplinary problem-solving team.  This project will empower healthcare workers as innovators who are developing tech solutions that can be prototyped and tested in a 6-to-8 month timeframe, for rapid deployment into the healthcare workplace. This project is funded by the Workers Lab Innovation Fund, and a SBA Lab to Market Visionary Prize. For more information contact Nancy Lowery - Nancy@mcamericas.org.

MCA Clinical Trials Consortium Helps Bring COVID-19 Trials to the Region

The MCA's COVID-19 Clinical Trial Taskforce (CTTF) has been working together to advance COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines forward. The COVID-19 CTTF looks to drive industry COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostic trials to our region. Participants from our region's investigator sites have been meeting bimonthly since May 2020 to learn more about the COVID products under development and connect with sponsors looking for investigators to help them advance their COVID pipeline products forward. Past speakers include Astra Zeneca, Genentech, Regeneron, Altimmune, Ginkgo Bioworks, Sorrento Therapeutics, and others. This effort helped our region become a more active participant in the fight to find solutions to address the pandemic. It has also increased regional visibility and access to advanced cutting-edge care options for our community.  Specific achievements for our region include the Mayo Clinic convalescent plasma protocol, a COVID Astra Zeneca trial, and a National Institute of Health COVID plasma study conducted by TTUHSC-EP and UTHealth. 

MCA To Set Up Seed Fund for Local Tech Entrepreneurs and Innovators

The Medical Center of the America’s Foundation is in the process of creating a $3-3.5M El Paso Seed Fund to accelerate the growth of high-impact, emerging companies. The fund will invest in early-stage, tech-based startups with a potential for high growth that create exceptional value for investors and the region. The investment approach is not geographically focused but instead targets areas in which the El Paso region can create value for the companies we invest in. The region can provide value as customers, suppliers, or partners, especially for startups in Health-tech, Med-tech, Biotech, Medical Device Manufacturing, Shipping and Logistics, and Defense.  The Fund currently is searching for a Fund Director to manage deal sourcing, due diligence, and portfolio support  https://mcamericas.org/about-us/careers. We expect to launch the Fund in late 2021. If you are interested in being an investor or would like more information contact Nancy Lowery, nancy@mcamericas.org.

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