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  • Staff report


Carol Cross, Pharmacology Faculty at El Paso Community College’s Rio Grande Campus, is bringing the “El Paso Strong” spirit to Queens, NY, where she’s volunteering to establish the Pharmacy at the Billie Jean King Center in Queens, NY. This facility has the capability of becoming a 470-bed

Photo courtesy EPCC Marketing Carol Cross (foreground)

hospital, specifically treating Covid19 patients, and has already started taking patients from area hospitals to ease the burden on the people who have been manning the trenches in the epicenter of the outbreak.

When the call came out for healthcare workers to come to the aid of our fellow citizens, Cross felt compelled to step up and help in this time of great need. Even though she is far from the borderland, she is settled in an area of the city that is reminiscent of El Paso, where she has lived for the past seven years. She explains, “I am in a Mexican American neighborhood with restaurants serving Menudo and stuff, walking distance from a Mexican grocery.”

Souraya A. Hajjar, EPCC’s Interim Dean of Health Career and Technical Education, Math and Science at the EPCC Rio Grande Campus, says, “EPCC Faculty care about our community and are committed to helping the next generation of healthcare professionals gain the skills necessary to keep El Paso safe and healthy. It doesn’t surprise me that Professor Cross would go above and beyond to help those who need it most because that’s something our faculty do for our students every day.”

EPCC has a legacy in the El Paso community for its commitment to supporting healthcare needs. Dr. de los Santos, EPCC’s first President, said, “When I first got to El Paso, the administrators of the different hospitals and clinics asked to meet with me. They told me we should offer programs to prepare as many different types of allied health technicians as possible.” Through a grant from Project Hopes, EPCC purchased a group of buildings owned by the El Paso Independent School District and established the Rio Grande Campus to fulfill this need. Dr. de los Santos continued, “This is an example of how EPCC responded to the needs of specific segments of the community and found the resources and facilities to house them.”

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