Employees from Marathon’s El Paso refinery were recently part of a historic night at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center – El Paso.
In addition to being on hand to celebrate the university’s Hunt School of Dental Medicine’s inaugural class, it was announced the dental program was the recipient of a $30,000 gift from Marathon Petroleum to establish the Dental Patient Fund, assisting low-income patients across El Paso County.
“We are proud to support the communities where we live and work,” said El Paso Refinery General Manager C.P. Patsatzis. “Community investment is an integral part of our collaboration with community stakeholders to positively impact our region. Establishing a dental clinic in the heart of the neighborhood where our refinery is located is an opportunity we are excited to support.”
From a state-of-the-art 38,000 square-foot public clinic, the new dental school’s first class of 40 students is set to begin treating patients, under the supervision of faculty, in late Fall of this year. Eventually, the clinic expects over 60,000 patient encounters annually once the school’s first four classes have begun their training—becoming the top dental-care destination in the West Texas/Southern New Mexico region.
“With 42% of the inaugural class hailing from West Texas and border regions in Texas, our anticipation is dental students will remain in the area after graduation to serve in the communities that have supported them through their health care journey,” said Richard C. Black, D.D.S., M.S., dean of the Hunt School of Dental Medicine. “Of the class, 60% consider themselves bilingual or multilingual. This will also aid our students in preparing to be culturally competent providers.”
The donation aligns with Marathon Petroleum’s community investment approach, which focuses on priority areas where the company can make a positive, measurable impact. This includes programs that promote thriving communities by helping address basic needs, and workforce development initiatives that prepare students for professional success through high-quality educational training.
The investment in the Dental Patient Fund will provide access for residents in the Borderland, especially families in the 79905 ZIP code who might not otherwise have the resources for quality dental care.