Over several weeks now, El Paso Politics has been communicating with several individuals about the El Paso Children’s Hospital. Most of the individuals have requested that we keep them anonymous for fear of reprisals. Few have been willing to go on the record fearing that they would be retaliated against. Some current children’s hospital staff members have communicated their concerns to us, all of them fearful that we would name them in our reporting. In addition to those we have communicated with, we have also received some information anonymously. That information that we have collaborated and feel we can report without exposing the source we have done so already. Any information we have not been able to collaborate we have kept to ourselves, for now. As soon as we collaborate the information we will publish our findings.

That individuals with first-hand knowledge are fearful of publicly talking about factual information should be concerning to members of the community.

Doctors and nurses have come forward sharing with us what they see, or have seen at the hospital that is troubling to them. As we complete our research and interviews we will update our findings in new articles.

Over the last few weeks we received one letter three times from three different sources. The sources, other than the letter, seem to be unrelated to each other. In all three cases, we have been asked to keep the individuals anonymous. Because of the anonymity requirement and because the letter we received is in Word format and is unsigned we had decided to withhold it because we could not publicly source it for fear of exposing those who had shared it with us.

As it was unsigned, we could also not verify its authenticity without publicly identifying who had provided it to us.

However, on Sunday, David Crowder published his article on the El Paso Children’s Hospital’s problems in the El Paso, Inc. In it, Crowder authenticated the letter and provided several quotes from it. [1]

Over the last several days we have received several requests asking for a copy of the letter.

As such, we have decided to publish the letter below as it was sent to us now that it has been authenticated. We also feel the information is important for the community to know.

The letter has “August 2020” noted on it.

We are publishing the letter verbatim as it was sent to us. We have not made any changes to it.

This is the content of the letter:

Dear El Paso Children’s Board of Trustees,

The purpose of this letter is to inform you on our thoughts regarding the changes that will transpire on November 1st, 2020. As charge nurses in the pediatric intensive care unit, we feel it is our moral obligation to speak up when necessary and that time is now. This letter is not aimed to discredit Dr. Canales as he is seen as a man of great character, a good human being, and a dedicated pediatrician in the city of El Paso. However, those characteristics aside, we feel that he is unfit for this service as we have witnessed on numerous occasions while caring for his patients in our unit.

The current issue is not just about how this affects the welfare of our patients, the lives of the current board certified pediatric intensivists who have moved from other parts of the country to serve our community, the physician assistant who’s considered the backbone of this unit, the Texas Tech residency program, but the entire unit’s moral as a whole. We are worried that the risk the hospital is asking us to take will result in the loss of uniquely groomed healthcare talent. One of the appeals of working at this hospital is that is a teaching facility. Our attending physicians like to teach and we like the opportunity it provides for us to learn. We trust their judgment when it comes to the decisions made for each patient and feel confident with the plan of care using our nursing critical thinking knowledge. The relationships and rapport that our nursing staff has developed with the current group of physicians has been vital to the positive outcomes in our unit. We adjust ourselves to how each of our physicians work and even if we learn their preferences, we expect precise orders. We do not want to work outside of our scope of practice and we are not used to ambiguous orders like those received while caring for Dr. Canales’s patients. There is constant miscommunication with orders themselves and the time in which they are placed. Several nurses and respiratory therapists have expressed concern during bedside procedures as well. Change is expected, but it demoralizes the unit when that change brings upon unnecessary risks that could have devastating consequences.

El Paso Children’s Hospital opened its doors to the community of El Paso in February 2012 with one goal in mind, to serve the children in the El Paso region and those in surrounding areas. Dr. Angelica Chavez, a proud El Pasoan and current board certified pediatric intensivist at EPCH, recalls standing on the foundation of this hospital when it was first being constructed while working at the pediatric sector at what is now called University Medical Center. While having worked here, she has used the 20+ years of knowledge and experience in the intensive care area to save countless children’s lives. She has made an impact not only in the child’s life but the lives of their families as well. She is now left with two options: Leave or join a team where the head physician is not a board certified intensivist and is currently facing multiple lawsuits for negligence and malpractice. There is no logic in that.

In closing, we urge you to reconsider this decision. We feel that this is the only way to let our voices be heard. Transparency is one of the core values of this hospital and we want to be transparent with how we feel about this decision. It is the quality that we should be focused on rather than the quantity.

The copies of the letter we received were not signed.


  1. David Crowder, “Doctors voice concerns about El Paso Children’s,” October 11-17, 2020.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...

4 replies on “El Paso Children’s Hospital Nurses Letter To Board”

  1. AY GUEY…NO ME DIGAS!!! EPCH nurses are writing letters on behalf of doctors? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Martin, you are to be commended for continuing to investigate and publish 7 stories (since Aug 10) about the leadership disaster at EPCH that Ivana Saucedo’s death has exposed. The villains greatly outnumber the heroes in this tragedy and it should not be so; Mr. and Mrs. Saucedo, Dr. Mays, Mr. Sparks, Dr. Ruiz, Dr. Asiain, Dr. Munoz, Dr. Rich, Dr. Baylon, and Dr. Akinjaiyeju have courageously enlightened us all. But WHERE are the others? The pediatricians who should WANT to send their patients to a high quality hospital are not using their clout to effect change or are they all depending on the poor little nurses in the EPCH PICU? Dr. Angela Chavez needs to put on her big girl pants and either join the fight (tell it like it is) or resign in protest like Mr. Sparks. Pitiful leadership (at both EPCH and TTUHSC) has led to an exodus of very good doctors; they did not hide behind a nurse huddle. They voted with their FEET and unfortunately for us found a BETTER place to work. Unlike Dr. Chavez, the silent private practice doctors have nothing to lose and everything to gain for their patients. But are they too busy building their mega-practices and hotel empires to CARE? We haven’t heard from the Texas Tech University Health Science Center except one quote from Dr. Lange regarding the contentious PICU medical services agreement negotiations between TTUHSC and EPCH. It’s an important point because the quality of both the pediatric residency program and rotations for Paul L. Foster School of Medicine MS3 and MS4 students hang in the balance. Are those doctors wearing red raider muzzles while they sit around collecting their tax payer funded salaries? QUE DESGRACIA!

    Our community suffers from a pathetic lack of medical leadership which by definition requires people to take a stand and call out the bad guys and their BS. The Mays affidavit made clear there were 5 “go along to git along” boys: Dr. Moorthy, Dr. Spurbeck, Dr.Howe, Dr. Yates and Dr. Orlandi. 4/5 of those doctors have financial relationships with EPCH that guarantee they will “go along” with whatever secures their BIG $$$. C. Stout doesn’t operate independently of J. Cintron and you have correctly traced the leadership failures through them and back to where the buck ultimately stops: the EPCH Board of Directors and the UMC Board of Managers. Be sure to remind your readers (and the doctors!) who they are so they can express their outrage directly by calling (915) 242-8400; Ms. Fields, Mr. Gordon, Ms. Short, Ms. Ross (married to Dr. Moorthy’s business partner!), Mr. Fernandez, Dr. Ibarra, Mr. Cardenas and Mr. Abbott. The UMC Board of Managers are Mr. Gallardo, Mr. Degroat, Ms. Martinez, Mr. Fernandez (serves on both boards as a reminder to EPCH that UMC is really in charge), Ms. Arrieta-Candelaria, Ms. Holguin, and Mr. Volk.

    Finally, we can expect NOTHING from the useless Texas Medical Board because Tenet has bought their silence on the Canales matter. Never forget Providence/Tenet created Canales Inc. and they are a rich and powerful Texas corporation. Will the humble families of El Paso ever catch a break from our dire leadership vacuum and the ensuing corruption? AY DIOS MIO!

  2. It’s utterly comical how an individual that is obviously within the health network, calls out physicians and nurses and throws names and phone numbers around, and only to identifies his or herself as “Chico Chingona.” SMH
    I totally agree about the executive corruption that’s has overtaken EPCH, but I think you might want to turn your words into action as it sounds like you are all up in the midst of this ordeal.

  3. Ms Chingona don’t be too critical of the Texas Tech docs who are caught in the middle for not speaking out. I know them and they can’t just go around talking publicly about it. Besides it would just look like self-interest if they did. This horrible situation will end with EPCH declaring bankruptcy again. There will not be a bailout this time and UMC will take over the building and use it to expand their capacity. They will give a couple of floors to peds. Providence will continue to do the stuff that makes money and the difficult cases will get sent to San Antonio, Dallas or Houston. The specialists will all leave, EPCH will become a footnote in El Paso history, and it will be the 1990’s again. The EPCH administrators will walk away with their generous golden parachutes despite having killed the hospital. The children of El Paso will be the losers and they didn’t even have a voice.

  4. Mr. Paredes:

    It would be best if you had done better investigative work on the physician letter. That letter was a draft and never delivered to the EPCH CEO. Those physicians who signed the letter were the only ones from the pediatric community who signed the letter.

    Ensure you complete your due diligence before claiming this letter is from the pediatric community to the EPCH CEO.

    Before making critical statements, please have your facts straight.

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