Texas Tech Health El Paso Chief Resident Dr. Swinney, Jr. Receives Prestigious Raleigh Ross Scholar

El Paso, Texas — In a significant achievement for our Borderplex, Texas Tech Health El Paso medical resident I. Lee Swinney Jr., M.D., has been honored by the Texas Surgical Society as a Raleigh Ross Scholar. This prestigious award is given each year to one outstanding senior surgical resident in Texas who has shown exceptional skill and dedication in the field.

Dr. Swinney, a chief resident in the Foster School of Medicine’s Department of Surgery, received the award in April during the Texas Surgical Society’s 212th semiannual meeting in Tyler, Texas. The award is named after Dr. Raleigh R. Ross, a distinguished surgeon from Austin known for his dedication to surgical education and his significant contributions to the Texas Surgical Society. Dr. Ross was a prominent figure in Texas surgery, having served as the Society’s 59th President and being widely regarded as the “Dean of Austin surgery.”

“I’m deeply honored to receive this scholarship and to be recognized by such a respected institution,” said Dr. Swinney. “This award is not only a personal achievement but a testament to the rigorous training and dedication provided at Texas Tech Health El Paso.”

The Texas Surgical Society has provided a grant of $12,000 for the Department of Surgery’s residency program. The grant will support various activities, including workshops, simulation labs, and guest lectures, all aimed at enhancing surgical residents’ educational experiences at Texas Tech Health El Paso and improving patient care outcomes in our region.

Dr. Swinney served as a naval aviator before embarking on his medical career. His journey from military service to medicine adds a unique depth to his role as a surgical resident. After earning his medical degree from the Foster School of Medicine, Dr. Swinney began his surgical residency at Texas Tech Health El Paso and, upon completing his residency program, will be continuing his training in surgical critical care at Valleywise Health Medical Center in Phoenix. He and his wife, Cyndee, spent over 15 years in the United States Navy.

Reflecting on his path, Dr. Swinney said, “The transition from military service to medicine was driven by my desire to continue serving others. Helping patients recover and witnessing their gratitude is incredibly fulfilling and motivates me every day.”

Texas Tech Health El Paso President Richard Lange, M.D., M.B.A., said, “Dr. Swinney embodies the spirit of dedication and excellence the Raleigh Ross Scholarship seeks to recognize. His background and service have enriched our program, and this grant will undoubtedly propel our mission to advance surgical science and education.”

Dr. Swinney’s recognition as a Raleigh Ross Scholar is a result of Texas Tech Health El Paso’s commitment to medical excellence and its role in nurturing future leaders in surgery. His achievements, both as a military officer and now a medical professional, inspire current and future residents at Texas Tech Health El Paso.

About Texas Tech Health El Paso

Texas Tech Health El Paso is the only health sciences center on the U.S.-Mexico border and serves 108 counties in West Texas that have been historically underserved. It’s a designated Title V Hispanic-Serving Institution, preparing the next generation of health care heroes, 48% of whom identify as Hispanic and are often first-generation students.

Established as an independent university in 2013, Texas Tech Health El Paso is a proudly diverse and uniquely innovative destination for education and research.

With a mission of eliminating health care barriers and creating life-changing educational opportunities for Borderplex residents, Texas Tech Health El Paso has graduated over 2,400 doctors, nurses and researchers over the past decade, and will add dentists to its alumni beginning in 2025. For more information, visit ttuhscepimpact.org.


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