The 61st Legislature created Texas Tech University School of Medicine in 1969 as a multi-campus institution with Lubbock as an administrative center and regional campuses in Amarillo, El Paso and the Permian Basin. Since then, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center has grown into a comprehensive academic health care system, serving a population of more than 2 million dispersed across a vast 108-county area of West Texas.
We have much to be proud of at the Health Sciences Center. As a relatively young institution, we've already achieved excellence in many areas. We're an established leader in training health care professionals for West Texas and beyond. In the past three and half decades, nearly 8,000 students have graduated from TTUHSC with more than half of those remaining in West Texas. We also have experienced unprecedented growth when many health science centers have either ceased to grow or have experienced reductions in enrollment.
Expansions are under way in both the schools of Medicine and Pharmacy. The 78th Legislature approved the creation of a four-year medical school on the El Paso campus, and the School of Pharmacy is expanding its program into Abilene.
In our short 35-year history, the Health Sciences Center not only has fulfilled the need for health care service and education in West Texas, but it has become a source of pride for the state and the entire Southwest region.