In November of 1977, Richard A. Lockwood, M.D., Vice President of the Texas Tech University
Health Sciences Center notified the cities of Odessa , Midland and Big Spring to submit
their plans to Texas Tech University for the academic center by December 20, 1977
The Odessa Chamber of Commerce began mailing petitions, requesting that the Permian
Basin Regional Academic Health Center be located in Odessa , to all clubs and organizations
listed in the directory on November 30, 1977 . The petitions were also circulated
to the people attending a football game the first week of December 1977.
In that short time, this task force of Odessans put together a package that included
6.1 acres across from Medical Center Hospital to be donated to Tech, a $325,000 development
fund pledged by businesses and citizens and 292 hours a week pledged by local physicians
to volunteer teaching time.
The applicants for the Permian Basin RAHC were scheduled to give oral statements in
Lubbock on Feb. 2, 1978 . A group of Odessans chartered a bus to Lubbock to attend
the meeting of the Board of Regents. Odessa was chosen by a vote of 4 to 1; there
were two abstentions.
In February, 1978, the Texas Tech University Board of Regents approved the establishment
of a branch of its Medical School in Odessa in conjunction with Medical Center Hospital
. The Permian Basin Regional Academic Health Center set out to be a teaching and training
facility for resident physicians.
In 1979 the Legislature, under the leadership of Representatives Dick Slack, Jay Gibson
and Senator E.L. Short, appropriated over $1 million for buildings and operations,
Governor Bill Clements vetoed the appropriation.
In 1981, after active lobbying by Tech officials, area state legislators and community
leaders, appropriations of $608,932 for operations and $250,000 for planning and architects'
fees were secured. Governor Clements approved the funds on June 18, 1981 .
Odessa surgeon William A. Wiesner, M.D., was named interim associate dean for the
RAHC in 1981 and charged with laying the groundwork for program development. He served
until 1983 when Richard E. Barry, M.D., was named associate dean for the School of
In March 1984, MCH and TTUHSC begin joint Medical Library planning. Growth occurred
due to the contributions and donations by the medical staff.
The charter Residency Training Program was accredited and initiated in Family Medicine.
Construction began in October of 1984 on a 41,000 square foot building (Phase I).
The building, completed in February, 1986, includes administrative offices, classrooms,
a multi-purpose auditorium and medical library.
In 1985, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center , School of Nursing at the Permian
Basin admitted its first class of 14 students.
In Sept. 1988, TTUHSC Board of Regents approves funding for Phase II (second floor)
for TTUHSC at Odessa building. That same month, OB/GYN Residency receives provisional
approval for a four year program with two residents per year for a total of eight.
In December 1990 Phase II addition is completed. Pediatrics, OB/GYN, School of Nursing
move to the second floor. Library expands to second floor.
In May 1993, Medical Center Hospital agrees to fund the School of Allied Health for
Although Texas Tech offers a strong commitment to health care on the local level,
its impact stretches far beyond the city limits. On Dec.1, 1995, Texas Tech assumed
the responsibility from the Texas Department of Health (TDH) for the delivery of maternal,
child and adult health services through the TDH Field Offices located in the cities
of Crane, Fort Stockton , Kermit, McCamey, Monahans, Ozona, Pecos and Stanton and
the 13 counties they serve. Texas Tech also signed with the TDH to operate the Women,
Infants and Children Supplementation Programs (WIC), which serve the same cities and
counties served by the TDH Field Offices including Ector and Midland County .
In May of 1997 ground breaking ceremony for the Texas Tech Health Center was held
and the grand opening was held in June 1999.
Today there are more than 400 employees who work at the Permian Basin campus and occupy
nearly 200,000 square feet of office, classroom and clinical space.