Mega Doctor News
Each year Laredo College recognizes the recipient of the President’s Community Leadership Award, which is bestowed upon outstanding individuals who have been role models and have made a difference in our community.
The President’s Community Leadership Award was established in 2007 as the Beacon Award, celebrating the college’s 60th anniversary. In 2017, the award ceremony was renamed the President’s Community Leadership Award. For over a decade, this symbolic award has celebrated the personal and professional endeavors of citizens who work diligently to improve and advance the welfare of our community.
This year’s honoree was Gateway Community Health Center Chief Executive Officer Elmo Lopez Jr. As a civically engaged and caring leader in the community, he is widely recognized by healthcare leaders. He is an avid supporter of healthcare and its education.
“Laredo College is proud to have recognized such an esteemed member of our community, and we look forward to strengthening our great partnership for the advancement of our community,” Laredo College President Dr. Ricardo J. Solis said.
Recently, Laredo College and Gateway Community Health Center established a partnership to open a new location at the South Campus. With a revolutionary idea of providing free dental services to full-time Laredo College students once a year, and with LC covering the costs for the annual visit, medical services are available to qualifying students. Additionally, Laredo College students in health sciences programs will significantly benefit because now they have a clinic on campus to complete their clinical rotations.
With the continued expansion of our community, Gateway Community Health Centers have also expanded to better serve the community with seven locations in Webb County, Jim Hogg County and Zapata County. This expansion was possible due to the leadership of Chief Executive Officer Elmo Lopez Jr., a comprehensive and knowledgeable individual with the ability to lead and provide guidance in attaining excellence in health care.
Lopez is the second CEO in the history of the Gateway Community Health Center. His vast experience in the field contributes to the development and growth of the organization.
A Laredo native, Elmo Lopez Jr. obtained a Bachelors of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Texas at Austin. He recently received his Masters of Business Administration from the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University.
After managing his family business, the Elmo Lopez Music Company, he began a banking career at the International Bank of Commerce, where he gained 12 years of experience in the industry. With the financial and business acumen he obtained through this experience, Lopez journeyed into the healthcare field with Doctors Hospital of Laredo in 1997, which he later re-joined in 2006. Then, he became the Fort Duncan Medical Center CEO in Eagle Pass, Texas.
In 2005, Lopez built and opened Laredo Specialty Hospital, Laredo’s only long-term acute care hospital. The opportunity to manage one of the largest hospitals in the Rio Grande Valley, McAllen Medical Center, presented itself. Mr. Lopez embarked on this endeavor and was the CEO of this health organization for nearly three years. Lopez credits his success to his parents, his wife and his children.
His name has become synonymous with health care and education. Committed to helping others through his experience and knowledge, Mr. Lopez has dramatically enhanced the community health services of our region. Laredo College is proud to have presented such distinguished recognition to an individual with strong character, leadership and commitment.