From its humble beginnings 85 years ago, Holy Cross Medical Center has grown into a superior healthcare network providing innovative, cutting-edge care to the community.
And, having navigated the particularly challenging year that was 2020, today HCMC maintains its ongoing commitment to the principles of integrity, respect and care, while forging new bridges with the community to ensure thriving services and relationships.
Looking back on the rapid and efficacious response of HCMC to the pandemic, “There were silver linings to COVID-19,” said Chief Executive Officer Bill Patten. “Our team here – both the medical and administrative staffs – got stronger, established new pathways and developed innovations that are effective and relevant.”
“Our stellar medical team includes Dr. Heather Marshall (Emergency Department Director); Dr. John Foster (Hospitalist); Dr. Tim Moore (Chief of Staff and GYN/OB); and Dr. Geilan Ismail (Cardiology),” noted Patten.“David Elliot, our Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, worked closely with HCMC managers and the other community collaborators to keep our programs moving forward.”
“Those collaborators include Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Taos County, Town of Taos, Taos Municipal Schools and University of New Mexico-Taos, Taos Pueblo, Taos Community Foundation and the Taos County Chamber of Commerce,” Patten continued. “Volunteers from the community have also been supportive of our response and vaccine programs by providing donated PPE, food and their time.”
As a result, over half of our eligible population has been vaccinated with at least one shot, and percentages continue to rise weekly.
The focus of HCMC stretches beyond COVID-19, however. Concerned by the recent closure of behavioral health facilities in Taos, Patten recently met with U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján to discuss obtaining federal funds to address the gaping hole in the community with regard to mental health and substance abuse services.
“There is a need to address these disorders as an interrelated issue,” Patten said. “Especially in rural areas, access to and community support for assistance is key. Our discussions with Sen. Luján include securing funding for operations and for a brick-and-mortar presence here in Taos.”
HCMC participates in the New Mexico Bridge Program which, since the end of February has been providing medication-assisted treatment. Funded by grants from UNM and the Human Services Department State Opioid Response, a certified peer support worker meets with patients who present themselves in the hospital’s Emergency Department and, in turn, connects them with practitioners, behavioral health and social services providers.
HCMC remains an active participant in the Enchanted Circle Community Organizations Active in Disaster (EC COAD), a network of private, public and nonprofit agencies developed to ensure regional coordination in a disaster response.
“In fact, our model is being utilized on a state level to replicate these services in other regions,” Patten noted.
Management of the Rural OB Access and Maternal Services (ROAMS) program, funded by a nationally coveted grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration, also continues to be prioritized by HCMC, and has provided an important layer of care for expectant mothers and newborns in Taos, Colfax, Union, Mora and Harding counties. Free services, accessed by Family Navigators, include OB telehealth care and lactation support.
None of these successes and innovations would be possible without the strong leadership that HCMC is privileged to have. In addition to Patten the senior leadership team of HCMC includes: Pam Akins (Chief Nursing Officer); Steve Rozenboom (Chief Finance Officer); Sue Romansky (Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Physician Services); Renee Laughlin (Vice President of Risk Management, Compliance Officer); and Brittany Lamendola (Vice President of Quality).
Thanks to these individuals and a dedicated Board of Directors, “We know we are well-positioned for moving into the future, thanks to strategic planning, community participation, our staff and our leadership,” Patten concluded.