Health care choices ex­pand­ing in North­ern New Mex­ico

Santa Fe New Mexican - Healthy Living - - HEALTH BRIEFS - STORY BY DEB­O­RAH BUSEMEYER

T he health care in­dus­try is thriv­ing in Santa Fe as the city’s tra­di­tional hos­pi­tal ex­pands its pri­vate rooms and a new hos­pi­tal is on the hori­zon. By the end of the year, North­ern New Mex­ico will have in­creased op­tions for med­i­cal care, in and out of a hos­pi­tal.

Pres­by­te­rian Santa Fe Med­i­cal Cen­ter, of­fer­ing a va­ri­ety of med­i­cal spe­cial­ties and emer­gency and ur­gent care ser­vices, is sched­uled to open in the fall of 2018 near the in­ter­sec­tion of I-25 and Cer­ril­los Road. With 30 in­pa­tient beds, the cen­ter will pro­vide gen­eral, or­tho­pe­dic and po­di­a­try sur­gi­cal ser­vices as well as pul­monary, rheuma­tol­ogy and urol­ogy care, ac­cord­ing to He­len Brooks, Santa Fe area ad­min­is­tra­tor for Pres­by­te­rian Health­care Ser­vices.

Pe­di­atric and ob-gyn providers will move from Pres­by­te­rian’s clinic on St. Michael’s Drive to the med­i­cal cen­ter, where Pres­by­te­rian es­ti­mates it will de­liver 500 ba­bies a year in a sixbed fam­ily birthing unit. “We’re ex­pand­ing choice in Santa Fe,” Brooks said. “Not only do we pro­vide ac­cess to our ser­vices, we con­nect to the en­tire net­work of Pres­by­te­rian.”

Pres­by­te­rian’s net­work con­sists of more than 905 providers in its med­i­cal group and in eight ex­ist­ing hospi­tals in New Mex­ico. “One ad­van­tage is you have a sin­gle med­i­cal record,” Brooks said. “You can go to any Pres­by­te­rian fa­cil­ity and physi­cians will have ac­cess to your record. It helps im­prove care.”

The new 342,000-square-foot fa­cil­ity is sit­u­ated on a 40-acre cam­pus. A hik­ing and bik­ing path on the cam­pus con­nects to a com­mu­nity trail along the edge of the prop­erty. In ad­di­tion to its med­i­cal ser­vices, the cen­ter will house a lab­o­ra­tory, a phar­macy, com­mu­nity space and a rooftop gar­den. Brooks said that Pres­by­te­rian is in the early stages of talk­ing with com­mu­nity or­ga­ni­za­tions about host­ing nu­tri­tion classes in the fa­cil­ity’s teach­ing kitchen.

Pres­by­te­rian in­vested $145 mil­lion to cre­ate a med­i­cal cen­ter that would meet North­ern New Mex­ico’s cur­rent and fu­ture needs. “Within the whole fa­cil­ity, we have a sig­nif­i­cant amount of space that will en­able us to grow and re­spond to com­mu­nity needs,” Brooks said. “We’ll be­gin plan­ning out to ex­pand ser­vices be­yond the ini­tial foot­print.”

CHRISTUS St. Vin­cent Re­gional Med­i­cal Cen­ter has been busy ex­pand­ing as well. The fa­cil­ity on Hos­pi­tal Drive added 46 pri­vate rooms in the new Frost Pavil­ion, which opened in Novem­ber 2017. The fa­cil­ity has started the next step of re­mod­el­ing ex­ist­ing rooms in a $44 mil­lion, 18-month pro­ject. By the end of this year or the be­gin­ning of 2019, CHRISTUS will have 206 pri­vate rooms. Big­ger than the orig­i­nal dou­ble rooms, the 280-square-foot rooms will be able to ac­com­mo­date fam­i­lies who want to sleep over. “Pri­vate rooms have been known to re­duce stress of pa­tients and the risk of in­fec­tion,” said Ar­turo Del­gado, CHRISTUS’ di­rec­tor of mar­ket­ing, com­mu­ni­ca­tions and pub­lic re­la­tions. “Peo­ple can get bet­ter sleep and more pri­vacy for doc­tor con­ver­sa­tions. Pri­vate rooms are con­ducive to the heal­ing process and eas­ier on health care providers and vis­i­tors.”

Pres­by­te­rian Es­pañola Hos­pi­tal has been tap­ping into the trend of pa­tient pri­vacy as well. In the sum­mer of 2017, the fa­cil­ity opened an up­dated emer­gency de­part­ment that pro­vides more space and pri­vacy. The pro­ject, sup­ported by a mil levy paid by Río Ar­riba County prop­erty own­ers, helps meet the grow­ing de­mand for emer­gency ser­vices at the ru­ral hos­pi­tal, which serves north­ern Santa Fe County as well as Río Ar­riba, Los Alamos and Taos Coun­ties.

In the new emer­gency de­part­ment, walls and doors — in­stead of cur­tains — sep­a­rate pa­tients. The space has more than dou­bled, from 10,500 square feet to 25,000 square feet, with 18 pri­vate rooms plus two crit­i­cal trauma rooms. “Based on the feed­back we got from our physi­cians and com­mu­nity, we de­signed the ER to pro­mote pa­tient pri­vacy and im­prove pa­tient out­comes,” said Brenda Romero, hos­pi­tal ad­min­is­tra­tor. “We also built a room for fam­i­lies who are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a dif­fi­cult time, so they can have their own bath­room and don’t have to grieve in the hall­way.”

Pres­by­te­rian and CHRISTUS St. Vin­cent have also been im­prov­ing their out­pa­tient ser­vices in Santa Fe. In De­cem­ber 2017, CHRISTUS kicked off an 18-month pro­ject, re­mod­el­ing the Med­i­cal Den­tal Build­ing to ac­com­mo­date more CHRISTUS providers and to bet­ter use the sec­ond floor, which has had va­cant of­fices over the years. “We’re start­ing to build it out as a multi-spe­cialty com­plex with pe­di­atrics, pri­mary care, wound care, neu­ro­sur­gi­cal ser­vices, geri­atrics, di­a­betes, urol­ogy and an out­pa­tient phar­macy,” Del­gado said. “We want to es­tab­lish sta­bil­ity and use the space wisely.”

CHRISTUS serves seven coun­ties in North­ern New Mex­ico. To meet the needs of pa­tients north of Santa Fe, CHRISTUS sends a va­ri­ety of physi­cians, in­clud­ing car­di­ol­o­gists and ob-gyns, to pro­vide care in Las Ve­gas. Re­cently CHRISTUS ex­panded di­a­betes care and ed­u­ca­tion there as well. “Di­a­betes is very preva­lent in this part of the state,” Del­gado said. “There is a real need for that kind of care in Las Ve­gas.”

Pres­by­te­rian has been re­mod­el­ing its ur­gent care and med­i­cal clinic, which opened in 2015. By early spring, the non­profit health-care provider ex­pects to have com­pleted its sec­ond ex­pan­sion of clinic space. “We started with four fam­ily medicine providers and now have 26 providers,” Brooks said. “They will be ex­pand­ing into the new space, and we ex­pect to con­tinue to add more po­si­tions.”

Pres­by­te­rian con­sid­ers the clinic its pa­tients’ med­i­cal home, where pri­mary care physi­cians work in con­junc­tion with spe­cial­ists in in­ter­nal medicine, car­di­ol­ogy, en­docrinol­ogy, neu­rol­ogy, pul­monology, or­tho­pe­dics and be­hav­ioral health.

Pres­by­te­rian Med­i­cal Ser­vices (a dif­fer­ent com­pany than Pres­by­te­rian hospi­tals) in­te­grates pri­mary care into the ad­dic­tion/be­hav­ioral health ser­vices it of­fers at the Santa Fe Fam­ily Wellness Cen­ter at 2504 Camino En­trada. The cen­ter started pro­vid­ing pri­mary care to all ages in De­cem­ber 2017 and ac­cepts Medi­care, Med­i­caid and pri­vate in­sur­ance. Peo­ple who are unin­sured can pay on a slid­ing fee scale.

In a time when some are feel­ing lim­ited in their health care choices, the next year is a promis­ing one in North­ern New Mex­ico. By 2019 Santa Feans will have a re­mod­eled Med­i­cal Den­tal Build­ing, ex­panded out­pa­tient ser­vices and a new choice of emer­gency de­part­ments and med­i­cal cen­ters for sched­uled surg­eries.


Pres­by­te­rian Santa Fe Med­i­cal Cen­ter un­der con­struc­tion, Jan­uary 2018

A pa­tient room in the new Frost Pavil­ion wing of CHRISTUS St. Vin­cent Re­gional Med­i­cal Cen­ter

CHRISTUS St. Vin­cent Re­gional Med­i­cal Cen­ter, Jan­uary 2018

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