CEO Newsletter August 2014

August 13, 2014

August 13, 2014

Medical Staff, Board of Trustees and Community Leaders:

Thank you all for the encouraging feedback last month on the first CEO newsletter. As summer comes to a close, I am excited to tell you about the great things happening as we continue to develop MMC into a major regional referral center with a team of exceptional physicians, leaders, employees and valued partners dedicated to the delivery of high quality patient care. 

Cancer Center Achieves CoC Accreditation
We are very proud to announce that our Cancer Center has just earned a Three-Year Accreditation with Commendation from the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACoS). The CoC accreditation provides the framework for MMC Cancer Program to provide the highest quality of patient care through programs that focus on the full spectrum of cancer care including prevention, early diagnosis, cancer staging, optimal treatment, clinical trials, rehabilitation, life-long follow-up for recurrent disease, and end-of-life care.

I am incredibly proud of our Cancer Program team who are providing this excellent care for our community. MMC’s Cancer Program works in partnership with the University of New Mexico Cancer Center (UNMCC), one of the top cancer centers in the nation. With this partnership, our patients in southern New Mexico are able to receive UNMCC advanced cancer care protocols from UNMCC physicians, while they stay right here at home.

Family Medicine Residency Graduation

MMC is very proud to be affiliated with the Southern New Mexico Family Medicine Residency Program. This program, established in 1996, has gradated 80 residents to-date, 47 of whom are practicing in New Mexico and West Texas. This year’s graduation ceremony was held at the Farm and Ranch Museum on June 21, and conducted by Program Director, Dr. John Andazola and Medical Staff President, Dr. Dolores Gomez. We are so grateful to these two physicians and the entire faculty for doing such a great job of training the Residents, each of whom passed their medical boards on the first try. Of this year’s 8 graduating Residents, at least half of them will be staying in New Mexico to practice. 

Exciting New Service Developments in the Emergency Room!

Effective September 1st, Emergent Medical Associates (EMA), one of the nation’s premier ER physician groups, will become the new physician provider for the Emergency Room of MMC. I am pleased to report that each of our existing ER physicians will be a part of this important change. The addition of EMA as our partner in the Emergency Room will mean significantly improved services for our patients, physicians, regional hospital partners, and emergency medical services partners. Special thanks to our ER Medical Director and Board Chairman, Dr. William Einig for his guidance and leadership in this important advancement. 

MMC and NMSU Public Health Collaboration

Beginning this fall, our Family Medicine Residency Program will collaborate with the Department of Public Health Sciences in the NMSU College of Health and Social Services to offer Residents the opportunity to take courses in public health. This will give our Residents a chance to understand and address health issues at the community level. Residents will have the opportunity to earn a graduate certificate in Public Health or enter the Master’s in Public Health Program.

MMC Donates Backpacks Filled with School Supplies to LCPS

MMC Team Members showed their generosity earlier this month when they filled over 400 backpacks with school supplies for economically disadvantaged students in our area. The backpacks were given to Las Cruces Public Schools, who will oversee their distribution. In the past ten years, MMC has purchased and employees have filled more than 3,000 backpacks. I am blessed to be surrounded by such generous team members.

John Harris (left) with Dane Kennon, LCPS Associate Superintendent for Operations

The Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine Becoming a Reality

On July 14, Governor Susana Martinez and many regional leaders gathered at NMSU’s Fulton Center to officially establish the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine. Scheduled to go into operation in 2016, the College will provide badly needed primary care physicians for Las Cruces and the surrounding area. Nationally, there is an average of 3.12 physicians per thousand population, but in the State of New Mexico there are only 1.5 physicians per thousand. MMC is proud to be part of this great advancement for our region, and will assist in the training of these doctors.

Welcome New Providers

We are happy to announce that several new physicians and providers have joined MMC’s medical staff over the last month. Please join me in welcoming the following providers to our team:

  • Olivia Ella Morris, DO, Orthopedic Surgeon, joined Bone+Joint Center of Southern New Mexico
  • Robert Venable, MD, joined MMC’s Emergency Department
  • Deanna Suggs, CNP, joined MMC’s Family Medicine Clinic
  • Ram Sharma, MD, Pediatrician, joined 1st Step Center
  • Valerie Topp, CNM, joined First 1st Step Center
  • Ahmed Alfar, MD, joined MMC’s Hospitalist Program

In closing, thank you for your interest in MMC. I am very thankful for the relationships we are
continuing to build in our community. As always, if you have any comments, concerns or ideas, I would love to hear from you.

Thank you,

John Harris, CEO
Memorial Medical Center