CEO Newsletter July 2014

July 11, 2014

July 11, 2014

Medical Staff, Board of Trustees and Community Leaders:

Introductory Remarks

The first eight months of my CEO tenure at MMC have flown by. I am more excited than ever about what lies ahead for our wonderful hospital, the progress that we have made and our plans for the future.  Special thanks go out to my predecessor, Paul Herzog, who performed magnificently during his 11-year tenure as CEO of MMC.  His professionalism, strict adherence to quality standards, community loyalty, and focus on positioning MMC for great success is a lasting legacy.

I have greatly appreciated the support of our nearly 1,200 employees, Medical Staff, Board of Trustees, and the wonderful partnerships with leaders of the communities we serve. Our plans are clear and unwavering.  We will continue to develop MMC as a major regional referral center composed of exceptional physicians, leaders, employees and valued partners dedicated to the delivery of high quality patient care.

I have, and will continue to make it a point to meet physicians in their offices and get their advice on all things having to do with MMC.  I firmly believe that MMC is a “doctor’s workshop”.  MMC’s leadership team is dedicated to keeping you informed on our progress as we develop new patient care services, enhancements to existing services, physician recruitment to Las Cruces and surrounding communities, and much more.  You will receive CEO updates at least monthly.

So, let’s get to the progress that is being made at MMC!


As stewards of increasingly scarce resources, it is our obligation to continually confirm that the highest quality, most customer-centered and efficient care possible is available at MMC.  After obtaining Medical Staff input, an RFP was forwarded to a number of regional and national Anesthesia groups, and nine (9) responses were received by the June 6th deadline. The RFP responses were reviewed by an interdisciplinary team, peer to peer reference checks were conducted and four (4) finalists were asked to participate in onsite interviews with MMC Medical Staff and employees.

We are pleased to announce that Somnia Anesthesia has been selected as MMC’s new anesthesia partner effective September 21, 2014.

Behavioral Health

Our 12-bed Behavioral Health unit continues to operate successfully. During the past few months we negotiated a new contract with our behavioral health providers and we have plans to refurbish the unit. I sincerely thank the leaders of our City and County for their unwavering support during this interim period.

First Free-Standing Wound Care and Limb Preservation Center in the Southern New Mexico

The groundbreaking ceremony for our new Wound Care center was held on Thursday, June 11, at the building site next to our Health Plex. This facility currently includes a freestanding diagnostic center, ambulatory surgery center and physician office space. Wound care, and the threat that wounds pose for loss of a hand, foot or limb, is very important for our region where the incidence of pediatric and adult diabetes is very high. MMC has teamed up with Healogics, one of the premier wound care companies in the world, to provide a multi-disciplinary team of physicians to deliver cutting edge care for our patients. The Wound Care center will be easy to access and is equipped with two hyperbaric chambers to promote fast healing. Look for this new facility to open by the end of 2014!

Expanding Neonatal Care

We are proud to announce that at the beginning on June we began offering a brand new service to our region. We now have a Neonatal Transport Team. When a baby is born in a hospital outside of Las Cruces and requires a higher level of care, we can travel to them with an ambulance that has neonatal equipment such as an isolette and ventilator.  Specially trained nurses will provide care during the transport and in the NICU. We continue to work towards being the first Level III Neonatal Nursery in our region.  Our facility is equipped with the latest technology for these tiny patients.  Our neonatologists come to us from one of the truly outstanding companies in the nation, Pediatrix. Our Medical Director of Neonatology is Dr. Luis Ayo who has over 40 years of experience as a Neonatologist. Because of the addition of this service, fewer patients will have to travel outside of the region for this specialized care.

Got Leg Pain?

Watch the newspapers and look for billboards advertising of one of our newest services, the MMC Vein and Vascular Center at New Mexico Cardiovascular Associates. This center, located on the campus of MMC, is unrivaled in Las Cruces and the surrounding area for the level of service it provides. The Center is staffed by our own Board Certified Cardiovascular surgeons who are well trained and experienced in treating all vein and vascular problems. Procedures will be done on an outpatient basis in the safety of an MMC operating room, as opposed to a freestanding office.  So, whether it is leg pain from varicose veins, leg heaviness from poor circulation, or just wanting to look your best at poolside, these outstanding physicians are here to help in a fast and painless way.  They can be reached at 575-LegPain (575-534-7246), and patients can self-refer for an appointment today.

In closing, it is great to be here.  In the months and years to come, I am confident that you will hear about many exciting and very positive events at Memorial Medical Center and related facilities.  These changes will bring health care advancements to the region, more jobs and a brighter future for Las Cruces and the many surrounding communities we serve. If you have any comments, concerns or ideas, I would love to hear from you.

Thank you,

John Harris, CEO

Memorial Medical Center