Here’s a look at today’s headlines:
The Grant County Commission, at their recent meeting heard reports from various elected officials and department heads. Gila Regional Medical Center CEO Brian Cunningham reported on their financial standings, and also informed the commission they were doing a lot of work in recruiting. Cunningham said “Two physicians, anesthesiologist Mark Donnell, M.D., and ear, nose and throat specialist Twana Sparks, M.D., are retiring, and we have lost a couple of pediatricians. We have also had interviews with an additional urologist and a nephrologist, who owns land in the Mimbres and wants to relocate here.”
Also at the meeting, Detention Center Administrator Mike Carillo mentioned two candidates to fill two part-time vacancies. Road Superintendent Earl Moore reported on work at Loma Verde and the completed water line project on Rosedale Road. Sheriff Raul Villanueva reported an increase in property crime throughout the county.
Burger King, once located on Highway 180 in Silver City, closed for business on March 9th. Franchise owner Ronald Carballo of Rio Rancho said the two major reasons for the closure include fluctuations in the local economy and difficulty finding employees. The building is now listed for sale with an Albuquerque real estate firm.
The New Mexico Department of Health is releasing information regarding areas of the state with the lowest and highest premature mortality. Premature mortality, known as “Years of Potential Life Lost Before Age 75,” or YPLL, is one measure to look at overall health status. In addition to looking at the number of deaths, YPLL also considers the age of the decedent. The measure is the sum of all the years of life lost among persons who died at an age younger than 75 years, and gives a higher weight to deaths of younger persons. A 30-year-old would contribute 45 years to the measure, whereas a 70-year-old would contribute five. A high YPLL indicates more persons died at younger ages.
U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced more than $1.7 million for five health centers and treatment providers in New Mexico to improve and expand the delivery of substance abuse services, with a particular focus on the treatment of opioid abuse in underserved communities. The grants, funded under the Affordable Care Act and administered by the Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration, will help increase the number of patients screened for substance abuse and connect more patients to treatment, increase access to medication-assisted treatment, and provide training and educational resources to help medical professionals make informed prescribing decisions. Treatment providers receiving grants include First Choice Community Healthcare Inc. and First Nations Community Health Source Inc. in Albuquerque, La Familia Medical Center and Presbyterian Medical Services Inc. in Santa Fe, and the Pueblo of Jemez.