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Gila Regional Medical Center Joins Forces For Migrant Crisis

January 21, 2019 – Gila Regional Medical Center (GRMC), a 68-bed acute care hospital serving Grant County in southwest New Mexico, hosted the first Southwest New Mexico Regional Consortium to address medical facility issues emerging from the migrant crisis.

Several government agencies and healthcare facilities participated in the two-hour meeting, including the New Mexico Department of Health, Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center in Alamogordo, Mimbres Memorial Hospital in Deming, Hidalgo Medical Services in Lordsburg, Mountain View Hospital in Las Cruces, and BorderRAC out of El Paso. According to Tanya Carroccio, Chief Quality and Compliance Officer at GRMC, "This multi-disciplinary meeting was the beginning of a collaborative effort to better understand and support the care management of clinical decision-makers who are encountering Border Patrol detainees."

GRMC leaders recognized the need to share information among regional hospitals, the Department of Health and others due to the increasing number of migrants requiring medical treatment in the Emergency Department. "Increased communication and engagement from key stakeholders will help us all solve issues related to infection control, resource management, and processes to ensure these patients are not going to have poor outcomes after they leave the hospital." said Angelia Peyton, Director of Risk Management at GRMC.

The meeting addressed multiple topics concerning the migrants. Among the topics discussed were immunization status, infection prevention topics, communication across the region, and the monitoring of care. "This was a very productive and informative meeting and I look forward to continuing our communication efforts and sharing best practices," said Dr. Tsering Sherpa, GRMC Hospitalist and Board Member.

The meeting ended with follow-up and action plans, which include regional Border Patrol leaders working with the Consortium members to standardize processes and enhance communication. GRMC Chief Executive Officer Taffy Arias stated "This first meeting was very insightful. The insights we gained from this meeting helped identify similar challenges that together we can address."

Recognizing that one of the Consortium members is married to a Border Patrol agent, Ms. Arias acknowledged the difficulties families face from the government shutdown. "The healthcare landscape at this time is very challenging. It is full of uncertainties, and it is being dictated by decisions made in the political arena. What is certain is our responsibility to our community and to the patients we serve ­– and that is to deliver high-quality, compassionate care," Arias said.

About Gila Regional Medical Center

Gila Regional Medical Center is a county-owned, not-for-profit, 68-bed acute care hospital with a strong commitment to the people they serve. Investments in technology and certified caregivers provide quality care delivery through a patient-centered approach. It is home to the Gila Regional Cancer Center; the Surgical Center of the Southwest and was rated a 4-Star Quality Care Hospital by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services.

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