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Guest columnist

Memorial Medical Center cares for Las Cruces


For nearly 75 years, Memorial Medical Center has proudly cared for people across southern New Mexico. We are incredibly grateful to everyone in Las Cruces, Doña Ana County and the surrounding area who entrusts us with their care and who have been our partners in advancing our mission of making communities healthier.

We take our responsibility to the communities we serve very seriously and are proud to share our 2023 Community Benefit Report, which summarizes the investments, advances and collaborations that have improved access to quality care throughout our region. 

MMC continually strives to meet the evolving needs of our communities and offer as many services as we can, close to home. In 2023, we invested almost $8 million in new technology and equipment and other improvements that allowed us to grow important services and build new ones. We also added 167 employed and independent providers in areas including gastroenterology, ear-nose-and-throat and orthopedics to our region.

We were pleased to continue expanding cardiac care last year, by bringing in highly experienced interventional cardiologists and becoming the first and only hospital in southern New Mexico to offer transcatheter aortic valve replacement, a state-of-the-art heart procedure. In addition, we launched a cardiac electrophysiology program and continue to expand our cardiovascular surgery services. We advanced cancer care in the region as well, adding automated breast ultrasound to enhance imaging and early detection of breast cancer, and a VitalBeam radiotherapy system for radiation treatment for a variety of cancers. As part of our dedication to mental health services, we reopened our Behavioral Health Unit last summer in partnership with our local Peak Behavioral Health Hospital.

We know that caring for our communities means going beyond the walls of our hospital. This is why we broke ground on a new urgent care facility in Anthony, New Mexico, a visionary project led by the city of Anthony to revitalize a former golf course into a vibrant health and wellness multi-generational community center. This new facility will ensure that residents in Anthony and neighboring communities will no longer need to travel for urgent care services, keeping New Mexicans in New Mexico.

Delivering safe, quality care to all our neighbors, regardless of their ability to pay, is foundational to our mission. In 2023, MMC donated nearly $54 million in care and services, including charity care, uninsured discount and uncompensated care to local individuals and families in need.

Great local care requires the work and dedication of a great team, so we constantly strive to create an environment where employees are recognized and valued, and everyone can effectively use their skills to the highest level. Last year, the hospital distributed a payroll of $132.7 million to more than 1,425 employees and funded professional development and tuition assistance so all employees can learn, grow, and improve the care they provide. 

We also continued to build and expand our educational programs, which include a pharmacy residency and opportunities to become a central sterile technician, OB technician or grow as a perioperative nurse. Because of regional shortages, we grew our medical assistant and surgical technician programs and proudly welcomed 39 new nurse graduates into our nurse residency program last year.  

In addition to the medical care and services we provide, MMC is honored to play a vital role in our region as a strong community partner. In 2023, we partnered with Las Cruces Public Schools at events such as our “Back to School Bash,” collecting school supplies and distributing more than 300 free bike helmets and “Care Kits for Kids,” a personal hygiene drive for local students.  In addition, our “Bras for a Cause” event in October raised $20,000 for cancer patients in partnership with Cancer Warriors, a local support group. MMC also paid $17.9 million in local and state taxes last year, while continuing to support local causes and organizations, including Amador Heath Center, Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine, the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce, Mesilla Valley Economic Development, Casa de Peregrinos, Jardin de los Ninos, and the Southern New Mexico Community Foundation.

Lastly, we care about the health and wellbeing of our friends and neighbors by offering free healthy cooking classes and exercise programs, such as Walk with a Doc, where our physicians and clinicians are available to answer questions to promote healthier habits. 

At MMC, we believe that health is foundational to the overall well-being of our friends and families. We remain committed to delivering high quality care, but we realize that advancing health must also come from working with and supporting our communities. We are proud to be a healthcare provider of choice for so many and look forward to working with our communities in the year ahead to continue to close as many gaps in care and expand access to much needed services for our community.    

Our MMC culture has always been a testament to the dedication and commitment demonstrated by our teams. All of us at MMC look forward to further enhancing how we serve and collaborate with people across our region today and for generations to come.

John Harris is the CEO of Memorial Medical Center in Las Cruces.

Memorial Medical Center, Las Cruces, health care