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Luna County's Court Appointed Special Advocates program has been working hard to ensure children in foster care are well prepared to return to school.

The program, which covers Luna, Hidalgo and Grant Counties, purchased 85 pairs of shoes for children in the tri-county area.

"This year we were fortunate enough to have additional funds to be able to provide these children with shoes. In the past, we have been able to help our foster children with backpacks and other back to school supplies," Vivian Silva, CASA program director, said. "This year however, we decided to go with something different that would help foster parents, adoptive parents and biological parents with the financial burden they can face when getting their child or children ready to go back to school."

There are about 85 children in foster care between the tri-county area and cases are still coming in. CASA is in need of volunteers in all three counties.

CASA volunteers are strong advocates for children in the foster care system. Advocates visit foster children at school and in other settings, and then report back to the courts so they can ensure the child's educational, psychological, and medical needs are being met.

ciro chairez rsCiro Chairez, Radiation Therapist
at the Gila Regional Cancer Center
A Graduate from University of New Mexico (UNM), Ciro Chairez has 23 years of experience as a Radiation Therapist. For the past nine years Ciro has been an employee of the New Mexico Cancer Center (NMCC) serving patients at Gila Regional Medical Center (GRMC). When the cancer care providers changed to the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center, Mr. Chairez chose to stay with GRMC.

"I am established here," said Ciro. "I have three boys, 15, 11 and 2 years old, and my wife is in Nursing School at Western New Mexico University. I have travelled all over the country from Seattle to coastal Georgia and Silver City is the best place I have been. The community and the climate are amazing."

Reserve, NM — District VI timber crew out of Gila National Forest, Reserve Ranger District is wrapping up another great season of timber marking. Accomplishments this summer include over 1,100 acres of timber marked, 2,409 acres of boundary laid out for the timber sales and 994 acres of boundary laid out for thinning projects.

For the second year in a row, the Reserve Timber program was able to host two Greening Youth Foundation (GYF) students. The Greening Youth foundation is a non-profit organization that provides educational programming, training, and career exposure to opportunities in the conservation and environmental fields for diverse youth. The Reserve Ranger District hopes to continue relationships like these, which allow opportunities for students to experience the Forest Service while helping to complete meaningful work on the Gila National Forest.

reserve ranger timber crew rsLeft to Right: Sales Administrator Kevin Probst, Gabe Partido (GYF), Kaitlin Cordova (GYF), Krystal Delgado, Franky Chavez, Jamie De La O, Ayasha Muñoz, Jeremy Sanchez, and Marc Estrada.

kristy arambula rsKristy Arambula, RN at the Gila Regional Cancer CenterKristy Arambula is a Registered Nurse at Gila Regional Medical Center's (GRMC) Cancer Center. She has been in nursing for 2 years, her first year and a half as a floor nurse and the past 7 months in Oncology.

"I love oncology," said Ms. Arambula. "Now that I am here, I cannot picture myself doing anything else.

asiamarie garcia rsAsiamarie GarciaAsiamarie Garcia, a student from Tucson, AZ, was recently awarded the Nancy Kailing Memorial Scholarship by PFLAG Silver City. Majoring in social work and minoring in early childhood education, Ms. Garcia stumbled upon WNMU while still in high school.

raul turrieta rsSilver City, NM – July 19-23, Long-time resident and local athlete, Raul Turrieta, returned today from the 2017 New Mexico Senior Olympics in Albuquerque with three gold medals, one silver and one bronze medal. He received gold medals in Huachas, the 400 meter and 800 meter estimated runs, an event where an athlete estimates a time and runs as close to pace as possible. He also medaled silver in the softball throw for his 168-foot throw, second to his long-time friend and rival, Mark Jones, with a 215-foot throw. He is most proud of his 800 meter run bronze medal which came immediately after he ran the 1500 meter run. Other Grant County residents who competed in 2017 events included Gene Bates, Jimmy Head, Timothy Davis, Carney Foy, Maria Elena Galindo, Fred Grahn, Katherine Henderson, Ronald Henderson, Robert Manning, Mario Quintana, Chris Trujillo, Michele Valencia, Rachel Valencia, and Thomas Morrish. Event results will be made available at http://nmseniorolympics.org/category/records-results.

Raul is committed to continued competition stating, "Even if I have to run for the next two years, I am going to be a national qualifier." The New Mexico Senior Olympics is dedicated to provide adults 50+ with opportunities for a healthy active lifestyle. Its mission is to promote physical fitness for seniors statewide: provide year-round opportunities and motivation for adults 50+ to participate in local, state and national games. In 2019 the City of Albuquerque will be the proud host of the National Senior Olympics attracting athletes nationwide.

cna bootcamp 072017 rs(foreground left to right) Janeanica Wade, CNA and Johnny Tafoya, CNA practice care on a simulated patient while Mary Flores, RN gives input and tips to help the incoming CNAs be better caregivers on day one. Also pictured in the background observing (left to right) are Megan Alvarado, CNA
and Jaleesa Castillo, CNA

July 21, 2017 – One of the biggest challenges in healthcare is knowing what to do and say when working with a real live patient on your first day. At Gila Regional Medical Center (GRMC) new Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) are going through a boot camp training to improve patient care. Mary Flores, a Registered Nurse (RN) and Sonia Sanchez, a CNA, put the new CNAs through potential patient situations to help them be more prepared for real life patient interactions. A combination of techniques, such as role-playing and hands on simulations, are used to represent actual patient care scenarios that the CNAs will encounter at GRMC.

"The boot camp really helps to give the CNAs some insight into their day-to-day duties," said Mary Flores, RN. "The training improves overall patient care and caregiver morale. It is also a great team building experience. We keep the training fun and educational so that it really sticks with the new CNAs."

Initiatives such as the CNA Boot Camp help GRMC's staff give better care and a better hospital experience for patients and their families.

"It is important for our community to know that when they come to GRMC they will receive the very best care," said Taffy Arias, Chief Executive Officer at Gila Regional. "It is a given that all caregivers have the expertise to do their jobs. What makes the difference is being able to deliver quality care with compassion and understanding."

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.

wnmu mariachi ensemble rs

Silver City, NM – Mariachi Plata struck all the right notes at a recent competition in Albuquerque, where the Western New Mexico University musical ensemble took home two top awards.

Mariachi Plata earned first place in the university category and second place overall at Mariachi Spectacular, an annual summer conference for mariachi ensembles throughout the region. The WNMU group returned to the event, having initially taken second place in 2016.

"Our group has really progressed over the last two years," said Bryant Chaffino, Mariachi Plata musical director. "I'm proud to say that Mariachi Plata has become a positive source of pride for Western."

The two-day conference and competition provided the student musicians with access to knowledge from renowned artists and composers. At least 14 ensembles performed in the contest.

The community-at-large can support Mariachi Plata's ongoing efforts by donating to the University Foundation. For more information, contact 575-538-6310.

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