Community News

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.

shelly carter rsShelly Carter, RN at the Gila Regional Cancer CenterShelly Carter is a Registered Nurse at Gila Regional Medical Center's (GRMC) Cancer Center. She has been in nursing for 24 years with the past 14 years serving cancer patients at the Cancer Center as an employee of the New Mexico Cancer Center (NMCC) out of Albuquerque, NM. As part of the transition of care to the University of New Mexico (UNM) Comprehensive Cancer Center, all of the employees that were with NMCC were offered positions with GRMC. Mrs. Carter chose to stay with Gila Regional.

"It was a difficult decision, but I am very dedicated to all my patients and will do all I can to ensure that the highest quality of cancer care will continue at GRMC." said Mrs. Carter. "I am very optimistic about the transition, and I look forward to working with UNM in providing cancer care and growing with the organization."

The contract with UNM was signed on Monday, July 17, 2017 and Mrs. Carter was on the job Tuesday morning working to ensure current Cancer Center patients were getting the care they needed. Three oncologists from UNM are in the process of being credentialed to cover patient care once a week at the Cancer Center. This is only temporary until a full time oncologist can be put in place to cover services Monday through Friday.

"It is an honor having Shelly as part of our patient healthcare team," stated Taffy Arias, Chief Executive Officer at Gila Regional. "Besides her technical expertise, she also demonstrates treating all patients with compassion."

grmc chemotherapy roomGRMC Chemotherapy Room

July 19, 2017 – The Gila Regional Medical Center (GRMC) Cancer Center enters a new chapter of cancer care with the widely accredited University of New Mexico (UNM) Comprehensive Cancer Center. Starting on Tuesday, July 18, 2017, the transition process began. As part of the transition, two oncologists from UNM are being credentialed to cover patient care once a week at the Cancer Center. This will only be temporary until a full time oncologist can be put in place to cover services Monday through Friday. Patient care will resume as soon as Gila Regional hires a full time nurse practitioner or physician assistant. This provider will also need to go through two weeks of intense training with UNM prior to working at the Cancer Center. The search to identify this person is already underway.

"Now that the contract has been approved we will quickly move forward with assuring the continuance of quality patient care" stated Taffy Arias, Chief Executive Officer at GRMC.

Originally in the contract with New Mexico Oncology Hematology Consultants (NMOHC), there was a provision to provide 90 days of transitional care for the Cancer Center patients. For reasons of their own choosing, NMOHC only agreed to an administrative transition and not to cover clinical services. GRMC will be appointing a liaison to contact all patients and arrange for their individual care until services are restored.

"We take the care of all our patients very seriously," said GRMC Board of Trustees Chair Jeremiah Garcia. "Even with the added transitional challenges we will do everything in our power to ensure patients receive the care that they need."

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.

international partnership rsL-R: Adrian Barbosa and Dr. Takahiro SatoSilver City, NM – After a year of establishing relations and forming agreements with several Mexican universities, the exchange of faculty and students between institutions is taking place by Western New Mexico University.

More than a dozen Mexican students who attend the Universidad de Occidente in different Mexican states are enrolled in a week of intensive English courses on the WNMU campus in Silver City.

WNMU has become a desired place for students throughout Mexico who are looking for an international experience that feels close to home.

"The Silver City community has been so welcoming to our Mexican students," said Manual Rodriguez, WNMU Language Institute Director. "Some students return, and many new students choose us for their English language studies because of the positive word of the mouth."

Earlier this summer, Adrian Barbosa, 29, of the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon (UANL), spent a week at the WNMU campus, a result of an exchange agreement between the two institutions. Barbosa is a candidate for the Ph.D. in Physical Education Science at UANL.

"I came here to work on my thesis and to utilize the great resources," said Barbosa. "We are trying to figure out if a gender invariance exists with professional athletes."

Barbosa is part of a group of students that is researching the interpersonal styles of coaches and how they affect psychological processes of athletes. Barbosa's team sampled a group of 1400 Mexican athletes between the ages of 17 and 28 years old.

"My experience at WNMU has been great, getting to know a new university and a different kind of work flow," said Barbosa who was guided by WNMU professors Dr. Takahiro Sato and Dr. Miguel Narvaez during his experience.

In February, the two professors participated in an international advisory board meeting in Mexico to discuss sports science curriculum, an outcome from a collaboration agreement with UANL. Board members included scholars from Mexico, Venezuela, Chile, and the United States.

The Division of External Affairs is preparing for upcoming opportunities of exchange by professors and students in the coming semester.

grmc cancer center entranceThe Gila Regional Cancer Center’s entranceJuly 18, 2017 – After a year of unsuccessful negotiations with the New Mexico Cancer Center (NMCC), a Request For Proposal (RFP) process was initiated and the University of New Mexico (UNM) Comprehensive Cancer Center was chosen by the selection committee. An emergency meeting of the GRMC Board of Trustees was held on Monday, July 17, 2017 at 2:30 PM at the Grant Count Commissioner's Meeting room and the final decision was made. The contract was signed and UNM officially became the cancer care provider for the GRMC Cancer Center. The NMCC's last day was Monday and the next steps of the transition have begun.

SILVER CITY, N.M. – Grant County 4-H members competed June 25-30, 2017 in Grand Island, Nebraska at the National 4-H Shooting Championships for the National Hunting Team contest.

The Grant County 4-H Hunting Team were the New Mexico 4-H State champions and qualified to go to the National 4-H Shooting Sports Championship to compete in the Hunting Team contest. Team members were: Cole Rogers, Julian Garcia, Chris Morgan, and Parker McMillan. The championships were held June 25-30 in Grand Island, Nebraska. 4-H members from all over the country came to compete in the different shooting sport contests.

The Hunting Team contest is a combination of all the shooting sports, and additional tests. Each member of the Hunting Team is scored on their accuracy in shooting rifle, shotgun, and archery. As well, as how well they can orientate themselves with a compass, identify wildlife, and take a Hunter Decision Making test. The team was coached by Brian Miller.

dance the magic rs

Dancers are: Back row from L to R: Laura Mae Klingler, Dani Rydeski, Gabriela O’Keefe, Margaret Bailey, Carley Casey
Middle row: Elizabeth Webb, Ixayana Alcorta, Jessi Crocker, Leila Gonzales, Mia Bernal
Front row: Brooklyn Bird, Olivia Bernal, Zooey Mosher

Students from the Conservatory of Dance recently returned from a trip to Disneyland in California to participate in "Dance the Magic" events July 5-9, 2017.

While in California the dancers were able to attend 4 back-stage workshops with Disney choreographers, which was an amazing opportunity. They participated in 2 parades at Disneyland and California Adventure. Laura Mae Klingler, Dani Rydeski, Gabriela O'Keefe, Margaret Bailey, Carley Casey, Elizabeth Webb, Jessi Crocker and Leila Gonzales were chosen to perform "I Will Survive" in a showcase at the Fantasyland Theatre. What an experience of a lifetime. Each of the dancers did a wonderful job at all the events that they participated in and they represented the Conservatory of Dance and Silver City and Lordsburg in a very positive, professional manner.

The Conservatory of Dance will be holding registration for their fall semester August 10-12 with classes beginning on Monday August 14. For more information about their program, please call 575-538-5865 or visit their web-site at conservatorydancesc.com.

We are so "thankful" to everyone that helped us to be able to make this trip possible for our dancers and wanted to thank you for your support and believing in our young people from the community and knowing that they could really "do it!"

Fall schedules will be out by the beginning of next week, but I did want to let you know again how very proud I was of you and I hope that you feel that the event was worth all the work you put into it.

Happy dancing and hugs to all of you.


grmc cfo search team rs(Left to Right): Taffy Arias – CEO of GRMC, Michael Soler – consultant for Executive Workforce Consultants Healthcare and JoBeth Vance, Interim CFO at GRMC

July 13, 2017 – With the arrival of Gila Regional Medical Center's (GRMC) new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Taffy Arias, the nationwide search now begins for a new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the hospital. The position has been temporarily filled by interim CFO JoBeth Vance who has been addressing GRMC's finances and revenue cycle.

"JoBeth has been here since March and has done an amazing job," said Taffy Arias, CEO for Gila Regional. "Now that I am here it is time to find a permanent candidate to fill the position. There are many plans in development for the future of GRMC that will require a strategic approach and a solid CFO."

The ideal candidate for the CFO position should be very experienced in assessing intricate healthcare finances, be able to quickly respond to change and put together strategic solutions. This leader must have a focus on the growth and development of the people in their departments of responsibility and be able to communicate clearly with colleagues at all levels.

Mr. Mike Soler, search consultant for Executive Workforce Consultants Healthcare, has taken on the task of managing the CFO search. Mr. Soler also served GRMC in finding Mrs. Arias, the current CEO, and advised the interim CEO and search panel throughout the process of the search.

"A CFO is a critical position in any hospital," said Mr. Soler. "This is especially true in the challenging and complex financial environment that is currently faced by acute care hospitals across the nation."

Considering the success that Mr. Soler achieved from the CEO search, the process to indentify the next CFO for GRMC will be handled professionally and in the end the best candidate will be found for this role.

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.

Live from Silver City

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