You are here: HomeNewsFront Page News ArticlesGila EDA Roundtable, Part 1, featured speaker

Gila EDA Roundtable, Part 1, featured speaker

The Gila Economic Development Alliance held its monthly Roundtable on Oct. 19, with featured speaker Hidalgo Medical Services chief executive officer Forrest Olson talking about the new HMS building in downtown Silver City.

"I've been in the new building several times," Olson said. "It's quite impressive. Disclaimer: I had nothing to do with the planning."

He announced a ribbon cutting and grand opening at 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, although the move-in date for staff and patients is by the end of the year.

The first floor will house primary care medical services, with 26 exam rooms, a community room, and the nutritional education area, with a registered nurse health educator.

"We hope to have a rural family practice residency program, with the residents spending their first year in Albuquerque for specialized rotations, and their final two years here," Olson said. "The earliest start will be fall 2014."

Half of the second floor will house the mental health services, with the other half dedicated to dental services. Also on the second floor will be three dormitory-style lofts for the residents.

"The facility is one place for integrated care," Olson said.

Earl Montoya, Silver City resident, asked about mental health services, and whether they would address youth violence. "It's a problem in Grant County. It seems like there is no integrated process for youth violence."

Olson said nothing specific for youths was planned, but HMS is talking to Kathleen Hunt, Border Area Mental Health Services director, and Brian Bentley, Gila Regional Medical Center chief executive officer, for the three entities to work together.

Montoya said it seemed no one has sat down to have coordinated efforts.

Tony Trujillo, Gila EDA member, asked what will happen to the old building at Med Square, to which Olson said it would be use for administration.

Trujillo asked how many new jobs would be created.

Within six months, Olson said four new physicians and two new dentists would come on board, with staff equaling about 18-20 new jobs. "A pediatrician will split time in Lordsburg and two family practice physicians will be here."

Brett Kasten, Grant County Commission chairman, asked what would happen to the clinic on 32nd Street. Olson replied that it will remain open.

To Montoya's question about whether HMS was hiring bi-lingual workers, Olson replied: "Defiintely."

Priscilla Lucero, Southwest New Mexico Council of Governments executive director, asked how many mental health providers would be at the facility.

Olson said the clinic is well understaffed. "We have been hiring, but we cannot break even with mental health services. We have to take funding from out other services."  He said HMS is looking at partnering half and half with BAMHS on tele-psychiatry. "We have ramped up for social workers. One of the psychiatrists will be downstairs with the medical folks and working with mental health issues."

Jeremiah Garcia, Gila EDA chairman, asked how HMS and GRMC were collaborating with private entities.

"We haven't been working together," Olson said. "The piece we're missing is the local private partnership with private counselors. When we get overloaded, there are generally two points of entry into the mental health system, through jail and the hospital, but here we have other points of entry."

Montoya said he believes there is a misconception among area residents about the new facility. Because of the area-wide bad problem with alcohol and drug abuse, people think "you're going to do detox."

"No, only outpatient," Olson said.

Mary Stoecker, public health, said a four-county group is working to get not just detox, but to get services back into Yucca Lodge at Fort Bayard. "We had the proposal again in 2009, but it went nowhere. We're working on it again. What are the community resources? There is no one now. The detention center is interested in doing a piece, and Deming, a piece. It's the Continuum of Care Coalition working on the issue. We are looking at prevention through detox through after care."

Montoya pointed out that health is part of economic development, to which everyone agreed.  

Kasten said the county, along with Silver City, has begun discussion on a 1/8 local option tax for behavioral health, but the issue will need to be approved by the public in a vote.

Olson continued his presentation and said Tammy Ahner is in charge of education.

"We have a huge shortage of physicians, with rural health affected more acutely," Olson said. "We are partnering with Western New Mexico University and have Dreammakers Clubs in middle school, as well as having Forward New Mexico: Pathways to Health Careers."

HMS developed an internship for local students who rotated throughout HMS. "Two who started out interested in physical therapy now want to be dentists. We are getting kids aware and involved. Tammy does a great job staying in contact with the kids. She also does presentations."

Garcia said that was part of preparing the local work force. Trujillo suggested she present at one of the Roundtable meetings.

The next article will cover the presentations given by participants in the Roundtable meeting.

Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates

Welcome to Three Times Weekly Updates! You will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.
You can unsubscribe anytime. We never share or rent your email to anyone.

Fire Alerts

Editor's Note

Twice lately, someone has used one of MY photos, TAKEN by ME, without attribution or payment to me or the Beat. Remember that ALL PHOTOS ON THE SITE ARE COPYRIGHTED BY THE PHOTOGRAPHER. All content is also automatically copyrighted to the creator, when it is posted. 

For all you non-profits out there who hold regular fundraisers and want to thank your supporters, the Beat has a new flat rate of $20 plus GRT for Thank You Ads, which are posted under Community. Thanks for supporting the Beat.

The Beat is very pleased and excited to announce that it has an intern, Alexis Rico, who is studying journalism at New Mexico State University. Please welcome her. We will be experimenting together on some new ways to provide the news to you. We look forward to your comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Thanks for being a Beat reader!

The Beat thanks all of you who have become friends of the Beat by sponsoring pages.

We have added a new category under Sponsors on the menu—Local businesses. You and your business can benefit from the exposure by contacting the Beat at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Someone will contact you for an interview and to take photos. The cost for the sponsorship is $100, and you can continue the relationship by advertising your business for a longer term. The longer the term, the better the discount you receive.

The Beat is now posting legal notices for area governmental agencies. Check under the menu item Community to find Legals for what's happening in the area in the way of meetings and other legal notices.

You may have noticed a blue button on the upper left side of most pages. It says Sponsor GCBTo help defray ever-increasing costs of the Beat and to prevent the requirement for paid subscriptions, the Beat is asking you to choose an amount you want to pay on a one-time or regular basis to SPONSOR a page or feature that you rely on. 

If you subscribe to the Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates option on the left side of this page, you will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.

Comics are now available. As the editor, I chose my favorites first--B.C. and Wizard of Id. The Beat is seeking sponsors for these comics and for your favorites, too. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for rates. 

Check Out Classifieds.

It's really easy to check to see if there's a classified ad. Just click on Classifieds in the blue menu and the page will open letting you know if there is a classified ad. Remember that your buying classified ads gives you a wide readership, as well as supporting the Beat.

Post YOURS for quick results!

Consider the Beat your DAILY newspaper for up-to-date information about Grant County. It's at your fingertips! One Click to Local News.

Thanks for your support for and your readership of Grant County's online news source—www.grantcountybeat.com.

Go to top