HMS CEO Dan Otero Updates Mimbres Valley Community on new Clinic & Staffing

KateBDanOMVHAL president Kate Brown, on the right in orange shirt,  introduces Dan OteroOn Monday, June 12, 2023, Dr. Dan Otero, DBA, CEO of Hidalgo Medical Services (HMS) and Steve Chavira, HMS's Director of Senior Services, collaborated on a presentation about the healthcare system in the nation, state, and local community. The gathering was hosted by the Mimbres Valley Health Action League (MVHAL) at HMS's Mimbres Valley Senior Center, and 24 members of the Valley community (in addition to 8 MVHAL board members) attended.

After a delicious meal catered by Albert of 4Seaysons RV Park, Lodge, & Country Store in Mimbres,  Otero delivered his presentation, which covered health outcomes, health spending, healthcare access and affordability, quality of care, and disparities in health system performance on national, state, and county levels.

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Gila National Forest partners with Forest Service Job Corps Program

img 0384On Thursday, June 8, local elected officials appearing in order from left to right: Mick Omun (kneeling)- ACES program crew supervisor; Camille Howes - Gila National Forest Supervisor; Jim Paxon - Sierra County, New Mexico Commissioner; Alicia Beyer – Southwest Regional Director for Senator Martin Heinrich; students TY Begay, Dave Smith, and Steven Neff, Bret Mellott – Black Range District Ranger; students Idaz Blunt, Conrad Sandoval, Alex Perry, and Jessica Vicuna, and Melanie Goodman – Field Representative for Senator Ben Ray Lujan.

Forest Service Job Corps – Changing lives, giving back

SILVER CITY, NM, June 16, 2023 – The Gila National Forest developing a new partnership with Forest Service Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers (CCC) in a win-win for students and the forest. Students hail from the Job Corps CCCs at Oconaluftee, North Carolina; Anaconda, Montana; Frenchburg, Kentucky; Harpers Ferry, West Virginia; Nemo, South Dakota, and Timber Lake, Oregon. The students will spend the next six weeks to four months helping out in a variety of capacities on the Gila National Forest as they learn new skills and prepare for their future careers.

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Silver City Masons Assist El Refugio

elrefugio23Silver City Masonic Lodge supports the El Refugio care center with a donation of $1000.00 presented at a dinner last night (6/13) at the Lodge.

The funds will be used throughout the year to purchase items needed to help their goals of assistance for Grant County victims of Domestic Abuse, with life skills development, children’s activities, safety planning, educational classes, and providing necessary referrals and resources.

Silver City Lodge has fundraisers, in combination with donations from their members to support this charitable activity, which is but one of several in Grant County we try to help, and it is one of the many ways the Lodge support our community.

For additional information on this activity and others, or information regarding Masonic Lodges, please contact a Mason near you or call, William Nagel at 575-496-2819 or Bob Baker at 575-590-2859.

Silver City Public Library has an ongoing summer reading program June and July

Thanks to Abigail Kipp, Silver City Public Library Youth Librarian, who sent these photos of activities during the summer reading program.

It kicked off on June 3, with a foam party at Penny Park, and continued with the Magic Guy, Jamie O'Hara at the library on June 9.

foam party 23 11

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The Children's Water Festival Turns 20!

nanskullsEducator Nan Franzblau points out differences between carnivores and herbivore skulls Photo credit: Beth Jeffersmagoiscope groupStudents from Harrison Schmitt examine macroinvertebrates through a magiscope at the Gila River. Photo credit: Beth Jeffers

This year, we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Children's Water Festival, an opportunity for 5th graders to experience the Gila River. The Children's Water Festival (CWF) has been organized by different entities over the years and the Upper Gila Watershed Alliance began coordinating in 2016. We've improved the format so that just one school at a time is at the river, allowing birdsong to be heard along with the facts from the instructor.

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Hidalgo Medical Services Invests in Technology

Hidalgo Medical Services (HMS) continues to invest in technology and other infrastructure to better serve the region. At the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, HMS was the primary provider of testing and vaccinations; this increased demand for services led to its phone systems reaching capacity. Often the call demand led to an inability to answer the calls due to phone line capacity being reached or an inability to answer the calls in a timely manner due to the volume of calls entering the system. This situation was extremely difficult for our patients and caused high levels of dissatisfaction. According to Amanda Frost, HMS' Chief Operations Officer, "What we have experienced between phone system challenges and staffing shortages in 2020 through 2022 within our system was very disheartening and difficult for each of us at HMS. We pride ourselves on providing the highest levels of customer service, and have worked tirelessly to correct these services so we can better care for our patients and the community."

Dan Otero, HMS' CEO, stated that HMS is pleased to share that HMS has invested in, and installed, a new phone system transitioning from an analog to a voice-over internet protocol (VOIP) system. This technology, in conjunction with a stabilizing workforce within operations, has corrected most of our systems issues regarding contacting HMS for services. "We extend our sincere apologies to all our customers who had difficulty with the challenges of our phone system," stated Dr. Otero. Gretchen Cannon, HMS Chief Financial and Information Technology Officer stated that HMS receives approximately 1,000 incoming calls per day, which translates to 5,000 calls a week, and 260,000 calls annually. "We also want to thank our HMS Information Technology professionals and Western New Mexico Communications partners, who provide network services for HMS, for implementing a state-of-the-art phone system in 22 locations with over 365 phones to support services for the future," stated Gretchen Cannon.

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Realtor Association Announces Two Scholarship Recipients

brookhuertaBrook HuertadiegomoralesDiego Morales

The Silver City Regional Association of REALTORS® has awarded two higher education scholarships this year. The association solicits application submissions annually from students who are members of an affiliate member's or REALTOR's immediate family. Applicants must have a 3.0 GPA or above overall, be enrolled full-time in higher education, including trade school, and submit an essay about an ideal community.

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Photo Added: USDA Selects WNMU’s S. Otto Khera as 2023 E. Kika De La Garza Education Fellow

otto kheraSilver City, NM – S. Otto Khera, Western New Mexico University Director of Grants and Rural Initiatives and the Title V/Con Ganas project in External Affairs has been selected by the USDA to participate in the 2023 E. Kika De La Garza Fellowship Program. Says Dr. Magdaleno Manzanarez, Vice President for External Affairs to whom Khera reports, "We are delighted to see Otto get recognized formally for his commitment to HSIs and his achievements. He is a team player, and we are excited to see someone from WNMU selected for the first time for this prestigious fellowship."

Nationally, 20 fellows were selected. Khera is one of only five Education Fellows in the group. Since 1998, the annual fellowships have recognized highly accomplished staff and faculty at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) – accredited, degree-granting institutions of higher education with a full-time Hispanic student enrollment of 25 percent or more.

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