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hms health center rsSilver City, NM – As Hidalgo and Grant Counties' only Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), Hidalgo Medical Services (HMS) provides comprehensive primary medical, dental, mental health, and family support services to more than 16,000 individuals, who receive more than 80,000 health care visits, every year. In a rural service area where there are approximately 25,000 – 30,000 residents, HMS' existence and leadership is vital to the well-being of this growing community. A long-standing and recognizable community health care organization since 1995, HMS actively collaborates with many other health care and community-oriented organizations and associations, contributes to local community outreach events and sponsorships throughout the year, and is becoming one of the area's largest health care employers.

"The number of HMS health care providers that we employ – and their individual and clinical commitment to offering complete, holistic services – continues to grow and flourish. There is a direct correlation between the increased primary health care needs of southwestern New Mexico patients and clients, and HMS' ability to remain nimble and innovative with the support of our local, state, and national legislators," said Dan Otero, HMS Chief Executive Officer. He added, "In this environment of ongoing change and unpredictable health care reformation, HMS remains committed to its mission – positively impacting the health, well-being and quality of life for those we serve through comprehensive, integrated and affordable health care."

According to the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) – of which HMS is a member – FQHCs are an essential part of the nation's overall health care safety net, serving approximately 25 million people each year. Seven in 10 individuals who receive their health care services from an FQHC live at or below the federal poverty level. The current HMS payor mix reflects approximately 50% Medicaid, 20% Medicare, 20% Commercial and Private, and the remaining 10% are Self-Pay or Uninsured. According to Otero, this patient-centered business model reflects the diverse communities that HMS serves.

In 2017, HMS received its first ever Quality New Mexico (Piñon Level) recognition status, the organization recruited and retained no less than 13 new health care providers across its four service lines, and HMS was selected as the service provider for the HMS Tu Casa Substance Abuse Facility. HMS manages five community and health-focused Senior Centers throughout Hidalgo and Grant Counties, provides Hidalgo and Grant County residents with the State of New Mexico's first "Teaching Health Center," an accredited Family Medicine Residency Program (FMRP), and recently hired a full-time Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator who will create a more robust diabetes education program for the communities of Hidalgo and Grant Counties. Otero reiterated, "As a variety of factors continue to put pressure on our Nation's health care system, HMS remains steadfast in its commitment to provide comprehensive, integrated and affordable health care to the communities that we serve." Please visit www.hmsnm.org to learn more about HMS services, providers, and locations.

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The Grant county Beat continues to bring you new columnists. New this past week are the Christian Corner, for those who are already Christians or are exploring the beliefs.

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