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The Rotary Club of Silver City had the opportunity to hear from Dan Otero, CEO of HMS, at their recent Tuesday luncheon. Otero shared with Rotarians the history of HMS, the mission, vision, core values, current offerings of HMS and shared the positive impact of HMS in Grant and Hidalgo Counties. HMS has over 82,000 total patient encounters/visits annually with 3,740 HMS patients served in Hidalgo County and 12,839 HMS patients served in Grant County, for a total of over 16,000 total HMS patients served this past year.

HMS was initially established in 1980 as a “free-standing National Service Corps (NHSC) site,” an early version of a Community Health Center (CHC). The current version of HMS was re-founded in 1995 in Lordsburg with $35,000 in New Mexico Rural Primary Health Care Act funding and four family medicine physicians rotating two days per week from Silver City. With efforts by the UNM Family and Community Medicine Department, Hidalgo County, and the UNM Office of Rural Outreach (Now Office of Community Health) and many dedicated community members and staff, HMS was established as a 501(c)3, organization and developed as a full-fledged Medical, Dental, Behavioral Health and Community Health Worker program.

With the advent of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), HMS obtained funding for the Silver City Community Health Center and assisted with the opening of the new Senior Center in Lordsburg. ACA also helped fund the development of the HMS Family Medicine Residency Program (FMRP) and expand the number of people receiving private and public (Medicaid) health insurance, which has helped HMS provide an ever-increasing range of quality services in Hidalgo and Grant counties.

In 2017, HMS began management of additional senior citizen centers located in Grant County. With HMS being a federally qualified health center hub for the region, HMS has taken the lead for the New Mexico Area Agency on Aging funded Senior Services and Senior Centers. One service facilitated by HMS is the serving of lunches to seniors five days a week at their centers and through a home delivery program. Over the past twelve months, HMS has provided 29,835 congregate meals, 8,620 transportation trips, and 59,946 home delivered meals in Hidalgo and Grant counties.

Other recent additions to the HMS family of services include the introduction of new programs including HMS CareLink NM and Bridges 2 Wellness. These programs are aimed at enhancing integration and coordination of primary, acute, behavioral health, and long-term care services and support of persons with chronic medical and behavioral health conditions across their lifespan.

Recently, the HMS “Tu Casa” Substance Abuse Treatment Disorder Facility, located in Silver City, was opened. This facility provides outpatient treatment and peer support services to the community for 10 hours a day, 5 days a week. HMS Tu Casa will transition to a 24/7 outpatient Triage Center in the near future.

Besides serving Hidalgo and Grant Counties through the HMS service lines of medical, dental, behavioral health, senior, and family support, HMS is connected to the community providing 52 outreach events. The “Teen Maze” in Hidalgo County is an example of one of the signature events organized with the efforts of many other partners in Hidalgo County to provide valuable information to teens. In Grant County, in the summer HMS hosts “Jump into Summer,” which provides resources to families and activities for children of all ages.

HMS is accredited and/or a member of several associations. These include accreditation as a Patient Centered Medical Home by AAAHC, Quality New Mexico, Mental Health First Air National Council for Behavioral Health, American Dental Hygienists’’ Association, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, HRSA (Health Resources & Services Administration), and American Academy of Family Physicians.

HMS has very high satisfaction ratings. The overall satisfaction percentage score for “Patient Experience of Care” is 94.90%. This past fall, HMS received high marks from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Services Administration for demonstrating proficient compliance with program requirements. HMS was reviewed on 100 different regulatory criteria and scored 97%. The remaining 3 areas of improvement detailed were addressed and reached satisfaction level within 30 days. Through the Clinical Quality Uniform Data Systems, HMS meets or exceeds 10/15 clinical measures, which is above average.

As Dan Otero, HMS Chief Executive Officer, said: “As a regional and national leader on many levels, HMS is committed to providing the highest level of quality—internally and externally—while meeting the medical, dental, mental health, senior services, and family support service needs of its patients. This would not be possible without the exceptional quality work of the HMS Leadership Team, board members, and every HMS employee. Together we are committed to quality and addressing health care needs in Hidalgo and Grant counties.”

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