Year in review: PRMC expands; Melrose breaks ground on clinic

File photo Plains Regional Medical Center Administrator Hoyt Skabelund inspects surgery rooms in a newly opened outpatient surgery center.

CNJ staff

In 2010, Melrose broke ground on the first health clinic to be located in the Curry County village.

Money to build the facility, $500,000, was obtained through a state community development grant.

The 1,920 square foot clinic is planned to take up part of 3,500 square feet along Main Street.

Competion is expected in January.

County Manager and former Melrose Mayor Lance Pyle said the clinic will be a boon, not only to Melrose and its outlying residents, but to surrounding communities such as St. Vrain, House, Field and even Roosevelt and De Baca counties.

Plains Regional Medical Center grew to accommodate growth, attributed largely to expansion at Cannon Air Force Base.

Beefing up labor and delivery, finding ways to streamline emergency services, adding mental health workers and specialists such as pediatricians and orthopedic surgeons are some of the ways Plains Regional Medical Center is answering the growing need.

PRMC’s parent company, Presbyterian Healthcare Systems, has said that when Cannon’s mission was changed and a transition draw-down brought troop levels near 1,000 personnel, the hospital scaled back accordingly. Now that force numbers have reached and surpassed 5,000, the hospital has responded accordingly.

PRMC was honored for excellence by the New Mexico Department of Health’s Immunization Program for administering Hepatitis B vaccine to newborn infants.

The Department of Health honors hospitals every two years and recognizes the efforts hospitals use to ensure newborns receive the vaccine.

The department honored PRMC for a 99 percent vaccination rate, marking it best hospital in the state’s Region 4. The region covers Harding, Quay, Curry, De Baca, Roosevelt, Chaves, Eddy and Lea counties.

In March, PRMC licensed a second building to be used as an outpatient surgery center.

The facility offers laboratory services, x-rays, office appointments with physicians who specialize in surgery related disciplines and surgeries can be completed in the surgery center that occupies one third of the building.

The $14 million, 13,000-square-foot surgery facility located at 2421 W. 21st Street, was built in 2006 by a group of eight local surgeons who wanted a facility in which they could perform day-surgeries.

Administrator Hoyt Skabelund said it will help streamline services to patients, giving them a convenient, one-stop location as opposed to navigating the hospital.

Health officials in Curry County provided a combination of the H1N1 influenza and seasonal flu vaccines in one shot this year.

Most students were given the mist vaccine, which is a live vaccination rather than the dead virus found in a shot.

For the first time, the Center for Disease Control recommended that everyone over the age of 6 months get vaccinated.