World-class Health Care in Our Hometown

About eight years ago, my father was suffering with complications from diabetes. After already having lost several toes, he was told by his doctor there was an infection in his leg and that his leg would have to be amputated from just below the knee. This was when I had the privilege of working with the staff at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Southern New Mexico and Advanced Care Hospital of Southern New Mexico. 

The morning after my father's surgery, the doctor came into his room and after a quick checkup said, “Mr. Zamora, how are you feeling?” My father response was, “I feel great!” The doctor turned to the nurse and said, “I want Mr. Zamora up and walking by this afternoon.” My father went on to walk with the assistance of a walker that afternoon. The staff at the rehabilitation hospital was wonderful. The therapists were kind and, even as a teenager, 

I could tell my family was receiving world-class health care. 

The Rehabilitation Hospital of Southern New Mexico is a state-of-the-art facility specializing in rehabilitative care for patients leaving an acute care hospital such as Mountain View Medical Center or Memorial Medical Center.  The Rehabilitation Hospital of Southern New Mexico has been ranked in the top 10 percent of all inpatient rehab facilities in the United States for the past eight years. However, the Rehabilitation Hospital of Southern New Mexico does not stand alone in its quality of care. On the same medical campus is the Advanced Care Hospital of Southern New Mexico, which specializes in extended acute care, such as medically complex patient care, ventilator weaning, modified rehabilitation, wound care and much more. 

The 40-bed hospital assists patients with stroke and neurological conditions, amputations, spinal cord injuries or dysfunction, brain injuries, major trauma, orthopedic conditions, systemic conditions such as active rheumatoid arthritis or severe osteoarthritis as well as other ailments. One of the more unique treatments the hospital provides is the Stroke Rehabilitation Program. The program is accredited by the Joint Commission and is one of the many treatments that separates the Rehabilitation Hospital of Southern New Mexico from other rehabilitation hospitals. Some key components of the Stroke Rehabilitation Program include: a plan of care by a board-certified medical director, 24-hour nursing care, a progressive and personalized treatment plan delivered by an interdisciplinary team, and a dynamic daily therapy schedule. 

The Stroke Rehabilitation Program, as well as all other treatments at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Southern New Mexico, utilizes state-of-the-art equipment such as the Bioness products, which use electric stimulation to assist patients with regaining mobility. The NESS H200, one such product used to enhance other physical therapies being delivered, assists the patient with regaining function in his or her arm. Another Bioness product being used at the hospital is the NESS L300, which also uses electric stimulation to help patients lift their feet when walking. This equipment is being used for other treatments as well, such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and other neurological disorders. 

Alongside the Rehabilitation Hospital’s innovative equipment and care is the Advanced Care Hospital, also known as a Long-Term Acute Care Hospital (LTACH). Individuals who need advanced care beyond what a traditional hospital provides are ideal patients for this type of hospital. The Advanced Care Hospital of Southern New Mexico is a 20-bed hospital specializing in complex and chronic medical conditions. These medical conditions include stroke, cancer, cardiovascular disease, degenerative disease, drug resistant infections, infectious diseases, leukemia, neurological disease, renal disease/failure, trauma, uncontrollable pain, respiratory failure, amputation, and diabetes.

The average patient stay at the hospital is 25 days, and each patient receives services from a physician-led team. The goal of each team is to provide any immediate therapy services for the patient and move the patient onto more intense therapy or a return home. The team consists of nurses, respiratory, physical, speech, and occupational therapist, along with a dietician, physicians and a case manager. Each patient is also  encouraged to begin an emotional healing path as well since healthcare professionals at Advanced Care Hospital of Southern New Mexico believe healing is a combination of the physical and emotional.

According to Pamela Suarez, a registered nurse and Director of Marketing for both the Rehabilitation Hospital and Advanced Care Hospital, both hospitals see a large number of patients due to diabetes or complications of diabetes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a national public health agency, reports that 11.3 percent of adults older than 20 years of age have diabetes. And according to the New Mexico Department of Health, about 197,000 New Mexicans have diabetes. With 18,000 of these people living in Doña Ana county alone.

While our community has a high number of individuals with diabetes, we also have the incredible staff and healthcare professional at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Southern New Mexico and Advanced Care Hospital of Southern New Mexico to help care for them. Claudia Saiz, Chief Operation Officer at Advanced Care Hospital of Southern New Mexico, believes that staff at the hospitals, “truly practice our guiding principles, with my favorite being 'we are passionate patient care givers.' I work for a company that has very high standards to allow us to bring this level of specialized care to the area.” In the past, patients and their families had to travel for hours to receive care that is provided by the Rehabilitation Hospital of Southern New Mexico and Advanced Care Hospital of Southern New Mexico. But now, Southern New Mexico is fortunate enough to have two ground-breaking healthcare facilities right in our own backyard. While proximity is ideal for families, it is also especially important for our community. Las Cruces and our neighboring communities can stay right here with their families and friends as well, and avoid the timely and financial strain of traveling hours to another state to receive health care.

Winter 2014

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