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New family medical clinic to help train specialists

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SANTA FE — A new medical clinic will open soon near Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center, providing an opportunity for that organization to train additional specialists in family practice, according to Alex Valdez, hospital chief executive officer.

The Christus St. Vincent Family Medicine Center, located at 435 St. Michael’s Drive, Suite B-104, is slated to open today

“This also is an opportunity to help patients who go to the ER (emergency room) to eventually establish a medical home for primary care,” Valdez said. The hospital often gets patients who come to the emergency room for care when they’re sick because they don’t have a primary care doctor to help.

Currently, the Northern New Mexico Family Medicine Residency Program accepts three medical school graduates each year for the two-year program, for a total of six at any one time, Valdez said. Plans are under way to boost each class by one student, so that eventually eight will be training together.

Drs. Luis Rigales and Katje Lerew Musgrave will be primary faculty at the new center, with other physicians likely to provide part-time care there, he said.

Family practice residents currently work at La Familia Medical Center, as well as the hospital, and will continue to do so with this expansion, according to Valdez. The residency program has an 80 percent to 85 percent return rate, meaning those participants stay in northern New Mexico, particularly Santa Fe, to continue providing primary care services, he said.

The Family Medicine Center will provide primary care, pediatric care, wellness checks, osteopathic medicine, obstetric and gynecologic care, and general medicine. Same-day appointments will be available and all major insurance plans, including Medicaid, will be accepted. The clinic’s number will be 505-913-3450.

Down the road, Valdez said he would like to see the center add other needed services, such as behavioral health care.

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