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UNM, Miners’ Colfax in pact to fight mining-related illness

RATON, N.M. — The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center and Miners’ Colfax Medical Center are stepping up efforts to fight mining-related respiratory diseases.

Both recently announced that a $1.5 million gift will fund an endowed chair in Mining-Related Lung Disease to be held by pulmonologist Akshay Sood.

Sood has been working with the Raton hospital for years to address pulmonary diseases associated with the coal and uranium mining industries.

Officials say Sood’s appointment will sharpen the two institution’s focus on black lung disease, a scourge that develops from inhaling coal dust.

Sood says the new partnership will help attract faculty to work in clinical research and community engagement aspects of miners’ disease.