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Hospitals lay out economic spinoff in Sandoval County

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Administrators of two Albuquerque-area health care giants on Thursday highlighted the value of medical facility development in helping grow the economy in Sandoval County.

Expansion of facilities and medical services and more employment are on the horizon, representatives from Presbyterian Rust Medical Center and UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center said during a presentation before the New Mexico chapter of NAIOP, the commercial real estate development association.SRMC

The investment will fund more patient care in areas where both players have identified growth potential, but are working closely not to duplicate services and business lines.

Collectively, both organizations employ 1,300 people in the county, generating an annual payroll of $108 million. The employment number includes 625 health care providers,  the majority of them Sandoval County residents.

Angela Ward, administrator of Presbyterian Rust, said access to health care and economic development are key goals of the institution, which is looking to expand its emergency department, add beds in its six-story patient tower and build a physician office building.

Also gearing up are additional  services, such as 24/7 interventional cardiology and treatments that focus on joint care and  stroke recovery.

“Rust is considered an anchor in the Unser Gateway district, which used to be pretty barren,”  said Ward. Since opening in 2011, the hospital has been a strong attractor,  with other medical operators setting up shop nearby as well as retailers and restaurants.

Jamie Silva-Steele, president and CEO of Sandoval Regional Medical Center, said that institution is also a teaching hospital, with a strong emphasis on training medical, nursing and pharmacy students. She said the medical campus is looking to increase trauma care and specialty services around cardiology, neurology and gastrointestinal procedures and behavioral health.  Standalone primary clinics are also part of the business plan.

Both Ward and Silva-Steele are members of the Sandoval Health Care Collaboration, an effort to create 1,000 new jobs each year over the next decade. Health care employment is a strong focus of the initiative, they said.

Presbyterian and UNM’s expansion efforts are of particular interest to NAIOP members, especially the construction-related work that has benefited them, as well as any as future projects that could come their way, according to spokesman John Gallegos.

Health care construction has been one of the bright spots in the region’s building industry since the Great Recession, Gallegos said.