U.S. Housing and Urban Development Regional Administrator for Region 6 Don Babers visited the construction site of the new UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center (SRMC) in Rio Rancho, N.M., today. HUD issued a $143.4 million Section 242 mortgage insurance commitment to finance the construction of the hospital.

The regional administrator toured the facility, which is scheduled to open in July 2012, and received an update on the construction progress. The tour was led by Kevin Rogols, SRMC president and chief executive officer.

"This visit highlights the tremendous impact SRMC will have not only on the availability of care but the economic future of the region creating thousands of jobs and pumping millions of dollars into local payrolls," Rogols, said.

The construction project will support 1,877 jobs in Sandoval County and provide an economic stimulus of $386.4 million during the construction period. Following construction, the completed project will directly support 445 jobs and provide a direct annual economic benefit of $85.8 million.

"This is a great honor for all of us and further proof of the importance of the SRMC to the community our state and our nation,"UNM Chancellor for Health Sciences Dr. Paul Roth said.

The UNM Sandoval Regional Center (SRMC) is being built in the center of the city of Rio Rancho in Sandoval County near the Rio Rancho City Hall and UNM West. Initially, the 200,000 square foot acute care facility will house 60 medical surgical beds and eight behavioral health beds with a capability to expand to 300 beds as the population of the area grows. In addition, the SRMC will contain a 13-bay state of the art emergency and trauma center.

SRMC will also build a 40,000 square foot medical office building on the site, providing space for administration, clinical teaching and patient support services. Patient support services will include infusion therapy, physical therapy and medical office space for new physicians.

SRMC's vision is to be the healthcare and medical education provider of choice for Sandoval County. The mis­sion of SRMC is to improve the overall health of the community it serves by providing the highest quality health­care services that meet the needs of Sandoval County's diverse population while promoting medical education through its partnership with the University of New Mexico School of Medicine