The Board of Regents at the University of New Mexico, and the leadership of the UNM Health Sciences Center (HSC) and UNM Hospital (UNMH), today announced the schedule for three Public Town Hall meetings promised last week to allow for public comment on the 96-bed project awaiting State Board of Finance approval.

"The University of New Mexico leadership strongly supports the building of a new 96-bed hospital facility to relieve overcrowding and an existing severe shortage of hospital beds at UNMH," said Billy Sparks, executive director, HSC Communication and Marketing. "Too many patients who need to be admitted have to wait for up to 36 hours for a bed. UNMH needs to be able to better serve its patients and be prepared for any unseen emergencies."

The Schedule
Tuesday, Oct. 2, 6-7:30 p.m. – Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

2401 12th Street NW, Chaco I and II

Wednesday, Oct. 3, 6-7:30 p.m. – Jewish Community Center
5520 Wyoming Blvd. NE, Auditorium A

Thursday, Oct. 4, 6-7:30 p.m. – Alamosa Community Center
6900 Gonzales Rd SW, Room A

These Town Halls will allow for additional public input and give our physicians and leaders a chance to interact with the community, respond to questions and educate the public on the ongoing missions and responsibilities of UNM's Level One Trauma and National Institute of Health Cancer Center designations, UNMH's Stroke Center and children's services, and New Mexico's only teaching hospital.

Health Sciences Center leadership will discuss the types of activities that will occur in the facility and the current need for additional hospital beds and services. The Town Halls will be held in community centers in the Bernalillo County area.

The Town Halls also will provide an opportunity for additional public input. UNMH doctors, HSC leadership and university officials will discuss the immediate need for additional hospital beds to care for our current patients.

The national recommendation for the daily hospital census is 75 percent of capacity. UNMH is averaging more than 90 percent of capacity, and many days 99 percent capacity.

The Adult Wing Project has been approved in open, public forums by the UNM Hospital Board of Trustees, the HSC Board of Directors, the UNM Board of Regents Finance and Facilities Committee and the UNM Board of Regents. The New Mexico State Department of Higher Education also has approved the plans. UNMH is not requesting state or federal funds for this project. HSC has known this day would come and has planned accordingly.

"We look forward to receiving final approval from the State Board of Finance for this very important project," said Sparks. "In the next month we will share with the community the reasons for this project. The public Town Halls will let us hear the additional comments and concerns of the community as part of our ongoing commitment at the UNM Health Sciences Center to maintain transparency and respond to the community."

Media contact: Billy Sparks (505) 272-8827; cell: (505) 401-1755; email: