Meeting New Mexico’s Health Care Workforce Needs

Domenici Center Phase 3 Project


DomeniciCenterWhy do we need your help? Because we need to invest in a healthier future, that’s why. Every one of us already feels the effects of having too few doctors and nurses in the desert Southwest. Waiting six months for an appointment or driving 250 miles to see a specialist are very real problems, and we are just at the tip of the crisis.

New Mexico faces a shortage of approximately 5,000 health care workers. This number includes more than 2,000 registered nurses and another 300 advanced practice RN’s. We could easily use an additional 200 primary care physicians, and also face challenging shortages of surgeons, OB/GYN’s, psychiatrists and other specialists. In addition we will be short between 2,000 and 3,000 community health workers. The needs are profound.*

Because these shortages are being seen nationwide, recruitment from out-of-state is not the solution. Therefore the University of New Mexico is responding to the need to increase the number of “homegrown” graduates in these fields. There is really no other choice. With 50 years experience in medical and allied health education we have both the will and the expertise to rapidly ramp up our enrollment. However, we face a daunting challenge—there is no room to grow.

Standards for space suitable for medical education are rigorous, and we lack the classrooms that meet accreditation standards. Our long-range plan for the Domenici Center includes 85,700 square feet that will be needed to expand UNM Health Sciences Center education programs by 50%. Our goal is to have that space operational by 2018, and we cannot do it without philanthropic investment from the community. We are counting on your partnership.

DCIII-ILLUSTRATIONThe Domenici Center Education Building will be an interdisciplinary education complex. The additional square footage will include large and flexible classroom spaces, instructional class labs for problem-based teaching and team-based learning, and simulation space for students to gain hands-on experiences before residency.

The completion of Phase 3 of the Domenici Center for Health Sciences Education will ensure that UNM can adapt to changes in the health care environment, meet accreditation standards, and fulfill curricular requirements for expanded class sizes into the foreseeable future. We have always prided ourselves on thoughtful and deliberate growth, and we are now poised to make this essential step to help meet New Mexico’s long-term needs.

We owe it to our current population as well as to future generations to meet this need. The best news is that careful savings have recently been augmented by the passage of a bond issue in the November 2014 elections. Through these sources we have secured 90% of the funding necessary for the project. As a good faith effort, we are working to secure the remaining 10%, and that is why we ask for your help.

We invite you to consider making a gift by sponsoring a classroom or learning lab. Please consider these options and consider adding to your legacy the future of health care in New Mexico. We will also welcome conversations about other naming possibilities.

For a listing of Domenici Center Phase 3 naming opportunities, click here.

*Source: New Mexico Health Workforce Committee – 2013 Annual Report