Holy Cross Medical Center

Holy Cross Medical Center is the central hub for health care in north-central New Mexico. Our hospital and clinics are home to over 80 physicians, covering a variety of ever-expanding specialties that include internal medicine, wound care, dermatology, ob/gyn, orthopedics, general surgery, urology and a fully-staffed emergency department.

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Holy Cross Highlight

The First New Year’s Baby is Welcomed at Holy Cross Hospital – 2022

Please join us in welcoming John James Wilson, the first baby born at Holy Cross Hospital in 2022. Angél & John Wilson of Red River were proud to welcome their son, J.J. at 4:52am on January 1st.

Angel & John Wilson with John James Wilson, the first newborn baby of 2022 at Holy Cross Hospital.

2022 has been a busy year for the staff at Holy Cross Hospital. Four new babies were delivered in the first week of the New Year.

It is tradition for Holy Cross to welcome the first newborn of the year with a gift basket of goodies filled with baby clothes, diapers, blankets, lotions, and plenty of great baby books. Welcome to the world, John James Wilson!

Looking Back at 2021

In 1936 Mabel Dodge Luhan donated a house on La Posta Road that became the first location of Holy Cross Hospital in Taos. It has been 85 years since the original building was donated and Holy Cross Hospital began growing its roots in Taos. Over the years, Holy Cross Hospital has expanded to include a family of local clinics, outpatient services, and community programs, this healthcare family is now known as Holy Cross Medical Center. Our hospital is now an 89,000 square-foot Critical Access Hospital and is part of the non-profit, Holy Cross Medical Center, which employs over 400 members of our community.

As another year comes to a close, we wanted to take a moment to look back on some of the accomplishments that Holy Cross made in 2021.

Vaccine Distribution

One of Holy Cross Hospital’s biggest achievements for this year is the successful response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Holy Cross was ahead of the curve when the first round of COVID-19 vaccines were distributed. The team had already prepared for community-wide storage and distribution of the vaccine by ordering and installing the ultra-low-temperature freezers needed to properly store the vaccines. In early January, the hospital was working closely with the Town of Taos, Taos County, Taos Pueblo, local healthcare providers, and many volunteers to establish a vaccine distribution site, first on the hospital campus, then at the Taos Middle School, and finally at the Sagebrush Inn. By February 4th Holy Cross had distributed 1,500 doses of the vaccine, and by May, Taos County was one of the most vaccinated counties in New Mexico. It was an amazing team accomplishment with David Elliot, Hospital Emergency Response Coordinator, coordinating the efforts. The continued commitment of David Elliot throughout the pandemic earned him the ‘Citizen of the Year Award’ from the Taos News for 2021. We are proud to have David Elliot on our team, and we are grateful for the amazing efforts of everyone involved.

The freezers that were acquired in 2020 continue to store the Pfizer vaccine for Holy Cross distribution efforts and also allows Holy Cross to store vaccines for other local healthcare providers. Holy Cross continues to offer COVID-19 vaccinations & booster shots at the recently reopened Holy Cross Annex Building, provided with the support of the Town of Taos. All three vaccine options and boosters are available and you don’t need to register. Walk-ins are welcome Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 11am-3pm.

Going Above & Beyond

Every member of the Holy Cross family has worked non-stop since the beginning of the pandemic. While we experienced some return to normal this past summer, variants and breakthrough cases started to re-emerge, and our health care family was put to the test for the third time during the pandemic. We have an amazing team at Holy Cross Hospital and the continued quality of care is quite the accomplishment for a rural community hospital. Special mention goes to the Emergency Department, Hospitalist Service, and the Intensive Care staff but all staff members played an important role throughout the pandemic.

State-of-the-art Imaging

To better serve the needs of our community, Holy Cross Hospital installed a new state-of-the art mammography machine which is one of the most advanced systems available. The Genius 3D Mammogram is top-of-the-line technology and is available right here in Taos.

Holy Cross is also in the process of installing a new state-of-the-art CT machine. This new machine offers enhanced imaging technology, faster exams, and low radiation exposure. The new machine will be purchased with funding provided by the Taos County mill levy.

The pandemic kept a lot of people from scheduling regular exams, but it’s important to continue your regular check-ups. If you haven’t scheduled your mammography exam and you need to, don’t delay any longer, schedule your appointment today.

Expanding Pediatric Services

Dr. Villarreal, or Dr. V, as many Taos families know her, has been a beloved pediatrician for countless families in our region. Dr. Villarreal has decided to retire this year and she approached Holy Cross Medical Center about acquiring her practice so that her families can continue to get great local care. While there are many details to be worked out through the month of December, the HCMC team is excited to maintain pediatric services and provide excellent care for Dr. V’s families. HCMC plans to continue the legacy of care that Dr. Villarreal has provided families in the region — in part by retaining the TCCY staff and keeping the many familiar faces in place at the practice.

Bill Patten, CEO of Holy Cross Medical Center said, “Our hope is to retain all of the staff from Dr. V’s team and provide patients with as seamless a transition as possible. Pediatrician, Dr. Karen Gelfand will also be joining the team at TCCY when she relocates from HCMC’s clinic on Gusdorf Road in January.”

Cancer Support for Local Families

In 2021 Cancer Support Services raised over $54,000 to help provide support for over 125 community members struggling with cancer. If you or a loved one are struggling with cancer please learn more about our services at TaosCancerSupportServices.com

Expanded Care for Pregnant Women, Babies & Families.
Holy Cross First Steps has nine home visitors that provide free local support for families with newborns and children up to the age of 5. This year the amazing team at First Steps provided free support for 220 families and provided over 2,000 home visits.

The Rural OB Access and Material Services program known as ROAMS, is a grant funded program managed by Holy Cross Medical Center. The ROAMS program brought new ultrasound equipment to Questa, Taos and facilities in northeastern New Mexico. ROAMS has also helped connect practitioners with pregnant women and new mothers living in rural parts of New Mexico via online telehealth appointments, offering enhanced care options with less travel for the patient.

To top off these great free services, Women’s Health Institute and the Holy Cross Labor & Delivery department delivered 138 new Taoseño babies so far this year. We are eagerly awaiting the first newborn of 2022!

A Quest for Excellence

Each year the New Mexico Hospital Association recognizes exceptional efforts by hospitals to improve hospital quality and patient care for the people of New Mexico. The awards represent the highest level of professional acknowledgement from New Mexico’s Quality Committee and members. This year, Holy Cross Hospital was chosen to receive the Quest for Excellence Quality Award. Being the recipients of this year’s Quest for Quality is a significant reward for Holy Cross Medical Center and is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the amazing staff

Navigating Insurance Benefits

The Benefit Navigation program of Holy Cross Hospital is a free program to help the citizens of our community understand their health insurance enrollment options and provide application assistance. This year our benefit navigation team helped over 450 community members navigate their insurance options. We are looking forward to expanding services to provide support for disability benefits in 2022.

Substance Misuse Prevention

Taos Alive’s founder, Julie Bau, was posthumously honored with the Outstanding Dedication to Underage Drinking Prevention award from the New Mexico Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Her husband, Dom, and their 4 year old son, Kauani, were present at the award ceremony held September 18th, 2021 in Albuquerque to accept the award on Julie’s behalf. We thank Julie for the immeasurable impact she made on our community.

The Taos Alive Coalition strives to unite the community by planning and implementing strategies that prevent and reduce substance misuse and its consequences among Taos County youth. Taos Alive was recently awarded a $238,000 grant to continue to offer their great support for our community.

Holy Cross Hospital is proud to care for the Taos community. From everyone at Holy Cross Medical Center, thank you for your continued service and please have a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season.

Holy Cross Medical Center to Acquire Taos Clinic for Children and Youth

Effective on January 1st, 2022, Holy Cross Medical Center (HCMC) will acquire Dr. Sylvia Villarreal’s practice, Taos Clinic for Children and Youth (TCCY). Dr. Villarreal, or Dr. V, as many Taos families know her, has been a beloved pediatrician for countless families in our region. Dr. Villarreal has decided to retire this year and the acquisition will insure that robust pediatric care will continue to be available for our community. 

Dr. Villareal announced her interest in retiring and approached HCMC about possibly acquiring the practice in June of 2021, and conversations regarding the acquisition remained steady, ultimately resulting in an agreement for HCMC to move forward with the acquisition. While there are many details to be worked out through the month of December, the HCMC team is excited to maintain pediatric services and provide excellent care for Dr. V’s families.

Dr. Sylvia Fernandez Villarreal

Dr. Sylvia Fernandez Villarreal said, “Taos Clinic for Children and Youth will be left in superb hands and hearts. Taos Professional Services [A subsidiary of Holy Cross Medical Center] has purchased the practice. Drs Parker and Gelfand, Kerry Hopes, PNP and Morgan Swinehart Weyer, PA will continue to provide excellent and compassionate pediatric care to your children.”

HCMC plans to continue the legacy of care that Dr. Villarreal has provided families in the region — in part by retaining the TCCY staff and keeping the many familiar faces in place at the practice.

Bill Patten, CEO of Holy Cross Medical Center said, “Our hope is to retain all of the staff from Dr. V’s team and provide patients with as seamless a transition as possible. Pediatrician, Dr. Karen Gelfand will also be joining the team at TCCY when she relocates from HCMC’s clinic on Gusdorf Road in January.”

Patten continued, “I’d like to personally thank Dr. Villarreal for the many years of excellent service she has provided to our community. While I know that it will be a big job to fill Dr. V’s shoes, we are confident in the high level of care that we can provide the community long into the future.”

Holy Cross Medical Center is honored to be entrusted with the TCCY practice. The clinic will be joining Holy Cross Medical Center’s family of care which includes Holy Cross Hospital, Holy Cross Surgical Specialties, Holy Cross Women’s Health Institute, Holy Cross Breast & Plastic Surgery, and Holy Cross Primary Care.

Holy Cross Medical Center Earns the Quest for Excellence Quality Award

Each year the New Mexico Hospital Association recognizes exceptional efforts by hospitals to improve hospital quality and patient care for the people of New Mexico. The awards represent the highest level of professional acknowledgement from New Mexico’s Quality Committee and members.

This year, Holy Cross Hospital was chosen to receive the Quest for Excellence Quality Award. Receiving this award recognizes our local hospital for an ongoing commitment to provide excellent quality throughout the organization while being an active part of the Taos community.

“This award highlights our fantastic team, and I want to recognize and thank all the Holy Cross employees and medical staff who provide high quality, friendly service. We are honored to receive this prestigious award!”

Bill Patten, CEO of Holy Cross Medical Center

The Emergency Department at Holy Cross Medical Center provides the community of Taos County and all visitors the best care possible. To better support the community, Holy Cross is consistently working to enhance quality and improve services. Over the last year Sarah Beane, the Nursing Director of Med-Surg & Acute Care Unit worked with three ER nurses to develop a process that provides better care for patients with suicidal ideations in the Emergency Department by improving screening compliance and by identifying suicidal patients. As a result of this project, Holy Cross was able to improve the care of patients with suicidal ideation and the positive impact of this project earned Holy Cross Medical Center the Quest for Excellence Quality Award.

Being the recipients of this year’s Quest for Quality is a significant reward for Holy Cross Medical Center and is a testament to the hard work and dedication of their amazing staff.

In recognition of Holy Cross Medical Center’s Quality Award, the NMHA created the following video to promote the efforts of our team in Taos.

Support for changing from Traditional Medicare to a Part C Replacement Plan.

The Benefit Navigation Program at Holy Cross Hospital provides free year-round benefit navigation and enrollment counseling services for community members seeking benefits from the Health Exchange, Medicaid, and Medicare.

Our Benefit Navigation Coordinator Theresa Noedel would love to assist our community members who are interested in changing from their Traditional Medicare to a Part C Replacement plan also known as an Advantage Plan.

Theresa can also assist anyone who is currently enrolled in a Part C plan and would like to change plans or go back to Traditional Medicare. Theresa also assists with Part D (Prescription coverage) enrollments.

Open enrollment begins October 15th and runs through December 7th. Please call 575-751-8939 or email tnoedel@taoshospital.org to schedule an appointment.

Theresa also provides education on all the different choices, and her services are absolutely free.

Holy Cross Hospital is Performing Necessary Backup Generator Maintenance


Update (09/08/2021): Thanks to the swift work of our team and community, we were able to find a solution and our generator is fully functional. We had a technician work on the unit and the generator has been cleared for use.


As part of the regular infrastructure tests at Holy Cross Hospital it was discovered that the primary backup diesel generator was not functioning adequately. The generator itself is fine, but the fuel appears to be contaminated and we are currently working on a solution. The backup generator is only used to provide power during unexpected power outages and provides power to critical health care equipment if the need arises. While there are currently no planned power outages in Taos, Holy Cross Hospital is prioritizing the safety of patients should the unexpected occur.

As a contingency in the unlikely event, we have a long-term power interruption, a team of administrative staff, department heads, and physicians are working quickly to develop a solution to the issues with the generator and are instituting measures to ensure the safety of our patients. Holy Cross Hospital is in close communication with the Town of Taos, Taos County, and Kit Carson Electric to find a swift solution to the problem. In the interim, alternative generators are being acquired to provide power to necessary systems should an extended power outage occur. Other local hospitals have been contacted and alerted to the situation and they are available to provide additional support should the need arise.

The hospital remains open and at this time we are not restricting services or hospital access.

The safety of the patients at Holy Cross Hospital is the primary concern.  Please keep in mind that this planning is contingency based and would only be necessary during an extended power outage.  Holy Cross is working hard to make sure we have a good backup plan while continuing to provide great care to our community.

Potential for over-collection from Medicare patients on x-rays taken at Taos Urgent Care

Holy Cross Medical Center (HCMC) has identified a potential for over-collection from Medicare patients on x-rays taken at Taos Urgent Care.  If you were a Medicare patient that had an x-ray taken at Taos Urgent care between the dates of 7/17/2017 and 5/31/2021 and believe HCMC over-collected on the billing for this procedure, please contact Rebecca Ciletti at 575-751-5866.

Monthly Video Update

In an effort to help our community understand the changes happening in health care and at the hospital, we will be posting regular updates from the administration at Holy Cross Medical Center to help share information with the public.

Board Review – December, 2021

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