A Look Back at Holy Cross Medical Center’s Community Programs in 2022

In 1936 the United States was in the midst of the Great Depression. It was the year after the Town of Taos was incorporated, and it was the year that Mabel Dodge Luhan donated a house to be used as Taos’ first community hospital. This original, ten-bed hospital included an operating room, obstetrics, x-ray and nursery units. For nearly twenty-five years this original location on La Posta would serve as the home of Holy Cross Hospital while it was run with the help of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth. The Hospital was a haven for the sick and injured, treating native Taoseños and newcomers alike, and combining old traditions with new and innovative treatments.

Today, the hospital is an 89,000 square-foot, not-for-profit, Critical Access Hospital located off Weimer Road, directed by a local governing board that includes both physicians and community members. More than a hospital, it is now Holy Cross Medical Center — a family of care that includes a network of clinics, providers, and programs that strive to meet the health care needs of our community. 

Holy Cross began with a donation, and in honor of the giving season we thought it would be appropriate to recognize the accomplishments of Holy Cross Medical Center’s programs in 2022. Holy Cross is home to programs that provide all of their services for free to the community.

Benefit Navigation

The Benefit Navigation program of Holy Cross Hospital is here to help the citizens of our community understand their health insurance enrollment options and provide application assistance. Theresa Noedel is the Benefit Navigation Coordinator for this program and offers services alongside her co-worker Anna Romero. The services of this program are absolutely free and the team has helped 1,087 people access health care benefits so far this year. Theresa is currently the top Enrollment Counselor in the state of New Mexico and she loves her job assisting people with education, applications, and health insurance enrollments. If you need support signing up for health insurance or have questions about the system, call Benefit Navigation at 575-751-8939. Learn more about Benefit Navigation >

Children’s Trust Fund

The Children’s Trust Fund program offers free classes and groups to support parenting. All classes are offered in English and Spanish and they collaborate with various agencies in the community to make sure families are connected to services. In 2022 the program was able to provide classes and services to over 100 families through 15 classes, 2 monthly support groups, and 4 summer pop up events that provided various fun activities for children in their neighborhood. The schedule for next year’s events is available and all classes are free. Contact Carla to register: 575-751-8904 or learn more about Children’s Trust Fund >

Taos Cancer Support Services

The Taos Cancer Support Services (TCSS) program exists to serve the needs of people with cancer in the greater Taos area, and provide non-medical support to ease the burden and promote healing. The team can connect individuals with trusted local, state, and national services to help meet basic needs, ease stress, and promote healing while also supporting tangible needs that arise due to treatments being outside of our local community. This year TCSS has been able to support 150 community members struggling with cancer and have provided over 1,000 encounters of supportive care over the year. TCSS is funded by grants, donations, and fundraising. Thanks to the generous support from our community, the team was able to raise close to $100,000 dollars from donations and grants this year. These donations support people impacted by cancer in the Taos area.  Find information at www.TaosCancerSupport.org

First Steps

The First Steps program provides free home visiting services to parents of children ages prenatal to five, including fathers, adoptive parents, and foster families in Taos, northern Rio Arriba, and western Colfax counties. Home visiting services provide parents with information, support, and access to resources in our community that promote early childhood development and a positive family foundation. In 2022 the team at First Steps provided support for approximately 190 families and provided over 1,700 home visits. There are currently seven home visitors on their team. Five of the seven home visitors are bilingual and they have been able to provide hybrid service throughout the year to meet the needs of as many families as possible. First Steps has also partnered with the Taos and Questa libraries to provide storytime for families each month. One of the goals for the upcoming year is to support dual language learning with families by providing additional books and resources. www.TaosFirstSteps.org

Taos Alive

The Taos Alive Coalition unites the community to plan and implement strategies that prevent and reduce substance use and its consequences among Taos County youth. In February of 2022 the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) awarded Taos Alive a grant for $227,088 to increase opportunities for health social connections and to deepen education around substance misuse. This year, Taos Alive was able to improve access to positive activities for youth such as sports and art for 90 kids, provided one-on-one mentorship to over 30 students, provided drug preventative presentations to over 1,500 kids in schools throughout Taos County, and trained over 200 people in Taos County on Adverse Childhood Experience (ACEs). On January 20th at 5:30pm Taos Alive is hosting a free community training by Brian Serna on resilience. The team is also planning to offer a narcan and opioid overdose response training in the spring. www.TaosAlive.org

Rural OB Access & Maternal Services (ROAMS)

The ROAMS program is funded by a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration. The goal of this program is to improve maternal health outcomes in northeastern New Mexico. Since June of 2021, ROAMS has helped 220 mothers enroll in home telehealth programs, and since April of 2021 has helped save mothers in rural areas from traveling over 13,000 miles or the equivalent of 247 hours of driving. The three ROAMS Family Navigators have helped 173 clients gain access to free services, benefits, lactation support, telehealth, and more over the last grant year. The ROAMS lactation counselor in Taos has been able to provide free consultations for 150 new parents during the last grant year. www.roamsnm.org

Holy Cross Medical Center is honored to offer all of these free programs and services to the community.

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