Team of Taoseñas Lead Recruitment Efforts for Holy Cross Hospital

Holy Cross Medical Center displays not only a commitment to healthcare excellence but also a steadfast dedication to its community. At the heart of this commitment lies the Human Resources (HR) department, a dynamic team of Taoseñas led by Chief Human Resources Officer Vivian Santistevan. With a shared vision of prioritizing local talent and fostering career growth, Vivian and her team are spearheading initiatives that are reshaping the hospital’s workforce and, by extension, strengthening the Taos community.

Composed of HR Generalists Amanda Cortez-Romero, Vanessa Garcia, Anna Lucero, Susan Shivas, and, alongside the focused leadership of Vivian Santistevan, the HR department at Holy Cross is a testament to the power of hometown pride and dedication. With the exception of Susan, the entire team was born and raised in Taos County. Susan has been a Taos resident for over thirty years. Each member of the team brings a unique perspective and a deep-rooted commitment to serving their department. Together they infuse their work with a sense of purpose and belonging that is being extended to applicants and employees at Holy Cross.

Amanda Cortez-Romero, Vanessa Garcia, Vivian Santistevan, Anna Lucero, and Susan Shivas

“A good HR department sets the tone for the organization’s employees. We are the first people new employees meet and we focus on setting a positive tone for their experience as an employee.”

– Vivian Santistevan

Central to the HR department’s mission is the Team Taos campaign, launched in 2023 with a focus on hiring locals and reducing reliance on traveling nurses and doctors. Since its inception, the HR department has yielded remarkable results, with 28 full-time nurses successfully recruited, surpassing the initial goal of 25. The campaign has significantly reduced the number of traveling workers throughout the hospital, from 112 down to 32, and the number of traveling nurses has been reduced from 48 to 24. Traveling workers are critical at any hospital and their work is valued, but hiring long-term employees helps ensure greater stability and continuity of care for patients. Bolstered by Vivian’s leadership, the initiative has expanded beyond nursing to include other crucial areas of the hospital, such as dietary, registration, and clinic positions. Over the last year the Holy Cross workforce has grown from 460 to 520 employees.

“We are really engaged in recruiting local talent. They are here, you can find talent everywhere in this town, you just need to know where. Walk through the hospital and you’ll see locals in every department.” 

– Vivian Santistevan

A retired officer of the US Army, Vivian’s decision to return to Taos speaks to her dedication to serving her community. Beyond her role in HR, Vivian is expanding community outreach efforts at the hospital, recognizing the importance of honoring local heroes. Her initiative to invite all veterans in Taos County to a free lunch at the hospital on Veterans Day exemplifies her commitment to giving back and supporting those who have served their country. Moving forward, the veterans day luncheon will be an annual tradition for Holy Cross Hospital.

At the core of the HR department’s ethos is the belief that people come first, and patients always. This guiding principle informs every aspect of their work, from recruitment and retention to career development and advancement. With plans to expand the team further this year, the department remains committed to filling employment vacancies with long-term employees who have the potential to learn and grow within the organization.

“We are focused on growing our own, we are eager to help our employees advance their careers by supporting their education and professional development.”

– Vivian Santistevan

A shining example of the commitment to grow our own is HR Generalist Amanda Cortez-Romero. While still attending Taos high school, Amanda began her journey at Holy Cross Hospital as a receptionist at the age of 16. Amanda’s career trajectory is a testament to the hospital’s supportive environment and dedication to employee growth. After graduating high school, she advanced from a receptionist to registration clerk, all while pursuing her education at UNM-Taos. 

“After graduating from high school, the hospital leadership was supportive of my further education and was flexible with my time so that I could attend UNM-Taos while still working at the hospital,” said Amanda. Despite briefly leaving Taos to complete her degree, Amanda returned to Holy Cross Hospital, where she was eventually promoted to HR Generalist in 2023. Her story resonates with the hospital’s goal of hiring local talent and fostering career advancement within the community. “We work really well as a team,” said Amanda. “I love working with them all and Vivian is a supportive mentor.”

Holy Cross Medical Center welcomes all skilled and qualified individuals to apply for positions online at or by calling the HR Department at (575) 751-5782

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