The Barbara & Bill Richardson Pavilion (BBRP) at UNM Hospital opened at 7 a.m. Saturday, and it didn’t take long for the hospital staff to have to swing into action. At 7:08 a.m., an ambulance pulled up to the emergency room entrance and delivered the new facility’s first patient, a victim of a motor vehicle accident with serious injuries. The accident victim was taken into UNM’s brand new trauma center, which is also New Mexico’s only Level One Trauma Center.

 Shortly after that, hospital staff started moving all the patients and equipment from the old ER into the new facility and completed the move by 8:30 a.m. The new pavilion is also the home of New Mexico’s first 24/7 dedicated pediatric emergency room, and the pediatric ER staff accepted the unit's first patient at 8:15 a.m.

On Saturday, hospital staff members moved Emergency Room patients, adult intensive care unit (ICU) patients, and pediatric patients. On Sunday, faculty and staff moved new moms and their babies, soon-to-be moms, and babies from the newborn intensive care unit.

Another milestone was reached at 12:07 p.m. Sunday, when a baby girl became the first to be born in the new pavilion. Mother and baby are doing fine.

Altogether, the UNM safely transferred about 220 patients to the BBRP over the weekend. The faculty and staff who carried out the move had been rehearsing the patient transfer for months.

The opening of the new BBRP, which also houses the new UNM Children’s Hospital, signals the creation of a new level of care for patients from Bernalillo County and New Mexico, one that integrates state-of-the art technology with a commitment to deliver that care efficiently and compassionately to the entire family.

Groundbreaking for the facility took place in October 2004. Although the new building is now occupied, the total project, which includes the razing of the old emergency room, trauma center and intensive care units, is expected to be completed in November 2007.

The building has been planned for medical staff to work smarter, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The new pavilion contains $20 million in new equipment that allows for increased specialization, including sophisticated new radiology equipment. Patients will find a new level of specialization in the new pavilion with ICU suites dedicated specifically to adults, neuroscience patients, trauma and children, and, for the first time, three obstetrical operating rooms and six ORs dedicated just for pediatric cases.

The new emergency room, located near the corner of Lomas and Campus Drive, triples the amount of floor space for patients as well as the number of beds devoted exclusively to trauma patients in the Trauma Center. As the only Level One Trauma Center in New Mexico, many of the most critically ill and injured patients in the region are brought to UNMH for critical care seven days a week, 365 days a year.


Contact: Sam Giammo, 272-3322