The University of New Mexico Board of Regents voted Tuesday to recognize former Regent Jamie Koch's efforts to establish a new movement disorders center at the university by naming it in his honor.
Groundbreaking for the Nene and Jamie Koch Movement Disorders Center -- named for Koch and his wife of 60 years -- is set for November 5. The New Mexico Legislature in 2018 appropriated funding for construction of the new facility on UNM's North Campus. Earlier this year, it set aside additional money to hire new faculty and staff.
Koch, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease three years ago, lobbied lawmakers to create the center after learning that patients were waiting for up to nine months to see one of two UNM neurologists who are fellowship-trained in movement disorders. An estimated 3,000 New Mexicans are living with the condition.
Koch, 84, served in the Legislature and on the State Game Commission. A 1959 graduate of UNM, he also served on the university's Board of Regents for 13 years. "I am really humbled by the movement disorders center being named for me," he said in a statement read to the Regents by his wife, Nene.
Regents president Doug Brown told Koch that naming the center in his honor "is a recognition not just of this initiative . . . but of all that you’ve done for the university, the community and the state."