Lovelace Health System and UNM Medical Group, Inc., have partnered to provide expanded rehabilitation services for patients recovering from stroke, brain injury and musculoskeletal disorders. The newly opened Lovelace UNM Rehabilitation Hospital was celebrated at a May 31 ribbon cutting ceremony.
The joint venture is unique. “It is extraordinary in the US for a for-profit entity to collaborate with a public academic institution to build a partnership such as this,” said Paul B. Roth, MD, MS, chancellor for Health Sciences, CEO, UNM Health System, Dean, UNM School of Medicine. “The partnership we are celebrating today is a trifecta: we have superb management in Lovelace; excellent standard of care; and a large academic research institution.”
Lovelace and UNM providers will deliver services at the hospital to expand clinical resources and further develop continuity of care. “Today I am proud of this outcome,” said Derrick Jones, CEO of Lovelace UNM Rehabilitation Hospital. “This new partnership is going to make our future bright and provide access to cutting-edge technology.”
In addition, UNM’s academic and educational expertise will play a critical role as plans are underway to launch a new residency program in 2018 in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, through the UNM School of Medicine. The first of its kind in New Mexico, the physical rehabilitation residency program will be based at the Lovelace UNM Rehabilitation Hospital and will help meet the expanding need for rehabilitation providers in New Mexico.
Training the state’s physicians to become rehabilitation specialists is an important component of the partnership. “This opportunity allows us to expand our academic mission of providing innovative programs and research opportunities that will lead to improved care for New Mexicans,” said Michael Richards, MD, MPA, vice chancellor Clinical Affairs.
The Lovelace UNM Rehabilitation Hospital is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. In addition to Jones’ leadership, John Henry Sloan, MD, will continue as chief medical officer. UNM will designate a chief academic officer to oversee the residency program. A newly created 6-member board will govern the hospital; three members will be appointed by Lovelace and three by UNM.
The joint venture goes beyond supporting treatments and care to Lovelace and UNM patients. “The partnership is a vital investment in health care in the community,” said Gilbert Montaño, chief of staff for Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry during the ribbon cutting ceremony. “This collaboration is a great investment in the economy and a considerable portion of the population will benefit from it.”