New Mexico is facing a healthcare emergency with too few doctors, nurses, and other health professionals to meet today’s needs — and the shortage is projected to worsen in the coming years.

To address these issues, the UNM Health Sciences Center Office of Diversity and UNM Hospitals, in partnership with other stakeholders throughout the state, are holding a two-day forum May 2-3 on growing and diversifying the pool of people entering and staying in the healthcare profession in New Mexico. The forum, which will run from 8 – 3:30 p.m. both days at the Marriott Hotel at 2101 Louisiana NE, will bring together people from middle and high schools, colleges and universities, the healthcare community, and rural and tribal areas to address the issues and develop solutions.

New Mexico First, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, will facilitate the forum. While there will be a few guest speakers to help set the context, the bulk of the two days will be spent in small group discussions among citizens who care about the topic. Prior to the forum, participants will receive a background report which will provide interesting information on the forum topic and serve as a basis for small group discussions during the forum.

Participants will be asked to share their best ideas for improving the state’s health careers pipeline. On the first day, participants will be divided into small groups to share best practices and to discuss the key issues. The second day will have participants will begin refining and combining their ideas for solutions. By the end of the day, participants will have developed concrete, actionable recommendations for local and state policymakers, educators, and private sector leaders. The recommendations developed at the forum will not sit on a shelf. UNM and its partners will organize an implementation team to advance the recommendations and participants may volunteer for the implementation team if they wish. Implementation efforts May run for 12-18 months.

Anyone with an interest in the topic is invited to attend, including educators, students, employers, practitioners and professionals, policymakers and community members. Seating is limited. The forum can accommodate a maximum of 200 participants and early registration is highly recommended. Register online at www.nmfirst.org. The cost is $125 and scholarships are available. For more information, contact Krista Koppinger at 505-241-4813 orkristak@nmfirst.org


Leading Sponsors:

BlueCross BlueShield of New Mexico

Heart Hospital of New Mexico

St. Vincent ’s Hospital

United Healthcare

Additional Sponsors

Con Alma Health Foundation

Delta Dental

Luna Community College Montañas del Norte Area Health Education Center

Molina Healthcare

Additional Support Provided By:

New Mexico Department of Health

New Mexico Health Policy Commission

New Mexico Higher Education Department


Contact: Cindy Foster, 272-3322