We are extremely saddened by the passing of former United States Senator Pete Domenici, who was a true champion of the entire University of New Mexico, especially the Health Sciences Center. He always put the success of our institution and the well-being of New Mexicans above all else.
Senator Domenici’s efforts in support of our educational mission were transformational to health sciences in the state. The Domenici Center for Health Education, an interdisciplinary learning complex, was named in his honor. It just opened its third and final phase late this summer, and serves as an enduring reminder of what Senator Domenici meant to the HSC.
In addition to his advocacy for the Health Sciences Center, Senator Domenici was a tireless champion for mental health parity, an issue near and dear to my heart personally, and to that of everyone at the HSC. He worked in a bi-partisan manner to ensure that those struggling with mental illness had access to treatment – and to insurance coverage for that treatment. The effect of this change on the lives of the people we serve, and on their communities, is immeasurable.
We will miss Senator Domenici’s presence in our community and are keeping his family close to our hearts today and in the coming days. The best way we can honor him is to continue our mission of improving the health of all New Mexicans through our educational, clinical and research missions, which he helped to grow.
Paul B. Roth, MD, MS, Chancellor for Health Sciences; CEO, UNM Health System; Dean, School of Medicine