UNM HSC Receives Voter Support

The voters of New Mexico were asked on Tuesday to support the UNM Health Sciences Center on a number of ballot issues, and they responded:

* The voters of Bernalillo County approved a mil levy by a margin of 153,006 to 90,904 that will provide funds to operate UNM Hospital and the University Psychiatric Center.

* The voters of Sandoval County approved a mil levy by a margin of 28,061 to 24,623 that will support the UNM Medical Group in Sandoval County.

* Voters across the state overwhelmingly approved General Obligation Bond C - the better health care bond - which will allocate $17 million to HSC to complete the new Cancer Treatment & Research Facility currently under construction on University Blvd, NE.

"I thank the voters of Bernalillo County for renewing their partnership with the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center by approving the Bernalillo County-UNM Hospitals mil levy," said Paul Roth, M.D., UNM executive vice president for Health Sciences. "I also send my appreciation to the voters of Sandoval County for approving that county's health care mil levy, and the voters from all over the state of New Mexico for their support of Bond C of the state's General Obligation Bonds. This broad-based support ensures that UNM will be able to continue to provide state-of-the-art health care and education opportunities that will benefit all New Mexicans."

Since 1954, every time the voters of Bernalillo County have been asked to vote on a mil levy to support UNM Hospital, they have approved it. "I am very pleased that the 2008 mil levy request was also passed with a show of strong support from the community," said Steve McKernan, CEO of UNM Hospitals. "The mil levy will provide about $85 million in funding toward the hospitals $130 million in uncompensated care costs each year for the next eight years. These funds will allow us to provide our patients with state-of-the-art care at the state's only teaching hospital with services that can't be found anywhere else in the county or state. UNM Hospital will also use the money to continue to operate the state's only Level 1 Trauma Center, the state's only 24/7 pediatric emergency department and a vast array of other children's services," McKernan added.

Although all four statewide general obligation bonds were approved by New Mexico voters, Bond C passed by the greatest margin, 417,764 to 223,307. "The approval of the statewide General Obligations Bonds for Better Health - Bond C - is a major step toward guaranteeing that New Mexicans will receive quality health care in the future. I am thankful that voters across the state recognized the importance of strengthening New Mexico's health care deliver system," said Cheryl Willman, M.D., director and CEO, UNM Cancer Research and Treatment Facility. "The funding authorized through Bond C will provide nearly $58 million for the construction and renovation of 12 health care delivery and training facilities in 10 New Mexico communities. I am especially pleased that the UNM Health Sciences Center will receive a large portion of those funds to complete the construction of the new UNM Cancer Treatment and Clinical Research facility, the official cancer center of the state of New Mexico and one of the nations leading cancer treatment and research centers."

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