Hidalgo Medical Services announced on Monday, November 23rd, that the COVID-19 Pandemic is negatively impacting its operations and must make operational and service delivery changes in response. Effective at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 25th, the Tu Casa 24/7 Crisis Triage Center (CTC) that was recently opened on September 14th will suspend services until further notice. Tu Casa Outpatient Services will continue Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Friday’s from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Psychosocial Rehabilitation Services (PSR), New Beginnings, located at 2540 N. Silver Street, will also suspend services until further notice. According to Dan Otero, HMS CEO, “the decision to make these changes was not taken lightly. The financial losses recently experienced within both of these service lines, when combined with financial losses across the organization, left us with no choice but to suspend these services until further notice.” “Clients from New Beginnings will be offered the opportunity to continue therapy through the HMS Mental Health Comprehensive Community Support Services (CCSS), and HMS Mental Health and Medical Services will continue to provide Substance Use Disorder services through Individual and Group Therapy, and Medication Assisted Treatment,” according to Dr. Teresa Arizaga, Chief Mental Health Officer. Other HMS services impacted recently include the State’s requirement to provide only Emergency Dental Services as defined within the New Mexico Department of Health’s Public Health Order dated November 13, 2020.
Mr. Otero went on to state, “HMS has been experiencing significant financial losses since the beginning of this Pandemic beginning in mid-March. We have taken advantage of all the financial support avenues available to include the Paycheck Protection Program, HHS Funding, and HRSA COVID-19 Funding.” To date, HMS has not furloughed or reduced staffing due to these losses and is doing everything possible to secure jobs through the Pandemic. The staff at Tu Casa and PSR were offered other positions within HMS to support the ongoing coverage needs HMS is experiencing due to the employees who are continually being placed on quarantine due to testing positive for COVID-19, potential exposure, or general illnesses. To date, 11 HMS employees have tested positive for COVID-19, while over 120 of its 257 employees have either been quarantined or have voluntarily taken advantage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act – Emergency Paid Sick Leave or Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion.
HMS continues to work closely with the New Mexico Environmental Department and follows all NMDOH COVID-19 Safe Practices to include immediate contact tracing, assessment of low or high-risk exposures, and ongoing COVID-19 testing for patients, the community, and its employees. To date, HMS has performed over 6,300 COVID-19 tests in Hidalgo and Grant counties and has provided over 1,800 Seasonal Flu Vaccinations to its patients, employees, and the public. “HMS is working diligently to provide needed health care services during the most difficult time in our history.” From the beginning of the Pandemic, HMS had three stated goals: 1) Continue to provide needed healthcare services to the communities we serve; 2) Do everything possible to secure jobs at HMS; and 3) Keep our patients, employees, and communities safe,” according to Dan Otero. HMS wants to reassure our patients and the community that all possible efforts are being made to provide safe and high-quality healthcare during this Pandemic.
If you have questions, comments, or concerns, Mr. Otero is requesting that you contact him directly at 575-590-7090.