New Mexico Invests Millions in Health Sciences Education

By  - 

In a recent session, the New Mexico state legislature approve a massive $155 million budget for the University of New Mexico’s (UNM) Health Sciences Center (HSC) to expand educational programs that address the state’s workforce and public health needs and modernize facilities.

A nearly 8% increase in funding from the previous year, the new budget will go into affect July 1 following recent approval from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Approximately 10% of the funds will be used to expand the UNM’s Comprehensive Cancer Center, enhancing cancer treatment and pioneering therapy initiatives.

UNM’s Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) secured an extra $3 million to broaden its impact in offering specialized healthcare training across rural and underserved communities statewide, including the launch of new initiatives in midwifery, pediatrics, and addressing public health issues such as opioid use disorder.

In response to nursing shortages in New Mexico, the legislature increased funding by $1.5 million for the UNM College of Nursing to graduate more bachelor’s-prepared nurses and nurse practitioners, crucial for improving  healthcare access and outcomes statewide.

Plans also encompass expanding the UNM School of Medicine Learning Environment Office and establishing a new Student Success Center, both designed to boost student access and success. 

Overall, these legislative appropriations signify a concerted effort to advance healthcare education, research, and service delivery throughout New Mexico, ensuring a robust future for healthcare professionals and improved healthcare outcomes statewide.

“State and legislative funding empower UNM HSC to improve health equity, educate future professionals, and drive innovation,” Hengameh Raissy, PharmD, interim vice president of UNM Health Sciences Research, said in a press release. “These funds ensure that academic research continues to thrive, benefiting society, advancing knowledge, and preparing future leaders. The importance of State and legislative funding for research in academic centers cannot be overstated.”

UNM’s full review of 2024 legislative priorities and session outcomes can be found here