Fall 2015 Newsletter

Happy Autumn!

image18The New Mexico Primary Care Training Consortium recently held its first Summit in August 2015 and it was proven to be a success. Over 90 stakeholders consisting of state agencies, universities, hospitals and primary care providers came together over two days to discuss further development of residency programs in NM. Participants heard from experts on topics that included Accreditation and Residency Training; Community-Based Residency Education and Engagement; Residency Training and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs); and Medicaid Funding Support for Training.

The conference was structured so that industry leaders could meet by sector to discuss options and restrictions and opportunities for residency development. On day two, breakout sessions were held by region to discuss opportunities for collaborating on residency development. As a result of the summit, the NMPCTC is having ongoing discussions with various stakeholders across the state specifically in the Gallup, Grants, Roswell, Hobbs, Lovington, and Espanola areas to provide residency development opportunities.

To access handouts and resources from the Summit, please click here for more information.


November 4, 2015 – ECHO Session: Chronic Pain; hosted by the Southern NM FM Residency Program.

November 6-8, 2015 – NMAFP Strategic Planning Session/Board Meeting at the Hotel Encanto, Las Cruces.

SAVE THE DATE: 2016 ACGME Annual Education Conference; February 25-28, 2016 in National Harbor, MD.

NM Primary Care Training Consortium
301 W College Ave; Suite 16
Silver City, NM 88061
(575) 534-0101 Ext. 2103


University of New Mexico Family Medicine Residency, Albuquerque

We are excited as we welcome three of our 2015 graduates as new faculty. Dr. Kate McCalmont will be precepting residents at our Southeast Heights clinic along with her inpatient Family Medicine Wards attending duties. Dr. Melanie Baca is a fellow in the newly created Adolescent Medicine fellowship and will have residents rotate with her in our new adolescent rotation. Dr. Sherry Weitzen also joins us as new faculty with precepting responsibilities at the recently opened North Valley clinic. Additionally, she teaches the Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) course to our residents with her expertise having obtained a PhD in Biostatistics. All three recent graduates were chief residents and are highly accomplished women who we are pleased and fortunate to have join our ranks.

The PGY2’s all completed their Community Health Block rotation in July. Dr. Weitzen teaches the EBM course as part of the curriculum and this course continues to be one of the most important and effective experiences for the residents’ education. Also, a community engagement project is completed during the 2nd year residents’ rotation where they work together in groups of 3-4 and investigate, explore and engage in the communities where they have their continuity clinics. The residents are often moved by this activity and discover assets and resources the communities utilize to thrive amidst the challenges they face. This gives them a greater awareness of the need for upstream interventions and preventions with population health perspectives and ‘boots on the ground’ realization of the social determinants of health.

The interview season is soon upon us and we anticipate another robust compliment of applications through ERAS. Faculty and residents all agree it is one of the most rewarding responsibilities of our work. The applicants never cease to impress us with their accomplishments, move us with their narratives and inspire us with their passion to serve.

Our hope for reducing health disparity and improving health outcomes for all is enhanced through engagement with these young people who choose to use their lives to make a difference.

Southern New Mexico Family Medicine Residency, Las Cruces

Wow! The 2015-16 academic year is in full swing and we are getting ready to begin our interview season. We are looking forward to the HMS program in Silver City joining us this interview season as we plan to have their interns next year here in Las Cruces.

We are excited to announce a new Emergency Medicine Fellowship that began July 2015. Our first fellow, Dr. Ben Cluff is a graduate of the HMS program in Silver City.

On other fronts, our residents are starting another semester of Public Health coursework at the New Mexico State University. This will be the second year our residents will be participating in this graduate education program.

Finally, saving the best for last, the residents just returned from a resident retreat. Over the course of our two-night stay at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, NM, the team learned about each other and about themselves, and grew into a truly cohesive group.

Through Strengths Finder and team-building exercises, the residents learned how to cultivate a culture of positivity through our own self-assessment and self-regulation, open and constructive communication, as well as through the three types of mentoring: informal, formal, and silent. We will strive for “servant leadership” and are ready to move toward affirmative change, supporting each other every step of the way.

One of the highlights of our trip, besides the S’mores by the campfire, breathtaking scenery, hikes, and the camaraderie, was the half-day whitewater river-rafting on Class III rapids down the Rio Grande. Thankfully no one fell out or was injured, and some non-swimmers among us even took to the river voluntarily, in our life-jackets, of course. The trip was a great success and taught us to not only see the best in one another, but to treat our differences as beneficial skill sets to ultimately improve patient outcomes. Our confidence and trust in one another is renewed, and we would like to thank our attending physicians who helped cover for the residents, thereby making the retreat possible.

Hidalgo Medical Services Family Medicine Residency, Silver City

Class of 2015 graduates Drs. Cluff and Sumulong became board certified in their PGY3 year and chose to stay within 100 miles of our training site upon graduation. Both continue to serve communities in rural populations.

In July, the program began its 2015-2016 academic year and is proud to welcome Dr. Brandon Ferguson and Dr. Neel Patel to the program! Both Drs. Ferguson and Patel are currently in their intern year of training at UNM. We look forward to having them join us in Silver City next year!

Also, HMS FMRP Program Director Dr. Nelson, Resident Physicians Drs. Schumacher and Seltzer, and Program Coordinator Jade Zamora, attended the 2015 AAFP National Conference in Kansas City, MO. More than 300 residency programs and 50 physician employers, including medical missions, government agencies, had the opportunity to meet with medical students on the verge of residency from all over the world. While at the National Conference, Drs. Schumacher and Seltzer presented the “HMS FMRP Idalia Rodriguez Immunization Grant” poster. The grant was awarded to Hidalgo Medical Services Family Medicine Residency Program in June of 2014 with the purpose of increasing vaccination rates in the 65+ population, specifically with influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations.

In August, HMS FMRP held its 2015 resident retreat. Residents, faculty and staff hiked the Gomez Peak in Silver City. As they made their way up, they worked together in teams to solve riddles and puzzles at stations set up along the way. At the top of the peak, residents were able to admire and really appreciate the beautiful community that they serve. The remainder of the day was spent at the Little Walnut Picnic Grounds where residents and staff participated in group challenge activities designed to encourage team building and leadership. The retreat provided a great opportunity for everyone to learn more about each other, participate in discussion, offer suggestions and step outside of their normal daily routine of white coats and scrubs.

Northern New Mexico Family Medicine Residency, Santa Fe


Dr. Rawan Maali. “I was born, raised & lived in Jordan the majority of my life. I come from a family of physicians, and was fortunate to earn a scholarship to study medicine at one of the top medical schools in Jordan – the University of Jordan. After finishing 6 years of medical school and one year as a General Practitioner, I got married and moved to Chicago. Since arriving to the United States, I have been involved in research and externships. I have an endless thirst of lending a hand to people need which has always been very rewarding to me.”

Dr. Catherine Smith. “I attended medical school at A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona. I spent the better part of my medical school years in one of our community campuses in Portland, OR, and had the opportunity to travel all over the Pacific NW and the United States during my clinical clerkships. During my time spent working at CHRISTUS St. Vincent in Santa Fe, I was granted the wonderful surprise of giving birth to my daughter 5 weeks earlier than expected, surrounded by all the wonderful people I had worked with while in Santa Fe. My husband and I look forward to our new life in the unparalleled beauty of NM.”

Dr. Joanna Souers. “As a native of upstate New York, I studied at Cornell University. Working as a volunteer in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, led me to the unique opportunity to study medicine at the Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina (ELAM) in Cuba. It is an international program dedicated to providing primary care to the underserved. This residency program is an attractive combination of academic evidence-based medicine and rural full-spectrum training that will allow me to serve communities in the states and internationally.”

Dr. Sarah Satter.” As a family physician, I look forward to establishing strong relationships with my patients. I have a real passion for reaching out to my community and doing my best to make a difference. Growing up in northern California, I developed a great love for the outdoors and the beautiful landscapes found in New Mexico which partly influenced my decision to do my residency here. I hope to spend my time in residency learning from the incredibly knowledgeable staff and growing my skills as a physician. I have a real passion for reaching out to my community and making a difference.”

Activities/ Updates

Southern NM Family Medicine Residency team at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu for a team building weekend!



Three ECHO collaborative educational activities have been completed this academic year. With over 50 participants at each activity, the excellent ECHO faculty have conducted sessions on HIV, Rheumatology and HEP-C. The last session will be held on Wednesday November 4th that will cover Chronic Pain. At the conclusion of this series, the residency programs will collaboratively decide how to continue to work and learn together. As noted on the ECHO evaluations, when participants were asked what they liked best about the collaborative training opportunities, they responded they liked:

  • Expert and up-to-date interactive information
  • Hearing from residents in four settings.
  • The interactive collaboration between distant groups


NM Family Medicine Residency Program participants in great spirits!



Success at AAFP Annual Meeting

We are excited about the great participation by all the NM Family Medicine Residency Programs at the 2015 American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Annual meeting in Kansas City this past August. Program Directors, faculty and residents from Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Santa Fe and Silver City represented their respective programs’ breadth and depth of family medicine training in New Mexico. Over 200 contacts were made with medical students from across the country and the world.


UNM speaks to prospective residents



NM State Innovation Model (SIM)

The NMPCTC is pleased to be participating with the NM Department of Health to develop the State Innovation Model. The consortium has staff participating on the Payment, Workforce and Population Health Committees. Forward New Mexico is also representing the efforts of Community Health Initiatives (CHI) and serving to help inform the process. It is a great honor to be contributing to the work of the NM Department of Health in developing a model for this national initiative.

If you would like us to add any of your programs to our newsletter, please contact Deborah Weiss at Deborah.weiss@outlook.com or Lori Ann Loera, NMPCTC Program Manager at lloera@hmsnm.org.

NMPCTC welcomes new Network Program Manager

lori-annLori Ann Loera, NMPCTC Network Program Manager

The NM Primary Care Training Consortium is happy to welcome Ms. Loera to the team! Ms. Loera was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She holds
over ten years of experience in public health and the healthcare delivery system. She began her health career in health psychology where she worked as a
research scientist for the University of British Columbia, the University of New Mexico Psychology Department, and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. More recently, she has invested her time in health advocacy, health communications and law. She is passionately interested in working with and supporting rural, tribal, and underserved communities in New Mexico. Her hobbies are salsa dancing and singing. She holds a BA in Health Psychology and Communications from the University of New Mexico and a Master of Jurisprudence in Health Law from Loyola University Chicago Beazley Institute for Health Law and Policy, School of Law. She can be contacted directly at lloera@hmsnm.org or by phone at (505) 227-1544.


Updates from the NMPCTC Program Manager

Greetings! Thank you all for the warm welcome to the team. I am humbled to join a hardworking group of folks who are passionate about the health and wellbeing of our citizens in New Mexico.

The NMPCTC Board met on September 18 to discuss upcoming ECHO sessions and future opportunities for faculty
development. One important activity the NMPCTC will focus on year two is on Quality Improvement (QI). The feedback
received from the FM Programs’ residents and faculty will be closely reviewed to develop a solid QI plan that all programs can utilize as a resource.

The 5-Year Strategic Plan for NMPCTC has been completed and is available on our website at www.newmexicoresidencies.org. The next step of the process is to develop a solid communication plan to disseminate information to our legislators, members and community stakeholders.

Between November and January, site visits will be conducted with each of the NM Family Medicine Residency Programs. This will be an opportunity to visit with the Program Directors and Coordinators and to learn more about each individual’s program strengths and opportunities for growth.