Taos Health Systems Board Names New CEO


The Board of Directors has named William D. Patten, JR. as Chief Executive Officer for Taos Health Systems, effective  April 13, 2015. 

Mr. Patten has 28 years of healthcare experience, including 18 years as Chief Executive Officer of small rural hospitals throughout the Western United States. 

Mr. Patten is coming from Powell Valley Healthcare in Powell, Wyoming. Powell Valley Healthcare has 440 employees and consists of a 25-bed hospital, 100-bed long-term care facility, 4 medical office buildings, and a 24-unit assisted living facility. Prior to that, Mr. Patten was Chief Executive Officer of St. John’s Lutheran Hospital, a 25-bed medical facility in Libby, Montana. He has also served as CEO of Sitka Community Hospital, a 27-bed critical access hospital located in Sitka, Alaska, and CEO of Sedgwick County Health Center in Julesburg, Colorado.

“We wanted to make sure we found the right person to lead Taos Health Systems and after a nationwide search we chose Bill because of his extensive leadership skills and his commitment to quality care,” said Ron Burnham, Board Chair of Taos Health Systems. “Bill’s background in continuous quality improvement, organizational healing, financial optimization, strategic planning, and physician/provider recruitment make him a great fit for this role.”

Mr. Patten will report directly to the Taos Health Systems Board of Trustees; he comes to Taos Health Systems as an employee of Quorum Health Resources.

Mr. Patten has a Bachelor of Science degree in medical technology from Walla Walla College in College Place, WA, and a Master of Arts in Business with an emphasis in Healthcare Management from Webster University in St. Louis, Mo. He is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

“Holy Cross Hospital and Taos Health Systems have a great deal of potential. I see a board, a medical staff, and management team that are committed to growth and improvement and that matches my goals,” said Bill Patten. “Taos is a beautiful area. My wife Cindy and I are looking forward to living there.”

Mr. Patten has been married to his wife Cindy for 38 years. Together they have two adult boys.

Interim Chief Executive Officer Cindy Bradly will continue to guide the organization until Mr. Patten comes on board.

Encourage Congress to support the Rural Hospital Access Act of 2015

Dear Friends:


Legislation is pending before the US Congress that can directly help our own Holy Cross Hospital…and we need your help. We encourage outreach to your members of Congress and to urge them to support the Rural Hospital Access Act of 2015 (H.R. 663 in the House and S. 332 in the Senate), making this program permanent. This is a supplemental Medicare funding program that enables rural hospitals to provide vital health care services to millions of people in rural communities across the country. These are rural hospitals, like Holy Cross, that are designated by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services as low volume rural hospitals; “one that is more than 15 road miles from another comparable hospital and has up to 1,600 Medicare discharges.” 


The financial support this program provides for our community’s healthcare is substantial.  According to analysis by the New Mexico Hospital Association, Holy Cross and other NM hospitals could receive this amount in 2015 as a result of continuing the “Low Volume Adjustment (LVA)” program:


831,100 - Espanola
1,122,100 -  Holy Cross
765,400  - Gila
772,200  - Artesia
1,036,300 -  Los Alamos
767,900  - Rehoboth
874,500  - Lea Regional
244,300  - Guadalupe
402,500  - Roosevelt

Please click the following link to the New Mexico Hospital Association and follow the steps to send a message to your members of Congress. Note that you may add opening and closing comments relevant to you. And contact Taos Health Systems Development Department @ 751-5711.

Click this link to send your message: https://www.votervoice.net/link/target/nmha/JyGRbB8W6.aspx 


I have asthma and because of it I used to be in the hospital a lot and for about 6-8 days at a time. Expensive drugs that have come out now control it, but in the old days I would wake up in the middle of the night with an asthma attack, didn’t have time to make it to Santa Fe so we would rush over to the ER. The hospital has always taken care of me for the 30 years I have lived here.

Our recent stay in the hospital was super, no one wants to be in a hospital but when you are there it is great to be treated like a person. Everyone is so caring, including the men that clean the floors even they say hi how are you doing? And, that makes you feel really good. This was a great experience.

We had Dr. Bjorkman in the ER and what a presence, he makes you feel like everything is going to be okay. Great guy, that man has a gift.

Then they rushed me back to the recovery room where Dr. O’Rourke came in and he has this look of love and compassion in his eyes. I told him you are a true healer and he said thank you.

Read the Full Story here >


What you Need to Know

Ebola is spread through direct contact with blood and body fluids. The time from exposure to when signs or symptoms of the disease appear (the incubation period) is 2 to 21 days, but the average time is 8 to 10 days.

Signs of Ebola include:

  • Fever (higher than 101.5°F)
  • Severe headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Unexplained bleeding or bruising

To protect yourself from Ebola:

  • DO wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • DO NOT touch the blood or body fluids (like urine, feces, saliva, vomit, sweat, and semen) of people who are sick.
  • DO NOT handle items that may have come in contact with a sick person’s blood or body fluids, like clothes, bedding, needles, or medical equipment.
  • DO NOT touch the body of someone who has died of Ebola.

What to do if you are exposed to Ebola:

  • You should check for signs and symptoms of Ebola for 21 days
  • Take your temperature every morning and evening.
  • Watch for other Ebola symptoms, like severe headache, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, or unexplained bleeding or bruising.
  • Call your doctor even if you do not have symptoms. The doctor can evaluate your exposure level and any symptoms and consult with public health authorities to determine if actions are needed.
  • During the time that you are watching for signs and symptoms, you can continue your normal activities, including going to work.

All information provided by the CDC. For more information visit their website.

Download/Print an Ebola Fact Sheet

Holy Cross Hospital is as prepared as could be for a rural facility. Any patient admitted to the Emergency Department with suspected Ebola virus will be triaged and transferred to a higher tertiary care facility. The Emergency Department staff has been instructed on strict isolation precautions to prevent transmission of the virus. The New Mexico Department of Health is notifying all New Mexico hospitals on any change of procedures or protocols.

Community Health Needs Assesment

Taos Health Systems recently completed an assessment of health needs for residents in Taos County. We have also developed a plan for using its services to respond to the significant community needs identified in the report.  A copy of the report is available for your review here and is available for inspection and copying in the hospital’s administrative office, M-F, 9 am to 4 pm.

Taos Health Systems will revise its implementation efforts each year and undertake a new study to revise this report in two to three years. Your review is encouraged and submission of comments for consideration is welcomed.  Please take the time to review the needs identified in the report and help the hospital take actions to make improvements resulting in Taos County being an increasingly healthy place to live.

Follow this link to view the report.

For further information please contact Russell Mark in the Health Outreach Department at (575) 751-5711.

Holy Cross Hospital Updates

In an effort to help our community understand the changes happening in health care and at the hospital, we will be posting regular updates from the administration at Holy Cross Hospital to help share some internal information with the public.

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The Changing Face of American Health Care

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that was passed in March 2010 is changing health care in America. Among other things, the law is already having an enormous impact on the way health care is funded.

We know that people have a lot of questions about what's happening in health care and at the hospital. We've put together this article to help educate you about the changes happening at Holy Cross Hospital.

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Holy Cross Hospital is here for you.