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.

Physician's Assistants Provide Vital Health Care

In today’s health care world meeting our patients’ needs in a changing healthcare system is a big job, and many Advanced Practice Clinicians are helping to do it every day. They are a vital part of the health care team.

Physician Assistants (P.A.s) have been a part of the American healthcare system for nearly 50 years. They carry out many duties once handled by doctors. P.A.’s are educated at the graduate level. They are nationally certified and state licensed to practice medicine.

With tens of millions of Americans newly insured under the Affordable Care Act, and a shortfall in the number of doctors to care for them, it’s little wonder that physician assistant is one of the fastest-growing professions in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, their numbers are expected to increase 38 percent between 2012 and 2022. Already, between 6,500 and 7,000 new P.A.s are joining the ranks each year.

Taos Health Systems utilizes advanced practice clinicians in all disciplines of medicine. They are being heavily integrated into the system to improve patient flow as well as outcomes. They perform a comprehensive range of medical duties, from primary care and inpatient hospital settings to emergency rooms and assisting in major surgery.

What can a physician assistant do? Like physicians their specific duties depend on their level of experience, their specialty and state law. They are covered by most insurances. PAs can:

Take a medical history

  • Conduct physical exams
  • Diagnose and treat illnesses
  • Order and interpret tests
  • Develop treatment plans
  • Counsel on preventive care
  • Assist in surgery
  • Write prescriptions
  • Make rounds in hospitals and nursing homes

Before they can practice P.A.s who graduate from an accredited program must pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. They also must get licensed by the state they wish to practice in. In order to maintain certification P.A.s must complete a re-certification exam every 10 years, as well as complete 100 hours of continuing medical education (CME) every two years. The PA-C after a P.A.s name means they are currently certified.

P.A.s go through educational and training programs that are approximately 26 months (3 academic years) and require the same prerequisite courses as medical schools. Most programs also require students to have about three years of healthcare training and experience. They then complete a total of more than 2,000 hours of clinical rotations in:

  • Family medicine
  • Internal medicine
  • Obstetrics and gynecology
  • Pediatrics
  • General surgery
  • Emergency medicine
  • Psychiatry

Patient Testimonial: Karen, Cancer Patient

During the interview both Karen, cancer patient, and her sister Christine were available to tell us about their experience.

Karen: I had some supports last year, when I was first diagnosed with cancer and now we are getting more support again this year because I have gone into remission. The support last year was really great, we had food vouchers and gas vouchers.

Christine: Last year I took a year of leave of absence from work to help her, so everything they did for us really helped. It included Gas cards and Food vouchers. The moral support is really helpful too; talking to Jason you don't feel like you are so alone in it. I think there are very few people you talk to anymore who are not affected by cancer; either a friend, a family member, or themselves. It’s way prevalent, and I don’t think most of us realize it. The gas is incredible, because you either get a hotel room or you drive back to Taos and spend as much money driving back and forth, plus it gets so strenuous.

Karen: Going through this even a year ago, it was such a shock, and you feel like you're the only one its ever happened to or your family member is the only one its ever happened to. And then you get together in a group like that and you realize there's all these survivors. There's all of these people who have had family members this has happened to. Just having that support and the program for that you realize you are not as alone.

Health Insurance Exchanges

Are you Uninsured?

Under the new Affordable Care Act, beginning in January 2014 all Americans will be eligible for and are required to have health insurance.

Open Enrollment for Health Exchange ends March 31st. People need to enroll by March 15th in order for benefits to start on April 1, and avoid a tax penalty.

The New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange will make it easy to find an affordable plan. Visit the Holy Cross Hospital Community Service Office to learn more and enroll in a plan that meets your needs.

Enrollment Office Hours

Holy Cross Hospital
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday
8:00 am - 4:30 pm
(575) 751-5848

Women's Health Institute
7:30 am - 2:00 pm
(575) 758-5001

Walk-ins accepted

Learn more about the Affordable Care Act.

To schedule an appointment:
Call: Community Services Office
(575) 751-5764

2013 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.

Watch the videos

If you have a question you would like answered, please email askpeter@taoshospital.org. We will answer your questions as quickly as possible.

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.

Read the article

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 is here for you.