2011 HSC Board of Directors:
Back row: John (Mel) Eaves; Lt. Gen. Bradley C. Hosmer, USAF (Ret.); Ronald (Ron) James Solimon
Front row: Carolyn J. Abeita, Chair; Don L. Chalmers, Vice Chair; Ann Rhoades; Jerry D. Geist
Over the past two years, the Health Sciences Center has grown rapidly with a substantial expansion of the UNM Hospital, the founding and substantial growth of UNM Medical Group, Inc., the substantial expansion of the operations of the UNM Cancer Center, and the development of our new hospital in Sandoval County, UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center. At the same time, the research enterprise at the Health Sciences Center has grown significantly. In the early spring of 2010, the U.S. Congress changed the playing field for academic health centers with the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. These events led management at the Health Sciences Center to reassess the governance structure at the Health Sciences Center.
Thus, in 2010, Dr. Paul Roth, whose title at that time was UNM Executive Vice President for Health Sciences, developed, with the help of nationally recognized consultants, a proposal to change the way that the Health Sciences Center is governed and to redefine the way in which the Health Sciences Center interacts with the UNM Board of Regents from a governance standpoint. Dr. Roth proposed the creation of a Health Sciences Center Board of Directors to provide direct oversight to the clinical operations of HSC. All matters affecting the Health Sciences Center – academic, research, student, and clinical – would now proceed to the new Health Sciences Center Board of Directors for either approval or recommendation for approval to the Board of Regents. Additionally, this new Board of Directors would provide oversight and governance of the various component units within the Health Sciences Center, thereby eliminating the need for leadership to proceed through the various different committees of the Board of Regents before approval by the Regents. Lastly, the Regents’ Health Sciences Committee would be eliminated.
The board structure would be composed of three members of the UNM Board of Regents; and four members of the community, one of which would be the sitting chair of the UNM Hospitals Board of Trustees. Through this Board of Directors, the Health Sciences Center would be able to increase the efficiency of its operations, become a highly integrated organization, create the UNM Health System and assure a balance between HSC's academic and clinical missions. It is believed that this structure will enable the Health Sciences Center to work successfully within the new paradigm of health care reform. It is also believed that this governance structure will enhance the Health Sciences Center’s mission of serving all New Mexicans and improving their health care.
In addition, the title of the top position in HSC would be changed to Chancellor for Health Sciences, bringing it into line with the trend at other health sciences centers across the country.
HSC presented the proposal to the Regents in December 2010, and it was approved, giving the HSC the green light to proceed. The names of the seven people who make up the initial composition of the board of directors were announced in April 2011, and they held their first meeting in May 2011. As a result, all missions at the Health Sciences Center now report to the Regents through the HSC Board of Directors.