Exterior of Nene & Jamie Koch Comprehensive Movement Disorder Center
By Michael Haederle

Upward Mobility

UNM Hospital to Dedicate Nene & Jamie Koch Comprehensive Movement Disorder Center

The University of New Mexico Hospital will dedicate the new Nene & Jamie Koch Comprehensive Movement Disorder Center (CMDC) and UNM Senior Health Center (SHC) on Tuesday, Nov. 1, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony set to start at 11 a.m. at 909 Yale Blvd. NE.

The CMDC, the state’s first and only comprehensive multidisciplinary facility for the care and management of Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders, encompasses 16,246 square feet and includes 17 exam rooms, three treatment/procedure rooms, two research rooms, speech therapy and a rehabilitation gym with a patient lift track.

The CMDC occupies one side of a 33,000-square-foot structure located at the southwest corner of Tucker Avenue and Yale Boulevard. The other side houses the SHC, focusing on geriatric health care. The SHC will also include exam rooms for the UNM Center for Memory & Aging.

The CMDC will host a multidisciplinary team that includes movement disorder clinicians, rehabilitation medicine (including physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy services), neuropsychology and case management services, said clinic co-director Amanda Deligtisch, MD, associate professor in the Department of Neurology and one of three UNM movement disorders specialists.

It will also include space for clinical research, she said.


Amanda Deligtisch, MD
This site allows everybody to be in the same place at the same time. That’s a really big deal – to be able to bring patients in and to have space just to do our clinical trial work is huge.
Amanda Deligtisch, MD

“This site allows everybody to be in the same place at the same time,” Deligtisch said. “That’s a really big deal – to be able to bring patients in and to have space just to do our clinical trial work is huge. If I have a patient who is interested in clinical trials in my office. I can move them over to another room and they can meet with a research coordinator then and there, because my research coordinators are on site.”

The clinic will also provide “one-stop shopping” for serving the needs of patients, many of whom travel to Albuquerque from around New Mexico to see a UNM specialist, she said.

“The goal is some more same-day visits, so if we identify somebody having an acute rehab need – having a little more difficulty with their gait – we could get them over to the gym and have a physical therapist take a look at them then and there and work with them for 30 minutes and tune up their walking a bit,” Deligtisch said.

Improved care means patients will be less likely to require hospital stays or rehabilitation services, she said. There are an estimated 10,000 patients living with Parkinson’s and other movement disorders in New Mexico, with newly diagnosed patients often waiting many months to see a neurologist – and the new center will help meet those needs.

“The more you have and the more structure you have, the more you’re able to do,” Deligtisch said. “Resources bring resources and create resources.” The new center will include additional staffing to support expanded patient care, including home visits. Meanwhile, the Department of Neurology is also recruiting a fourth movement disorders specialist, she said.

The new center has been nearly four years in planning. In 2019 the New Mexico Legislature allocated $3.5 million annually for FY 20-23 for the project. A design contract was awarded to DNCA Architects in September 2019 and a ceremonial groundbreaking was held in November of that year.

The UNM Board of Regents honored Nene and Jamie Koch, a former legislator and Regent who, following his own diagnosis with Parkinson’s, rallied legislative support for the center by naming a building in their honor.

Jaynes Corp. was awarded a construction contract in October 2020 and construction started in January 2021.

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