Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Cruces Hospital Tackles Outcry.(Final)

Byline: Rene Romo Journal Southern Bureau

Memorial Officials Address Fears Over Obstetrics Unit

LAS CRUCES Memorial Medical Center administrators told hundreds of people attending a public forum Wednesday that they are working hard to turn the financially strapped hospital around but needed the support of the public and local physicians.

"Blame and criticism may certainly be outcomes of this meeting. The board certainly accepts responsibility for any mistakes made," said Kim Hakes, chairman of the hospital board of directors. "But we will miss an opportunity if we do not all focus on the future."

The unusual meeting, attended by Las Cruces city councilors and Dona Ana County commissioners, was held in response to public uproar over the hospital's recent plans, since rescinded, to close its obstetrics unit, a First Step Women's Health Clinic and its mental health services unit. …

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