November 13, 2020

NM Delegation Announces Over $15.5 Million in DHS Grants to Expand COVID-19 Treatment, Medical Supplies

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) and Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.) announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded over $15.5 million in COVID-19 emergency response reimbursements to the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH).

The grants provide over $10.7 million in federal cost-share reimbursements for the NMDOH to purchase and distribute Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) —including N95 Respirators, oxygen ventilators, lab supplies, and other critical medical supplies statewide. NMDOH will use an additional $2.5 million to increase Emergency Medical Care Staffing and ensure adequate disinfection for Department of Health facilities. Further grant funding provides NMDOH with over $2.2 million to lease the Canyon Transitional Rehabilitation Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico as an Alternate Care Site to provide treatment for COVID-19 patients as hospitals across the state are reaching maximum capacity. 

“As coronavirus cases rise in New Mexico, lifesaving medical equipment and expanded care facilities are crucial tools to save lives and provide quality treatment for COVID-19 patients,” said Udall, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “All New Mexicans must do our part to keep our communities safe by limiting social gatherings to slow the spread of the virus. This funding provides critical PPE, medical supplies and oxygen ventilators that will save lives as New Mexico faces a surge in hospitalized patients. I will continue to fight for New Mexicans in Congress to increase funding for critical services to keep families healthy and ease the strain on our heroic frontline workers.”

“In order to stay ahead of COVID-19 surges, we need to ensure that New Mexico health care systems have the resources and space for their lifesaving efforts,” said Heinrich. “This funding will play a critical role in acquiring PPE and other medical supplies and will allow the New Mexico Department of Health to expand on their alternate care sites. I will continue fighting for a COVID-19 response that is rooted in science and do everything I can to help strengthen health care systems across New Mexico.”

“As New Mexico faces a spike in COVID-19 cases, we must all take actions to limit the spread of this virus and keep our hospitals and health care workers from being overwhelmed. I am glad that this funding will go toward critical PPE supplies for our health care workers, increased staffing and cleaning efforts at health care facilities, and expanded space for COVID-19 treatment,” said Luján. “As confirmed cases and hospitalizations increase in New Mexico, I will continue fighting for additional COVID-19 relief to help save lives and relieve financial pressure on our state and local governments.”

“Our healthcare workers are going above and beyond to help us get through this pandemic, but the current surge is putting stress on our health care system creating a shortage of hospital beds and other resources. The Canyon Transitional Rehabilitation Center in my district has provided quality care for New Mexicans for years, and is stepping up to help. These federal grants will expand our efforts to keep our communities healthy by helping Canyon Transition Rehabilitation Center increase the number of hospital beds available and providing protective equipment, supplies, and cleaning support for our health care heroes. While our health care workers take care of our communities, we can all help take care of them by wearing a mask, staying home when we can, keeping a safe distance from others, and getting our flu shots,” said Haaland. 

“With the growing number of COVID-19 cases, healthcare providers across New Mexico are being pushed to their limits – especially in our rural areas. I’ve worked with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure our rural providers, community health centers, and frontline workers are supported as we fight the virus. These grants will help protect our community and continue lifesaving care by delivering personal protective equipment and other critical medical supplies across the state,” said Torres Small.

The federal reimbursements cover 75 percent of the State of New Mexico’s spending on pandemic disaster response. The New Mexico delegation has consistently pushed for the federal government to update the reimbursements to 100 percent of FEMA-designated expenses. 

A full breakdown of the $15,580,303 in grant funding is below:

- New Mexico Department of Health, $2,232,589 for the Canyon Transitional Rehabilitation Center, a post-hospital rehabilitation and long-term care facility in Albuquerque. Canyon Transitional is working with the New Mexico Department of Health to transition to a nursing facility, providing care for COVID-19 patients to aid hospitals that reach maximum capacity.

- New Mexico Department of Health, $2,576,545 for Emergency Medical Care Staffing for Department of Health facilities, PPE, and disinfection of NMDOH facilities.

- New Mexico Department of Health, $10,771,169 for the purchase and distribution of medical supplies & equipment, personal protective equipment, N95 Respirators, medical gloves, surgical masks, medical gowns, face shields, respirators, oxygen ventilators, AirCurve, medical scrubs and lab supplies.