Mimbres Memorial Hospital hands out employee of the year awards

Hart Ledesma
Hart Ledesma
Mimbres Memorial Hospital and Nursing Home at 900 W. Ash Street in Deming, NM.
Mimbres Memorial Hospital and Nursing Home at 900 W. Ash Street in Deming, NM.

DEMING – Jana Hart Ledesma and Jase Portiz, RN are the 2021 co-employees of the year for Mimbres Memorial Hospital and Nursing Home and Mimbres Valley Medical Group. Recipients of the annual awards are selected by the Mimbres executive committee from the winners of the year’s employees of the month.

Jana Hart Ledesma

Jana started her career with Mimbres in 2014 in the environmental services department. She moved to the nursing home as a hospitality aid, then became a certified nursing aid. She was then the assistant to the nursing home Activities Director, and then became the Activities Director herself.

“Jana is a great ambassador for the career opportunities that can be found at Mimbres,” said Jennifer Roach, Nursing Home Administrator. “Jana gives her all to any project or activity she is working on, and she does it with a positive attitude and smile.

"Despite the challenges presented by COVID, Jana is credited with adapting to the changes, including finding ways to help families keep in contact with nursing home residents when in-person visitation had to stop. She set up window visits, phone calls and Skype calls. She worked to develop activities for the residents and made sure they met COVID restrictions.

"It was important to Jana that the nursing home figure out a way to have all families be able to visit.”

With the most recent reduction of COVID restrictions, Jana was also able to bring volunteers back to the nursing home, but not before revamping the volunteer program. “We now have our volunteers back and they have made a tremendous difference at the nursing home,” said Roach. “Although activities are fun, there is work that must be done behind the scenes. Jana makes it all look easy.”

In addition to her duties at Mimbres, Jana has returned to college and is working toward her bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration. Her goal is to one day be the nursing home administrator.


Jase Portiz, BSN, RN

Jase is a member of the nursing team in the intensive care unit at the hospital. He is also the weekend night-shift house supervisor, covering all nursing departments, and other departments as needed. When Jase was nominated as the employee of the month for September, he was recognized for his responsiveness to his patients, peers and leadership and his respectful and caring manner.

“Jase exemplifies what we do best at Mimbres, which is caring for and serving the community,” said Joy Harrell, Chief Nursing Officer. “Jase does all of this with a level-headed, efficient focus. These abilities have been the catalyst for saving lives. Family and community are very important to Jase, and he treats each patient as if they are family.”

Mimbres also named their 2021 Directors of the Year. Pam Luce, RN is the Clinical Manager of the Year and Eric L. Smith is the Non-Clinical Manager of the Year.


Pam Luce, RN

Pam is the Director of Surgical Services and came to Mimbres as a Registered Nurse in the surgery department. She quickly transitioned into her current supervisory role and is responsible for managing all in-patient and out-patient surgical services.

Surgical Services is a department with consistent change, growth, and revision, and the manager of the department must ensure the best outcomes in patient and employee safety, financial viability and employee engagement for recruitment and retention.

Joy Harrell, CNO said, “Pam is a leader who works seamlessly with other directors. She is a nursing leader who is versatile and confident in carrying the responsibilities of her department while communicating the department needs effectively. She is very passionate about patient care and is all about doing the right thing.”

Robert Montoya, Chief Quality Officer, describes Pam as, “always kind and professional. She is not afraid to ask questions or to help in coaching, teaching and leading. She also has no limit to what she will give for our organizations and caregivers. Pam is a working director, offering support of her team where she is needed to ensure patient safety and excellent care.”


Eric L. Smith

Eric is the Director of Facilities and Environmental Services and is tasked with the administrative management of all the facilities, equipment and buildings on the large hospital, nursing home and medical clinic campus. Eric’s challenge as a healthcare leader is ensuring the safety of the facility, scheduling and managing maintenance and construction projects and maintaining the value of Mimbres’ assets, all while controlling costs.

As a skilled facilities manager, Eric is required to keep abreast of guidelines, regulations and standards that affect all aspects of the Mimbres healthcare system.

Gary R. Poquette, CEO, describes Eric as “an innovative problem solver who keeps his ear to the ground and knows the needs of each department and its employees. He is diligent about finding solutions to difficult problems and always manages to make the facility more functional, keeping in mind the needs of our patients and their families.”

Employees are nominated for the awards based on their commitment to patient care, their professionalism, and their contributions on the job. The awards are the highest honors bestowed on hospital employees each year.

About MMH complex

Mimbres Memorial Hospital, Nursing Home and Mimbres Valley Medical Group Mimbres Memorial Hospital is the community healthcare provider; a critical access 25-bed inpatient facility with, outpatient, medical, surgical, diagnostic and emergency care for the southwestern New Mexico region. Additionally, Mimbres offers Short-Term Rehabilitation and Long-Term Care. Mimbres Memorial Hospital is located at 900 West Ash Street in Deming and can be reached by calling 575-546-5800 or online at www.mimbresmemorial.com, appointments can be made by visiting www.MimbresAnytime.com.

This article originally appeared on Deming Headlight: Mimbres Memorial Hospital hands out employee of the year awards