54th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2020


Miguel P. Garcia









     WHEREAS, every year, millions of people suffer and die needlessly from conditions and diseases that can be prevented, managed and cured, because of a lack of access to adequate health care; and

     WHEREAS, in 2015, the world bank and world health organization reported that half the world lacks access to essential health services, let alone specialist services, for common, complex diseases such as human immunodeficiency virus and tuberculosis; and

     WHEREAS, the imbalance of medical knowledge severely impacts rural, underserved communities and manifests in premature deaths, health disparities, economic burdens and low quality of life; and

     WHEREAS, in 2003, to meet these challenges, Sanjeev Arora, M.D., a gastroenterologist at the university of New Mexico, conceived of and created extension for community healthcare outcomes, known as project ECHO, with his clinical team; and

     WHEREAS, project ECHO was devised to address disparities in hepatitis C care for patients across New Mexico's remote areas; and

     WHEREAS, Dr. Arora grew up in India in a family dedicated to working against poverty, disease and malnutrition; and

     WHEREAS, he completed his pre-medical and medical degrees in New Delhi and New York, and became a gastroenterology fellow and then a faculty member at Tufts medical center and school of medicine in Boston; and

     WHEREAS, Dr. Arora joined the university of New Mexico hospital faculty in 1993 as gastroenterology section chief and built clinical systems for the region's underserved patients; and

     WHEREAS, project ECHO grew out of Dr. Arora's frustration with being unable to help the thousands of New Mexicans suffering from hepatitis C; and

     WHEREAS, in 2003, over twenty-eight thousand New Mexicans had a hepatitis C diagnosis, yet fewer than five percent received treatment because not enough specialists were equipped to administer best-practice treatment for the disease; and

     WHEREAS, the knowledge necessary to treat and even cure hepatitis C existed, but not in the communities where patients live; and

     WHEREAS, Dr. Arora and his team connected a team of specialists at the university of New Mexico hub with community clinicians across the state, by videoconference, for mentoring and guided practice to treat hepatitis C patients; and

     WHEREAS, eighteen months after project ECHO launched, wait time at the university of New Mexico clinic fell to two weeks, and in 2011, the ECHO team published results showing that ECHO-trained clinicians gave patients the same level of hepatitis C care as the university of New Mexico specialists provided; and

     WHEREAS, sixteen years later, Dr. Arora and his team at the ECHO institute provide training and technical assistance and support to hundreds of global partners; and

     WHEREAS, the ECHO institute team has raised over one hundred million dollars ($100,000,000) to train over six hundred partner organizations around the world; and

     WHEREAS, S.2873 - ECHO Act of 2016, and the proposed ECHO Act of 2019, confirmed federal commitment to funding organizations using the ECHO model to respond to areas of national need, like the opioid and immigration health crises; and

     WHEREAS, the United States department of defense and the United States department of veterans affairs use ECHO programs, as do organizations in forty-eight United States states, the United Kingdom, Australia, India and other countries; and

     WHEREAS, since 2011, over two hundred peer-reviewed publications have documented project ECHO's effectiveness; and

     WHEREAS, under Dr. Arora's leadership, the ECHO institute team, its hundreds of partners and thousands of providers who participate in ECHO programs make up the global ECHO movement, all committed to tipping the scales of health care disparities for the world's most vulnerable populations; and

     WHEREAS, Dr. Arora's transformative work is worthy of consideration for the Nobel prize in physiology or medicine; and

     WHEREAS, the right to submit proposals for the Nobel prize in physiology or medicine is set out in the statutes of the Nobel foundation and provides for the following:

          A. holders of established posts as full professors at the faculties of medicine in Sweden and holders of similar posts at the faculties of medicine or similar institutions in Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway; and

          B. holders of similar posts at fewer than six other faculties of medicine at universities around the world, selected by the Nobel assembly, with a view to ensuring the appropriate distribution of the task among various countries; and

     WHEREAS, a full professor at the university of New Mexico health sciences may be entitled to nominate a candidate, with the provision that nominations from fewer than six faculties of medicine would be considered and the faculty would have to be selected by the Nobel assembly;

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that the dean of the school of medicine, office of the chancellor of the university of New Mexico health sciences center, be requested to nominate Sanjeev Arora, M.D., for the Nobel prize in physiology or medicine; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this memorial be transmitted to the dean of the school of medicine, office of the chancellor of the university of New Mexico health sciences center.

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