Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico breaks ground on South Valley center

On Feb. 20, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico (BCBSNM) broke ground on its first health and wellness center in Albuquerque’s South Valley. 

The Blue Door Neighborhood Center, located at 3925 Las Estancias Way, will measure in at 2,100 square feet. Housed in an existing building, Klinger Construction will handle the renovation work with an expected open date this summer, BCBSNM President Janice Torrez said.

The $1 million center, Torrez said, will partner with community organizations and health care providers to offer programs and services that meet the greatest needs of the community. Staff at the center will include a manager, health educator, community outreach specialist, community affairs concierge and customer service personnel. 

“This is a robust area and we want [the Center] to be in a convenient location for our members and the community to come shop, eat, play and seek health care services,” Torrez said.

Albuquerque’s South Valley has often been classified as a “health care desert,” Sen. Michael Padilla (D-Bernalillo) said at Tuesday’s groundbreaking event. However, with companies like Lovelace Medical Group, Presbyterian and BCBSNM now operating in the area, the Las Estancias activity center — where the Blue Door Neighborhood Center will be located — is slowly turning into a “health care hub” for the region, he added.

“Preventative care is going to lead to lifelong conditioning on a journey to be healthy,” Padilla said. 

BCBSNM Chief Medical Officer Dr. Latha Raja Shankar said one preventative care focus will be on diabetes screenings.

“If we catch diabetes early and intervene and offer the support needed, we will prevent complications such as kidney diseases, vision loss, heart attacks, strokes and even premature death,” Shankar said. “This will become a place where people can come in and access telehealth services to meet their behavioral and physical health needs.”

In 2019, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) opened the inaugural Blue Door Neighborhood Center in Chicago. As of today, the company has three neighborhood centers in the Chicago area. In recent years, the facilities have serviced more than 50,000 community members, according to a news release.

By Aayush Gupta – Real Estate Reporter , Albuquerque Business First

Feb 20, 2024