Updated: Sunday, 23 Oct 2011, 10:49 AM MDT
Published : Sunday, 23 Oct 2011, 10:43 AM MDT
RIO RANDCHO, N.M. (KRQE) A - Rio Rancho has opened it's first full-service hospital and it has plans to someday become one of the state's largest hospitals.
The new Rust Medical Center's massive red ribbon fell Saturday afternoon before a crowd of thousands who showed up to see the new hospital on Unser Boulevard in Rio Rancho.
With 68 beds, staffers at the new Presbyterian hospital have already performed about two dozen surgeries and delivered two babies.
Presbyterian CEO Jim Hinton says their plan is to one day to make the new hospital even bigger than Presbyterian’s hospital in downtown Albuquerque.
“The initial phase of this hospital, it has 68 beds which is relatively small but over time it can grow to be more than 500 beds,” Hinton said.
Shortly after the ribbon-cutting, hundreds of Presbyterian employees performed a surprise flash-mob dance, along with their family members and friends.
The new hospital will employ about 450 people, and it took almost $200 million and three years to build.
Construction is already underway on what will now be Rio Rancho's second hospital.
UNM is building the Sandoval Regional Medical Center in Rio Rancho's new city center.