TAOS, N.M. (KRQE) – A Northern New Mexico hospital says they are in need of some major improvements, and in order to afford it, it will all come down to a vote in the November election. “We need about 35 million in capital dollars to renovate and improve the facility but also for high-end medical equipment,” said CEO, James Kiser.

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Holy Cross Hospital in Taos is looking to make some upgrades, from the facility all the way to new equipment. “We have a lot of medical equipment that’s at end of life,” said Kiser.

While Kiser says a lot needs to be done, they are eyeing one piece of equipment in particular. A $ 2.3 million Da Vinci surgical system, a device that assists surgeons and creates less invasive treatments. “There are better clinical outcomes, reduced blood transfusions, reduced certain complications, shorter length of stay in the hospital,” said Kiser.

Kiser believes that Da Vinci could also help give the hospital some competitive edge when it comes to recruitment. “I was in the Northern Seattle market fifteen-sixteen years ago and I was tasked with recruiting urologists we had two we needed five they would call and if we didn’t have a Da Vinci they wouldn’t even interview with us,” said Kiser.

In order to make these improvements, they need money.

“All of rural New Mexico is challenged financially, particularly rural New Mexico, hospitals frankly all rural hospitals across the country,” said Kiser.

On the upcoming ballet, Taos County residents can vote on a 0.5 cent gross receipts tax increment, that up until December 2022 went towards Taos schools. “You need that four cents on the dollar to keep your facility up,” said Kiser. “The truth is most hospitals are surviving by the skins of their teeth.”

A vote that Kiser says will decide the hospital’s fate for years to come. “160 plus rural hospitals in the United States have closed in the past ten years,” said Kiser.