BERNALILLO COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) — Bernalillo County and UNM Hospital (UNMH) are teaming up. They’re working toward providing healthcare for local inmates.

According to the county, they’re making an agreement with UNMH to provide medical, dental, and behavioral health services to inmates at the Metropolitan Detention Center. They want those services to start up in the summer. 

Previously, the county had a contract with Corizon Health; this contract ends on July 25.

Now, the county is turning to the MDC Health Authority Joint Powers Agreement, which features the deal with UNMH. 

“This is a game-changer, plain and simple,” said County Manager Julie Morgas Baca, “UNM Hospital is already providing medical services to MDC inmates who have to be transported offsite to the hospital. Now, UNMH can continue that care when the inmate returns to the facility. This partnership makes sense on so many levels.”

The agreement creates a healthcare authority to oversee the operations. That group would be made up of six members connected to either the county or hospital. NM Department of Finance and Administration has to first approve the agreement before it happens, and the NM Board of Regents has already given it a green light.