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Officials hold ceremonial shovels of dirt for a groundbreaking

From left: Nancy Smith-Leslie, BCBSNM vice president of Medicaid; U.S. Rep. Gabe Vasquez; BCBSNM President Janice Torrez; N.M. State Sen. Michael Padilla, and Dr. Latha Raja Shankar, BCBSNM chief medical officer, break ground on New Mexico’s first Blue Door Neighborhood Center℠ in Albuquerque’s South Valley.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico Breaks Ground on Blue Door Neighborhood Center

Equipped with ceremonial shovels on an unseasonably warm February morning, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico broke ground on the future site of New Mexico’s first Blue Door Neighborhood Center℠.

Located in Albuquerque’s South Valley, the center will collaborate with community organizations and health care providers to offer a variety of resources and programming to impact community health. There will also be no-cost wellness classes, connections to social services and customer engagement.

At the event, U.S. Rep. Gabe Vasquez and New Mexico State Sen. Michael Padilla were among the featured speakers.

“Our communities face many different health care challenges that can stem from poverty, a lack of opportunity and a lack of available services and resources,” Vasquez said. “The Blue Door Neighborhood Center in Albuquerque’s South Valley represents an opportunity to start changing that.”

BCBSNM President Janice Torrez said the hiring process to staff the center has begun with a focus on the multilingual needs of members and the community, especially the Spanish-speaking population. 

“We believe that health care is local,” Torrez said. “It’s important for us to be in the neighborhoods where resources are needed — offering jobs and other opportunities that can make a difference to the economic and physical health of the community.”

The center will be at Las Estancias shopping center, 3925 Las Estancias Way, at Coors and Rio Bravo. Construction on the 2,100-square-foot center began in February with opening planned for this summer.

BCBSNM is meeting and gathering input from our members and the community to gain feedback on services and resources they would like at the center. To provide feedback, email

A Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association