Dr. David Scrase, Cabinet Secretary, NM Human Services Dept

Air Dates: April 25-27, 2020


Cabinet Secretary for the N.M. Dept. of Human Services

Coronavirus Update -- As of 4/22/20 --

· The Latest Models For The Disease

· The Expansion Of Testing

· COVID-19 Issues In Northwestern New Mexico


April 23, 2020 – This week’s guest on REPORT FROM SANTA FE is Dr. David Scrase, Cabinet Secretary for the New Mexico Department of Human Services, with a coronavirus update including the latest models for the disease, the expansion of testing, and COVID-19 issues in northwestern New Mexico. This interview was taped on April 22, 2020 and has the latest news about what's happening in the fight against the coronavirus in New Mexico.

New Mexico is considered to be one of the safest states in the country, and Dr. Scrase credits Governor Lujan Grisham and her team for their leadership in enforcing statewide social distancing, expanding testing, and using the results to isolate those who are positive - “…that's the half that the state government does. But the bigger half of it is what the people of New Mexico have done by taking the public health orders seriously, by staying at home, by wearing masks when they go out, by washing their hands, etc... All of those things really have gotten us to the place we are today. So I think I would give the governor and (Health) Secretary Kunkel half the credit or maybe a third of the credit and the people of New Mexico two thirds (of the credit).”

Dr. Scrase and N.M. Cabinet Secretary for Health Kathyleen Kunkel published an editorial in mid-March called “Flattening the Curve New Mexico style,” describing New Mexico's unique needs and responses to COVID-19. The Op-Ed ended with the insightful statement, “We are ahead of the curve we are trying to flatten!” And this in-depth interview on REPORT FROM SANTA FE demonstrates the verity of that statement.

Dr. Scrase’s first love and understood calling is as a primary care physician and he has continuously cared for patients for over 30 years, despite concurrent service in administrative roles. He concludes this interview with special advice to older New Mexicans, “his people” as he calls them, to stay safe and resist the crowds that start going out when things open up first. Scrase reminds us that older people will need to wait much longer before venturing forth.

Dr. Scrase is a Board Certified Internist and Geriatrician, and at the time of his appointment as the Secretary Designate of the Human Services Department by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham in November 2018, was the Interim Division Chief for General Internal Medicine and the Chief of Geriatrics at UNM.