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Dalton Walker
Indian Country Today

An Indian Health Service hospital in western New Mexico will continue to provide emergency and other key services through at least the end of February.

A federal judge granted a temporary restraining order to Acoma Pueblo late last month that expires Feb. 28, according to court documents. The order is the latest legal move in an ongoing fight to keep the federally funded Acoma-Canoncito-Laguna Service Unit running at full capacity.

The pueblo of about 3,000 people sued the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services over cuts to hospital services.

(Previous: Pueblo sues feds over hospital service)

In October, the hospital stopped offering in-patient and emergency care services and scaled back hours. Pueblo leaders questioned the decision, especially during a pandemic that has affected the community. The hospital resumed emergency services Jan. 1 but scheduled to stop on Feb. 1, according to Indian Health Service.

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Elected officials representing New Mexico, including Rep. Deb Haaland, Laguna and Jemez Pueblos, and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, came out against the hospital changes.

The hospital sits on the northern edge of the pueblo, near Interstate 40 and about 40 miles west of Albuquerque. It has been in operation since the mid-1970s. The facility has 25 in-patient beds and serves around 9,100 tribal citizens from multiple tribes, according to the IHS website.

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Dalton Walker, Red Lake Anishinaabe, is a national correspondent at Indian Country Today. Follow him on Twitter: @daltonwalker Walker is based in Phoenix and enjoys Arizona winters.

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