Public Administration ETDs

Publication Date



Since 1971, the State of New Mexico has been in breach of the Trust Agreement between the State and the United States which requires that a hospital for disabled resident miners be established and maintained. The hypothesis of this paper is that as a result of the highly restricted provisions of the Miners' Hospital Trust Agreement between the United States and the State of New Mexico, the State is unable to fullfill its obligation to provide treatment and care to all resident miners of the state as stipulated in the agreement. The principal research for this paper focused on the historical mining activities of the State and the history of the institution at Raton as a Miners’ Hospital. The research included study of many public documents accumulated over the years. Additional research consisted of empirical research findings in health care including costs and changes in philosophies with respect to delivery and demand for health services. States surrounding New Mexico were sampled to ascertain which ones might provide specific health services to their mining population. Particular attention has been paid to the State's decision to terminate hospital services at the Raton facility; the disagreement with that decision on the part of the United States, and to the Federal Court Judgment which ordered reestablishment of the hospital. A major conclusion of this paper is that hospitals generally experience difficulties keeping pace with constant changes in the delivery of health services. These problems are compounded for the small, rural hospital because adequate staffing resources are especially difficult to maintain. This paper supports the validity of the hypothesis and concludes that an amendment to the Miners' Hospital Agreement must be achieved if the facility is ever to become a useful health care resource for all miners of the state.

Degree Name

Public Administration

Level of Degree


Department Name

School of Public Administration

First Committee Member (Chair)

Albert H. Rosenthal

Second Committee Member

Ferrel Heady

Third Committee Member




Document Type