SANTA FE — CHRISTUS St. Vincent Regional Medical Center, in partnership with the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) and The Heart Gallery of New Mexico Foundation, will host a free public reception to celebrate the unveiling of Santa Fe’s first permanent Heart Gallery of New Mexico exhibit. The gathering will be held in the second floor main lobby of the CHRISTUS St. Vincent Regional Medical Center at 455 St. Michaels Drive in Santa Fe, N.M. at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, February 26, 2010. Special guests will include Governor Bill Richardson, First Lady Barbara Richardson, Santa Fe Mayor David Coss and KOB-TV’s Steve Stucker. Members of the public, including children, are invited to enjoy food, entertainment, and guest speakers, while previewing dozens of inspirational portraits of New Mexico foster children waiting for adoptive families.
The Heart Gallery is a CYFD program created in 2001 to raise awareness about foster children in protective custody who are ready for adoption. Noted photographers have donated their time and talent to create compelling and unique portraits of the children, who live in all corners of the state.
With the support of CYFD, The Heart Gallery has become a national and international model for raising awareness about and finding permanent homes for children in foster care. Heart Galleries now exist in nearly every state, and Canada is launching exhibits in April. National media outlets covering The Heart Gallery have included Oprah, People, Parade, NPR, The New York Times, The View, The Today Show, the three national evening news programs, 20/20, and many others.
“We feel privileged to help children in this way and are pleased that CYFD recognized our hospital as a well-visited center and major employer, committed to service in northern New Mexico,” said Alex Valdez, President and CEO of CHRISTUS St. Vincent Regional Medical Center.
CYFD Secretary Dorian Dodson also commented on the significance of this important partnership. “The opening of a permanent Heart Gallery exhibit at CHRISTUS St. Vincent Regional Medical Center underscores the fact that CYFD and our community members have the common goal of achieving better outcomes for our children.”
More than 300 New Mexico children are available for adoption through CYFD. For information on how to become an adoptive or foster parent please contact Marie Martinez at 505-753-7191 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For general foster/adoptive parent information 24 hours a day, seven days a week, please call the CYFD toll-free number, 1-800-432-2075. The CYFD website, www.cyfd.org, features the New Mexico Heart Gallery children who are waiting for adoptive homes.