Deborah Martinez

Public Health New Mexico Reporter

 

Deborah's love for radio began right here at KUNM while working on her BA (1983), she hosted the KUNM Evening News with Jim Shields.  In the years since, she has honed her skills in large market radio and television newsrooms across the US.

 

Deborah has earned four Associated Press awards in Florida, California and two here at KUNM for Best Broadcast and (2d Place) Breaking News.  She has also hosted All Things Considered and Morning Edition.

 

Long-time listeners are familiar with Deborah's reports on the New Mexico State Legislature, as well as features and series work on issues affecting Northern New Mexicans, including stories on the environment, education,  poverty and drug epidemics.  Deborah is proud to be on the Poverty and Public Health Team, telling the stories of the people affected by these topics.  

 

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Public Health New Mexico
9:10 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Despite Progress, NM Teen Pregnancy Rate Still Tops Charts

Karla Aguirre prepares to bathe her son Harley at a parenting class
Deborah Martinez

New Mexico’s teen pregnancy rate is declining – down 41 percent between 1998 and 2011 – but the state still has the second highest rate in the nation behind Mississippi.  High poverty and high drop out rates play a big part.  But a Santa Fe high school program that’s helping teens earn their diplomas while overcoming the challenges of parenthood is making a dent in the stark statistics.

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Public Health New Mexico
3:35 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Researcher Aims To End Cycle Of Hurtful Behavior In Kids

Credit HeyPaulStudios via Flickr

New research is taking a look at how childhood trauma can alter the development of the brain, sometimes with lasting effects  that can carry into adulthood.   Dr. Elaine Bearer’s work looks at ways to stop the cycle of kids “acting out” before they grow up.

University of New Mexico Professor  Elaine Bearer’s research on mice suggests early childhood trauma might interfere with normal changes in the brains of children.   She and her team are also studying the stress a premature baby endures.

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Public Health New Mexico
4:14 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Too Many Teeth, Not Enough Dentists: Dental Care Shortage In NM

A dentist examines an x-ray showing a broken root or failed root canal.
Credit Wonderlane via Flickr

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 10/10 8a: New Mexico has historically had a shortage of dental care providers, especially in rural parts of the state and in low income communities. 

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Local News
6:08 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Some National Guard Staff Would Be Furloughed Under Government Shutdown

Four-thousand of the nearly 50,000 federal workers in New Mexico are military personnel, including the Army and the Air National Guard. A government shutdown would lead to furloughs of some national guard workers.

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KUNM Call In Show
12:56 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Obamacare Goes Live: State Health Insurance Exchange Enrollment Kicks Off Oct. 1

Credit clevercupcakes via Flickr

KUNM Call In Show 9/26 8a: We've been hearing about the roll out of the Affordable Care Act for years now, but what does the full implementation of the healthcare law actually mean for New Mexicans? Who is eligible for tax credits for insurance premiums? What about people who are happy with their employer provided health insurance?

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Public Health New Mexico
6:24 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Lawmaker's Bill Targets Emergency Status Used In Behavioral Health Crisis

2013 Session of the New Mexico State Legislature, Santa Fe
Credit Deborah Martinez

When Medicaid funding for 15 of New Mexico’s behavioral health providers was frozen earlier this summer, lawmakers began hearing from their constituents.

Senator Tim Keller says people in his district in southeast Albuquerque are extremely upset. Now Keller has drafted a piece of legislation he hopes will prevent this kind of situation from happening again. 

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Public Health New Mexico
4:35 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Uninsured To Get Lower Premiums Under Obamacare

Credit Thinkprogress.org

The state expects about half of the 400,000 uninsured New Mexicans to purchase insurance through the state health insurance exchange when it’s fully implemented in 2014.  A new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds New Mexicans will pay some of the lowest rates in the nation.  

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Local News
6:06 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Protestors Plead With Governor To Stop Behavioral Health Takeover

Behavioral health advocates rally outside the state capitol on Friday, August 30
Credit Deborah Martinez

Protestors gathered at the state capital in Santa Fe today,  pleading with Governor Susana Martinez to change course and end the chaos now hampering New Mexico’s behavioral health system.   Front-line workers who treat extreme cases of the mentally ill reported losing touch with their clients after five Arizona firms took over operations at 12 local providers.

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Public Health New Mexico
5:13 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Federal Officials Take Comments From Clients On Behavioral Health Service Disruptions

Credit jetheriot via Flickr

Federal authorities heard directly Wednesday from more than two dozen behavioral health clients concerned about the continuing disruptions of services in New Mexico. Callers were highly critical of the state's move to freeze Medicaid funding for providers suspected of fraud. One after another, men and women, adult patients and parents of children recounted problems getting services.  

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Local News
3:15 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Hurdles For New Behavioral Health Managers Get Higher

Credit Deborah Martinez

This week marks the beginning of new management  for another one of the New Mexico's nonprofits under investigation for alleged Medicaid fraud.  Three out of four of the counselors who treated patients at Valencia Counseling Services in Los Lunas are no longer working there, and that has the new management team on edge. 

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Poverty and Public Health
3:21 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Lawmakers Powerless To Stop Behavioral Health Funding Transfer

Brent Ernest, deputy secretary of the NM Human Services Department, speaks to state legislators about the takeover of NM Medicaid-funded behavioral health facilities.
Credit Deborah Martinez

Governor Susana Martinez’s administration is moving ahead - despite objections from state legislators - with plans to use more than 10-million dollars from the Human Services Department to pay Arizona contractors that are taking over New Mexico’s Medicaid-funded behavioral health operations.   The Legislative Finance Committee voted 15 to 1 on Wednesday to reject the budget transfer.

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Poverty and Public Health
12:10 pm
Sat August 17, 2013

12 Things You Should Know About The Behavioral Health Audit And Funding Freeze

Credit A Health Blog via Flickr

There are still a lot of questions about the New Mexico Human Services Department's abrupt halt of Medicaid funding to 15 behavioral health providers and the state's contracts with Arizona firms to take over provider management.

Here's some of what we do know.

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Poverty and Public Health
5:16 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Twitter Town Hall Abuzz About Behavioral Health, Medicaid

(L-R) US Rep. Ben Lujan, NM AG Gary King, HSD's Julie Weinberg, St. Sen. Linda Lopez, Health Exchange IT Bob Meyer, HSD's Diana McWilliams, Primary Care Assoc.'s David Roddy
Credit Deborah Martinez

Rio Arriba County health officials hosted their first-ever Twitter Town Hall today - A panel of experts answered tweeted questions about Medicaid.   The twittersphere was abuzz with questions about the state's recent audit of behavioral health providers.

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Poverty and Public Health
6:18 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Rio Arriba County To Hold Twitter Town Hall On Medicaid

Credit publik15 via Flickr

Health officials in Northern New Mexico are turning to social media to get residents involved in a discussion about the state's Medicaid program.

Rio Arriba County Officials are hosting their second annual health fair in Española tomorrow.  In addition to dental screenings and immunizations, the event features – a Twitter Town Hall. 

In rural areas  social media  can be an important tool for communications.  US Representative Ben Ray Lujan will moderate a panel of experts who will answer tweeted questions about Medicaid services. 

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Poverty and Public Health
2:33 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Legislature Delays Funding Of New Behavioral Health Contractors

NM State Capitol
Credit Legislative Finance Committee

The state Human Services Department has run into a roadblock with the contracts it signed with five Arizona providers who are taking over management of behavioral health services in New Mexico.  The Legislative Finance Committee has delayed transfer of funds to pay for the out-of-state firms’ contracts, but the  Arizona contractors still have  an obligation to provide services to behavioral health clients.

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Poverty and Public Health
6:04 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Los Lunas Behavioral Health Provider Braces For Shift In Management

The courtyard of Valencia Counseling Service in Los Lunas
Deborah Martinez

New Mexico behavioral health providers who had their Medicaid funding frozen after allegations of fraud and mismanagement are in the process of transitioning to management from several Arizona contractors.

Meanwhile, Valencia Counseling Service, a facility south of Albuquerque, is holding out for a last minute reprieve from an Albuquerque District Court.

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KUNM Call In Show
9:56 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Gov. Martinez's Administration: Arizona Behavioral Health Providers Are Here To Stay

Credit unsure shot via Flickr

There’s been a lot of uncertainty about what new management by out-of-state firms will mean for behavioral health providers in New Mexico. Thursday morning on the KUNM Call In Show some of that uncertainty was dispelled by Diana McWilliams of the state Human Services Department .

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Poverty and Public Health
3:00 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Psychiatrist Concerned About AZ Providers

Behavioral health clinicians have direct contact with their clients in a trusted relationship.   Joe Frechen  is a psychiatrist who's been treating people for drug addiction and suicide prevention for 20 years in southern New Mexico.  He works on contract with many current providers and wants to continue that arrangement.

Frechen says he’s concerned that the patients he sees at clinics that have had their funding frozen won’t get what they need from out-of-state contractors hired by the Human Services Department.

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Poverty and Public Health
10:40 am
Wed July 24, 2013

Local Farmers Markets Help Reduce Obesity Rates

Vendors display fresh produce at the market
Deborah Martinez

Farmers markets are in full swing around New Mexico.  That’s good news for families with school-aged children. Childhood obesity rates are declining a bit across the state and around the nation.  What might be playing a role in the decrease?  We visited a northern New Mexico market to find out.

Business is bustling at the Española Farmers Market.

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Poverty and Public Health
8:35 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Sequestration Shuts Down NM Head Start Centers

Head Start programs serve kids up to age 5. Early childhood advocates say it prepares them for elementary school and beyond.
Credit Neighborhood Centers via Flickr

Children of low-income families who get free early education services in northern New Mexico will have to seek help elsewhere because two Head Start centers are closing as part of the the federal deficit cutting plan known as sequestration.  Presbyterian Medical Services, the nonprofit that gives a “head start” to hundreds of children before kindergarten, is feeling the pinch and cutting services.   

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Poverty and Public Health
4:06 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Federal Judge Takes Behavioral Health Case Under Advisement

Federal Judge M. Christina Armijo took up the case of behavioral health providers pleading for reinstatement of sanctioned Medicaid funding.
Credit Deborah Martinez

Fourteen Behavioral health providers in New Mexico hoping to have their Medicaid funding reinstated will have to wait at least another day, as the federal court judge asked to decide the issue has taken it under advisement.  

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Local News
2:15 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Residents In Northern NM Brace For Extreme Flooding

Credit Jared via Flickr

Recent rains have reduced the spread of New Mexico’s wildfires, but now residents living downstream of scar areas are bracing for flooding during the monsoon season.  

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Developing
8:29 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Mental Health Providers Plead For Restored Funding

Credit publik15 via Flickr

  

A hearing on the lawsuit  brought by eight behavioral health service providers against Governor Susana Martinez's administration is set for 9:00 a.m. tomorrow, July 17  in Federal District Court in Albuquerque.  The group is suing to have funding restored by the state and Human Services Cabinet Secretary Sidonie Squier.  Squier abruptly halted all funding for the providers several weeks ago in the wake of an audit the department says was necessary after reports of alleged fraud and misuse of Medicaid funding.

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Poverty and Public Health
2:56 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Health Department Surveys Santa Fe Hospital Staffing

It's business as usual as patients come and go at Santa Fe's Christus St. Vincent Hospital, but inside visitors from the New Mexico Department of Health are undertaking a site survey in response to a complaint by the union representing hundreds of hospital nurses.

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Poverty and Public Health
3:39 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Veterans, Lawmakers Push For Medical Marijuana For PTSD

Credit eggrole via Flickr

In New Mexico, thousands of veterans are living with post traumatic stress disorder.   Some of them are joining forces with elected officials to push for increased access to medical marijuana as a treatment for PTSD.

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Poverty and Public Health
9:31 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Bernalillo County Minimum Wage Increases

Minimum wage workers in unincorporated areas of Bernalillo County got a raise on July 1st. 

The new county wage law that was passed in April raises the minimum wage from $7.50 and hour to $8.00 an hour for businesses outside Albuquerque city limits.  Commissioner Art De La Cruz, a democrat who represents parts of the west side and the south valley was the bill’s sponsor. He says its not a living wage, but that it will help the low paid workers and their communities.

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Local News
9:13 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Governor Urges Caution As July 4th Nears

Governor Susana Martinez urges residents to attend public fireworks displays and heed fireworks bans.
Credit Deborah Martinez

Santa Fe skies are obscured by clouds and haze from area wildfires, but fire officials are reassuring residents that the smoky air does not pose immediate health risks for most people.

Several of the wildfires burning in New Mexico have been contained, but the Jaroso Fire northeast of Santa Fe is still raging uncontrolled.  Wind is pushing smoke into populated areas of the state, and that has residents concerned.

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Poverty and Public Health
11:01 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Report Shows Housing Becoming Costlier In New Mexico

The number of households that are paying more than 30 percent of their income in rent has gone up steadily since 2007.
Credit The State of the Nation's Housing 2013 Report

The economy is improving, according to a new housing report, but the number of households spending more than 30-percent of their income on housing higher than ever.

The State of the Nation's Housing report for 2013, published by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, says households that spend more than 30-percent of their income on housing are considered to be “cost-burdened.”

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KUNM Call In Show
11:11 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Why Are New Mexico Seniors Not Getting Enough To Eat?

Credit reedwade via Flickr

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 6/27/13 8a: One out of five New Mexico seniors doesn't get enough to eat. Why is there such food insecurity among the elderly here and what can be done? Are there seniors in your neighborhood who need assistance with meals? We'd like to hear from you! Email callinshow@kunm.org, post your comments online, or call in live during the show. 

277-5866 (locally)

877-899-5866 (toll free)

Host: Deborah Martinez, Poverty and Public Health Reporter

Guests: 

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Poverty and Public Health
3:45 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

21 Percent Of New Mexico's Seniors Have Food Insecurity

One out of every five senior citizens in New Mexico isn't getting enough to eat, according to a report from United Health Foundation. New Mexico ranks 49th in the nation for food insecurity.

The America's Health Ranking Senior Report looks at general health and food insecurity, among other issues facing the aging population.

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