Ed Williams

Public Health New Mexico Reporter

Ed Williams came to KUNM in 2014 by way of Carbondale, Colorado, where he worked as a public radio reporter covering environmental issues. Originally from Austin, Texas, Ed has reported on environmental, social justice, immigration and Native American issues in the U.S. and Latin America for the Austin American-Statesman, Z Magazine, NPR’s Latino USA and others. In his spare time, look for Ed riding his mountain bike in the Sandias or sparring on the jiu-jitsu mat.

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Public Health New Mexico
4:07 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Affordable Care Act Enrollment Deadline Tonight

Credit @BeWellNM on Twitter

New Mexico residents have until midnight to sign up for health insurance in order to be covered by Jan. 1. The final deadline for the open enrollment period is Feb. 15. The Obama administration is urging everyone to go online and check the available coverage options, even those who signed up last year. 

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Public Health New Mexico
6:48 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

DOJ Investigating UNM Sexual Assault Policies

UNM central campus
Credit Arianna Sena

The US Department of Justice announced today Friday that it is opening an investigation into the University of New Mexico’s policies on dealing with sexual assaults on campus. It’s the latest in a number of DOJ investigations into university sexual assault policies nationwide.

The Justice Department review is a first for the university, and administrators say they still don’t know the details of the student accusations or the planned investigation.

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Public Health New Mexico
5:31 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Vaccination Reminder After Measles Case

Credit lu_lu via flickr

New Mexico health officials are reporting the first confirmed case of measles in the state since 2012. The one-year-old victim was released from the hospital yesterday, but health officials are taking the opportunity to remind residents to get vaccinated.

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Public Health New Mexico
5:16 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Affordable Care Act Enrollment, Round Two

Credit @BeWellNM on Twitter

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 12/4 8a: 

The Affordable Care Act's second open enrollment period is underway, and officials are reporting positive developments in early enrollment numbers.

What has your experience with the health care law been? Do you have questions about coverage?  We'll be talking about the progress and process of the enrollment period in New Mexico with experts from the state insurance exchange and local outreach workers.

Guests:

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Public Health New Mexico
1:49 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

Obama Advisor Optimistic About Open Enrollment

Credit wikimedia commons

The Affordable Care Act’s second open enrollment period is entering its third week, and so far over a million Americans have applied for health insurance on the federal exchange.

Officials in New Mexico are also reporting progress in enrollment, after a problematic rollout last year.

Cecilia Muñoz, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council and one of President Obama’s senior advisors on health care, says the problems that besieged consumers in 2013 seem to have been resolved.

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Public Health New Mexico
5:50 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Navajo Nation To Tax Junk Food

Credit Jeff Adair via Flickr

Residents of the Navajo Nation will now be paying more for junk food. Last week Navajo President Ben Shelly signed the Healthy Dine' Nation Act into law, adding a tax on unhealthy food sold anywhere on Navajo land. Deswood Tome is Special Advisor to President Shelly. He spoke to KUNM about the law's implications. 

"The law imposes a tax on junk food as a deterrent, so when people go to the store they'll make a conscious decision to buy nutritious food," Tome said.

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Public Health New Mexico
4:52 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Open Enrollment Off To A Good Start In New Mexico

Credit clevercupcakes via Flickr

The organization managing health insurance signups in New Mexico is reporting positive numbers one week into the Affordable Care Act’s second open enrollment period. 

"We are seeing some response," said Linda Wedeen of the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange. "Our goal this year that's going to be different from last year is we're working very hard to let people know we're there to assist them through this process. We know it can be complicated."

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Public Health New Mexico
6:34 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

New Mexico To Pay Less For Healthcare

Credit Kaiser Family Foundation

New Mexico is faring better than most states with health care costs under the Affordable Care Act. Our state experienced the third-largest drop in insurance premiums nationwide since last year.

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Public Health New Mexico
4:14 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Child Homelessness High In New Mexico

Credit Runs With Scissors via Flickr

The number of kids who are homeless is at an all time high in America, according to a new report by the National Center on Child Homelessness, and New Mexico has one of the most severe child homelessness problems in the country.

The report says nearly one in three kids here live in poverty, and while progress has been made in reducing homelessness among veterans and chronically homeless people, children have not received the same attention.

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Public Health New Mexico
5:24 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Arctic Blast Spurs Early Shelter Opening In Albuquerque

Credit Ed Williams-KUNM

A cold snap hit New Mexico Wednesday and prompted an Albuquerque homeless shelter to open its doors early. 

Albuquerque Rescue Mission was scheduled to start taking in homeless residents this weekend, but freezing temperatures have moved the clock forward.

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Public Health New Mexico
4:29 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Santa Fe And Bernalillo Counties Say Yes To Marijuana

Decriminalization watch party at Tractor Brewery
Credit Ed Williams-KUNM

Bernalillo County voters overwhelmingly called for reduced criminal penalties for marijuana possession Tuesday night.

The marijuana decriminalization question is non-binding and won’t change the law. But that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd gathered to watch the election results last night.

Progress Now Director Pat Davis, who spearheaded initiatives in both Santa Fe and Bernalillo counties, says this is a first step towards big changes in New Mexico’s drug policy.

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Public Health New Mexico
4:28 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Bernalillo County Voters Ask For More Mental Health Support

Credit Art by Nani Chacon courtesy of Young Women United

Bernalillo County voters overwhelmingly came out on Tuesday in favor of a tax increase to pay for more mental health services. 

Bernalillo County residents with addictions or mental health problems may be closer to having more access to treatment, now that voters here have showed their support for a one-eight percent tax increase to fund more behavioral health services.

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Public Health New Mexico
5:15 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Researchers Highlight Gaps In Mental Health Services

Credit woodleywonderworks via Flickr

University of New Mexico researchers are estimating one-third of Bernalillo County residents with mental health problems didn’t get the care they needed last year.

Researchers at UNM say over 150,000 people in Bernalillo county had mental health issues that needed treatment in 2013, but only 98,000 of those people received care from local providers.

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Public Health New Mexico
5:44 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Doctors See Higher Patient Loads Under Affordable Care Act

Credit Alex E. Proimos via Flickr

A new analysis of insurance enrollment under the Affordable Care Act shows New Mexico has one of the highest rates of newly-insured people in the country. That’s good news for the residents here who now have access to health care, but the higher number of new patients is posing some challenges to doctors in the state.

    

New Mexico has seen a drastic reduction in uninsured residents since last year. Data shows the rate of people covered by health insurance has more than doubled in many counties.

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Public Health New Mexico
6:27 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Voices Behind the Vote: Silence On Substance Abuse

Credit Ed Williams-KUNM

KUNM Public Health Reporter Ed Williams met with Julie Martinez in the courtyard of Holy Cross Hospital in Taos. Martinez manages the hospital’s substance abuse prevention program and works on drug issues with local youth for the non-profit Taos Alive.

Martinez wouldn’t say who she was voting for because of her work. She did explain that the entrenched problems of addiction and substance abuse in her community are shaping her views of candidates this year.

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Public Health New Mexico
6:40 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Voices Behind The Vote: Climate Change Drives Conservative To Polls

Credit Ed Williams-KUNM

KUNM public health reporter Ed Williams traveled north to Taos County where he met with Marty Michael, a conservative voter in Questa. Michael is an active member of the community, and has worked with the county on water issues. 

“Drought, global warming’s affecting it, lack of rainfall, mother nature. It’s something that can’t be measured," Michael said. "The conservatives are interested in keeping our water here. No more water transfers.”  

Check out the other Voices Behind The Vote profiles!

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Public Health New Mexico
6:39 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Voices Behind The Vote: Who's Talking About Immigrants Held In Artesia?

Credit Ed Williams-KUNM

KUNM public health reporter Ed Williams spoke with Santa Fe resident Allegra Love, a former public school teacher who now works as a lawyer for ADELANTE, a Santa Fe Public Schools program that provides help for families experiencing homelessness.

Love is also an immigration attorney. Since this summer she’s been working on asylum cases for refugees held in the federal immigrant detention center in Artesia. 

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Public Health New Mexico
5:08 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Santa Fe Students Pledge To End Gun Violence

Credit Al Hikes via Flickr

Wednesday is National Student Pledge Against Violence Day, and school administrators in Santa Fe are encouraging students to sign a pledge promising not to use guns to resolve conflicts.

Both the Santa Fe School Board and City Council signed resolutions to join in the national observance of gun violence in schools.

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Public Health New Mexico
4:14 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

No Signs Of Tuberculosis In Exposed New Mexico Babies

Chest X-ray of probable tuberculosis case
Credit Sandra Bermúdez via Flickr

New Mexico health officials have screened 56 babies for tuberculosis since an El Paso hospital worker tested positive for the potentially lethal respiratory infection last summer. Now, state health officials say none of the babies living here appear to have contracted the disease.

“So far we haven’t seen any clear evidence of transmission with the babies here in New Mexico, so that’s a very positive thing,” said New Mexico Department of Health Tuberculosis Program Manager Diana Fortune.

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Public Health New Mexico
12:25 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

UNM Expanding Telehealth Program

Dr. Howard Yonas of the UNM School of Medicine's Neurosurgery Department is chief investigator for the ACCESS program.
Credit John Arnold, UNM Health Sciences Center

The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center has received more than $15 million in federal money to expand a statewide telehealth program. The program aims to provide rural hospital patients with emergency video consultations.

The funding, awarded through the Medicare and Medicaid Services Innovation Center, will pay for a network of high definition cameras and AV conferencing equipment for emergency rooms throughout the state. 

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Public Health New Mexico
5:08 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

New Farmington Detox Center To Offer Housing

Credit Mo Riza via Flickr

Farmington city officials voted Tuesday to continue funding the area’s only existing detox facility until a new center is up and running. 

Four Winds Recovery Center gets intoxicated people off the street by providing a bed to and a place to sober up and begin treatment programs. But the Center’s administrators say they don’t have enough money to keep housing intoxicated residents until their contract ends next June.  

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Public Health New Mexico
6:00 am
Tue October 7, 2014

Searching For Answers On Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

The Trujillo family in front of their home in San Fidel, NM.
Credit Ed Williams-KUNM

    

Terry Trujillo’s family has been facing an ordeal that would be familiar to a surprising number of Americans. Holding back tears, she remembers the moment she had to explain to her adopted nephew that his severe learning disabilities, memory problems and behavior issues were the result of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

“The little boy would say ‘Well what’s that, what do you mean?’ And it’s hard to sit there and tell a child it means that your mother drank alcohol while you were in her stomach, and to see their face. Because they know it’s wrong,” Trujillo said.

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Public Health New Mexico
4:33 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

New Mexico Babies Exposed To Tuberculosis At El Paso Hospital

Credit Microbe World via Flickr

The New Mexico Health Department is screening babies for tuberculosis in Doña Ana County this week. 

Health Department officials in Texas and New Mexico say as many as 750 newborns might have been exposed to tuberculosis at Providence Memorial Hospital’s nursery unit in El Paso. Over 50 of those babies are thought to live in southern New Mexico.

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Public Health New Mexico
5:34 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Poverty On The Rise In New Mexico

Credit US Census Bureau

New Mexico had the country’s second-highest poverty rate in 2013, according to a report released today by the United States Census Bureau. The bad numbers for our state come as poverty rates are falling in the country as a whole.

 

Poverty in New Mexico increased more than a full percentage point between 2012 and 2013, with nearly 22 percent of residents here earning less than the federal poverty wage during that period.

 

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Public Health New Mexico
5:07 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Bernalillo County To Add Mental Health, Marijuana Ballot Questions

Credit Capt Piper via Flicker

Bernalillo County Commissioners voted 3-2 today to include two questions on the November ballot. One will ask whether voters support decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana. The other will ask whether voters support a tax increase to fund mental health services. The non-binding measures passed on a party line vote.

Commissioners voting in support of including the mental health question on the ballot said a current lack of behavioral health services in New Mexico is a growing problem for the state.

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Public Health New Mexico
5:55 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Overdoses Down In New Mexico

Credit J McKenna Photography via Flickr

New Mexico has led the nation in drug overdose deaths for the past few decades. With rates around twice the national average, overdoses here account for more deaths than car accidents. But the state health department announced some good news this week: New Mexico’s overdose rate has dropped to the lowest level since 2009.

Overdoses in New Mexico fell 16 percent between 2011-2013. That’s the first time in over 20 years that overdoses have fallen two years in a row.

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Public Health New Mexico
5:26 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Kirtland Says More Info Needed Before Cleanup

Contamination from the fuel spill at Kirtland Air Force Base was discovered in 1999. The plume has spread underneath Albuquerque to within a mile of the Ridgecrest well number 5, one of the city's most productive drinking water wells.
Credit Rita Daniels

    

Kirtland Air Force Base will not submit a plan to pump and treat contaminated groundwater at the end of this month as expected.

Officials from Kirtland and the state say they still need more information before moving forward on the cleanup of an underground fuel spill that has contaminated Albuquerque’s aquifer.

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Public Health New Mexico
5:06 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Fewer New Mexico Kids Vaccinated For Hepatitis A

Credit Ed Williams-KUNM

    

(Click here to access the interactive map of vaccine rates)

Newly released figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show New Mexico ranks near the bottom for statewide child vaccination rates for hepatitis A

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Public Health New Mexico
7:00 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Immigrant Detention Center Not Approved By State For Childcare

Women and their children line up at the Artesia immigrant detention center, as protesters gathered outside the facility
Credit Ed Williams-KUNM

As Immigration lawyers prepare to battle the federal government over possible due process violations against immigrant women and children detained in Artesia, records obtained by KUNM raise another legal question about the facility—whether the detention center is in compliance with state child welfare laws.

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Public Health New Mexico
4:13 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Infant Mortality Rate Evens Out

Credit World Bank Photo Collection via Flickr

New Mexico’s infant mortality rate fell 22 percent between 2012 and 2013, from 6.9 infant deaths per 1000 births to 5.4 in 2013, according to the state Department of Health

That might sound like a big drop, but that’s because the numbers for 2012 were abnormally high.

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