Public Health New Mexico

Public Health New Mexico
10:29 am
Wed September 10, 2014

News Orgs Appeal Ruling That Lets Health Audit Stay Secret

New Mexico In Depth and the Las Cruces Sun-News are appealing District Judge Douglas R. Driggers' August ruling allowing the audit to remain secret.
Credit Robin Zielinski / Las Cruces Sun-News

Two news organizations are asking the N.M. Court of Appeals to overturn a ruling allowing last year’s audit of 15 health organizations to remain secret.

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Public Health New Mexico
4:55 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

U.S. Surgeon General Lushniak Highlights Skin Cancer Prevention

Kids at Bandelier Elementary School in Albuquerque play under the playground sunshade while wearing school-issued sunhats.
Credit Marisa Demarco

The acting U.S. Surgeon General was in New Mexico Tuesday to talk about ways schools and parents can work together to prevent skin cancer.

Boris Lushniak and New Mexico Health Secretary Retta Ward met with school officials, parents and students at Bandelier Elementary School in Albuquerque. 

Lushniak said there used to be a time when a tan was a good thing.

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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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Local News
5:08 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

HSD To Hold Hearing On Work Requirements For Food Stamps

Credit Caden Crawford via Flickr / Creative Commons License

The state Human Services Department will hear public testimony Friday on proposed changes to SNAP, the state’s food assistance program.  

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Public Health New Mexico
9:36 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Mothers Fight Stigma Of Drug Addiction

Credit josemanuelerre via Creative Commons

The number of babies born addicted to drugs has risen sharply over the last decade or so in New Mexico. KUNM’s Public Health reporter Marisa Demarco brings us this story of how stigma surrounding addiction and pregnancy is contributing to the increase.

Mia just gave birth to a healthy baby boy even though she was addicted to methamphetamine until about a month and a half before he was born. Her name has been changed in this story to protect her identity. "My number one fear when I was using while pregnant was to lose him or him being born with something wrong," she said

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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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Public Health New Mexico
4:26 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

UNMH Patient Tested For Ebola

A technician sets up an assay for Ebola within a containment laboratory.
Credit Dr. Randal J. Schoepp via Army Medicine / Creative Commons

The Department of Health sent clinical samples to the CDC today to make sure a New Mexico patient doesn’t have the Ebola virus. 

A 30-year-old woman in Albuquerque went to the hospital this weekend with a sore throat, headache, muscle aches and a fever after returning from a trip to West Africa, where an Ebola epidemic this year has killed more than 1,000 people.

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Public Health New Mexico
10:55 pm
Sun August 17, 2014

PHOTOS: Lawyers Describe Fear Of Retaliation At Detention Center In Artesia

Fenceline of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, where hundreds of Central American migrants are housed after being apprehended at the border
Ed Williams KUNM

People from across New Mexico gathered at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia Sunday to protest the detention of hundreds of Central American migrants.

Women and children who’ve been detained by the federal government for entering the US illegally waved and cheered from behind a barbed wire fence as attorney María Andrade addressed a crowd of around three hundred marchers Sunday afternoon. She read from a letter her client had given her.

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From New Mexico In Depth
5:48 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Judge Rules Health Audit Can Remain Secret

Credit Yuri Yu. Samoilov via Flickr / Creative Commons License

A state agency can continue to keep secret most of an audit it used last year to suspend funding for 15 health organizations and spark criminal investigations into potential Medicaid fraud, a judge ruled Thursday.

The ruling marks the second time in nine months that Douglas R. Driggers, a district judge in Doña Ana County, has agreed with the state’s Human Services Department (HSD) and Attorney General’s Office (AG) that protecting an ongoing criminal investigation trumps the public’s right to information.

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Public Health New Mexico
2:43 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

DOE Secretary Talks WIPP In Carlsbad

Ernest Moniz in Carlsbad
Credit A still from the Town Hall video

Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz hosted a town hall meeting in Carlsbad last night to talk about recovery efforts at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. It's the nation's only underground nuclear waste storage facility, just 26 miles east of the town. WIPP has remained closed since the radiation leak in mid-February, and the cause of the leak remains unclear.

Secretary Moniz promised the crowd that WIPP will re-open, and members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation talked about their efforts to get WIPP the funds it needs to operate safely.

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Public Health New Mexico
10:10 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Mayor Berry, President Shelly Talk Homelessness In Window Rock

Credit Ed Williams-KUNM

 

 

  

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Public Health New Mexico
2:14 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

James Boyd Shooting Footage Missing From IPRA Request

KUNM has joined up with the online news outlet New Mexico Compass to report on Albuquerque Police officer-involved shootings.

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Public Health New Mexico
5:19 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Detained Immigrants Advised To Self-Deport

Credit Kate Ter Haar via flickr

    

Lawyers representing women being held in the Artesia immigrant detention center in southern New Mexico are claiming the Honduran consulate is encouraging immigrants to forego legal counsel and consent to deportation.  The claims follow concerns voiced by legal and health advocates over access to due process among the detainees.

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KUNM Call In Show
3:21 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Seeing Inside APD: Albuquerque Police And Public Records

Screenshot from the Albuquerque Police Department video of James Boyd seconds before he was shot by officers on March 16, 2014. Parts of the video went viral and were broadcast on stations across the nation. This screenshot is taken from one of KRQE-TV's online stories.
Credit Albuquerque Police Department

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 8/7 8a: This spring New Mexicans, and many people across the U.S., were shocked by a video that showed a homeless camper being shot by police who were trying to bring him out of the Albuquerque foothills. While the video sparked controversy over police tactics it also highlighted the ongoing tension between law enforcement agencies, the media and the public. 

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Public Health New Mexico
6:07 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Doctor Contests Health Fears About Artesia Immigration Facility

A child receives an examination from a doctor in Mexico.
Credit World Bank Photo Collection via Flickr / Creative Commons License

There have been a number of reports that residents and officials are concerned that the surge of Central American immigrants who've crossed the U.S./Mexico border in recent weeks will have an impact on public health. A number of these immigrants are being held in a federal facility in Artesia in southern New Mexico. 

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Public Health New Mexico
11:32 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

The Trinity Test Legacy And The Birth Of The Atomic Bomb

The cast of "Manhattan," a TV series that premiered on Monday
Credit WGN America

KUNM Call In Show Thur. 7/31 8 a.m.

July marked the 69th anniversary of the world's first detonation of an atomic bomb, in New Mexico. And on Monday, “Manhattan,” a fictional show about the scientists who made the bomb, premiered on WGN America.

We’ll be talking about this moment in U.S. history with an eye on how it affected New Mexicans. Did you know there were people living nearby when the Trinity test took place? What are the long-term effects of the Trinity test? What does it mean to us today that the first atomic bomb was detonated right here in our home state?

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Public Health New Mexico
8:36 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Homeless Advocates Support Hate Crime Legislation

Credit Jena g. . Einar E. Kvaran aka 98.20.23.52 23:59, 1 June 2009, via Wikimedia Commons

Some homeless advocates are voicing support for legislation that would classify violence against homeless people as a hate crime. Supporters of the idea say the issue has taken on new urgency following the recent brutal murders of Allison Gorman and Kee Thompson as they slept in a lot in Albuquerque.

The New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness is the latest group to come out in support of enhanced sentences for those who attack homeless people. Other supporters include Albuquerque City Councilor Rey Garduño and state Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto.

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Public Health New Mexico
7:57 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

New Kirtland Fuel Clean Up Team Warms Some Skeptics

Tensions were initially high at Tuesday's Kirtland Air Force Citizen Advisory Board meeting, but that dissipated as discussion about cleaning up toxins from the jet fuel spill deepened.
Credit Rita Daniels

Kirtland Air Force Base held their quarterly Citizen Advisory Board meeting on Tuesday to talk about cleaning up the fuel spill threatening Albuquerque's drinking water supply. People learned they may see more action in the coming months than they have over the past 15 years.

The evening kicked off with a brief power point presentation as one of Kirtland’s project managers went over various clean up efforts.  Then the public was allowed to ask questions.

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Public Health New Mexico
5:55 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Deadline Approaching for State's Insurance Exchange

Credit @BeWellNM on Twitter

 

 

New Mexico is working to create its own online insurance exchange before the next open enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act begins later this year. If the federal government doesn’t approve the state’s site, New Mexicans will be using the federal exchange for another year. 

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Public Health New Mexico
8:40 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby Ruling Sparks Protest In Albuquerque

Credit Ed Williams

      

The crowds on the street corner outside Hobby Lobby were mostly civil, though emotions were running high. Several dozen men and women waved signs at oncoming traffic calling for a boycott of the craft store and decrying the Supreme Court’s decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby.

One protester, Natalie Hrizi, was busy passing around a petition to have congress revisit the issue.

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Public Health New Mexico
2:53 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

NMInDepth: Open Letter To Sens. O'Neill and Ortiz y Pino

Credit publik15 via Flickr

Dear Senators Bill O’Neill and Jerry Ortiz y Pino:

We at New Mexico In Depth were a bit confused - befuddled might be a better word - at your press release yesterday. It bears the title “Media Scrutiny Finally Gives Behavioral Health Debacle the Investigation Warranted” and begins with this line:

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Public Health New Mexico
3:32 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Tips for Avoiding Date Rape Drugs

Credit Dusty J via Compfight cc

Reports of drug-facilitated sexual assaults are on the rise in Albuquerque. People who work with victims aren’t sure whether that’s because date rape drugs are being used more often or people are more aware of them.

Gail Starr is the clinical coordinator for SANE, a collaborative of medical professionals that helps victims of sexual assault. She said a variety of substances—including designer drugs—are being used these days. “There are so many drugs that we as nurses, we’re not focused on exactly what drug. The law enforcement can worry about that,” she said.

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Public Health New Mexico
5:36 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Locals React To Supreme Court Contraception Ruling

Credit zacklur-Flickr

Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down part of the Affordable Care Act’s mandate for employer-provided contraceptive coverage, is sparking both praise and condemnation here in New Mexico.

Local abortion rights groups are decrying the decision. Denicia Cadena is communications director at Young Women United, an advocacy group for women of color in New Mexico.

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Public Health New Mexico
5:27 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Poverty Increases Risk Of Diabetes, Prediabetes

A portion of the CDC's graphic breakdown of the National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2014.
Credit via Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Diabetes is on the rise across the U.S. according to a report released this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

One out of every eleven American adults has diabetes, or 9.3 percent, up one percent over the last three years.  That equates to more than three million new diabetics.

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Public Health New Mexico
11:03 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Students Win Thousands to Clean Up Water

The Taos High team worked out of a lab at the middle school. From left: James Valerio, Anthony Archuleta, Andrea Chin-Lopez and Julia Johnson.
Credit Laura Tenorio

Young scientists from Taos High School won the top prize at eCYBERMISSION, a national army-sponsored contest that asks students to come up with real-world solutions to problems in their communities. 

Ninth-graders in Taos figured out how to create inexpensive filters to remove antibiotics from drinking water. On Friday, June 20, they won $20,000 for their efforts, plus an additional $5,000 grant for the next phase of their work—implementation.

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Public Health New Mexico
2:02 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Overdose Drug Covered by Medicaid

Naloxone is also known by its brand name, Narcan. It's can be administered nasally or intravenously, according to Dr. Michael Landen of the Department of Health.
Credit PunchingJudy via Creative Commons

  New Mexico has the second-highest rate of overdose deaths in the country, according to the CDC. Now, a life-saving drug called naloxone is not only available by prescription, the cost of it is covered through Medicaid.

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