Public Health New Mexico

Public Health New Mexico
7:51 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

Harvesting Health In The South Valley

High school students planting crops at Grow the Future in the South Valley near Albuquerque.
Credit Ed Williams

Santiago Maestas has been growing fruits and vegetables on a small plot of land in the South Valley for over 40 years. A centuries-old acequia near Isleta Boulevard south of Albuquerque carries slow-moving irrigation water away from the Rio Grande and into fields and gardens.

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Public Health New Mexico
7:38 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

Local Behavioral Health Provider To Step In As Arizona Firm Closes

Credit thetutoress.com / Creative Commons License

A Las Cruces behavioral health provider will take over clients of La Frontera, an Arizona firm that is shutting down its New Mexico offices.

Matt Kennicott from the state Human Services Department says many staff members from La Frontera are applying to work at La Clinica de Familia and that that will make the transition go smoothly.

"People who are seeing their current providers will continue seeing their providers even after the switching of companies is made," Kennicott said.

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KUNM Call In Show
6:00 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

Santolina: Smart Growth Or Public Health Risk?

Credit Mike Tungate via Flickr / Creative Commons License

KUNM Call In Show 5/7 8a: Bernalillo County commissioners are considering a residential development plan to build almost 40,000 new homes west of Albuquerque. Developers say it’s a smart, efficient way to plan for population growth and boost the local economy—but critics say it will hurt public health and burden dwindling water supplies. We’ll talk with Santolina’s planning team, public health researchers and South Valley farmers. We'd like to hear from you! Email callinshow@kunm.org, post your comments online below or call in live during the show. 

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Public Health New Mexico
3:47 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

Health Concerns Overshadow Albuquerque Trash Proposal

Credit Mark Bray via Flickr / Creative Commons License

The sound of city garbage trucks cruising the streets is familiar to most of us. But it’s a sound many people in Albuquerque’s North Valley are worried they’ll be hearing too much of, if the city’s proposal to build a trash center here goes through. Neighbors like Peggy Norton say the plan is a threat to the surrounding area.

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Public Health New Mexico
5:27 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

Emergency Responders Can’t Always Reach People On Pajarito Mesa

Carlos Proffit points out landmarks from his front yard on Pajarito Mesa.
Credit Marisa Demarco / KUNM

On a huge stretch of mesa to the Southwest of Albuquerque, people have built dwellings. These homesteaders on Pajarito Mesa say when they call for emergency services, help isn’t always on its way.   

There are questions about the legality of land-ownership or even whether people should be living in this part of Bernalillo County. Some county officials say they don’t want to encourage anyone to move there by providing services.   

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Public Health New Mexico
8:22 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

Nurse Says She Lost Her Job For Speaking Out

Diane Spencer speaks at the Roundhouse to announce the filing of safe staffing legislation.
Credit Bruce Wetherbee

How clean was the hospital when you were there? How well did nurses and doctors explain things to you? When answering these questions, people in New Mexico ranked state facilities poorly, according to federal survey data that was just released. Local union members say that’s because hospitals like the one in Santa Fe run on staffs that are too small in order to pinch pennies.

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KUNM Call In Show
4:43 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

Healthcare For New Mexico's Veterans

Credit Nimfolb via Flickr / Creative Commons License

KUNM Call In Show 4/30 8a: 

Several VA healthcare facilities in New Mexico are some of the worst in the nation when it comes to wait times for appointments and case backlogs. We'll find out what veterans are experiencing when they try to get medical care, in VA facilities and elsewhere.

We'd like to hear from you! Email callinshow@kunm.org, post your comments online or call in live during the show. 

Guests:

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Public Health New Mexico
6:43 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

Union Wants City Backup On Santa Fe Hospital Conditions

Lorie MacIver (right) and nurse Delma Delora answer questions in front of Santa Fe's City Hall on Friday, April 24.
Credit Marisa Demarco / KUNM

The health care employees union used a Santa Fe hospital’s low patient rating as grounds to call for help from city officials on Friday morning. 

Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center did worse than most hospitals in the state in recent patient surveys, scoring only two of five stars.

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Public Health New Mexico
4:35 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

VA Extends Hotline For Speedier Appointments

Credit Samantha Celera via CC

The state's Veterans Affairs Health Care System set up a hotline to help people speed up appointments. It was going to expire Thursday but has been extended for another two weeks.

The hotline was established earlier this month after news broke that four VA medical facilities in New Mexico had some of the longest waits for health care in the country.

Veterans with appointments scheduled out 30 days or more can call 505-222-3351 to find alternatives. The hotline will be live through Thursday, May 7. Find out more at publichealthnm.org.

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Public Health New Mexico
5:22 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

Asphalt Plant Proposal Sparks Public Meetings

Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge
Credit fws.gov

  

Albuquerque’s Environmental Health Department is going to hold hearings on a proposal to build an around-the-clock hot-mix asphalt plant less than half a mile from the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge in the South Valley. The department received 156 public comments on the plan. 

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Public Health New Mexico
2:18 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

VA Director On Secret Lists, Long Waits And A Noble Mission

Andrew Welch at an April press conference, discussing the news that clinics in Farmington, Rio Rancho and Santa Fe—and the VA hospital in Albuquerque—had some of the longest wait times in the country.

Last year, a veteran in Albuquerque died at the VA medical center cafeteria after waiting 30 minutes for an ambulance.

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Public Health New Mexico
8:13 am
Wed April 22, 2015

Trash Site Proposal Raises Concerns In Albuquerque's North Valley

Credit Ed Williams-KUNM

About one hundred people showed up to a City of Albuquerque public meeting Tuesday on a proposal to build a trash transfer center in the North Valley.

Under the proposal garbage trucks would drop the city’s trash at a 75,000 square foot waste transfer station at the corner of Edith and Griegos - then larger trucks would haul the trash off to the dump.

Jane Foster lives in the neighborhood and, like many who attended, says she worries the plan will harm people living nearby.

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Public Health New Mexico
7:58 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

Patients Rank N.M. Hospitals Low

Credit triller14 via CC

Before you try a new restaurant, you might check out reviews to see what other customers thought of the place. Now you can do that with hospitals, too. But our state’s hospitals aren’t stacking up so well.

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Public Health New Mexico
2:49 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

KUNM Reporting Series

Using audio and video files obtained from the Albuquerque Policy Department, KUNM's public health project is investigating officer-involved shootings with an eye on mental health, substance abuse, poverty and post-traumatic stress disorder. It's part of a larger conversation about where health intersects with the criminal justice system and public policy.

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Public Health New Mexico
2:47 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

KUNM Reporting Series: Solitary Confinement

The use of solitary confinement on people with mental illness is costing counties millions of dollars. The most famous example is Stephen Slevin, who was awarded $22 million after spending nearly two years in solitary in the Doña Ana County jail. KUNM's Public Health New Mexico Project developed a three-part series on the use of segregation around the state, looking at jails, prisons, mental health and incarceration, and recidivism. 

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Public Health New Mexico
2:42 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

KUNM Reporting Series

The Rio Grande runs through three states, and all along the way communities use the river’s waters for drinking, crop irrigation, and for Native American religious ceremonies. But with New Mexico’s biggest urban centers and military bases—and the substantial pollution they generate—near to the riverbanks, how safe is the Rio Grande for people and wildlife?

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Public Health New Mexico
6:20 pm
Fri April 10, 2015

Governor Signs Health Care Price Comparison Bill

Credit Leo Reynolds via CC

Gov. Susana Martinez signed a bill today that makes it so people seeking health care can find out what different routine procedures cost at hospitals around the state. Fourteen other states have these websites.

Patients will be able to shop around and find the best deal on medical procedures—and see which hospitals perform them best—when a new public website goes up. Prices of vary drastically from hospital to hospital, according to Think New Mexico’s Fred Nathan, and unveiling the price tags actually drives costs down.

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Public Health New Mexico
5:12 pm
Fri April 10, 2015

Nurse Union: Education Bills A Good First Step

Credit KUNM

This week Governor Susana Martinez signed a pair of bills aimed at addressing New Mexico’s nurse shortage by making more financial aid available for educators. 

Registered nurses who will become medical instructors can now use the Nurse Educators Fund to get a higher degree.

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Public Health New Mexico
4:17 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

No Fines For Sewage Overflow

Water being treated at the Southside Wastewater Reclamation Plant
Credit Ed Williams

The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority announced Wednesday that it’s building more backup safety systems at the wastewater treatment plant following a massive spill of partially treated sewage into the Rio Grande.

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Public Health New Mexico
5:20 pm
Wed April 8, 2015

CDC Backs Long-Term Birth Control For Teens

Credit Contreleurope via CC

New Mexico still had the highest teen pregnancy rate in the U.S. last year, but the good news is that it’s declining—here and in the rest of the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a recommendation this week for how to drop the rate even further.

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Public Health New Mexico
6:00 pm
Fri April 3, 2015

Mora Commissioners Repeal Fracking Ban

Credit Wild Earth Guardians via flickr

Mora County was the first county in the United States to ban the practice of fracking. But, last week, commissioners there unanimously voted to overturn the ban.

Last week’s vote repealed a 2013 ordinance passed by the county commission that said fracking was a violation of the community’s right to clean air and water.

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Public Health New Mexico
5:54 pm
Fri April 3, 2015

Asphalt Company Applies For Permit Near Wildlife Refuge

Greenmonster via Compfight CC

The public comment period ends Saturday, April 4, about an asphalt plant that could go in near a wildlife reserve in the South Valley. Albuquerque Asphalt applied for a permit to build at hot-mix asphalt plant, and neighbors are concerned that the site for the plant is too close to the Valle de Oro Wildlife Refuge. It’s a little more than half a mile away.

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Public Health New Mexico
4:01 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

Getting Healthcare Online, To Rural Patients

Credit Intel Free Press / Wikimedia Commons

KUNM Call In Show 4/2 8a:

With high rates of illnesses like diabetes or addiction, rural New Mexicans have some of the most pressing medical needs in the state. But those same residents have the most trouble getting the health care they need. We'll dig into the health needs in rural New Mexico and explore how the Internet is being used to fill some gaps.

We'd like to hear from you! Email callinshow@kunm.org, post your comments online or call in live during the show. 

Guests: 

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Public Health New Mexico
12:07 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Round Two For Flu In New Mexico

Credit Auntie P. via Compfight CC

The weather’s warming up, but flu season’s not quite over. Even if you already had the flu this season, if you feel ill, you could have it again. A second virus is making its way around New Mexico. 

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Public Health New Mexico
5:17 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

State Works To Fill The Void Left By Turquoise

District Court judges in Chaves County have expressed concern that they won't be able to order people into treatment if behavioral health capacity in the area is diminished.
Credit Marisa Demarco / KUNM

An Arizona nonprofit that came to New Mexico after the 2013 behavioral health shakeup called it quits on March 31 after less than two years. 

Turquoise Health and Wellness was the main provider of mental health and substance abuse treatment to several cities in Southeast New Mexico. Not anymore. Human Services Department spokesperson Matt Kennicott said since the company gave its 90-day closure notice, the state has been working with communities to find replacements.

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Public Health New Mexico
5:48 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Turquoise Closure Leaves Roswell Courts Scrambling

Judge Freddie Romero gives candy bars to the kids who have a good day in Drug Court.
Credit Marisa Demarco / KUNM

After less than two years serving southeastern New Mexico, a behavioral health provider will shutter its programs on March 31, leaving hundreds without services.

What does this mean for Roswell and its courts, which were ordering offenders into treatment there?

Judge Freddie Romero presides over the drug court for juveniles in Chaves County. It’s not what you might imagine. The judge is warm and friendly. The kids who approach the podium with their parents in tow are everyday teenagers—jeans, T shirts, the occasional piercing.

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Public Health New Mexico
7:40 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Public Health In The 2015 Session

Credit Arianna Sena

Psychiatric Meds In School—PASSED

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Public Health New Mexico
5:14 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Federal Fracking Regulations To Affect Much Of New Mexico

Credit wcn227 via Flickr

The Obama administration announced broad new federal regulations of hydraulic fracturing last week. The rules will only apply to drilling on public land — which in New Mexico accounts for around half of all oil and gas operations.

The new regulations announced by the Interior Department allow for federal inspections of drill sites and require public disclosure of fracking chemicals, among other things.   

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Public Health New Mexico
3:54 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Could Dental Therapists Fill The Access Gap?

Dr. Patricio Larragoite serves an adult patient at the Cochiti Dental Clinic.
Credit Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Advocates have tried since 2011 to pass a bill that would create a new breed of mid-level dental care providers in New Mexico. It passed the state’s House of Representatives on Monday for the first time ever on a bipartisan vote. If the Senate gives it a thumb’s up before the session ends on Saturday at noon, it could mean a big change for dentistry. 

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Public Health New Mexico
5:04 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Albuquerque Awards $2M For Homeless And Hunger Services

Credit Thomas Quine via Flickr

  

The city of Albuquerque will award over $2 million in contracts to five local nonprofits to fund mental health, homelessness and hunger programs. 

Half a million dollars of the city’s funding will pay for housing programs run by Health Care For the Homeless and the Supportive Housing Coalition. Anita Córdova is with Healthcare for the Homeless.

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