Public Health New Mexico

Public Health New Mexico
3:33 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Lingering Concerns During WIPP Cleanup

Containers at WIPP
Credit Wikimedia Commons

As cleanup of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant commences, folks down south remain concerned about transparency and oversight.

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Public Health New Mexico
12:56 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

UNM Students React To Federal Sexual Assault Investigation

Credit Arianna Sena

Earlier this month the U.S. Department of Justice announced it was investigating the University of New Mexico over its policies on sexual assault.

Public Health New Mexico student reporter Arianna Sena gathered student reactions to the DOJ announcement and found that many on campus were unaware that an investigation was taking place.

Click here for a link to resources for victims of sexual assault on campus.

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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
5:39 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

World AIDS Day And Free HIV Testing

Credit jacilluch via flickr

Monday was World AIDS Day and Planned Parenthood offered free and confidential HIV screenings at the Santa Fe Health Center.

In case you missed it, it’s important to know that free testing doesn’t only take place on World AIDS Day. There are organizations all across New Mexico that give tests throughout the year. Planned Parenthood gave over a thousand HIV tests here over the past year.

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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
5:50 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
3:11 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Curanderismo In The Modern Age

Tonita Gonzales prepares for the ceremony in the North Valley of Albuquerque, N.M.
Credit Marisa Demarco

  

When we get sick, most of us make an appointment with a doctor trained in Western medicine. But in New Mexico, for some ailments people might head to their local curandero, a practitioner of regional, traditional healing. And in parts of Mexico and South America, curanderismo is sometimes the only option for medical care.           

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Public Health New Mexico
3:54 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

How APD Handles Mental Health Crisis Calls

Mentally ill James Boyd in a standoff with police in March
Credit Screenshot from video provided by APD through an IPRA request

    

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 11/13 8a: 

The Department of Justice is requiring APD to figure out how to respond to people in mental health crisis with the goal of decreasing the use of force in those situations. The agreement between the DOJ and Albuquerque’s police force also calls for APD to provide crisis intervention training to all officers.

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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
4:20 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Nuclear Security Expert Talks WIPP, LANL And Non-Proliferation

The MK 6 nuclear bomb produced between 1951 and 1955. Modern weapons are dozens and dozens of times more powerful, according to James Doyle.
Credit Public Domain

News broke last weekend that Los Alamos National Laboratory took shortcuts when treating some nuclear waste headed to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. One of the LANL waste drums sprang a radiation leak earlier this year, contaminating workers and closing the facility. 

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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
10:33 am
Sat November 8, 2014

Youth Jam 2014 To Raise Suicide, Bullying Awareness

Screenshot from a YouTube video about the 2014 Youth Jam.
Credit Bernalillo County

Bernalillo County is hosting an event Saturday afternoon to educate young people about suicide, bullying and other youth issues.

All ages are welcome at Youth Jam 2014 at Warehouse 508 from 2-6 p.m.  The County’s Analisa Montoya says the event will highlight over 40 types of resources for young folks - such as Agora, a crisis call center.

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Public Health New Mexico
3:51 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

Report: Rise in Incarceration Has Not Prevented Crime

Credit Michael Coghlan via Flickr CC

Members of a National Academy of Sciences committee presented a report on high incarceration rates at the State Bar of New Mexico this morning. The NAS says the growth in lockups in the United States is historically unprecedented and unlike any other country in the world.

The U.S. has too many people behind bars, according to the NAS report, and the high rate of imprisonment has surpassed any public safety benefit.

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Public Health New Mexico
5:03 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

State Backs Away From SNAP Work Requirements

Credit Sodanie Chea via Flickr CC

The Human Services Department announced it would not begin demanding more New Mexicans on food stamps meet work requirements. The rule change was slated to go into effect at the beginning of this month, but a lawsuit filed by two nonprofits threw a wrench in the works. 

The lawsuit charged HSD with not following proper procedure in alerting people to the rule change—or posting the full and correct version of the work requirement—before it was adopted.

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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
5:16 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Halloween Safety Tips

Credit B.C. Lorio via Flickr

Tonight before you send the kids out trick-or-treating, here are a few things to keep in mind for a safe Halloween.

Children should avoid going out trick-or-treating alone, according to the CDC. Loose-fitting clothing or masks can be dangerous as they can cause tripping and vision obstruction.

Kids who wear bright clothing or reflective tape are more visible in the dark.  Carry flashlights and walk on the sidewalk.

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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
6:48 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Voices Behind The Vote: Veteran Concerned With PTSD

Credit Courtesy of Amber Royster

Amber Royster is a sixth-generation New Mexican and Navy veteran who served in the Iraq War and was deployed twice overseas. She said Bernalillo County’s advisory mental health ballot question and the secretary of state’s race are her main interests this year.

She’s a registered Green Party member, and said she generally prefers to vote on issues instead of candidates. She’s voting for Democrat Maggie Toulouse Oliver for secretary of state because that office can allow direct issues-based questions onto the polls.

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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
6:18 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Voices Behind The Vote: Mental Health Brings Single Mom To The Polls

Christina Dominguez
Credit Denicia Cadena

Christina Dominguez is a single mother of three kids in Albuquerque. Her primary interest in the election is the mental health poll question on the ballot in Bernalillo County. The question is only advisory, which means it wouldn’t become a law if passed, but it’s intended to allow the public to weigh in on mental health funding.

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Public Health New Mexico
5:08 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Lawsuit May Halt Food Stamp Work Requirement

Credit danielle_blue via Flicr CC

Two New Mexico nonprofits filed a lawsuit this week against the state that could halt changes to the state’s food assistance program.

The Center on Law and Poverty and the Southwest Organizing Project, along with three people who rely on food stamps, are asking for a temporary restraining order that would stop a work requirement for certain SNAP recipients that’s slated to go into effect on November 1.

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Public Health New Mexico
6:31 am
Wed October 29, 2014

Voices Behind The Vote: Health Care And War Pull Veteran To The Polls

Pete Comstock and Sharon, his wife of 54 years
Credit Courtesy of Pete Comstock

Veteran Pete Comstock was wounded in Vietnam—once by a hand grenade and once by an AK-47—and he’s recovered physically. “I have some combat trauma issues that I had to deal with as I was recovering coming back. But today, most days I’m pretty normal.”

Comstock, a Republican from Cedar Crest, relies on VA health services and said he zeroes in on issues affecting veterans during every election cycle. In particular, he wants to ensure candidates will commit funding and support to medical care for returning soldiers, address military sexual trauma and work to stop the wars.

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Public Health New Mexico
4:43 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

APD Reform Forum Focuses On Mental Health

The Collaborative on Community-Police Relations talks mental health at the North Domingo Baca Multigenerational Center on Monday, Oct. 27, 2014.
Credit Marisa Demarco

People affected by mental health issues in Albuquerque gathered for a meeting on police reform on Monday night. 

Only people who’d signed up online in advance of the forum were allowed to participate in the discussion about the Albuquerque Police Department and mental health. A handful of participants sat in two separate circles with concentric rings of observers radiating from the center.

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Public Health New Mexico
6:19 am
Tue October 28, 2014

Voices Behind The Vote: Disability Rights The Focus For Mother, Daughter

Nannie Sanchez hosts her public access TV show "Self-Advocacy and Empowerment," produced in collaboration with Quote...Unquote, Inc.

Rosemarie Sanchez and her 39-year-old daughter Nannie are disability rights advocates and hard-line Democrats. Rosemarie adopted Nannie, a child born with Down syndrome, when she was an infant. KUNM Public Health New Mexico reporter Marisa Demarco caught up with them at their home in Albuquerque’s Clayton Heights to talk about how their lives and their politics intertwine. 

Both women are concerned about changes to the developmental disability waiver in New Mexico.

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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
4:22 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Feds Renew Funding For Homeless Healthcare

Credit PANationalGuard via Flickr

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services renewed funding this week for Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless.

Anita Cordova says the $1.22 million grant will allow her organization to continue providing medical and dental care to the homeless community. “Without the money," Cordova said, "we would be unable to provide as many services and pay our providers and staff to do the work that we do.”

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