Infant mortality rates in the Southwest have been steadily declining over the years. But recent data from New Mexico show a surprising spike in 2012. The state has surpassed national infant death rates for the first time since the 1990s.
E-cigarettes – those pen-like nicotine dispensers people inhale without the smoke – are posing challenges for governments trying to reduce the number of people who take up smoking. Today a Legislative panel that oversees spending of a tobacco-settlement fund discussed whether to regulate e-cigarettes in the same way as the traditional kind.
Native Americans have the highest rates of smoking before, during and after pregnancy than any other ethnic group in the nation. That’s according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control.
According to the CDC, 55 percent of Native American women smoked before pregnancy. During pregnancy, that rate dropped significantly to 26 percent. However, that rate was still the highest of any racial or ethnic group in the nation.
The audit that led the Martinez administration to freeze Medicaid funding for more than a dozen behavioral health non-profits in New Mexico is at the center of a hearing Tuesday in Santa Fe.
The Foundation for Open Government sued state government after state officials released a heavily redacted audit to media. FOG attorneys claim the report is “too important to the citizens of New Mexico to be kept form public view.” The open government group asked in its lawsuit for for the audit to be released in its entirety.
Voters in Albuquerque will soon decide the fate of a controversial ballot measure that would limit abortion rights. If approved, the measure would prohibit Albuquerque doctors from terminating a pregnancy, in any way, past the 20 week gestational mark. It does include an exception to the rule though- for when a woman's life is in immediate danger. But some argue the exception doesn't go far enough, and that it could end up dangerously tying the hands of doctors treating women with complicated pregnancies.
Because it isn’t a law enforcement agency, the N.M. Human Services Department can’t justify keeping an audit of 15 health providers secret using the law enforcement exception to a state sunshine law, two news organizations suing for release of the audit say.
People who don’t have a grocery store nearby are often left to settle for fast food choices that are less healthy. But a mobile food truck stocked with everything from chia seeds to collard greens is ensuring that rural residents have a leg up on better nutrition.
In response to New Mexico’s high poverty and food insecurity rates, and growing numbers of diabetes and obesity problems, Sysco Foods’ CEO began MoGro –a mobile grocery store that has been visiting five New Mexico pueblos since January of this year.
It's estimated that 7.4 million people in the southwest will be buying insurance on their own under the Affordable Care Act. Approximately 60 percent of those purchasers will be eligible for help with their insurance bill in the form of tax credits next year.
This summer five Arizona companies took over a dozen New Mexico mental health agencies accused of Medicaid fraud. Clients were assured that there would be no disruptions in their care. But those assurances are withering at five key sites.
The New Mexico Department of Heath has announced that a woman in Santa Fe has died from Hantavirus. It’s the second reported case in the state this year
Preliminary investigations indicate that the Hantavirus was acquired locally, likely within the woman’s home. But the Department of Health says it will also be performing an investigation at the patient’s house to make sure there's no risk to others. The woman’s identity has not yet been released.
A team of scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory are reporting a breakthrough in the effort to develop an HIV vaccine. The research used what’s called a mosaic vaccine, which showed some test animals had protection when exposed to the infection.
The study, which was conducted on 36 monkeys, has provided new insight into vaccines that could eventually protect humans from infection.
LANL scientist Bette Korber said that a mosaic vaccine, unlike traditional vaccines, is designed to respond to the large variety of HIV viruses that exist.
A recent study claims that nearly 30-million people on the planet live in slavery- a practice that relies on the trafficking of human beings. The majority of victims are found in places like India, Thailand and Russia. Human trafficking is also a growing problem in the Southwestern United States, and the black market trade is growing in New Mexico.
A new federal report ranks New Mexico as the state with the highest percentage of citizens with mental illness. But the 416-page survey also reveals states in the Southwest are above average in many areas like access to mental health services.
The purpose of the Behavioral Health 2012 report is to look at where states stand in relation to national averages. The hope is for policy makers to examine areas of the mental health system that need help.
Five years ago victims of human trafficking had no legal remedies under New Mexico’s laws. But in 2008 a new statute provided prosecutors with tools to help victims and bring the traffickers to justice. And the state was years ahead of 39 other states that only began to pass laws this year, according to the Polaris Project.
An audit conducted by the Department of Justice says the New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs failed to comply with essential grant conditions when handling about $4-million dollars in federal awards over the last six years.
According to the audit by the Office of Inspector General Audit Division (OIG), there were conflicts of interest when hiring; questionable payroll costs; and inadequate monitoring of contracts, sub-grantees and timesheets, to name a few of the findings.
No matter what kind of football helmet you buy for your teenager, the risk of concussion is still the same. That's according to a new study that looked to examine the relationship between concussion risk and equipment used to prevent injury.
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.
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. KUNM’s Public Health reporter Deborah Martinez has the details of Dr. Elaine Bearer’s work 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.
In June, Deleana Other Bull was laid off. She lost her insurance, and turned to the Indian Health Service for her needs.
“I recently had a miscarriage, and it was very devastating for me,” said Other Bull. “Going and following up and making sure that everything is okay. It was really scary because I didn’t have insurance.”
Hate it or love it, the Affordable Health Care Act is set to roll out soon. And as most already know, the act requires nearly all citizens to obtain health insurance or face penalties. But some of those exempted from the mandate are Native Americans. That hasn’t deterred private insurance companies from launching a campaign in Indian Country to sign up tribal members in New Mexico.
On a cool, Saturday afternoon on the Navajo Nation a crowd of tribal members are lined up at a row of folding tables staffed by insurance company representatives that speak English.