Public Health New Mexico

Poverty and Public Health
5:08 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Report: Jobs Package Will Do What Cutting Taxes Can't

Credit Ann Arbor District Library via Flickr

New Mexico continues to be sluggish in its recovery from the recession and according to a new report, the state lacks over 100,000 jobs.

Gerry Bradley is with New Mexico Voices for Children, a nonprofit children’s advocacy group that produced the report. He says the state needs a jobs package to fill the gap caused by job loss and lack of job growth.  Bradley says state government has conducted an experiment over the last ten years- cutting taxes for high income people and corporations.

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Poverty and Public Health
5:59 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Long-Term Housing Project Expands With Historic Santa Fe Inn

Credit Deborah Martinez

Moving into a new home is an exciting event, but for people who have experienced homelessness, the joy is especially poignant. In Santa Fe, the renovated Stage Coach Motor Inn is preserving its classic nicho and viga architecture and working to preserve a sense of permanency for some new tenants.

Mark Olson can't seem to get the smile off his face, and he has a lot to be thankful for - not so previously.

(Laughs)"Mmm, no, for awhile there I couldn't smile for a long-time  because of what was happening.  Still the disability is kinda depressing." 

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Poverty and Public Health
10:52 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Long-Term Housing Project Expands With Historic Santa Fe Inn

Moving into a new home is an exciting event, but for people who have experienced homelessness, the joy is especially poignant.  In Santa Fe, the renovated Stage Coach Motor Inn IS preserving its classic nicho and viga architecture ... and working to preserve a sense of permanency for some new tenants.   KUNM's Poverty and Public Health reporter Deborah Martinez has the story.

(amby beep beep of wheelchair):

Mark Olson can't seem to get the smile off his face, and he has a lot to be thankful for.

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Poverty and Public Health
6:08 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Navajo Nation Funds Water Projects

With drought affecting much of the southwest, the Navajo Nation is working to bring water to it's citizens with the tribal government recently approving over $8-million dollars for water infrastructure projects.
The Navajo Nation is roughly the size of West Virginia, has a population of around 170,000 people, and much of the Nations citizens are in need of water.

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Poverty and Public Health
5:00 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Pueblo Of Zuni Breaks Ground On New Housing

Kindergarten children from Zuni Pueblo dance as they celebrate the groundbreaking of the first three homes to be built through US Department of Agriculture’s Self Help Housing Program.
Credit USDA Rural Development New Mexico

In what's thought to be the first housing program of it's kind brought to a tribal community, the Pueblo of Zuni in western New Mexico has broken ground on a series of homes financed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


The "Self-help housing" program works like this: the USDA gives your community a grant to finance housing, delivers supplies to build a home, provides blue prints, then - with the help of technical volunteers - oversees community members build their own homes.

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Poverty and Public Health
3:47 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Insurance Exchanges Could Open Indian Health Service To Non-Indians

Credit Indian Health Service

Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Health Care Act is expected to bring in much needed dollars to the chronically underfunded Indian Health Service or IHS.  But tribal health experts say the main game changer in Indian country will be new health insurance exchanges.  For the first time ever, the IHS, a system traditionally open only to Native Americans, will be competing for non-Indian patients in order to survive. KUNM’s Tristan Ahtone reports.

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Local News
5:31 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

A "New Hope" For The Navajo Nation: Star Wars Gets A Redub

Credit KUNM news

The Star Wars films have been translated into at least 50 languages, but this will be the first time a major movie, Star Wars Episode IV will be dubbed into a North American indigenous language. 
 The translation comes from a partnership between the Navajo Nation Museum, Navajo Parks and Recreation and Lucasfilm.

Manuelito Wheeler is the director of the Navajo Nation Museum and has been working to get the film translated for over three years. He hopes the movie will serve as a tool to preserve the language.

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Local News
5:39 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Indian Health Service Could See Budget Increase

Obama’s proposed budget for Indian Health Services is up from FY 2012 by $124 million.. The White House’s focus on increased funding to IHS programs, it’s now up to congress to make a decision on the President’s budget.

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Poverty and Public Health
5:00 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Medicaid Expansion Brings Finances And Competition To Indian Health Service

Credit Indian Health Service

Around 25-thousand Native Americans in New Mexico will become eligible for Medicaid when the Affordable Care Act goes into effect next year.  The change translates to more money for the Indian Health Service. But as KUNM’s Poverty and Public Health Reporter Tristan Ahtone explains: in Albuquerque, Medicaid expansion will also force Native health providers to deal with something they’ve never faced before: competition from non-tribal health programs.

TRANSCRIPT:

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Poverty and Public Health
11:07 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Human Trafficking Bill Signed

A legislative bill signed into law Friday by Governor Susana Martinez will help victims of human trafficking get cash, emergency housing and other assistance.  The new law takes effect  July 1 and it also provides benefits and services for victims like child care, legal, and food assistance.  Representative Gail Chasey and the nonprofit New Mexico Women's Agenda worked to develop the bill.

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Poverty and Public Health
4:58 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Data Suggests Narcan Program Saving Lives

Credit New Mexico Department of Health

The New Mexico Department of Health reports that the distribution of Narcan is yielding promising results.

Often distributed through syringe exchange programs, Narcan works by causing the body to begin immediate withdrawal from heroin or prescription opioids, essentially reversing an overdose.

Brad Wharton, a drug epidemiologist with the New Mexico Department of Health, says in 2010 and 2011, with Narcan, Santa Fe County saw 12 overdose reversals and 19 heroin deaths; Bernalillo County, 96 overdose reversals and 77 heroin deaths; while in Rio Arriba County:

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Local News
5:23 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Drought Expected To Continue To August

A dry winter, strong winds, and above average temperatures have caused the U.S. Department of Agriculture to declared much of the state to be in a drought emergency.
Jeff Witte with the New Mexico Department of Agriculture says that farmers with the ability to pump groundwater will be able to plant some crops this year. However, Witte says he's optimistic that farmers and ranchers in New Mexico will be able to continue providing viable crops to the state

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Poverty and Public Health
5:10 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

New Mexico Ranks 10th Worst In The Nation For Gun Deaths

Credit Center For American Progress

A report released Wednesday from the Center for American Progress, ranks New Mexico the 10th worst state in the nation for gun deaths.


The report, called "America Under The Gun," puts New Mexico's gun-death rate, 40% higher than the national average, and looked at 10 key indicators like homicide, firearm violence against women, as well violence against law enforcement officials.

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Poverty and Public Health
5:23 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

They Creep, They Crawl, They Suck Your Blood!

This week, the Albuquerque Environmental Health Department convened a Bed Bug Conference to educate the public on bed bug basics: how to identify an infestation, how to treat it, and most importantly, how to prevent an infestation in the first place.
KUNM's Poverty and Public Health reporter Tristan Ahtone went with Rita Daniels to learn about the bugs, and spread the message.

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Poverty and Public Health
2:08 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Two Native Food Systems Programs In New Mexico Awarded Grants

Nambe Pueblo and Taos County Economic Development Corporation are two of ten organizations nationally that have received funding for Native food-systems projects. The projects could bolster economic development while combating food insecurity, health and nutrition disparities in tribal communities.

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Poverty and Public Health
5:26 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Navajo Nation Takes Final Steps To Broadband Access

Credit Navajo Tribal Utility Authority

The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority says it's in the final phases of unveiling high-speed broadband and wireless services for the majority of the Navajo Nation. The project would bring telecommunications services to the nations largest reservation straddling Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico.


A few companies have offered broadband accessibility to parts of the Navajo Nation in the past, however, historically, the Nation has dealt with little to no telecommunications access.

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Poverty and Public Health
6:36 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Centennial Care Tribal Opt-Out Future Uncertain

Tribal health advocates say the clock is running out for legislation that would prohibit the state from forcing Native American Medicaid enrollees into mandatory managed care.


House Bill 376 aims to provide New Mexico's Medicaid-eligible tribal population the ability to opt-in to the states mandatory Medicaid managed care program, Centennial Care.

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Poverty and Public Health
5:07 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Childhood Obesity Levels High In New Mexico, Higher In Native American And Hispanic Children

According to the 2012 Childhood Obesity Update, nearly 15% of kindergarten students and 22% of third graders are obese. 

It's the third year data has been collected, and New Mexico's numbers appear to be leveling off, which is consistent with national trends. However, access to healthy food and adopting healthy behaviors, remain a significant problem for the state, especially in rural and frontier areas.

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Poverty and Public Health
7:27 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Federal Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan Runs Out Of Money

A lack of funding for the Federal Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) has caused New Mexico and other states to suspend enrollment in the plan for the rest of Fiscal Year 2013. Nationally, the PCIP program was budgeted at about 5-billion dollars for 2013, but has now run over budget resulting in the suspension of new applicants.


Approximately 2,000 New Mexicans are currently enrolled in PCIP, which serves people with pre-existing conditions that prevent them from obtaining health insurance through standard outlets.

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Poverty and Public Health
4:32 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Tribal Health Advocates Watch Centennial Care Opt-Out Bill Advance

A bill that would remove the mandatory requirement that Native American Medicaid recipients enroll in a state run managed care program is now heading to the Senate.

Centennial Care, New Mexico’s planned Medicaid program, would require all Medicaid users to enroll with one of four managed care organizations (MCO) contracted with the state.

Under the program, the Indian Health Service, as well as Tribal and urban clinics, would have to bill those same MCO’s for services provided, instead of going directly to the state for reimbursement.

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Local News
7:33 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

NM Program Targets Teen Mental Health

Mental Health professionals at UNM hospital have introduced a new mental illness program. The Early Assessment and Resource Linkage for Youth, or EARLY is focused on early intervention. It's part of a national, ongoing study looking to curb psychosis, which they say is a threat to young adults and their communities.

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Poverty and Public Health
8:39 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

House Judiciary Committee Supports Medicaid Tribal Opt-Out

A bill that would prohibit the mandatory enrollment of Native Americans in the states Medicaid managed care program, Centennial Care, has passed through the House Judiciary Committee unanimously.

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Poverty and Public Health
6:10 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Indian Health Service Prepares For Sequestration

With the possibility of sequestration two weeks away, the Indian Health Services says they could be facing large cuts to program funding. Those cuts could be disastrous for the Indian Health Service which is already dealing with a massively underfunded budget.

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Poverty and Public Health
5:28 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Centennial Care Tribal Opt-Out Clears Committee

A bill that would allow Medicaid eligible tribal citizens in New Mexico to opt-out of the states Medicaid plan, Centennial Care, has taken it’s first steps in the legislature. HB 376, which gives Native Americans the ability to opt-out of Centennial Care has passed out of committee.

Under the states proposed Medicaid program entitled Centennial Care, all Medicaid enrollees in the state would be required to enroll in one of four managed care organizations (MCO) to receive healthcare.

For New Mexico’s tribal population, this proposal is causing problems.

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Poverty and Public Health
5:12 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

NCAI Calls For Action On Violence Against Women Act

Credit NCAI

During the annual State of Indian Nations address today, National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) President Jefferson Keel called on Congress to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) with tribal provisions - which have been one of the primary sticking points for House Republicans.

Citing safety concerns of tribal citizens, NCAI President Jefferson Keel said one in three Native women will be raped in their lifetime; four in ten will be abused by their partner; and that Native women are murdered at rates nearly 10 times the national average.

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Local News
5:22 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

State Reports Two Deaths Related To Flu

The New Mexico Department of Health reports two children have died from flu in the state in the past month, bringing the number of influenza related deaths in New Mexico to 89 since the beginning of the flu season.

Dr. Chad Smelser is an epidemiologist with the Department of Health. He says the number of deaths this year is somewhat elevated in comparison to previous years.

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Commentary
7:00 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Op Ed: A Jobs Plan For NM That Might Actually Work

 

There’s been lots of talk about economic recovery lately, but there’s no good news on the jobs front in New Mexico. Again and again, the business community pushes for corporate income tax cuts and job creation credits.  But there’s no evidence that either does anything but drain the treasury.  So far, we’ve been kissing out tax revenue goodbye, along with the jobs that Hewlett Packard moved to Mexico and the 200 we lost when Schott Solar shut down.

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Poverty and Public Health
5:52 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Compromise Gun Background Check Bill Could Reach House Floor This Week

The momentum is picking up for legislation that would tighten background checks on gun sales, and it could be brought to the floor of the House this week.  The compromise bill has some Republican lawmakers' and the governor's support.

 

Albuquerque Representative Miguel P. Garcia is the sponsor of the bill which mandates background checks at gun shows and removes the provision to have the Department of Public Safety handle the checks.  Instead the onus would be placed on the gun seller to get approval of the sale.

 

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Poverty and Public Health
2:40 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Lujan Grisham Says Sequestration Threatens NM’s Economy

Michelle Lujan-Grisham speaking at today's press conference.

District 1 Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham, says the impending sequestration crisis will hurt New Mexico’s economy. The Democrat was in Albuquerque today to meet with defense contractors and local business leaders.

On March 1st, the automatic cuts, known as sequestration, will take effect. Congress postponed them to March 1 as part of the “fiscal cliff” deal at the beginning of January.

Lujan Grisham says the spending cuts are across the board with no regard to what’s working and what’s not.

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Local News
6:24 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Tribe On Way Toward Managing Medicaid Program

Navajo Nation officials say they are on their way toward managing their own federally funded Medicaid program.

The Farmington Daily Times reports that the nation began looking into creating its own Medicaid program about five years ago because of issues some members had with other health care programs available in New Mexico, Arizona and Utah.

Navajo officials are optimistic that the tribe can sustain its own Medicaid program, even though a feasibility study wasn't as optimistic.

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