KUNM

Public Health New Mexico

KUNM's Public Health New Mexico reporting project provides in-depth, investigative and continuous coverage of public health in New Mexico, with an emphasis on poverty. For all articles and web exclusive content, go to publichealthnm.org 

In the wake of 11-year-old Ashlynne Mike’s death in Shiprock on the Navajo Nation, questions have surfaced about law enforcement resources, a late Amber Alert and legal jurisdiction for the crime that’s being tried in federal court. Hand-in-hand with those concerns is also the high rate of assault on Native women.

Deleana OtherBull, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women, says talking about these issues is tough, but it has to happen to support health and wellness in tribal communities. 

littlevisuals.co via Pexels / creative commons license

A large fire broke out at a metal recycling plant in Albuquerque early Saturday morning. Bernalillo County issued a warning to neighbors during the fire, saying to stay inside and not breathe the potentially toxic smoke.

NASA

Wednesday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a new set of rules aimed at reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas industry, as part of an effort by the Obama Administration to cut methane emissions 45 percent by 2025.

pixabay / creative commons license

UPDATED 5/12 6a: The Santa Fe City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to raise the number of approved short-term rental units in the city from 350 to 1000. The New Mexican reports 19 people made public comments on the plan, some concerned, others supportive.

Horia Varlan via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Santa Fe is an expensive place to live. But it’s also an expensive place to build. Affordable housing and the bottom line of developers often clash. 

Ed Williams

Living in Santa Fe has gotten more and more expensive over the years. Today, home prices in New Mexico’s capital city are higher than almost anywhere else in the state. So, what happens when people don’t earn enough to make it there?

via PullTogether.org

When state officials unveiled a $2.7 million ad campaign aimed at improving the quality of life for New Mexico kids this week, Catholic leaders responded with criticism, releasing a statement saying it takes more than advertising to fight a problem as big and as severe as child abuse.

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Court proceedings were paused in a hearing about the slow processing of food stamps applications last week when it seemed like a former state employee could incriminate herself.  A supervisor was set to answer questions about falsified applications when the judge asked if she wanted an attorney of her own.

Ed Williams

A chemical company has been testing the air inside homes for toxins near Downtown Albuquerque years after spilling dry-cleaning chemicals into the groundwater. So far, results show residents are not being exposed to chemicals.

Ed Williams

KUNM Call In Show 5/5 8 a: New Mexico has one of the oldest and most vibrant farming traditions in the country. Centuries-old acequia watering systems and ancient farming techniques are still used to grow crops that feed people from Taos to Las Cruces. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Child abuse and neglect is highly preventable—according to a report the CDC just released. It also says stopping child maltreatment altogether should be a public health priority. There are plenty of people who’ve been working in New Mexico on this issue for decades who agree, like the folks at the Nurse-Family Partnership in Albuquerque.

Psychonaught / Public Domain license via Wikipedia

Bernalillo County Commissioners are declaring an emergency over the county’s high level of opioid overdoses. 

PerryPlanet / Wikimedia Commons, public domain license`

On Friday the U.S. Department of Justice released the findings of its investigation into how the University of New Mexico handles sexual assault and harassment.

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The company that handles medical services for prisoners in the state—Corizon Health—is facing hundreds of lawsuits filed by inmates who say care is inadequate. A series in the Santa Fe New Mexican investigates whether state officials have been ignoring warning signs or have done an inadequate job overseeing Corizon. 

Dystopos

Five health clinics housed in public schools are set to lose their state funding this summer. Now the state health department is trying to decide where they’ll send students who use the school-based health centers.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Dollar stores are everywhere these days—they’re being built at a record pace, according to industry reports. In some rural communities in this state, you might not see any store except a dollar store. A campaign is calling on these discount chains to make sure products are nontoxic.

AllenS via Wikimedia / creative commons license

UNM Hospital and UnitedHealthcare are in negotiations over continuing coverage for the company’s Medicaid patients. The hospital and insurer haven’t come to an agreement yet and are extending their negotiations for 60 more days.

Gina McCaleb via Flickr


School-based health centers are clinics housed in public schools that offer primary care, counseling, family planning and other services and the New Mexico Department of Health is closing several of them in the Albuquerque area.

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New Mexico’s attorney general announced on Tuesday that his office cleared the final two behavioral health providers accused of fraud. Those allegations against more than a dozen providers shuttered services that the state is still scrambling to restore.   

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Ads raising awareness about the overdose-reversing drug naloxone will be appearing on the sides of buses around Albuquerque. It’s available over-the-counter now—but only at pharmacies willing to carry the medication.

DOE Photo

The U.S. Department of Energy is hoping to send tons of weapons-grade plutonium waste to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, or WIPP, near Carlsbad.

Andrew McGill via Flickr / creative commons license

Bernalillo County is facing a $19 million dollar budget shortfall next year, and jobs and grants to nonprofits could take a hit.

Ed Williams

When an industrial business like a concrete plant or a hazardous waste processor sets up shop in a residential neighborhood, arguments for economic growth and public health often clash.

Those tensions are especially high in the neighborhood of Mountain View, south of Albuquerque, where dozens of polluting businesses border neighborhoods, community centers and schools.

Flu Season Lingers

Mar 29, 2016
Univ. of Melbourne - public domain

After getting off to a late start this year, flu season is dragging on in New Mexico. The state Department of Health is urging people to get vaccinated.

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KUNM Call In Show 3/31 8a:

The winds have picked up, pollen counts are high, and people around the state are coping with stuffed sinuses, respiratory troubles, and puffy eyes. We’ll talk to experts who help people find both natural and pharmaceutical solutions to these daily woes. Plus, we’ll learn about why plants have such a devastating effect on us.

pixabay via CC

Bioethical questions around the use of fetal tissue in research have been central to a House panel’s investigation, but opponents say it’s all political theater aimed at restricting abortion. The debate is unfolding in New Mexico, as both an Albuquerque abortion clinic and researchers here respond to that panel’s queries.

Courtesy of Dr. Fiona Sinclair

  In order to help babies that are born too early, you’ve got to experiment on fetal tissue. At least that’s what scientists say. A House panel investigation of this kind of research has raised its profile. We went to the University of New Mexico Hospital to find out how fetal tissue is used.

SkyTruth; Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 via Creative Commons

President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau just announced a joint effort to cut down on methane leaks from oil and gas wells. The agreement was part of the Paris climate accord and will have impacts here in New Mexico.

Pecos Enterprise, Smokey Briggs / Courtesy of The Nation

The number of people being prosecuted for illegally crossing the border has risen drastically over the last couple of decades. And the penalty can include lengthy stays behind bars. But where do all these inmates go? 

Karen McCullough

In some parts of Bernalillo County’s South Valley, parks sit adjacent to idling trains, schools lie across the street from waste disposal businesses, and entire neighborhoods are bordered by polluting industries. People living there are what’s known as environmental justice communities—neighborhoods that bear a disproportionate burden of pollution.

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