Public Health New Mexico

Poverty and Public Health
3:05 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Number Of Overdose Deaths Among Women Continue To Climb

The figure above shows age-adjusted death rates for drug overdose deaths among women in the United States during 2009-2010.
Credit Centers for Disease Control

New data from the Centers For Disease Control conclude that nationally, overdose deaths among women have been on the rise since 1999; and that since 2007, more women have died from overdoses than motor vehicle-related injuries.

However, officials in New Mexico say those trends are nothing new in the state.

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Poverty and Public Health
5:45 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Navajo Nation Declares Drought Emergency

Plants and dunes on the Navajo Nation.
Credit Margaret Hiza-Redsteer, USGS Flagstaff, AZ / USGS

Navajo President Ben Shelley has declared a state of emergency for drought conditions on the Navajo Nation. Officials are concerned ongoing drought may be creating unsafe conditions for people who need drinkable water.

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Poverty and Public Health
9:31 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Bernalillo County Minimum Wage Increases

Minimum wage workers in unincorporated areas of Bernalillo County got a raise on July 1st. 

The new county wage law that was passed in April raises the minimum wage from $7.50 and hour to $8.00 an hour for businesses outside Albuquerque city limits.  Commissioner Art De La Cruz, a democrat who represents parts of the west side and the south valley was the bill’s sponsor. He says its not a living wage, but that it will help the low paid workers and their communities.

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News Update
6:00 am
Tue July 2, 2013

New Mexico Workers' Compensation Laws May Exploit Dairy Workers

Credit New Mexico Center On Law And Poverty

The injury occurred on the job. A bull mounted a cow, and the worker was pinned against the stall. That led to a bloody and severe shoulder injury, surgery, and an inability to work.

“I went almost one month without work, and then after that, they called me back, but I was in no condition to work,” says this worker. He’s asked us not to use his name because it could jeopardize his ability to find future work in the small, New Mexico town of Portales.  “I would bleed at work, and that’s how they had me working at the dairy.”

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News Update
3:53 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

New Mexico Farmworkers May Be Victims Of Illegal Pay Practices

Credit New Mexico Center On Law And Poverty

You wake up at three in the morning. In El Paso. You board a bus, and spend the rest of your day herding livestock, picking chilies, or milking cows. Then, at the end of the day, you’re handed cash for your work, but it may not be enough.

“So if we work eight, nine, ten hours, they put down that we work less,” says an Agricultural worker who goes through this process on a regular basis. He’s asked not to use his real name for fear of retaliation. “For example, they don’t pay us for more than eight hours, so if you only get $40, they say that’s what you worked, eight hours.”

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Poverty and Public Health
5:00 am
Mon July 1, 2013

New Mexico Agricultural Survey Reveals Labor Abuses

New Mexico's agricultural workers face low pay, dangerous conditions, and have few laws to protect them from abuse. Those allegations are contained in a new report from the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty.

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Local News
9:13 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Governor Urges Caution As July 4th Nears

Governor Susana Martinez urges residents to attend public fireworks displays and heed fireworks bans.
Credit Deborah Martinez

Santa Fe skies are obscured by clouds and haze from area wildfires, but fire officials are reassuring residents that the smoky air does not pose immediate health risks for most people.

Several of the wildfires burning in New Mexico have been contained, but the Jaroso Fire northeast of Santa Fe is still raging uncontrolled.  Wind is pushing smoke into populated areas of the state, and that has residents concerned.

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Poverty and Public Health
11:01 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Report Shows Housing Becoming Costlier In New Mexico

The number of households that are paying more than 30 percent of their income in rent has gone up steadily since 2007.
Credit The State of the Nation's Housing 2013 Report

The economy is improving, according to a new housing report, but the number of households spending more than 30-percent of their income on housing higher than ever.

The State of the Nation's Housing report for 2013, published by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, says households that spend more than 30-percent of their income on housing are considered to be “cost-burdened.”

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KUNM Call In Show
11:11 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Why Are New Mexico Seniors Not Getting Enough To Eat?

Credit reedwade via Flickr

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 6/27/13 8a: One out of five New Mexico seniors doesn't get enough to eat. Why is there such food insecurity among the elderly here and what can be done? Are there seniors in your neighborhood who need assistance with meals? We'd like to hear from you! Email callinshow@kunm.org, post your comments online, or call in live during the show. 

277-5866 (locally)

877-899-5866 (toll free)

Host: Deborah Martinez, Poverty and Public Health Reporter

Guests: 

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Poverty and Public Health
3:45 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

21 Percent Of New Mexico's Seniors Have Food Insecurity

One out of every five senior citizens in New Mexico isn't getting enough to eat, according to a report from United Health Foundation. New Mexico ranks 49th in the nation for food insecurity.

The America's Health Ranking Senior Report looks at general health and food insecurity, among other issues facing the aging population.

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Poverty and Public Health
5:39 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Friction Between State Agencies Escalates As Health Exchange Deadlines Near

Credit zpeckler via Flickr

New details have emerged about changes that were made to a grant proposal the state submitted to the federal government related to the state's Health Insurance Exchange.

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Poverty and Public Health
10:53 am
Thu June 13, 2013

NM Vets Battle For Healthcare Off The Field

Credit DVIDSHUB via Flickr

Veterans with combat disorders joined their families this week to express their frustration at how long it takes to get veterans services. Congressional representatives Steve Pearce and Michelle Lujan Grisham hosted the public forum in Albuquerque Monday.  

Fans ran at high speed in the American Legion Post 13 auditorium as outside temperatures inched up to 100 degrees.  Tensions were also heated among the families of veterans who've had trouble receiving healthcare services once they're off the battle field.  

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Poverty and Public Health
5:01 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Study: Half Of Native American High School Students Graduate In US, New Mexico

Navajo Technical College commencement, 2012.
Credit US Department of Education

  Only half of the Native American students in the U.S. graduated from high school in 2010, according to a new report by the non-profit publisher of Education Week. The study found Native American students graduated at a rate 30 percent lower than white students, 17 percent lower than Latino students, and 10 percent lower than African American students.

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Poverty and Public Health
4:40 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

New Mexico Ranks Highest For Childhood Hunger

The Southwest has some of the highest rates of childhood hunger in the country. That's according to a new study that says New Mexico is the most food insecure state in the nation.

The report, authored by Feeding America, ranked New Mexico first for child hunger, followed by Arizona in third place, Nevada in eighth, Texas in ninth place, and California in 10th. Sonya Warwick is with New Mexico's Roadrunner Food Bank.

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Poverty and Public Health
1:18 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Tainted Frozen Berries Spread Hepatitis-A Across West

More cases of Hepatitis ‘A’ found in tainted frozen berries from Costco Wholesale have been identified in New Mexico and the southwest, with 100 people who were exposed receiving a vaccination. At least 61 people are sick and have been hospitalized in seven states, including New Mexico, according to the New Mexico Department of Health.   David Selvage is an epidemiologist with DOH.  He says people who have eaten the Townsend Farms Organic Anti-oxidant Blend frozen berries in the last 14 days should see their doctor or go to a clinic to get the Hepatitis-A vaccine.

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Poverty and Public Health
5:50 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

EPA To Inspect Acoma Pueblo For Radioactive Materials

The Environmental Protection Agency says they'll be inspecting properties on Acoma Pueblo in western New Mexico for radioactive materials. The assessment is one of numerous being conducted in the southwest, and in Indian Country.

Since 2009, the EPA says they've been doing structural assessments of properties near former uranium mills and mines, including the Navajo Nation, Laguna Pueblo and now Acoma Pueblo.

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Poverty and Public Health
9:28 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Free Summer Meals Program For Children Underway

 

Children who depend on free meals at school in New Mexico have a place to go this summer now that the state's summer meals program is up and running. 

 

The pre-packaged meals usually include a sandwich, carrots or another veggie, milk or juice and fruit, and for kids who might not otherwise get lunch at home during the summer months.  New Mexico's Children, Youth and Families Department doles out the money to schools and local government agencies that hand out the meals at  central locations in dozens of cities.  Henry Varela is CYFD's spokesman.

 

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Poverty and Public Health
3:39 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Federal Grant Will Mean HIV/AIDS Housing Help

People and families living with HIV/AIDS in northern New Mexico, will get help with housing, as a result of a federal grant award, for a one-of-a-kind assistance program.  

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Poverty and Public Health
7:57 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Navajo Nation In Violation Of HUD Grants

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD for short, says the Navajo Nation has failed to spend nearly $150-million in housing grant money for fiscal year 2012. Since 2000, the Navajo Nation have almost consistently failed to spend HUD grant money.

In a letter of warning to the Navajo Housing Authority, HUD gave notice that the tribe was in violation of the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act.

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Poverty and Public Health
7:53 am
Fri May 31, 2013

NM Lawmakers Look For Ways To Replace Funding For SNAP

The effects of the sequester are beginning to hit home for many of New Mexico’s federally funded social programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, that provides a small amount of grocery money for hundreds of thousands of New Mexicans each month.  Several speakers at the New Mexico State Legislature's Health and Human Services Committee meeting Thursday pointed out that New Mexico leads the nation in income inequality, making it one of the poorest states in the nation.  

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Poverty and Public Health
10:03 am
Wed May 29, 2013

New Mexico Public Defender Will Be Picked By New Commission

New Mexico’s Public Defender’s office has been undergoing changes since voters approved a constitutional amendment creating an independent office last year.  A commission made up of 11 members appointed by Governor Susana Martinez and state legislators will select a chief public defender by mid-October, moving the department out of the governor’s authority.

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Poverty and Public Health
7:54 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Some Critically Ill Residents Could End Up Paying More for Health Care

Credit clevercupcakes via Flickr

Some critically ill New Mexicans could end up paying more for their health care this year.

Almost 16 hundred New Mexicans are slated to be shifted out of a state high risk medical insurance pool into a new federal health coverage plan on July 1st. That's because the federal government is cutting funding for the state program to just over 12 million dollars.

But the new plan would cost more for the patients, many of whom suffer from HIV/AIDS, cancer, and diabetes -chronic diseases that are often quite expensive to treat.

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Poverty and Public Health
4:49 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

NM Officials To Help Victims Of Unlicensed Dentist

New Mexico Department of Health officials want to help any victims of an unlicensed tooth doctor who was operating as a "mobile dentist" out of a sedan around Santa Fe.

State health officials are offering counseling and testing services for any victims of a man known as "El Dentista."

The services include no-cost confidential blood tests and referrals for additional services if needed.

Santa Fe police are trying to build a strong case against 36-year-old Eliver Kestler, also known as Eliver Lopez.

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Local News
4:45 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Navajo Nation Opens Flagship Casino In Arizona

New sets of twin arrows are beckoning travelers on Interstate 40 in northern Arizona.

A grand opening for the Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort is set for Friday. It's the Navajo Nation's first casino in Arizona, about 20 miles east of Flagstaff.

The 267,000 square-foot building sits across the interstate from an old trading post and rest stop known for the giant twin arrows that point toward the ground.

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Local News
8:10 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Thousands Seek Work Even As NM Jobless Rate Drops

Credit Ann Arbor District Library via Flickr

  Thousands of people in New Mexico are still looking for work or at least better jobs even as the state's unemployment rate is down.

The Department of Workforce Solutions reports that New Mexico's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.7 percent in April, down from 6.9 percent in March and 7 percent in April 2012.

The department says New Mexico gained about 7,900 jobs during the past 12 months, for a 1 percent growth rate.

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Poverty and Public Health
5:40 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

New Mexico Will Get Hybrid Health Exchange

Credit clevercupcakes via Flickr

  

UPDATE: Exchange board chairman J.R Damron said Monday that New Mexico will focus on having a state-run insurance exchange ready for small businesses this fall and will use a federally operated exchange to offer insurance coverage to individuals for the next year.

He said a "hybrid" approach to the exchange was necessary because the state didn't have enough time to implement its own computer system to serve individuals by a looming federal deadline.

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Local News
4:01 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Navajo Nation Explores Future Of Coal

Credit Navajo Nation

The Navajo Nation says the only financially viable future for its coal supply may be in clean coal technologies, and overseas exports.

KUNM's Tristan Ahtone reports the Nation is taking preliminary steps to find a future for its coal resources in light of tough, domestic regulations.

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Local News
6:08 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Report: Economic Recovery Especially Slow For Hispanics In New Mexico

The unemployment rate for Hispanics in New Mexico is double the rate for non-Hispanic whites, according to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute.

In the last quarter of 2012, the unemployment rate for Hispanics here was 8.2 percent, compared to 4.7 percent for whites.

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Local News
4:38 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Mescalero Apache Explore Rare Earth Element Mining

Purified Yttrium, one of two rare earth elements found on the Mescalero Apache reservation.
Credit Wikicommons

The Mescalero Apache tribe of New Mexico says it is looking to expand it's economy by mining rare earth elements. The elements are highly sought after for their applications in high-tech and green industries.

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Poverty and Public Health
4:32 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

West Nile Virus Cases Up Across Southwest

Map of United States West Nile virus activity, 2012
Credit CDC / CDC

West Nile virus cases in the Southwest are up from previous years, according to new 2012 statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control.
First discovered in New York around 1999, the West Nile virus traveled west, carried by birds and mosquitoes, eventually hitting the Southwest.

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