Public Health New Mexico

Poverty and Public Health
3:13 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Mom Worries About Behavioral Health Services For Her Son With Schizophrenia

Many clients of the providers who've had their funding frozen are considered some of the most fragile residents of the state. Gay Finlayson's son Neil was diagnosed with schizophrenia when he was 20. Doctors told the family it was one of the most difficult mental health conditions to treat.

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Poverty and Public Health
3:00 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Psychiatrist Concerned About AZ Providers

Behavioral health clinicians have direct contact with their clients in a trusted relationship.   Joe Frechen  is a psychiatrist who's been treating people for drug addiction and suicide prevention for 20 years in southern New Mexico.  He works on contract with many current providers and wants to continue that arrangement.

Frechen says he’s concerned that the patients he sees at clinics that have had their funding frozen won’t get what they need from out-of-state contractors hired by the Human Services Department.

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Poverty and Public Health
10:40 am
Wed July 24, 2013

Local Farmers Markets Help Reduce Obesity Rates

Vendors display fresh produce at the market
Deborah Martinez

Farmers markets are in full swing around New Mexico.  That’s good news for families with school-aged children. Childhood obesity rates are declining a bit across the state and around the nation.  What might be playing a role in the decrease?  We visited a northern New Mexico market to find out.

Business is bustling at the Española Farmers Market.

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Poverty and Public Health
6:43 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Hundreds Gather, Urging Officials To Reinstate Funding For Behavioral Health Services

Those gathered were from affected communities across the state.
Mark Venner

Exercising the right to peacefully assemble, this afternoon hundreds of people from across New Mexico stood shoulder to shoulder in a Legislative Finance Committee meeting, urging lawmakers and the Cabinet Secretary of the Human Services Department to reinstate funding for Behavioral Health Services across the state.

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Poverty and Public Health
8:35 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Sequestration Shuts Down NM Head Start Centers

Head Start programs serve kids up to age 5. Early childhood advocates say it prepares them for elementary school and beyond.
Credit Neighborhood Centers via Flickr

Children of low-income families who get free early education services in northern New Mexico will have to seek help elsewhere because two Head Start centers are closing as part of the the federal deficit cutting plan known as sequestration.  Presbyterian Medical Services, the nonprofit that gives a “head start” to hundreds of children before kindergarten, is feeling the pinch and cutting services.   

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Poverty and Public Health
4:06 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Federal Judge Takes Behavioral Health Case Under Advisement

Federal Judge M. Christina Armijo took up the case of behavioral health providers pleading for reinstatement of sanctioned Medicaid funding.
Credit Deborah Martinez

Fourteen Behavioral health providers in New Mexico hoping to have their Medicaid funding reinstated will have to wait at least another day, as the federal court judge asked to decide the issue has taken it under advisement.  

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Poverty and Public Health
2:56 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Health Department Surveys Santa Fe Hospital Staffing

It's business as usual as patients come and go at Santa Fe's Christus St. Vincent Hospital, but inside visitors from the New Mexico Department of Health are undertaking a site survey in response to a complaint by the union representing hundreds of hospital nurses.

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Poverty and Public Health
3:39 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Veterans, Lawmakers Push For Medical Marijuana For PTSD

Credit eggrole via Flickr

In New Mexico, thousands of veterans are living with post traumatic stress disorder.   Some of them are joining forces with elected officials to push for increased access to medical marijuana as a treatment for PTSD.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Poverty and Public Health
4:25 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

New Mexico Health Exchange Still In Question

States aiming to run their own health insurance exchanges, will be in need of federal grants to get those exchanges launched, and are facing a deadline today. New Mexico's application is in, but there's still a question of whether or not the exchange will be run by the state, federal government, or both.


New Mexico's federal grant request totals about $20-million dollars, and will be used for marketing, public relations, and outreach. With much of the states population living in rural areas, that outreach will be critical to the exchanges survival.

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