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 

AG Joins Fight Over Net Neutrality

Jan 17, 2018
geralt via Pixabay / Creative Commons License

The New Mexico Attorney General is 1 of 22 officials fighting the rollback of net neutrality. The Federal Communications Commission’s deregulation of the Internet could affect people of color disproportionately. Folks advocating for the free flow of information say things could get a lot worse.

State May Need Millions To Save Health Care For Kids

Dec 20, 2017
Pixabay via Creative Commons

The Childrens Health Insurance Program covers over 9 million kids nationally, but the well of federal funds has been dry for months, and with strife in Congress, uncertainty lingers.

How Schools Are Working To End N.M.'s Nurse Shortage

Dec 18, 2017
Sarah Trujillo / KUNM

Nearly one in 10 Americans works in the health care industry. It’s the same for our state, but there’s still a shortage of nurses here. Some schools are making efforts to get more nurses into the field.

Ed Williams / KUNM/Public Health New Mexico

As Republicans in Congress iron out the final version of a massive tax overhaul, some nonprofits in New Mexico are bracing for a hit to their budgets.

Nonprofit leaders are worried changes to the standard deduction could lead to fewer people making charitable donations.

SFPS Looks To Beef Up Digital Education

Dec 1, 2017
bschut via Pixabay / creative commons license

Officials in Santa Fe Public Schools are hoping voters will approve a bond next year to help pay for digital learning programs in classrooms.

The superintendent touted the district’s program at an event Thursday night. 

CSPAN

The Navajo Nation has criticized controversial comments made by President Trump Monday.

At a White House ceremony honoring Navajo Code Talkers who helped the United States win World War II, Trump referred to Senator Elizabeth Warren by calling her 'Pocahontas'—a racially-charged term many find offensive. 

Jessica7191 via Pixabay / creative commons license

Attorneys general across the country are claiming that a 2016 law is preventing the Drug Enforcement Agency from stopping the overprescribing of opioid painkillers. This week New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas signed on to a letter with 44 other AG’s calling on Congress to repeal the “Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act,” saying the law has handcuffed law enforcement from addressing the epidemic. 

UNMH Reverses Surgery Payment Policy

Nov 2, 2017
Sasin Tipchai / Creative Commons via Pixabay

The Albuquerque-area’s public safety net hospital can no longer demand half upfront from uninsured folks getting medically necessary surgeries as of late last week. But advocates say the hospital has yet to fully put this change into practice.

Free Help With Health Insurance Enrollment

Oct 27, 2017
Gordon Johnson / Creative Commons via Pixabay

It’s about time for open enrollment on the state health insurance exchange. The New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange is partnering with Catholic Charities to offer residents free one-on-one appointments with insurance agents and brokers starting November 4th.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

When the oil and gas industry takes a dive, or when extractive industries tank, so do economies in rural areas, where a lot of the jobs come from drilling, or mining, or power plants. A business incubator is helping entrepreneurs on the Navajo Nation with the idea that local skills and talents—and cash flowing in and out of local businesses—are key to independence from environmentally damaging corporations. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Oil and gas drilling and mining companies come to rural areas offering jobs and cash, but they also dig into the land, pull resources out of it and create pollution. There are some folks in these regions who say the trade off isn’t fair in the long run. One organization is working on the Navajo Nation to stabilize the boom-and-bust economy of extraction by boosting local entrepreneurs and small business.

Ed Williams / KUNM/Public Health New Mexico

The Indian Health Service—the federal agency tasked with providing health services to Native American communities—has long been the go-to health care provider for tribes in New Mexico and across the country.

But in recent years, that has started to change, and a growing number of tribes are deciding that managing their own clinics and behavioral health programs will help build healthier, more resilient communities.

Leah Todd

Let’s Talk New Mexico 10/26 8a: In New Mexico and across the West, economies are changing. From agriculture to tech startups, health care and business on tribal lands, communities in New Mexico are working to adapt. 

This week on Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’re looking at communities who are coming up with solutions to the economic changes our state is facing as part of our collaboration with the Solutions Journalism Network's State of Change project. 

NM Expo Hosts World Gay Rodeo Finals

Oct 20, 2017
x posid via publicdomainpictures.net / public domain

The World Gay Rodeo Finals will be hosted this Saturday and Sunday at Expo New Mexico in Albuquerque.

With the event, the New Mexico Gay Rodeo Association aims to provide a safe space for people who identify as LGBTQ to compete and share their experiences.

The Future Of Health Coverage In N.M.

Oct 17, 2017
DarkoStojanovic via Pixabay / creative commons license

Let's Talk New Mexico 10/19 8a: Recently, the Trump Administration has relaxed rules on health insurance plans and contraception coverage, and cancelled subsidies that help get health coverage to low income people. What do these developments mean for the future of health care in New Mexico? 

Ed Williams/KUNM

The Public Education Department is proposing to make language on climate change and evolution less specific in New Mexico’s classrooms.

The state held its only public hearing on the controversial changes to science standards Monday morning.

Health Care Advocates React To Trump Slashing Subsidies

Oct 13, 2017
Images Money via CC

President Trump dealt another major blow to the Affordable Care Act this week — axing subsidies to insurers that help with out-of-pocket expenses for low-income folks.

Local advocates for health care access are calling on Congress to take action to protect the payments. 

N.M. Insurer Saw Trump's Subsidy Cuts Coming

Oct 13, 2017
Proulain via Pixabay / creative commons license

President Trump’s decision to cancel cost sharing subsidies to insurance companies has prompted speculation that plans offered under the Affordable Care Act could unravel. Some insurers in New Mexico are saying not to worry yet.

It's That Time Of Year Again For Flu Shots

Oct 12, 2017
Indiana Public Media / Creative Commons via Flickr

Flu season is here and state officials are urging people to get vaccinated.

Around 36,000 people across the country die each year from the flu, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What Does NM Need To Beat The Opioid Epidemic?

Oct 2, 2017
Ed Williams

Let’s Talk New Mexico 10/5 8a: The opioid epidemic—and what to do about it—has become a national conversation in recent years. Congress has passed bills trying to help, President Trump appointed a task force to outline solutions to the epidemic, and the New Mexico legislature has passed several bills aimed at reducing the death toll from overdoses.

But have those efforts gotten help to the people that need it? What do New Mexico’s communities need to win their fight with opioid addiction?

West Nile Virus Cases Spike In New Mexico

Sep 29, 2017
Wayne W G / Creative Commons via Flickr

There’s been a sharp uptick in confirmed West Nile virus cases this year, alongside recent heavy rains.

The state Department of Health and Governor Susana Martinez are advising people to take precautions against the mosquito borne disease.

UNM Gets $7M Grant For Behavioral Health Research

Sep 29, 2017
Allan Ajifo, CC 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

New Mexico’s flagship university has received a $7 million grant to open a new behavioral health center. Researchers will work directly with people in communities dealing with addiction and mental health issues. 

TBIT via Pixabay / creative commons license

New Mexico’s not-for-profit, low-cost insurance cooperative is selling part of its business to a for-profit insurer.

The company hopes the sale will help buffer against uncertainty around the future of the Affordable Care Act.

NM Insurance Chief Opposes Graham-Cassidy Bill

Sep 25, 2017
DarkoStojanovic via Pixabay / creative commons license

New Mexico’s top health insurance official is adding his name to a letter opposing the latest Republican effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. 

Mora County Sues Over Opioid Epidemic

Sep 22, 2017
Ed Williams / Public Health New Mexico

The opioid epidemic has racked up enormous costs for local governments in New Mexico, as cities and counties struggle to pay for medical care, law enforcement and treatment services for people dealing with addiction.

In recent years a growing number of local governments have been taking opioid manufacturers and distributors to court over those costs—including Mora County northeast of Santa Fe. 

Santa Fe County Holding Special Election Today

Sep 19, 2017
@jbtaylor via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Santa Fe County is holding a special election Tuesday to decide whether to raise the gross receipts tax to fund behavioral health services.

If voters approve the measure, taxes in the county will go up one sixteenth of one percent. Officials estimate that will add up to about $2 million a year, which will go to pay for behavioral health services as well as more public safety positions.

FeeLoona via Pixabay / creative commons license

New Mexico’s poverty rate is getting even worse for children under five years old, according to new numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Now some child advocates and state legislators are renewing their calls to use money from the state’s permanent fund to pay for childhood programs. 

Ed Williams / KUNM/Public Health New Mexico

Bernalillo County is joining a growing number of state and local governments in taking drug companies to court over the opioid epidemic. The county's decision to sue the drug companies comes just a week after Mora County filed its own suit in district court. 

Tanker Supplies Drinking Water To Carrizozo

Sep 6, 2017
User #3345408 via Pixabay / Creative Commons License

Albuquerque’s water utility is helping out a small New Mexico town to the south.

The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority sent a 6,000-gallon water tanker to supply residents in Carrizozo while that city investigates sulfate contamination in the groundwater supply.

HSD Moves Ahead With Unpopular Medicaid Changes

Sep 6, 2017
WerbeFabrikvia pixabay / creative commons license

The New Mexico Human Services Department has been considering charging Medicaid recipients copays in an effort to save money from the state’s cash-strapped budget. The proposals were met with strong opposition in public meetings earlier this year. But the state is moving forward with the changes anyway. 

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