health

The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) and United Steelworkers are now demanding emergency guidelines related to COVID-19 for the country's mines whether it's for coal, trona, gold or silver. They say voluntary guidance is not a substitute for mandatory and legally enforceable COVID-19 protocols.

Cities and counties across the country are declaring that racism is a public health crisis, including at least one city in the Mountain West.

Megan Kamerick / KUNM

New Mexico is among the ten states with the highest increase in unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning many people have lost health insurance coverage as well. The state says no one should have to pay for testing and treatment related to the coronavirus, but some people are still being charged for that care. KUNM’s Khalil Ekulona spoke with New Mexico Superintendent of Insurance Russell Toal about how the state is trying to help.

Communities across the globe are trying to understand what percent of their population has been exposed to COVID-19 by searching random samples of residents for antibodies against the virus. 

The Mountain West News Bureau is taking questions from listeners across the region about the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have a question, email us at mountainwestnewsbureau@gmail.com or give us a call at 208-352-2079 and leave us a message. This service is powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

Vanessa Bowen

In episode 51, we talk about food access, cooking and gardening during the pandemic. Being able to get healthy food is a problem for many people all the time in New Mexico, but it's become even more of a struggle these last weeks. Many people are working to make sure folks here have food despite new obstacles, like people buying up some items at grocery stores and disrupting the supply chain, social distancing, and extra sanitation precautions to avoid the spread of coronavirus. 

This story was powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

Shelby, Mont. is home to a lot of wheat and barley fields, a decent high school football team, and an Amtrak train that passes through town twice a day. It's a place where almost everyone knows everyone. 

"The people here are fantastic," says William Kiefer, CEO of the only hospital in the county that offers 24/7 emergency medical services. "There's a huge sense of community."

So when people began getting sick and even dying from COVID-19, it hit hard. 

As the nation continues to lag behind on testing for the new coronavirus, Utah and New Mexico rank among the states that have administered the most tests per capita. 

Simon Law via Wikimedia CC

Dangerous dry-cleaning chemicals leached into the soil and the aquifer under Española decades ago. The Environmental Protection Agency pulled out recently after working on cleanup for 10 years, but some of the contamination remains. Now, the state’s taking over, and ignoring investigators’ recommendation to use a different cleanup method.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

The South Valley near Albuquerque has a long history of agricultural practice. Friday, October 4, marked the grand opening of a state-of-the-art greenhouse that will help local farmers and serve as a site where young people can learn the tradition. The shared greenhouse is the first of its kind, and it sits on land that was once an illegal dumpsite.

Ribona Weermeijer via Unsplash / Unsplash license

Studies about kidney disease in the United States have historically left out Native Americans, but a pair of researchers at the University of New Mexico have won a $3.5 million grant that they hope will make way for more equity in health care research. 

Most NM Kids Are Getting Measles Shots

Jun 6, 2019
Teseum via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Outbreaks of measles are popping up around the country, and more parents in New Mexico are requesting vaccine exemptions for their kids. But most kids here are getting vaccinated for measles.

May Ortega | KUNM

Students and adults can get free, confidential health care at a school-based health center in Albuquerque's South Valley.

But leaders at the health center at Robert F. Kennedy Charter School say they’re anticipating they’ll lose their funding and shut down.

School-Based Health Centers, Explained

Apr 24, 2019
May Ortega | KUNM

Students in New Mexico often have more than just homework to deal with. Sometimes they’re fighting depression or they don’t have enough to eat at home. These aren’t the kinds of things you can go to the school nurse for.

But there are dozens of school-based health centers across New Mexico that do address these problems.

Courtesy Bobbie MacKenzie

City officials in Las Cruces say they’ve accepted hundreds of asylum seekers released from detention in just over a week. Those folks might need to see a doctor, a therapist or simply have a warm meal.

So many people in America suffer long-term and dangerous illnesses that come from poor nutrition. A doctor and chef in the South Valley near Albuquerque are part of a team working on tasty solutions.

N.M. Could Boost School Health Center Funding

Mar 5, 2019
Nduati.githae via Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons

 

School-based health centers provide basic health care to students across the state. Several communities have lost theirs due to budget cuts over the last few years.

But some advocates are optimistic that these health care hubs could be revitalized this session.

Free Class On How To Pay For Alzheimer's

Sep 13, 2018
Rawpixel via Unsplash / Unsplash Attribution License

 

Dealing with Alzheimer’s disease can take a toll on people emotionally and financially. A local organization is giving a free class in Albuquerque on Thursday about how to handle your finances when dealing with Alzheimer’s.

Ubud Writers & Readers Festival / Creative Commons Attribution License

 

When you go to your doctor’s office to get help for something like high blood pressure, you wouldn’t expect to get a prescription to join a walking group. There’s a program that does just that for areas in Albuquerque that have higher rates of chronic diseases.

May Ortega | KUNM

 

When pregnant women experience discrimination and stress, their babies do, too. This could help explain disturbing racial inequities in maternal and infant health here.

pexels via CC

Let's Talk New Mexico 4/26 8a: Call 277-5866. We're talking about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and whether people in our state can access it. We'll also talk about the Farm Bill proposed in Congress, which would increase work requirements for people using SNAP, along with other changes. Have you applied for SNAP? How did the process go for you? Or what do you think of work requirements for people participating in this programs? How can people in New Mexico get the food they need? Email letstalk@KUNM.org, tweet #letstalkNM or call in live during the show. 

Taos County Gets Its First Bariatric Ambulance

Mar 12, 2018
Joaquin Gonzales, Director / Taos County EMS

 

Taos County recently rolled out the area’s first ambulance made specifically to transport obese patients. It can make it safer and more comfortable for heavier people to get medical assistance.

State Budget Boosts Public Health

Feb 15, 2018
nmindepth.com

 


Lawmakers passed a $6.3 billion budget Wednesday night. One billion of that will go to behavioral health care and the Department of Health.

 

Health workers would get a raise, and anti-smoking programs would see a multimillion-dollar boost.

Community Farm Puts Down Roots In South Valley

Jul 11, 2017
Pixabay via Public Domain

The South Valley near Albuquerque is seeing an agricultural renaissance of sorts. First Choice Community Healthcare just broke ground today on a community farm there. Advocates are fixing their attention on local food as a form of preventative health care.

Breakfast

Jun 5, 2017
Tamaki Sono, Flickr

6/10: Join us for breakfast on The Children's Hour! The KUNM Kids will explore breakfasts from around the world, and we'll share our favorite recipes with you. 

Spring Is Here: Living In Harmony With Nature

Apr 14, 2017
Creative Commons, Wiki

Sa 4/15, 12p: On Women's Focus, Carol Boss talks with Acupuncturist Dr. Dairne McLaughlin. Learn what to eat, why we eat it and how to stay healthy during spring according to traditional Chinese medicine.  Also, New Mexico women filmmakers talk about the upcoming New Mexico Women in Film Fiesta 2017 and poet Tina Carlson reads from her new book, Ground, Wind, This Body published by University of New Mexico Press.

Gwyneth Doland

Domestic violence gets a lot of attention in New Mexico after something really gruesome happens, but long-term health consequences often go overlooked. A measure in the Roundhouse draws attention to the effects of strangulation. 

Wikimedia Commons via CC

The first time an atomic bomb was ever detonated, it happened in New Mexico. The Trinity test spread radiation far and wide here in 1945. People fighting for the health effects of the blast to be acknowledged by the federal government released the first extensive report on Friday, Feb. 10.

Ob-Gyn Unit Closure Takes Toll On Midwife Clinic

Sep 22, 2016
pixnpics via Flickr, cropped / Creative Commons License

One of the only remaining providers of pregnancy care in Las Vegas is struggling with the lack of an ob-gyn unit at the hospital there. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

The lack of paid sick leave in the U.S. contributes to the spread of disease and emergency medical costs, according to the American Public Health Association. There are no federal laws about it, but some states and cities have passed their own. Advocates in Albuquerque gathered enough signatures to put the issue before voters in November. 

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