public health

Marshall Segal via Flickr / Creative Commons 2.0 license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

A new statewide mask mandate goes into effect Friday, Aug. 20, across New Mexico. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is also mandating vaccinations for anyone attending the New Mexico State Fair in September. She urged officials with the upcoming Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta to take similar precautions.But reporter Shaun Griswold raised concerns about another iconic New Mexico event -- Santa Fe Indian Market.

Cases of the COVID delta variant are surging nationwide, prompting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week to issue new guidance for vaccinated people to mask up in areas with high transmission rates. But if infections continue to rise, some Western states have limited how officials can respond.

Idaho, Montana and Utah recently passed laws softening local or executive authority during a public health crisis.

No More Normal: Gun Violence Part 2

May 23, 2021
Marisa Demarco / KUNM

  Young people in the last decades have had to study more than academics—they’ve had to learn what to do when a person shows up to your school with a gun and starts shooting. And unfortunately those types of skills could help you anywhere these days—even on Capitol Hill. As the American pandemic of gun violence grows, so do the arguments about what can be done about it. Often those arguments are about the Second Amendment, but do we have the right to bear arms ... right? Or are we arguing about it wrong? NoMoNo hits part two of our look at gun violence.

No More Normal: Gun Violence Part 1

May 16, 2021
Courtesy of New Mexicans To Prevent Gun Violence

As of Friday, May 14, there have been nearly 16,000 deaths due to guns so far this year in the United States, according to data from Gun Violence Archive. Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic, protests about racial equity, and the general election dominated our attention, but that doesn’t mean that other serious matters like gun violence disappeared. Data from the archive shows that nearly 20,000 Americans died by guns last year—the highest total number of deaths in at least the last two decades. The problem didn’t go away. Our attention did. In episode 29 we take a look at the problem of gun violence in America, where we stand and what can be done about it.

New Mexico Working To Solve Disparate Vaccine Rates

Apr 19, 2021
Marisa Demarco / KUNM

 In the race for herd immunity, New Mexico is being heralded around the country as an unlikely frontrunner. Over half of the state’s population has gotten at least one dose of vaccine. But when it comes to some demographics hit hardest by the virus, vaccination rates are falling short. The numbers continue to highlight what the pandemic put into sharp relief—structural racism interfering with public health efforts.

Courtesy Running Medicine


University Showcase, Friday, 01/15, 8a:On this episode we talk with the group Running Medicine, which recently won a national award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that recognizes and honors those in sport who display an innovative and collaborative approach to making their communities healthier places to live. 

The entire four-person staff of a county health department in northwest Montana resigned this week.

No More Normal: We Need A Plan

Nov 1, 2020
Eric J. Garcia / El Machete Illustrated

The final presidential debate of 2020 got passing marks because the candidates managed to take turns. But rarely did they roll out the kind of action plans the moderator was looking for. She kept asking: If elected, what will you do about this big problem we are facing? Still, candidates did not venture into specifics. We think that was by design. The strategy was, make debate No. 1 so bad that by the time debate No. 2 comes around, expectations are so low, everyone will just be grateful it’s not incoherent shouting and call it good. But in a time with multiple crises pressing down on us, specific plans can pull people together, provide direction and alleviate anxiety. So that’s what this episode is all about. What do you want to hear candidates talking about? What kinds of plans and policies do you wish they were outlining before the public?

A new report shows that the COVID-19 recession has households in the Mountain West facing high hardship rates, especially when it comes to rent and food security.

 


USDA Photo by Bob Nichols / Creative Commons

While the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated issues of food access for consumers, it’s also made things more dangerous for those who grow and harvest the food we rely on. Early in the pandemic, the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty wrote to the state asking leaders to make a plan to keep agricultural workers safe. KUNM’s Khalil Ekulona spoke with Felipe Guevara, a workers’ rights attorney at the center, about conditions for farm- and dairy workers before and during the pandemic.

Canva / Creative Commons

New Mexico’s harvest season is reaching its peak as the coronavirus continues to spread. The state’s agricultural workforce faces unique barriers to getting information about COVID-19, staying healthy, and reducing the likelihood of viral spread in their communities. KUNM’s Khalil Ekulona spoke with Ismael Camacho, Staff Attorney for New Mexico Legal Aid’s Farmworker Project, about the working conditions he’s seeing and efforts to help inform and protect these essential workers.

The Mountain West has seen the largest increase in mask-wearing over the last few months than any other region, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.


Daniel Bear lives in Kenilworth, Utah, a small community of around 200 people between Salt Lake City and Moab. Earlier this year, Bear suffered a woodworking accident that involved his hand and a tablesaw. It was messy.

It all started at Dr. Sanjeev Arora's clinic in New Mexico.

"One Friday afternoon, 18 years ago, I walked into my clinic in Albuquerque to see a 42-year-old woman who had driven five hours with her two children," Arora said before a recent Senate committee hearing.


Let's Talk Preventing Violence From The Ground Up

Aug 5, 2020
Hannah Colton / KUNM

Let's Talk New Mexico THU 8/6, 8a: With federal agents being sent to Albuquerque to fight violent crime as part of Operation Legend, many in the community are pushing back, saying more police officers aren’t what’s needed to make things safer. This week on the call-in show, we’ll look beyond the traditional criminal justice system, and discuss community-led and public health approaches to preventing violence.

IRS Gives Some Folks Just 48 Hours To File For Dependents Stimulus

Apr 21, 2020
Matthew Bisanz / Wikimedia Commons

  The number of grandparents raising their grandkids has been rising all over the country, and especially in New Mexico. Those folks might be affected by a last-minute deadline the IRS announced Monday, April 20. People who get federal benefits—and who didn’t file a tax return in 2018 or 2019—only have until Wednesday, April 22, at 10 a.m. MST to fill out a form on the online IRS portal to get stimulus money for their dependents.

YNMG & COVID: Help Needed

Mar 26, 2020
Courtesy of NM Craft Responders

In episode 29, we hear from people who are creating resources and helping out in their communities. Longtime organizer Selinda Guerrero talks about all of the people working together on the Mutual Aid network, providing food and other necessities to folks that many government efforts don't reach. Rebecca Jones talks about the grassroots Navajo and Hopi COVID-19 relief project started by Ethel Branch. Szu-Han Ho and Miriam Langer are two N.M. college art instructors mobilizing a network of people to sew reliable masks for folks in the state. Plus, Gilbert Ramírez, deputy director of the city's Health Programs, tells us about the rent relief fund.


  University Showcase 2/21 8a: Alzheimer’s and dementia represent a growing crisis around the world and New Mexico faces many challenges in addressing these illnesses.

Doctor Urges Flu Vaccination

Oct 3, 2019
Hyttalo Souza via Unsplash / Unsplash license


It’s the start of flu season and multiple cases have been reported in New Mexico, including one death.

Alcohol Death Rate Rises In N.M.

Sep 25, 2019
Thomas Picauly via Unsplash / Unsplash license


New Mexico has had the country’s highest rate of alcohol-related deaths for more than 20 years. And last year it only got worse.

 

Vaping Illness Cases Rise To 12 In New Mexico

Sep 11, 2019
Lindsay Fox via Flickr / Creative Commons License

There are more cases of vaping-related illnesses appearing all over the country, and New Mexico is no exception. 

Tiny Home Village Finalizes ABQ Location

Jun 27, 2019
Courtesy Bernalillo County

 

A village of tiny homes for folks experiencing homelessness in Bernalillo County has officially nailed down a location. 

UNM Doctor: Measles Will Come To N.M.

Apr 30, 2019
Daniel Paquet via Flickr


The United States is going through its largest measles outbreak since the disease was eliminated in 2000, with more than 700 cases in 22 states. There have been no reported cases of the measles in New Mexico, but local experts say that could change any day now.

Adria Malcom

Getting healthcare in rural areas can be really difficult.  There aren’t enough doctors and smaller communities often struggle with poverty and transportation issues. The documentary “The Providers” explores the challenges – and the rewards – of serving these patients by focusing on three healthcare workers in northern New Mexico. It premiers April 8 at 9 p.m. on New Mexico PBS Channel 5 and airs again April 13 at 10 p.m

Austin Fisher | Rio Grande Sun / Courtesy of the Rio Grande Sun

Española residents didn’t know about drinking water contamination for months. Thursday city officials issued a warning about high levels of nitrates in the city’s water that could be harmful to children and pregnant women and possibly fatal for infants.

Public Health New Mexico’s May Ortega spoke with Austin Fisher who broke the story this week for the Rio Grande Sun. He says test results show contaminant levels are lower now than they were in the fall.

Airman B. Snyder via The National Archives Catalogue / public domain

Holloman Air Force Base is the site of some incredibly high levels of groundwater contamination. Laura Paskus broke the story for NMPoliticalReport.com this week.

Kevin MacDonald of our media partner New Mexico PBS asked her his top questions in a Facebook Live chat on Wednesday. 

Let's Talk Why To Get A Flu Shot

Dec 11, 2018
Areca T. Wilson / U.S. Air Force

Let's Talk New Mexico 12/13 8a: Doctors recommend getting a flu shot in the fall, but it’s not too late. A record 80,000 people died in 2017 from the flu and the CDC recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months get vaccinated every year. Do you get the flu shot? Does it seem like you get sick anyway? Is it hard to find time or a place? We’ll explore myths about the flu vaccine and its effectiveness. We want to hear from you. Email LetsTalk@KUNM.org or call in live during the show.

Guests:

Kids And Vaccines

Nov 19, 2018
Creative Commons, Wiki

The Children's Hour, 11/24, Sat 9a: Tis the season for the flu and colds, but some of the sicknesses that kids get can be prevented with vaccinations. Dr. William Dehority from UNM Pediatrics Division of Infectious Diseases will educate us all about vaccinations. Why do we use vaccines, and what diseases do they prevent? How do they work? We’ll learn everything we can about vaccines. Plus, there’s always time to be grateful as we honor the week of Thanksgiving. It’s all in an hour - The Children’s Hour airs Saturdays 9 to 10am. 

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.

The opioid crisis in New Mexico has caused historically high numbers of overdose deaths and has overwhelmed law enforcement agencies.

 

But another side effect that we might not consider is the dangerous trash that builds up as a result of opioid use.

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