KUNM

Public Health New Mexico

Mission

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.

We cover the politicians, the policies, and the agencies responsible for sustaining public health and solving poverty. To fully report on these topics, we give voice to those who are voiceless in the media: people and practitioners; advocates and analysts; researchers and activists; and people hoping to build a better way of life. Through our work, citizens are engaged, government is made more accountable, and the profile of public health and poverty is elevated by expanded public discourse and civic engagement.

This project has been sustained by support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundationthe McCune Charitable FoundationCon Alma Health Foundation. and private donors.

KUNM broadcasts on transmitter throughout central and northern New Mexico, reaching more than half the state’s population.  Nielsen Audio Research from Fall 2014 shows 100,000 people a week listen to KUNM.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

A coalition of New Mexico lawmakers, advocates and residents say the U.S. Air Force has been too slow to respond to a decades-old jet fuel spill at Kirtland Air Force Base. It’s been 20 years since the spill was discovered and the coalition announced Friday that they plan to file a lawsuit to try to get the military to intensify cleanup efforts. 

Airman Valerie Monroy / U.S. Air Force

Thousands of New Mexicans would no longer be able to sign up for childcare assistance under a rule proposed by the Children Youth and Families Department this week.

of New Mexicans would no longer qualify for childcare assistance under  by the Children Youth and Families Department this week.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

A major deadline in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization process is fast approaching. Survivors of sexual abuse have until June 17, 2019, to file claims against the archdiocese.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Albuquerque Public Schools has finalized a nearly $1.5 billion budget. It reflects a nearly 14% hike in state funding, even though enrollment is dropping. The new money is in response to a landmark education equity ruling.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

To hear Kirtland Air Force Base officials tell it, the cleanup of a decades-old jet fuel spill in Southeast Albuquerque is going great. Their pump-and-treat system is shrinking a major swath of the pollution in the city’s aquifer. But there’s a long history of distrust between the military and the community on this project, and there’s still a lot more to clean up.

courtesy of Marcie Davis

Three New Mexico agencies are getting $200,000 each to plan responses to the opioid crisis in rural parts of the state. One will use the funding to do regional-level evaluation and coordination in Rio Arriba and Taos Counties.

pixnpics via Flickr, cropped / Creative Commons License


The New Mexico Department of Health has missed its mark for early childhood health services and needs to create a whole new strategy to improve health outcomes. That’s according to a new report from the state Legislative Finance Committee.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Advocates packed the Albuquerque City Council chambers Monday night in support of a resolution to spend $250,000 to help care for migrants passing through the city as they seek asylum. Support for the measure was overwhelming, but not unanimous, and it passed by a vote of 6 to 3.  

Daniel Paquet via Flickr / Creative Commons License


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.

courtesy Kelly Geib-Eckenroth

Grief is the price of love, experts say, and when children have a family member or friend die, they may need help processing those hard emotions. The Children’s Grief Center (CGC) of New Mexico offers a range of free services to families, and they’re currently taking applications for their summer camp in June.

Johann Trasch via Unsplash / Unsplash License


New Mexico has the highest alcohol-related death rate in the country. The leading cause is liver disease. And the rate of folks who are dying from alcohol-related liver disease rose by 35 percent over the last five years.

Hannah Colton / KUNM Public Radio

The U.S. Air Force will host a public meeting Thursday night about the cleanup of a decades-old jet fuel spill north of Kirtland Air Force Base. Military officials say the cleanup is proceeding as planned, despite a reported reduction in the project budget this year. 

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.

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.

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