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.

New Mexico’s Indian Education Act just got an update. A bill signed by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham on Monday spells out how school districts must study the needs of their Native American students and come up with systematic ways to address them.

The new measure requires school districts with Native American students to develop frameworks and budget priorities to help those students succeed.

Medicaid Buy-In Bill, Explained

Feb 4, 2019
rawpixel via Unsplash / Unsplash Attribution License

State lawmakers are considering a bill that would let residents who aren’t eligible for Medicaid coverage to buy into the program.

 

Nearly one million low-income New Mexicans were covered in 2017 when the state chipped in $1 billion of $5 billion for things like health care services.

Adam Herrada / U.S. Navy

Let’s Talk New Mexico 2/7 8a:  Early childhood is a crucial time for learning and development. It’s on the minds of many lawmakers this session, and Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has declared universal pre-K one of her top priorities. But where will funding for those programs come from? And how can the state better coordinate the various services to ensure kids don’t miss out? We’d like to hear from you! Email LetsTalk@kunm.org, tweet us using the #LetsTalkNM hashtag, or call in live during the show.  

Hannah Colton / KUNM Public Radio

Albuquerque school district residents are voting on property tax increases that would raise about a billion dollars for projects over the next six years. The special mail-in ballots must be received in the Bernalillo County Clerks’ office by Tuesday, February 5th.

Hannah Colton / KUNM Public Radio

Albuquerque Public Schools is grappling with how to respond to critics who say the district disrespects and ignores Native American culture and history.

A public meeting APS held last week underscored a disconnect between what the district is promising and the systemic changes that many people want to see.

Hannah Colton / KUNM Public Radio

Albuquerque Public Schools held an open meeting Thursday night in response to the October incident in which students say a Cibola High School teacher used a racial slur and cut the hair of a Native American student. Parents, students and advocates told school officials that the district’s response has been too little and too late. 

Gun Control Bills Advance In N.M. Legislature

Jan 25, 2019
Jens Lelie via Unsplash / Unsplash Attribution License


Lawmakers have advanced a package of gun control bills in the state legislature.

 

There are two bills that would expand background checks. Another would keep guns away from people convicted of domestic violence or who have a restraining order against them. And one is meant to prevent suicides.

May Ortega | KUNM

President Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant policies have fueled anxiety among undocumented youth in New Mexico. There are local factors that cause stress, too, and there are a few things young folks can do that might help them feel better.

Hannah Colton / KUNM Public Radio

Let’s Talk New Mexico 1/24 8a: Fixing inequalities in New Mexico’s public school system is a top priority for lawmakers this year. This Thursday morning we’ll explore how to do this huge, complicated task and balance the needs of so many diverse students.  Are you an educator, an administrator, a student, a parent? Do you have your own ideas on how to create equity in public schools? We'd like to hear from you! Email LetsTalk@KUNM.org or call in live during the show.

Lujan Grisham Vows To Repeal State Abortion Ban

Jan 15, 2019
Carrie Jung via Flickr / Creative Commons License


Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham made it clear in her State of the State address today that she wants abortion to remain an option for New Mexico women.

Office of the New Mexico Governor

This is the year for an overhaul of New Mexico’s public education system. That was at the heart of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s message to lawmakers during her State of the State remarks.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Public education is the top issue as state lawmakers begin their 60-day session on Tuesday, and there’s oil and gas money to spend.

Rawpixel via Unsplash / Unsplash License

Paying bills during the partial government shutdown might be tough for federal workers who’ve been furloughed or who are showing up to work and not getting paid.

Several New Mexico utilities are working to relieve some of those worries.

Rawpixel VIA Unsplash / Unsplash License

Among the federal agencies left unfunded by the partial government shutdown is the Indian Health Service, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Aaron Cantú, a staff reporter for the Santa Fe Reporter, has been trying to understand how that’s affecting Native American health care in northern New Mexico. 

Acoma Pueblo Feeling Effects Of Federal Shutdown

Jan 10, 2019
Scott Catron via Flickr / Creative Commons


 As many as 800,000 federal employees aren’t getting paid during the partial government shutdown. And at least one local tribe is feeling those effects.

WIC Funded Through April In N.M.

Jan 10, 2019
U.S. Department of Agriculture / Creative Commons License

UPDATE 1/11: The Department of Health now says it'll be able to stretch its funds for the WIC program through April 2019.

APS

Albuquerque Public Schools is asking voters to increase taxes to pay for capital projects, and due to recent changes in election law, that ask is coming in the mail. Tuesday Jan. 8, 2019,  is the last day to register to vote in the special mail-in election. 

Hannah Colton / KUNM

This week, nine people were appointed to a committee to represent survivors of priest sexual abuse in negotiations with the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. It’s an early step in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization process that’s meant to settle many sexual abuse claims at once. 

CABQ Offering Kids Free Meals Over Winter Break

Dec 20, 2018
makelessnoise via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Some kids have a hard time getting enough to eat while school is out for winter break. Albuquerque Public Schools will offer free meals for students starting Friday.

UNMH Offering Group-Based Prenatal Program

Dec 17, 2018
Courtesy UNM Midwives

 

Research has shown that newborns have healthier birth weights when their mothers receive proper prenatal care and that stress can contribute to early deliveries.

The University of New Mexico Hospital's CenteringPregnancy program for expecting mothers focuses on the social aspects of maternal health.

 

Kelly Gallagher, the head of the hospital’s Midwifery Division, is in charge of the program.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s bankruptcy process is underway, and a window is closing for survivors of priest sexual abuse to ask to be on a committee that will represent all survivors in negotiating a settlement with the church. A federal official is expected to select the committee members sometime early the week of Dec. 17.

Creative Commons / Pixabay


The number of babies born dependent on drugs in New Mexico more than tripled between 2008 and 2017 according to new data from the state Department of Health.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

The Jesuits U.S. Central and Southern Province on Friday released the names of 42 Jesuits they say have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor. One of the men identified has ties to a parish in Albuquerque’s Old Town.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Albuquerque Public Schools is giving substitute teachers pay raises in an effort to recruit hundreds more of them.

APS posted a notice Tuesday that substitute teachers will get pay increases of 24-30 percent come January 1. The new salary schedule is as follows. 

The district currently has about 1000 substitute teachers, and wants to hire 500 more. They also want a couple hundred more substitute educational assistants, who will get a 15 percent raise.

Creative Commons

Open enrollment on the New Mexico health insurance exchange ends Dec. 15, and changes to the Affordable Care Act at the federal level have brought mixed results to New Mexico consumers for 2019.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

UPDATE 12/4: A teacher accused of targeting Native American students in an incident on Halloween resigned from her job with Albuquerque Public Schools, effective Friday, November 30.

Former Cibola High School teacher Mary Eastin confirmed on Tuesday that she chose to end her employment at the district.

The NIH Wants Your Health Info For Research

Nov 28, 2018
May Ortega | KUNM

 

The National Institutes of Health is in Albuquerque this week for its All of Us Research Program to better tailor medical treatment to individual people.

Courtesy of ABQ DSA

Albuquerque police increased traffic stops by 34 percent this year compared to last year, according to data from the city. One local political group is concerned about that kind of contact with law enforcement, especially for people of color. That’s why they're offering free brake-light repairs this weekend in the International District, a low-income and racially diverse area of Albuquerque known for drawing a lot of police activity.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

The Rio Rancho school board voted 4-1 Monday evening to put guns in the hands of school security guards. The measure is aimed at keeping students safe in the wake of school shootings here and across the nation.

Westside ABQ Shelter Opening Early

Nov 12, 2018
Courtesy Heading Home NM

 

The city of Albuquerque has opened one of its emergency shelters early.

Temperatures will go down to the teens in Albuquerque tonight, according to the National Weather Service, and remain in the 20s overnight for the rest of the week.

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