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.

May Ortega | KUNM

 

Immigration is one of this election’s biggest issues.

Tammy WilkersonHill-Fisher teaches English as a second language with the Immigrant and Refugee Resource Village of Albuquerque, and that's definitely one of her biggest political drivers.

video still courtesy of Reuben Ortiz

For three decades, a former priest church officials say admitted to sexually abusing dozens of boys lived freely in New Mexico. A Catholic diocese in Iowa had sent Jerome P. Coyle to a church-run treatment center in New Mexico in 1986. Then he stayed, potentially putting children at risk even as the church remained silent about a history they now say he disclosed in Iowa.

May Ortega | KUNM

Pedestrian safety has long been a point of concern for residents of southeast Albuquerque. Joanne Landry, president of the Trumbull Neighborhood Association, is hoping that a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will help make things safer and boost her community’s morale.

May Ortega | KUNM

 

Voters aged 18 to 35 usually have the country’s lowest turnout rate at the polls. But Tracy Chamberlin, a young manager for G by GUESS in the Coronado Center, has made it her goal to get her peers more involved in politics.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Many Native Americans living in rural areas lack access to detailed information about elections. That’s why there’s a new first-of-its-kind voter guide this year.

Fibonacci Blue / Creative Commons Attribution License

 

Gun control is an issue driving at least one local to the polls and to an Albuquerque gun show.

How Guns Are Playing Into NM’s Election

Oct 19, 2018
Sebastian Pociecha via Unsplash / Unsplash License

 

Next month will see the first general election since the Las Vegas and Stoneman Douglas shootings. And New Mexico had a school shooting of its own in Aztec last December.

AllenS / Wikimedia Commons

New Mexico’s three Roman Catholic dioceses have begun the process of turning over thousands of records related to priest sex abuse and cover-up.

Erik Drost via Flickr / Creative Commons Attribution License

 

The #MeToo movement has sparked national conversations around issues like harassment in the workplace and access to reproductive services.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

A prominent New Mexico lawmaker threatened to shut the public out of a legislative committee meeting concerning a landmark education lawsuit after journalists brought recording equipment.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

The FBI says a former Catholic priest who fled the country in 1992 after being accused of child sexual abuse has been extradited from Morocco to face criminal charges in New Mexico.

Arthur Perrault appeared in federal court in Albuquerque Friday afternoon and pleaded not guilty to seven counts of abuse. 

Hannah Colton / KUNM

The 2020 census may seem far off still, but some people in New Mexico are already starting to lay the groundwork for the population count that happens once every ten years, and organizers say there’s a lot at stake.

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.

Jonathan Lindberg, U.S. Coast Guard

New Mexico officials are hitting the road to talk about changes to Medicaid that will take effect in January. Starting this week, the New Mexico Human Services Department is holding a series of public events across the state to educate residents about upcoming changes to Centennial Care, the state's Medicaid program.

May Ortega | KUNM

 

Opioid addiction comes with more than just physical symptoms. A big part of fighting for sobriety is recovering emotionally, and for different people, that part needs a different approach.

Hannah Colton

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe now acknowledges 78 New Mexico priests accused of sexually abusing children since the 1930s. But many other accused priests from elsewhere in the United States spent time at treatment centers run by a Catholic order called the Servants of the Paraclete in New Mexico.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

On Tuesday, Sept. 4, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas ordered the state’s three Roman Catholic dioceses to give up decades’ worth of church records relating to allegations of sexual abuse and cover-up. Church leaders in Santa Fe, Gallup and Las Cruces have all said they'll cooperate. KUNM sat down with Balderas to talk about the investigation.

Children's Advocacy Focus Of Voter Info Website

Sep 5, 2018
Ajnagraphy via compfight / Creative Commons License


Voters can now find New Mexico political candidates’ views on things like gun violence, education, public land use and climate change on a website put together by two children's advocacy organizations.

Bryce Dix

 

A recovery center for youths in Albuquerque is gearing up to open new housing next month specifically for girls and young women.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Without fanfare, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe updated its website last week with more information about where and when priests accused of sexual abuse worked in New Mexico.

BernCo Voters To Decide On More Tiny Home Money

Aug 24, 2018
Courtesy Bernalillo County

 

Voters in Bernalillo County will see another bond question about a planned tiny home village for people experiencing homelessness on their ballots come November.

Courtesy of VCINM

When a hospital or doctor’s office sees a patient who doesn’t speak English, federal law requires the institution to hire an interpreter. But the need for professional language services in New Mexico far exceeds the supply. An Albuquerque organization, Valley Community Interpreters (VCI), is hoping to change that.

Amanda Mills / U.S. Center For Disease Control And Prevention

Let's Talk New Mexico 8/23 8a: Allergies to foods like nuts, milk and seafood are on the rise, and they can be life-threatening. As New Mexico students settle into a new school year, we'll look at what teachers and school staff are doing to look out for all children.

Do your kids have allergies? How does it go for them at school? Have you been able to access life-saving medication like an EpiPen? Email LetsTalk@kunm.org or call in live during the show at 277-5866.

U.S. Air Force / Staff Sgt. Stephenie Wade

A New Mexico nonprofit health insurance company is suing the federal government for a second time over regulations it says drive up insurance premiums and threaten smaller insurers.

May Ortega | KUNM

Opponents of a planned project to house homeless people came out in force to a meeting Thursday night in the Four Hills neighborhood in southeast Albuquerque.

Amidst Opposition, Tiny Homes Move Forward

Aug 9, 2018
WinnieC via Pixabay / Creative Commons Attribution License

 

Bernalillo County is planning to build a village of tiny homes for people experiencing homelessness. But it’s facing some opposition.

Bill Focuses On Guns, Suicide Prevention

Aug 8, 2018
Jens Lelie via Unsplash / Unsplash Attribution License

 

Nearly 500 New Mexicans died by suicide in 2015, and more than half of those deaths involved a gun. Lawmakers are looking at decreasing gun-related suicides in the state through a new bill.

Courtesy of Advance at UNM

 

From wildfires to heavy storms that bring flash floods, weather extremes from year-to-year that stem from climate change are impacting the region’s wildlife, according to a local scientist.

The Sevilleta Long Term Ecological Research Program, based in Central New Mexico, was just awarded a multimillion-dollar grant to study the long-term effects on our environment.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Dozens of refugee families resettle in Albuquerque each year, and their children begin attending school here. In mid-August, Albuquerque Public Schools is slated to launch a program for newcomers, but immigrant advocates say it’s been planned poorly and will be hard to access. For many refugee families, getting transportation to a special school outside their neighborhood is nearly impossible. 

Hannah Colton / KUNM

New Mexico’s Public Education Department is planning to appeal a court ruling last month that found the state violated the rights of at-risk students by failing to provide an adequate education. Judge Sarah Singleton’s decision doesn’t tell the department exactly what changes to make but says it must do better by its low-income students, Native American students, those with disabilities and English-language learners.

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