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.

NM Could Be First To Pass Medicaid Buy-In

Jul 31, 2018
rawpixel via Pixabay / Creative Commons Attribution License

 

New Mexico was one of the first states in the country to expand its Medicaid program a few years ago.

And now it may also be one of the first to create a Medicaid buy-in program to make insurance more accessible for people who are undocumented or have low incomes.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Albuquerque Public Schools plans to open a new program next month for students who don’t speak English and have little to no prior formal schooling. But some say that program is set up for failure. Dozens of advocates and students gathered Monday evening in Albuquerque’s South Valley to call for more transparency and accountability in the way APS designs educational services for immigrant and refugee children.  

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.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

The state of New Mexico has violated students’ constitutional rights by failing to provide an adequate public education, according to a landmark decision handed down late Friday by a New Mexico District Court judge.

La Veu del País Valencià via Flickr / Creative Commons License

A state court ruled Friday that New Mexico’s education system fails to provide an adequate education to at-risk students, as required by the state’s constitution. In her ruling, Judge Sarah Singleton outlined the harm done to economically disadvantaged students, Native American students, English Language Learners, and students with disabilities. 

KUNM's Hannah Colton spoke with staff attorney Ernest Herrera of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, who’s been working the case for years.

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.

Parkland Students Coming To ABQ

Jul 10, 2018
Phil Roeder via Flickr / Creative Commons Attribution License

 

Since a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, left 17 people dead back in February, some of the students who survived have been rallying for other young people to get involved in politics.

migs2589 via Flickr / Creative Commons Attribution License

 

People around New Mexico have been blasting their swamp coolers for weeks. And folks with low incomes can apply through a statewide program for help with an energy bill.

NM’s Teen Smoking Rate Drops To All-Time Low

Jun 29, 2018
Julia via Flickr / Creative Commons Attribution License

New data released by the New Mexico Department of Health show the state’s rate of high schoolers smoking cigarettes is at an all-time low. And they’re using other tobacco products less often, too.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

People with intellectual disabilities experience sexual assault and abuse at an alarmingly high rate. Lawmakers in a handful of states across the U.S. have proposed ways to address the issue since an NPR investigation called attention to it in January. The Arc of New Mexico, a nonprofit that serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, isn’t waiting for state legislators to take action.

ABQ Growers’ Market To Phase Out Plastic

Jun 20, 2018
Ageless North Shore via Flickr / Creative Commons Attribution License

The Downtown Growers’ Market in Albuquerque is known as a place to find all things local, fresh, and homemade.

The people behind the market are looking to make it greener by phasing out plastic waste starting next month.

niki georgiev via Flickr / Creative Commons Attribution License


The Trump Administration is looking to make new rules that could shift federal funding for family planning services from health care providers to organizations that oppose abortion. If local healthcare clinics lose the family planning support they’re currently receiving, patients could be the ones paying the price.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

It’s summer, and that means many teenagers are headed to jobs, internships, volunteering – places where they meet adults besides their parents and teachers. The interactions can turn into mentorships that enrich the lives of the teens and the adults. This kind of synergy is thriving at a special plot of land in Albuquerque’s South Valley.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Research shows that when students see their own culture and history reflected in their classwork, they do better in school. But most Hispanic and Latino students in New Mexico public schools don’t get that experience, at least not in the form of ethnic studies. Some schools have been experimenting with Mexican American and Chicano Studies classes to help kids succeed.  

Study Shows Santa Fe’s Cycling Problems

Jun 13, 2018
knehcsg via Flickr / Creative Commons Attribution License

New Mexico ranks 44th in the country for bicycle friendliness. A new study by the Santa Fe Police Department looked at 110 bicycle crashes that happened in the city in the last three years and the factors surrounding them.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Let's Talk New Mexico 6/14 8a:  Research shows when students learn about their own culture and history in school, it can keep them engaged, boost self-esteem, and improve academic performance. Some public schools offer Mexican-American Studies and Chicana and Chicano Studies courses to a small number of students, but most of New Mexico’s Hispanic and Latino students still don’t get that opportunity. Did you take classes like these? What did that mean for your educational experience? Are public schools in New Mexico doing enough to offer those types of classes? We’d like to hear from you! Email LetsTalk@KUNM.org, tweet #LetsTalkNM or call in live during the show.

Need Someone To Talk To? N.M. Has Some Options

Jun 8, 2018
Informedmag via Flickr / Creative Commons Attribution License

Since the state introduced a texting option for its Peer-to-Peer Warmline earlier this year, more and more people are using it for emotional support.

SOURCE via Flickr / Creative Commons Attribution License

New Mexico has some of the worst conditions for children in rural areas, according to a recent study. A local advocate for kids’ wellness said things are improving, and that voting can help with that momentum.

Republicans Head To N.M. Polls With Few Choices

Jun 5, 2018
May Ortega | KUNM

Bob Moyer wasn’t thrilled about the slim pickings on the Republican side. Nine of the state’s 12 major races have a single Republican candidate running unopposed. His concerns about public safety drove him to the polls.

San Juan County Joins Opioid Lawsuit

Jun 4, 2018
Rae Allen via Flickr.com / Creative Commons License

 

San Juan County is joining a lawsuit against opioid companies to get back the money it’s spent on combating the opioid crisis there.

ABQ Group Promotes Free Bus Pass Program For Kids

May 24, 2018
Wastemanagementdude / Creative Commons Attribution License

Summertime gives kids the chance to go outside and have some fun, but many don’t always have a way to get around town. A local Albuquerque group is raising awareness about free bus passes for kids.

witfieldink via Pixabay / creative commons license

 

Nursing home inspections have found dozens of safety violations and mistreatment of elderly New Mexico residents over the years. Albuquerque Journal reporter Marie Baca examined some of the reports about these incidents. She sat down with Public Health New Mexico’s May Ortega to talk about what she found.

Carrie Jung via Flickr / Creative Commons License

 

 

Abortion rights advocates in New Mexico are reacting to reports that the Trump Administration will end federal funding for family planning clinics that provide abortions or refer patients to other abortion providers.

Dr. Felisha Rojan-Minjares

 

When patients are faced with bias and racism, they can end up receiving poor treatment or get a wrong diagnosis. But over the years, more and more medical schools have introduced cultural competency training to try to address these issues. At the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, students have been learning how to treat diverse patients for more than a decade.

Juhan Sonin via Flickr / Creative Commons License

 

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump asked Congress to claw back $7 billion in federal funding for children’s health insurance coverage. But Washington, D.C.,’s decisions probably won’t have an immediate impact here.

Fibonacci Blue / Creative Commons Attribution License

 

A high schooler from Carlsbad organized the Stand for the Second movement Wednesday for students who support the Second Amendment.

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.

Donovan Shortey, navajophotography.com via Flickr

 

Getting health care when you’re a veteran living on the Navajo reservation can be an all-day affair, starting with hours of driving to Albuquerque. Last week, the Navajo Nation Council unanimously approved more than $2 million to fund a veterans service center on tribal land.   

New Texting Option For Warmline Support

Apr 13, 2018
Pexels / CREATIVE COMMONS

The state’s Peer-to-Peer Warmline has introduced a texting option. This could help more locals early on so they won’t need to call a crisis hotline later.

Max Klingensmith via Flickr / Creative Commons License

The head of the state department that oversees behavioral health services is at odds with Governor Susana Martinez’s administration over how to handle gun violence in local schools.

Pages