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.

Ed Williams

 


New Mexico’s rate of opioid overdose deaths used to be one of the worst in the country, but it’s slowly been improving. A new study says some of the state’s strategies could be helping.

Alexa Graham via Flickr / Creative Commons License

 


There could be more peace of mind for people in Albuquerque who don’t qualify for the state’s medical cannabis program if Mayor Tim Keller signs a measure city councilors passed on Monday. It would decriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis.

 

Auntie P via Flickr / Creative Commons License

The Human Rights Campaign released the results of their health equity study and a couple of New Mexico's hospitals did really well.

516 Arts

 


Americans are deeply divided over how to handle immigration and an art exhibit in Albuquerque is working to bring new perspectives into the conversation.

TIMELINE: School Threats In N.M. Since Parkland

Mar 16, 2018

African American Low Birth Weight Rates Stagnate

Mar 16, 2018
Christian Haugen via Flickr / Creative Commons

 

Babies who are born underweight are at higher risk of developing health problems or even dying.

New state data show the rate of babies born with low birth weights to African American moms here hasn’t improved in almost two decades.

Not All N.M. Schools Supported Student Walkouts

Mar 14, 2018
May Ortega / KUNM News

 

Some local schools encouraged their students to protest on Wednesday. But Rio Rancho High School was not one them.

Taos County Gets Its First Bariatric Ambulance

Mar 12, 2018
Joaquin Gonzales, Director / Taos County EMS

 

Taos County recently rolled out the area’s first ambulance made specifically to transport obese patients. It can make it safer and more comfortable for heavier people to get medical assistance.

Ajnagraphy via compfight / Creative Commons License

Some local advocacy groups are teaming up to provide more resources for children who’ve been sex-trafficked. Right now, there’s not a lot out there to help them recover.

Sarah Gustavus

A proposal to decriminalize recreational cannabis in Albuquerque would do away with jail time and shrink fines. Co-sponsor Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis said the time is right and the measure has a lot of support. He also said it would also help police focus on more pressing things.

After Escape, A Long Road To Recovery

Mar 1, 2018
GLady via Pixabay / Creative Commons License

Over the years, New Mexico’s resources for human trafficking victims have begun to reach more and more people. But the state still has a long way to go to help survivors.

Courtesy UNM

 


 

One Albuquerque clinic has been testing almost all of its pregnant patients for hepatitis C, according to UNM researchers. That means more people could be cured down the line.

State Budget Boosts Public Health

Feb 15, 2018
nmindepth.com

 


Lawmakers passed a $6.3 billion budget Wednesday night. One billion of that will go to behavioral health care and the Department of Health.

 

Health workers would get a raise, and anti-smoking programs would see a multimillion-dollar boost.

Pediatrician: It's Never Too Late For A Flu Shot

Feb 2, 2018
lu_lu via flickr / Creative Commons License

More kids are dying across the country this year from the flu, but so far, no children have died from the flu in New Mexico.

Dr. Heather Pratt-Chavez said her clinic waiting room at UNM has been packed, but that New Mexicans are usually pretty good at getting their kids vaccinated. So, she’s happy there have been no reported pediatric deaths. The flu is a sneaky virus, though, she said, and it’s never too late to get the vaccine.

Measure To Legalize Recreational Cannabis Advances

Feb 2, 2018
smoker's high life via Flickr / Creative Commons License

On Friday, Feb. 2, lawmakers in Santa Fe got closer to putting legalizing recreational cannabis on the ballot. Advocates say that could help with the state’s opioid overdose rate.

Bill Would Fund Human Trafficking Task Force

Feb 1, 2018
Arianna Sena / Creative Commons


Human trafficking has increased in New Mexico over the last 5 years, with at least 144 reported cases, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

 

Las Cruces Democratic Representative Angelica Rubio introduced a bill that would fund research on human trafficking.

DACA Supporters Rally In Albuquerque

Jan 19, 2018
Sarah Trujillo via KUNM

Folks gathered this afternoon in downtown Albuquerque to urge Congress to continue protections for people who were brought to the U.S. as children illegally.

AG Joins Fight Over Net Neutrality

Jan 17, 2018
geralt via Pixabay / Creative Commons License

The New Mexico Attorney General is 1 of 22 officials fighting the rollback of net neutrality. The Federal Communications Commission’s deregulation of the Internet could affect people of color disproportionately. Folks advocating for the free flow of information say things could get a lot worse.

Victor Onimole / KUNM

Construction workers tore up Albuquerque’s main avenue for well over a year installing ART, or Albuquerque Rapid Transit. And even though the new stations light up at night, the system isn’t working. The city’s new mayor said at a news conference on Tuesday, Jan. 9, that ART has a ways to go before it’s operational. 

State May Need Millions To Save Health Care For Kids

Dec 20, 2017
Pixabay via Creative Commons

The Childrens Health Insurance Program covers over 9 million kids nationally, but the well of federal funds has been dry for months, and with strife in Congress, uncertainty lingers.

How Schools Are Working To End N.M.'s Nurse Shortage

Dec 18, 2017
Sarah Trujillo / KUNM

Nearly one in 10 Americans works in the health care industry. It’s the same for our state, but there’s still a shortage of nurses here. Some schools are making efforts to get more nurses into the field.

Ed Williams / KUNM/Public Health New Mexico

As Republicans in Congress iron out the final version of a massive tax overhaul, some nonprofits in New Mexico are bracing for a hit to their budgets.

Nonprofit leaders are worried changes to the standard deduction could lead to fewer people making charitable donations.

SFPS Looks To Beef Up Digital Education

Dec 1, 2017
bschut via Pixabay / creative commons license

Officials in Santa Fe Public Schools are hoping voters will approve a bond next year to help pay for digital learning programs in classrooms.

The superintendent touted the district’s program at an event Thursday night. 

CSPAN

The Navajo Nation has criticized controversial comments made by President Trump Monday.

At a White House ceremony honoring Navajo Code Talkers who helped the United States win World War II, Trump referred to Senator Elizabeth Warren by calling her 'Pocahontas'—a racially-charged term many find offensive. 

Jessica7191 via Pixabay / creative commons license

Attorneys general across the country are claiming that a 2016 law is preventing the Drug Enforcement Agency from stopping the overprescribing of opioid painkillers. This week New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas signed on to a letter with 44 other AG’s calling on Congress to repeal the “Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act,” saying the law has handcuffed law enforcement from addressing the epidemic. 

UNMH Reverses Surgery Payment Policy

Nov 2, 2017
Sasin Tipchai / Creative Commons via Pixabay

The Albuquerque-area’s public safety net hospital can no longer demand half upfront from uninsured folks getting medically necessary surgeries as of late last week. But advocates say the hospital has yet to fully put this change into practice.

Free Help With Health Insurance Enrollment

Oct 27, 2017
Gordon Johnson / Creative Commons via Pixabay

It’s about time for open enrollment on the state health insurance exchange. The New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange is partnering with Catholic Charities to offer residents free one-on-one appointments with insurance agents and brokers starting November 4th.

Ed Williams / KUNM/Public Health New Mexico

The Indian Health Service—the federal agency tasked with providing health services to Native American communities—has long been the go-to health care provider for tribes in New Mexico and across the country.

But in recent years, that has started to change, and a growing number of tribes are deciding that managing their own clinics and behavioral health programs will help build healthier, more resilient communities.

Leah Todd

Let’s Talk New Mexico 10/26 8a: In New Mexico and across the West, economies are changing. From agriculture to tech startups, health care and business on tribal lands, communities in New Mexico are working to adapt. 

This week on Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’re looking at communities who are coming up with solutions to the economic changes our state is facing as part of our collaboration with the Solutions Journalism Network's State of Change project. 

The Future Of Health Coverage In N.M.

Oct 17, 2017
DarkoStojanovic via Pixabay / creative commons license

Let's Talk New Mexico 10/19 8a: Recently, the Trump Administration has relaxed rules on health insurance plans and contraception coverage, and cancelled subsidies that help get health coverage to low income people. What do these developments mean for the future of health care in New Mexico? 

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