© New Mexico Alliance of Health Councils

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  • 21 Jul 2014 2:01 PM | Ron Hale (Administrator)

    To:  Members and Friends of the NM Alliance of Health Councils

    The NM Alliance of Health Councils recently submitted a letter in support of a Federal grant application by the the DOH Office of Policy and Accountability for a State Innovative Model (SIM) program, which could involve a major re-design of the state's health systems, with a greater focus on public health and "upstream" approaches. The proposal includes a request for $300,000 in funding for the health councils and $50,000 for the Alliance--both to support stakeholder engagement in the state's health system.  We very much welcome this potential funding for the health councils, which we should know about in a few months. 

    The Alliance will continue to work with the Legislature and the Executive Branch to restore sufficient funding for each health council to hire at least a half-time coordinator. 
    The need for this funding is critical.  Expectations placed on the health councils are increasing.  Statewide organizations and agencies continue to view the councils as a vital link to communities--for data-gathering, communication, and implementing public health informational campaigns and other initiatives.

    The J. Paul Taylor Task Force, under its mandates from the 2013 and 2014 Legislative sessions, is recommending using the health councils as community hubs, to conduct gaps analyses and to coordinate screenings, services, and policies to strengthen early childhood health and development services.  These efforts build on the health councils' demonstrated strengths in coordinating, convening, policy development, and bringing resources to communities.  It is likely that the JPT Task Force will again recommend up to $900,000 in funding for the health councils.

    The DOH Office of Policy and Accountability is proposing to participate in regional meetings of health council representatives over the next few months to gather input/feedback on the State Health Assessment and to obtain "snapshots" of health and health care in New Mexico communities.  We recommended working wherever possible with regional Health Promotion Teams, the Alliance of Health Councils, and the Health Equity Partnership to piggyback with currently scheduled regional meetings

    Members of the Alliance Executive Committee are scheduled to meet with DOH Secretary Ward in early August to discuss these and other matters.  It will be an opportunity to provide the Secretary with updates on Alliance activities and plans for the coming year, and to discuss the various initiatives for potential health council funding

    Thank you all for your vital work to improve the health of all New Mexicans.

  • 17 Jul 2014 11:05 PM | Ron Hale (Administrator)

    After eight months of gathering input from health council representatives and others, the New Mexico Alliance of Health Councils has finished its 2014/2015 Strategic Plan, with goals, objectives, and activities in the areas of Organizational Development, Policy, Resource Development, and Capacity Building.


    Click here to see the Strategic Plan.  Many thanks to all those who participated in the planning process.  Please review the Plan and send any comments or questions to ronhale@aol.com

  • 17 Jul 2014 11:00 PM | Ron Hale (Administrator)


    From 2006 to 2011, the University of New Mexico and the New Mexico Department of Health conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the health councils.  This participatory, science-based evaluation showed that the health councils accomplished a great deal in developing and influencing policies; working with others to develop joint programs and services in response to identified local needs; building and strengthening community networks, partnerships, and coalitions; and raising and leveraging funds to support community health improvement.  The evaluation also documents a dramatic reduction in health council activities following the loss of core funding from the State in 2010.  That funding went primarily to supporting local staffing of the health councils: a part-time or full-time coordinator for each health council.  What the evaluation shows is that the health councils can do effective work without that staffing, but that they can do much, much more when their work is supported by a local coordinator.  Click here to view a Power Point presentation on the evaluation results, presented at this year’s annual conference of the New Mexico Alliance of Health Councils. 
  • 19 Feb 2014 1:16 PM | Ron Hale (Administrator)

     

    House Bill 80, the health council funding bill sponsored by Rep. Tripp, was passed by the House Committee on Health, Government, and Indian Affairs.  The bill was then incorporated into House Bill 2, the budget bill, which did not pass, after receiving a tie vote on the House floor.  House and Senate negotiations are under way to complete a revised budget bill.

     

    The amount of the recommended appropriation for health councils in House Bill 2 is $100,000--significantly less than the $900,000 that was requested.

    Another bill to support funding for the health councils is Senate Bill 68, sponsored by Sen. Ortiz y Pino, which requests an appropriation of $975,000:  $900,000 to support the health councils (to include assessment and coordination around early childhood needs and services in their work) and $75,000 to create a web portal for early childhood services. 

     

    Senate Bill 68 was passed by the Senate Public Affairs Committee, and it now goes to the Senate Finance Committee, where it will compete with other bills for allocations of funding as they consider amendments to the house budget in HB2.  Senator Ortiz y Pino plans to convert SB80 into an amendment to the House Budget (HB2), and he plans to ask for an increase in the $100,000 house appropriation for the health councils.  This will likely happen in the Senate Finance Committee.

     

    Constituents may call Senators on the Senate Finance to express their support for health council funding (in SB68), as they consider amendments to HB2.  People may also contact Senator Ortiz 7y Pino’s office, to let them know that you support the full appropriation of $975,000 for the health councils in SB68.  Use the link below for legislators’ contact information, or go to the New Mexico Legislature website:.

    http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/committee_display.aspx?CommitteeCode=SFC

     

    SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE MEMBERS:

     

    Senator    John Arthur Smith, Chair 

    (D - Dona Ana, Hidalgo, Luna, Sierra)

    Senator    Carlos R. Cisneros, Vice Chair 

    (D - Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Santa Fe, Taos)

    Senator    William F. Burt

    (R - Chaves, Lincoln, Otero)

    Senator    Pete Campos 

    (D - Colfax, Guadalupe, Harding, Mora, Quay, San Miguel, Taos)

    Senator    Carroll H. Leavell

    (R - Eddy, Lea)

    Senator    Howie C. Morales

    (D - Catron, Grant, Socorro)

    Senator    George K. Munoz

    (D - Cibola, McKinley, San Juan)  

    Senator    Steven P. Neville

    (R - San Juan)

    Senator    Nancy Rodriguez

    (D - Santa Fe)

    Senator    Sue Wilson Beffort

    (R - Bernalillo, Sandoval, Santa Fe, Torrance)

     

    Ron Hale, Coordinator

    New Mexico Alliance of Health Councils

  • 23 Jan 2010 12:16 AM | Ron Hale (Administrator)

    Two bills have been pre-filed for consideration during the 2014 New Mexico Legislative Session:

     

    House Bill 80 (http://www.nmlegis.gov/Sessions/14%20Regular/bills/house/HB0080.pdf), introduced by Representative Don L. Tripp and endorsed by the Legislative Health and Human Services Committee, would appropriate $900,000 to support County and Tribal Health Councils to fund community health needs assessments performed by county and tribal health councils.  This bill is will be amended early in the session to read: 

     

    Nine hundred thousand dollars ($900,000) is appropriated from the general fund to the department of health for expenditure in fiscal year 2015 to fund county and tribal health councils to identify local community health needs and to develop strategies to address those needs.”

     

    If passed, this bill will enable New Mexico’s 38 County and Tribal Health Councils to part-time staff support at the local level to strengthen their work in improving the health of New Mexico communities.

     

    Background 

    New Mexico’s Health Councils were created by the State Legislature in 1991 under the Maternal and Child Health Plan Act, and they received approximately $2.8 million in State funding through the Department of Health until 2010, when the funding was suspended as part of budget cuts brought on the economic downturn.  In 2013, the Legislature appropriated $195,000 to the support the health councils in creating brief community health assessments, which are being developed during 2013-14.  There are 38 health councilsundefinedin 33 counties and five tribal communities (Acoma, Cochiti, Santa Clara, and San Ildefonso Pueblos, and To’Hajilee).

     

    Since 1991, the health councils have developed scores of new programs and services, built local partnerships and coalitions, helped local governments create policies to improve health, and have brought in millions of dollars in new funding to New Mexico communities, attracting an additional $4 for every $1 received in state funding.  They have addressed locally-identified health issues and priorities, including diabetes, obesity, substance abuse, teen pregnancy, interpersonal violence, emergency preparedness, access to health care services, and many others. 

     

    Since their creation by the Legislature, the health councils have served a vital part of New Mexico’s public health system; House Bill 80 will help to provide them with the necessary staffing to meet their full potential and accomplish the work they were created to do. 

     

    Senate Bill 68  http://www.nmlegis.gov/Sessions/14%20Regular/bills/house/SB0068.pdf), introduced by Senator Jerry Ortiz & Pino and also endorsed by the Legislative Health and Human Services Committee, would appropriate $975,000 to fund the creation and operation of early childhood committees within the County and Tribal Health Councils, and to create a web portal to facilitate referrals and access to early childhood services. 

     

    Background

    SB80 grew out of recommendations from the J. Paul Taylor Task Force, which was created by the 2012 NM Legislature to prevent child abuse and neglect by creating a statewide system of care for at-risk children and families, using a community health approach.  This system of care does not currently exist; SB80 would support the health councils in identifying gaps in services, and in connecting primary and behavioral health care providers to early childhood and other services for at-risk children and families.  Communities would be able to design systems of care that are responsive to local needs and that build on community strengths and resources.

     

    A strong and well-functioning system of early childhood and family services not only improves lives; it will save millions of dollars in future costs in health care, social services, law enforcement, and correctional systems.  Senate Bill 68 will create early childhood subcommittees of the health councils; provide for the assessment of current services; develop training, referral, and data-sharing systems; and create an efficient, well-functioning system of care.

     

    New Mexico’s health councils are a valuable resource that needs to be preserved and strengthened; both HB80 and SB68 will build on this existing, cost-effective system to improve the health of New Mexico’s families and communities. 

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