The Santa Fe County Health Policy and Planning Commission (HPPC) is charged
by the Santa Fe County Board of County Commissioners with recommending
health policies, conducting an assessment of the health care needs of Santa Fe County residents, and preparing a health action plan. In 2013, “Santa Fe County in 2013:
A Community Health Profile” was completed. It was sponsored jointly by the HPPC,
Santa Fe County Community Services Department, and CHRISTUS St. Vincent
Regional Medical Center.
Utilizing the socioeconomic, demographic, and health findings of the Community Health Profile, and following community input and a priority-setting process, the HPPC prepared a health action plan for the County and for the community as a whole. The action plan was approved the Santa Fe County Board of County Commissioners as “Santa Fe County Health Action Plan FY 2015-2017.”
The HPPC identified overarching issues and also topic-specific health goals. The overarching issues affecting health include demographic issues undefined poverty, disparities by ethnicity, the growing and aging population, and also provider issues – the availability of sufficient workforce to provide health care, the importance of prevention and treatment, and the need for greater coordination of services across agencies.
The six high-priority health goals for Santa Fe County are:
1. Increase enrollment of residents in health insurance
2. Reduce alcohol abuse
3. Reduce drug abuse
4. Reduce low birth weight
5. Reduce suicides
6. Increase consumption of healthy food
Specified health indicators will measure progress on the goals over time. Each high priority goal sets forth specific actions for County government and proposed actions for the community as a whole.Santa Fe County Health Action Plan FY 2015-2017, as well as Santa Fe County in 2013: A Community Health Profile, can be found on the County website www.santafecountynm.gov. If you have questions, call Patricia Boies, Health Division Director at Santa Fe County Community Services Department, at (505) 995-9538.
The Rio Arriba Community Health Council (RACHC) is the advisory board designated by the Rio Arriba Board of County Commissioners to address issues broadly related to health and human services.
The RACHC came into existence when the previous stand-alone health council dissolved. Staff were absorbed by the county to form New Mexico’s first county-run Health and Human Services Department, which provides health planning, care coordination and direct case management services in the Detention Center, Senior Centers and Emergency Room. The RACHC developed plans and millions in funding to create the Rio Arriba Health Commons, a state-of-the-art one-stop shop housing the Espanola Public Health Office, RAHHS and El Centro Family Health. The Council also acquired approximately $30,000 for the County’s mobile immunization unit.
The RACHC serves as the community hub for health, evaluating data and setting outcomes for RAHHS’ Pathways Care Coordination Program, which has been recognized as a national model by both AHRQ and CMS. The RACHC developed the first City of Espanola/County of Rio Arriba Joint Affordable Housing Plan (and raised $30,000 to complete the plan). Member agencies are well on the way to developing a tax credit application for an $11 million dollar, award-winning, multi-income rental structure including open space, green building, community garden and on-site case management. The RACHC also brought member organizations together to create the Hunter Center for Arts and Agriculture, collocating the food hub run by Siete Del Norte, the Espanola Community Market (a food coop selling locally grown pesticide free food), and Moving Arts Espanola, a dance school for youth. The RACHC was instrumental in raising $290,000 from the state legislature to fund the first phase of this project. The Center is revitalizing Espanola’s Main Street, creating economic opportunities for local farmers, increasing food access, and providing after-school opportunities for youth.
The council has started up jail diversion, care coordination and hospital emergency room diversion programs and is currently partnering with Lovelace to explore the creation of a Health Information Exchange to include all of the County’s medical and behavioral health providers. The RACHC has brought Rio Arriba from last in the state to second for senior immunizations by holding immunization fairs at senior centers. In addition, it hosts medication reconciliation clinics at the centers. RACHC members are conducting an education campaign aimed at lowering the county’s high rate of overdose death by helping the public to understand the dangers of mixing drugs, helping family members to recognize and intervene in an overdose in progress and finding ways to make Narcan readily available.
The RACHC hosts a large annual health fair every August, and this year, worked with Santa Clara Pueblo to institute the first Run, Walk, Ride from Santa Clara to the new food hub downtown. The RACHC takes on large issues and it often succeeds! The Rio Arriba Community Health Council meets the second Wednesday of the month from 10:00am – 12:00pm (this can change depending on if there is a guest speaker or special event taking place) at the Rio Arriba Health Commons located at 2010 Industrial Park Road Espanola, NM 87532.
The Rio Arriba County Health Council meets the 2nd Wednesday of the month, 10 am – 12 pm, at the Rio Arriba Health Commons, located at 2010 Industrial Park Road, Espanola.
Taos CARES Health Council is back, having reconvened after a 3-year hibernation in December of 2013 with wide-sector participation from community agencies, the Taos Pueblo, neighborhood associations throughout the county, and engaged community members. Taos CARES’ top four priority areas align with those identified in the 2013 Community Health Needs Assessment conducted by its fiscal agent Taos Health Systems (http://taoshospital.org/About-Us/single_post/taos-community-health-needs-assessment-and-the-taos-health-council). These are: 1) Access and Affordability; 2) Mental Health; 3) Substance Abuse; and 4) Maternal Child Health.
As an umbrella organization for the many agencies and grassroots efforts in Taos already working to address those issues, Taos CARES has engaged active community groups such as the Crisis Systems of Care, Taos Alive and Recovery Friendly Taos, and the Paso a Paso early childhood network, all of which function as expert working groups reporting in to the Health Council on improving health outcomes in these areas. In order to share information on community health needs, Taos CARES is hosting a series of neighborhood-based listening sessions throughout the county, with a focus on community engagement and policy change.The Taos County Health Council meets the 3rd Wednesday of every month, 1:30 – 3:30 pm at the Hotel Don Fernando, located at 1005 Paseo del Pueblo Sur, Taos.
The Health Committee is conducting monthly committee meetings inviting key members of various community agencies within and near Santa Clara Pueblo to discuss various health topics and upcoming events to plan and collaborate on events and share health information through flyers postings etc. Recent collaboration include 2013 community health fair, food tastings in the community library, speakers on health topics for the community and youth, spring kids gathering and collaboration w Santa Clara Pueblo CHR department on the upcoming men’s health fair. The Los Alamos Cancer Society provided a small grant to the Santa Clara Library to purchase cancer prevention materials which will be furnished to participants at the fair. Currently the Committee has just completed a community wide health survey to update the 2007 SCP Health profile. Other issues addressed will include input on a school wellness policy, and collaboration with Santa Clara Day School After School Program and IAIA on a Snap Ed. Grant.
The Santa Clara Health Committee meets on the 3rd Thursday of every month, usually at 9 – 11 am, at the Santa Clara Pueblo Community Library, located on State Road 30 (Los Alamos Highway), #1 Kee Street, Espanola.
The San Miguel County Health Council, based in Las Vegas, is a solid, effective health council focused on improving the community throughout the entire county. Currently, the council is focused on updating their Community Health Improvement Plan, and supporting efforts that bring funding into San Miguel County and positively impact the health status of its community members. During this past year the San Miguel Health Council has:
For the upcoming year, the San Miguel Health Council will:
Guadalupe County is a strong health council that is based in Santa Rosa, NM, but is also focusing on community health improvement in Vaughn and Anton Chico. It has received CDC Community Transformation Grant (CTG) funding for the past three years to make positive changes in children’s access to healthy lifestyle choices in Guadalupe County. They have worked for the past 3 years to accomplish:
The Guadalupe Health Council will continue their forward movement with community health improvement in spite of the federal government suspending funding for the CTG grant. The Health council will continue to support the schools to improve and implement their school wellness policies and access to community parks will continue to strengthen and support the local Farmers’ Market in an effort to support local farmers and bring healthy locally grown foods to its community members.
Mora County Health Council is based out of the small town of Mora. The Health Council has been focused on improving overall health of their rural county, but after the Department of Health lost its funding for health councils, Mora County Health council struggled to maintain membership and focus on their goals. In an effort to continue to focus on health and continue to gather, the county decided to merge with the local DWI taskforce meeting. The joint efforts have been successful, ad eh health council continues to hold annual health fairs, focus on access to care. It also strongly concentrates on reducing the number of DWI’s and repeat offenders in Mora County.
With the help of Department of Health money, Mora County has used its county statistics to engage their community and find out what the major concerns or priorities are in Mora County. At the conclusion of its conversation with the community, Mora County has decided to focus on the following priorities in the upcoming years.
The Mora County Health Council meets on the 4th Tuesday of every month, 1:30 – 3:00 pm.
The Pueblo De San Ildefonso is a federally recognized tribe and one of the nineteen pueblos still in existence in New Mexico. There are approximately 750 people live in the tribe. San Ildefonso is one of the five remaining Tewa-speaking tribes. The Rio Grande River bisects the Pueblo.
The boundaries of the tribe extend onto the lands owned and occupied by the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).
The community members’ health is a big concern to the tribal health councils at the pueblo. There are several individuals living in the tribe have one or more chronic diseases and many others are at risk of getting type 2 diabetes. In an effort to prevent more people from getting diabetes and other chronic diseases, the health councils also offer weekly health screenings and education.
Principal Accomplishments of the health council over the years
Following are some of the accomplishments that health council achieved over the years:
Current Status and Activities of the Health Council
Health council is currently providing the following activities:
Current Goal and Priorities of the Health Council
The Los Alamos County Health Council (LACHC) is the designated health planning body for Los Alamos County. It has been designated as such through the New Mexico Legislature and the Los Alamos County Council. The LACHC works collaboratively with other county offices and networks.
The LACHC’s chief planning document is the Health Profile, which is published every three years. The most recent is the 2011-2012 LACHC Los Alamos Community Health Profile. The Health Profile includes a summary and analysis of health indicators, issues and trends along with an analysis of community needs and the health and human service delivery system. It provides recommendations for building and sustaining community health.
Los Alamos has the best ranking of all New Mexico counties for its overall health status, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Community Health Project. The county is also very highly rated by the New Mexico Department of Health (NM DOH) in its Community Health Snapshots. The majority of local residents have better than average health status, a reflection of the community’s much higher-than-average education, income and assets, access to health insurance and health care, and healthy living habits. The health status of those with limited access to services and limited resources is not as positive.
Within the overall health picture, a number of areas require attention, further study, and community based efforts toward remediation. They include:
The LACHC has designated three goal areas for its health priorities in its Health Profile. These areas include:
In order to develop and implement strategies and support coordinated activity in each of these priority areas, the LACHC has developed an Older Adult Service Network and a Basic Needs Collaborative to address the first two priorities. The Older Adult Service Network involves a number of community agencies involved in building collaborative strategies. These agencies include the Los Alamos Retired and Senior Organization (LARSO), Los Alamos Visiting Nurse Service, Aspenridge Lodge and Sombrillo Nursing Home, Home Instead, Los Alamos Medical Center, A Nurse in the Family and Los Alamos National Lab. The Basic Needs Collaborative includes Self Help, LA Cares, Los Alamos Family Council, RSVP, First United Methodist Church, Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church and Los Alamos County. The LACHC works with JJAB on its third goal area, to assist youth and families at risk.
The LACHC was asked for recommendations about service priorities by the County Council in 2011, and the Health Council provided recommendations for priorities and funding in February 2012 for the 2013 and 2014 fiscal years. Recommendations included increases in funding for case management for older adults; people in crisis and financial need; youth and families at risk; more funding for basic needs services to address sharp increases in service requests; and for a county social services manager. The Council adopted many of these recommendations and allocated funding, which is currently on hold due to current fiscal challenges.
The LACHC has been strongly involved in local community outreach through Town Hall Meetings, the Health Fair, radio interviews and articles. The Health Council has been actively promoting support for Health Councils at local and state levels, and working with the state Health Council network to rebuild state level funding for Health Councils.
More information about the LACHC and its work can be found on its web page: www.lachc.net.The LACHC meets the first Thursday of each month from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm in the large conference room at the Betty Ehart Senior Center, next to Mesa Library in Los Alamos.
In 2012, Harding County was home to only 695 people who lived within 2,138 square miles. Harding County is located in the northeastern section of New Mexico and supports two incorporated villages. Harding County features a mesa with canyons, grasslands, and the Canadian river gorge; Highway 39; and the longest designated Main Street. Carbon dioxide is a major source of county income and it is experiencing a dynamic expansion of production, with the largest field of 99.9% pure CO2 in the world. Designated hunting of a variety of wildlife species provides wildlife population management and extra income.
The Harding County Health Council, started in 2005, is trying to provide needed medical information and services for our citizens especially our elderly residents. The Council holds two health fairs, one in April in the Village of Roy and the other one in October in the Village of Mosquero. The health fairs feature immunizations (Influenza, Pneumonia, Tdap, and required immunizations for infants & children), bone density, mammograms, blood lipids, and glucose testing. Health professionals are invited to attend, and health information, guidance, and products are also available. The county’s only health clinic is open two days a week, and provides ambulatory medical services, laboratory management, chronic disease management and medical referrals as needed.
The county has three separate EMS rescue units who respond to any local emergency medical calls. There is a pre-school-K-12 grade public school in each Village that only has school nurse service once a week. The council continues to tackle the transportation problems encountered by the elderly as they try to maintain their health, independence and quality of life.
Meetings of the Harding County Health Council usually alternate between Mosquero High School and Roy High School.
Colfax County is located in the northeast corner of New Mexico. Raton, the largest city in this Northeastern region of New Mexico, is located 225 miles north of Albuquerque on Interstate 25. Colfax County has a population of approximately 13, 750 (2010) spread across the county’s towns of Raton, Springer, Maxwell, Cimarron, Eagle Nest and Angel Fire and many ranches on the frontier. It has 3,768 sq, miles. Its population density is 3.649 people per square mile.
Colfax County Health Council is in the process of reestablishing itself after funding was cut in 2010. It is currently working with state the regional Department of Health Epidemiologist, Kelly Gallagher, to establish areas of need in Colfax County. The Colfax County Health Council will determine three main priorities to work on as a community.
In the past Colfax County Health Council was the centralized entity in the County for most health related issues. Priorities included substance abuse prevention, suicide prevention, diabetes/obesity prevention, and prevention of child abuse and neglect. The Health Council was key in bringing a Dialysis clinic to the county allowing for more cost effective and convenient services to be accessed by Colfax County residents.
The Colfax Health Council meets every other month (on the third Wednesday of the month) at the Miners’ Colfax Medical Center Long-Term facility.