© New Mexico Alliance of Health Councils
Cibola County Comprehensive Community Health Council



McKinley County


The McKinley Community Health Alliance, based in Gallup, is a working partnership of more than 100 citizen activists, educators, human service providers, and health-care workers throughout McKinley County and the neighboring region.  Members represent the wide diversity of the area including the Navajo Nation and the Zuni Pueblo.  The Alliance was established in 1998, and has become a state leader in addressing the social and economic determinants of health disparities, in an area that faces major challenges that include extreme poverty and some of the highest rates of diabetes in New Mexico.  The Alliance has a long list of accomplishments; here are just a few:

  •  Establishing health-related coalitions and initiatives:  prevention & suicide coalition; early childhood focus group; home visiting initiative/First Born Program; revamping health curriculum at UNM Gallup; Healthy Kids McKinley County
  •  Policy Initiatives:  Collaboration with the Navajo Nation Dine Community Advocacy Alliance in support of a Navajo Nation Junk Food/Beverage Tax; predatory lending initiative; living wage referendum
  • Training and leadership development:  Community training in a variety of health areas; hosting “Connecting Data to Action and Health Impact Assessment workshops; fostering and mentoring development of other groups and organizations
  • Bringing in resources:  Just in the past few years, the McKinley Community Health Alliance has been instrumental in bringing approximately $3 million to support various health improvement programs

The McKinley Community Health Alliance was formed in 1998 to address the issue of Medicaid Managed Care and how that was affecting Medicaid recipients in McKinley County.  The Alliance’s health focus broadens from that point.  The Health Alliance is a non-hierarchical participatory advocacy organization with open membership.  Its membership is composed of individual citizens, groups, service providers and other agencies that are committed to the mission and vision of the Alliance.

 

The Health Alliance and the Maternal Child Health Council merged in July 2004 to apply for funding under the Community Health Improvement Grant.  Currently, the Health Alliance is a working partnership of more than 100 citizen activists, educators, human service providers, and health-care workers throughout McKinley County and the neighboring region.  Members represent the wide diversity of the area including the Navajo Nation and the Zuni Pueblo.  The Council defines “health” very broadly and believes that health concerns of the area, as related to education, economics, environment and access to appropriate human services, are best addressed collaboratively. 

 

The Board of Commissioners contracts with Presbyterian Medical Services as the administrator for the Health Alliance’s work of coordination, assessment and planning.  The Board of Commissioners has continued to work in collaboration with Presbyterian Medical Services, McKinley Community Health Alliance and other organizations to utilize local community input and expertise to respond directly to community health challenges.

 

Current priorities include:

  • Health – i.e. Access to Care, Problems related to Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drugs (ATOD), Diabetes, Violence & Teen Pregnancy, Unintentional Injuries, Immunization Rates, etc.
  • Education – i.e. School Performance and Completion, etc.
  • Economic – i.e. Access to Fair Credit, Predatory Lending, Living Wage, Affordable Housing, etc.
  • Environmental – i.e. Citing of Polluting Industry, Solid Waste Disposal, Water Quality & Availability, etc.

 

 

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