© New Mexico Alliance of Health Councils

Catron county is the largest county in New Mexico in land area, but has the third smallest population. This makes it a frontier county (less than .5 persons per acre) with beautiful mountains, rivers, and valleys, and excellent hunting and fishing. 


In such a rural area, access to health care is an enormous challenge and a priority of the Catron County Health Council.  The council was instrumental in establishing the PMS/Catron County Medical Clinic, as well as the Grassroots Behavioral Group, working to restore mental health and substance abuse services after the shutdown of the major agency serving the area.  The health council sponsors a health fair each year, making available immunizations, blood pressure and oxygen screenings, physical therapy, a dermatologist, and other services.  The council also works with others on a variety of community activities, including an annual Teen Health and Career/College Fair for teens (allowing exploration of health careers), exercise opportunities, a garden club, and workshops. Monthly health council meetings are held in Reserve.

Luna County

The Luna Health Council is working to transform attitudes in the area to better recognize issues surrounding health disparities, food policy, and substance abuse. Council members work for a variety of local agencies and programs, some of which work to address health disparities by expanding Medicaid enrollment or offering education classes, like cooking for diabetes prevention and management. The Council holds an annual health fair, regularly attended by over 400 people. Recent accomplishments include helping to launch the CHANCES program, which addresses substance abuse among pregnant women; and securing grant funding to address underage drinking and prescription drug abuse.


Contact Information:


Matt Robinson

Luna County Health Council coordinator

(575) 567-1185


Health Council meets at 9 a.m. every fourth Thursday of the month in Luna County Courthouse, 700 S. Silver Avenue.

Grant County Community Health Counci

The Grant County Community Health Council operates as an unincorporated entity under the Grant County Board of Commissioners.  

GCCHC’s mission is to be a catalyst to enhance the quality of life in Grant County, New Mexico through collaborative assessment, planning, prioritizing and coordinating efforts to build community health. 

Our vision is to attain a state of emotional, physical and social well-being where hope and resiliency are present for each person in Grant County, through measurable and sustainable improvement of health for all community members. We envision a diverse, active and competent Health Council that serves as a catalyst and resource for improving the quality of life in Grant County. 

Grant County is a rural community located in Southwestern New Mexico. We are home to the Gila National Forest, Western New Mexico University, Gila Regional Medical Center, Ft. Bayard State Veterans Home, Hidalgo Medical Services, and an abundance of nonprofits, associations, advocacy groups and civic groups.  

We are grateful to have a diverse population and a community with a rich history and mix of people. We have families who have lived here for generations, as well as new retirees. Healthcare professionals, human services workers, educators and artists enrich our community.  

GCCHC begins 2021 with new energy, a renewed commitment to improving and enhancing healthcare in Grant County and a determination to serve as a venue for collaboration and cooperation as our community perseveres through the pandemic.  

For more information, please contact Grant County Community Health Council at: 

Email: gcchc@chi-phi.org 

Phone: 575-313-0611 

Hidalgo County Health Council

The Hidalgo County Health Council was reestablished in the fall of 2013 after nearly a year of inactivity. The Health Council’s core group is made up of representatives from several coalitions and collaborations working throughout the county to address health concerns It is the goal of the HCHC to eliminate gaps, avoid duplication, be a clearinghouse for health- related information and provide assessments of health related issues in Hidalgo County.  Currently the target areas are:


Food Security:

Hidalgo County’s abundant agriculture production is largely not consumed by its residents.  The Health Council is working with Hidalgo County Food Coalition to promote more back yard gardening, increase access to healthy food through local farmers markets and commodities, and promote the preservation and consumption of fresh vegetables and fruit. By encouraging healthy eating habits through education and increasing the opportunity to provide a more healthy food choices, the Council hopes to decrease high rates of obesity, chronic heart disease, diabetes other health related issues.

Substance Use Prevention:  Hidalgo County suffers a disproportionate health burden from substance abuse. It ranked 7th in the state for alcohol-related deaths; 5th for alcohol-related chronic disease death, 3rd for alcohol related chronic liver disease death; 4th for drug-induced death rates; and 13th for unintentional drug overdose.

Housing:  Access to safe and affordable housing has been identified as a need and is being addressed through a local community action team. Stable and affordable housing in the county supports the local economy and provides better choices to those who work and live here, especially the elderly.


Hidalgo County Health Council will be holding a community meeting May 27th to obtain feedback from community member on their “Healthy Living” concerns.  

Contact information: 


Beth Cox, Coordinator, Hidalgo Medical Services, bcox@hmsnm.org, (575) 313-0765; Susan Wilger, Hidalgo Medical Services:  swilger@hmsnm.org,  (575)313-4720.
Otero County Health Council

The mission of the Otero County Community Health Council (OCCHC) is to assess, promote, and enhance the health and wellbeing of county residents by encouraging broad-based community involvement. During the first half of 2014, the OCCHC has been involved in updating our Community Health Assessment, conducting community engagement discussion groups, and reviewing our priority focus areas.

Otero County has a population of about 65,000 people.  One of the largest counties in New Mexico by land area, it is 6,617 square miles with a population density of just 9.6 people per square mile. The largest community is Alamogordo with an estimated population of 31,500. Also located within Otero County are the communities of Holloman Air Force Base, Tularosa, Mescalero Apache Tribal homelands, Cloudcroft, La Luz, Bent, Boles Acres, Mayhill, High Rolls/Mountain Park, Orogrande, Piñon, Sacramento, Sunspot, Timberon, Weed, and Chaparral, which straddles both counties of Otero and Dona Ana. Otero County’s estimated percentage of children under age 18 living in households whose income is at or below the federal poverty level is 36.4% or 4,851 people. Our 2010 graduation rate is 78.8%, and 16.9% of our population over age 25 has a Bachelor’s degree or higher. The Otero County median household income is $39,054

OCCHC meets the first Tuesday of every month at noon, at La Frontera, 1900 10th Street in Alamogordo. All are welcome. Meetings usually include a presentation on current community health and behavioral health issues, Health Council business, and round table sharing. The emphasis is on well-being, awareness, community health, and collaboration. Our most recently identified focus areas are: healthy eating/active living and substance abuse. A sub-committee, the Substance Abuse Task Force meets every third Tuesday at noon, at the same location.

OCCHC has had as many as 200 members in general membership, and more than 100 agencies have been represented. Some members attend as agency representatives while others attend as individuals. Generally, about 20 to 25 people attend each meeting. The Health Council has helped support programs and activities including the GRADS program in our public schools, the Every 15 Minutes Event, the Meth Awareness Research Project, and development of a Prescription Trails guide.  

Here are some of the projects and initiatives that the Otero County Health Council has assisted in:

Prescription trails are a tool for increasing physical activity, with doctors prescribing walking for their patients, using specially designated and mapped community trail systems.  In 2011 the Otero County Health Council developed a wonderful Prescription Trails Guide with multi layered partnerships, including city of Alamogordo, US Forest Service, local non-profits, National Park Service, and NMDOH.  The booklet was a first for Otero County and has been widely distributed.  Another innovative project was a rigorous, community-based participatory research project conducted with a local university that measured community attitudes regarding methamphetamine use.  The Health Council also helped to save a valuable teen pregnancy prevention program:  The Health Council Core Team rallied around the GRADS program when it was facing being cut from the school curriculum (this past spring). They gathered interested parties and got people to attend School Board meetings, and also Core Team wrote letters in support of GRADS – which was kept for this school year based on that intervention.  Read more


Contact Information:  Dee Swope, President: dianaswope@hotmail.com (575) 491-3475. Maureen Schmittle, Otero Health Promotion Specialist: Maureen.schmittle@state.nm.us; (575)439-1367

Doña Ana County Health Alliance

The Doña Ana County Health Alliance serves as the primary advisory body to the HHS Department that works to improve the health status of Doña Ana County residents.  The Alliance improves coordination and collaboration, nurtures public understanding, strengthens accountability, promotes informed policy-making, and creates opportunity for effective community input. The Alliance coordinates the diverse efforts devoted to addressing health and human service needs and blends the work of several advisory bodies.  The Alliance creates a common sense of purpose and shared understanding of methods and perspectives, while promoting new channels of communication. 

The Alliance provides the HHS Department with a comprehensive profile of the county’s health status, resulting in more informed decision-making.  With guidance from the Alliance, the HHS Department maintains effective and efficient methods for utilizing county resources to provide services.

The Alliance is a 25-member volunteer board.  The membership reflects a cross section of the community that is consistently represented at meetings and actively involved in decision-making.  The membership includes individuals with a wide range of strengths, abilities, experiences, and resources found within the county.  Diverse membership enhances collaboration and helps the Alliance develop a more comprehensive response to community needs.  Members are required to attend regular meetings.  The Alliance meetings are held a minimum of ten times per year, and the committees meet as necessary.  

The Alliance meets the 2nd Wednesday of each month from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Doña Ana County Government Center, 845 N. Motel Blvd.   Alliance meetings are open to the public. Dates and location are subject to change. Please call to confirm.

If you would like to learn more about the Alliance or for questions on becoming a member, please contact Jackie Pacheco, Alliance Facilitator, at jacquelinep@donaanacounty.org or call the office at 575-525-5869.

Socorro County Health Council

The mission of the Socorro County Health Council (SCOPE) is:

We will work together

·      To provide a method for community health decision making,

·      To identify and prioritize health and safety needs, and

·      To establish and plan strategies for community health goals for the improvement of the health and quality of life in families and individuals of Socorro County.


To better accomplish this, the health council has become the umbrella organization that houses partnering community coalitions:  The Mayor’s Drug Task Force (MDTF), Healthy Kids Socorro County (HKSC), Socorro County Juvenile Justice Board (SCJJB) and Socorro County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (SCPC), as well as a diverse membership among agencies and organizations providing services in Socorro County.  The City of Socorro acts as fiscal entity for the health council and the partnering coalitions; it is a goal of SCOPE and the City to have the relationships between the City and the health council, the health council and the partnering coalitions more formally established.


The current priority area being addressed by the health council is Fitness and Nutrition.  Healthy Kids, Socorro County utilizes a diverse number of strategies to improve health through active living and healthy eating.  Substance Abuse is also a priority, but is but being addressed more specifically by the partner coalitions MDTF, SCJJB and SCPC, as well as the DWI Council and program – also a member of SCOPE.


Some of the current activities of the council and partnering coalitions include: 

·      Re-establishing a Teen Drug Court to address truancy issues and prevent youth from entering the juvenile justice system, the development and creation of a Teen Center that will focus on life skills.

·      Provide tutoring and assist with obtaining a GED, Substance Abuse program development and the training of a Substance Abuse Prevention staff member.

·      The establishment of School Gardens; creating and maintaining a Bike to School initiative; and designating bike routes to city parks and places of interest; and establishing walking paths both to and around city parks.

·      Bringing the food co-op Bountiful Baskets to Magdalena as well as Socorro and potentially Veguitas in Northern Socorro County; strengthening the School Wellness Policy; introducing and conducting the 5, 2, 1, O challenge to all 3rd grade students of Socorro Consolidated schools and branching out to Magdalena; increasing participation in the 3 locations of the Farmers Market throughout the county; and creating and administering the Maze of Life, which just completed its third year, to Socorro County high school students.


For more information visit us on our website: http://healthykidssocorro.com.

Sierra County Health Council

Sierra County is at the northern edge of the Chihuahuan Desert, the largest desert area in North America with elevations of 4,200 feet to over 10,000 feet. Sierra County is 4,236 square miles, and is designated a frontier community due to its population of three people per square mile. Major geographic features include the Rio Grande, Elephant Butte, Lake Caballo, hot mineral springs, and is home to the new Spaceport America. The majority of county residents (about 7,500) live in three incorporated municipalities that are next to each other along the Rio Grande. The remaining (4,000) residents live in outlying communities a great distance from basic services.


The Sierra Health Council (SHC) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, charitable organization that has an active membership representing most of the federal, state, and local agencies. The purpose of SHC is to facilitate opportunities for collaboration pertaining to health concerns among community organizations, agencies, and individuals; and to serve as a clearinghouse for the dissemination of ideas addressing social determinants of health.

The mission of the Sierra Health Council (SHC) is to promote, support, and contribute to the highest quality of life, health, and wellness of all people living in Sierra County. Our vision statement is “Community Great: Healthy and Strong!”


A few of the issues impacting health in Sierra County are the lack of public transportation and obstetrical services. Infant mortality is double the rate of New Mexico and the U.S, 40% of the children live in poverty, and prescription drug abuse is 2nd highest in the state.


The main priority being addressed by the health council is Transportation. SHC is currently working with the South Central Regional Transit District (SCRTD) to bring a regional/local transportation system to Sierra County. Other council activities include health insurance education and enrollment to improve health equity through access. SHC is part of the Sierra County Prevention Alliance (SCPA) addressing underage drinking and prescription drug abuse and is conducting its first ‘Teen Maze’ event to provide critical education concerning the consequences of risky behaviors to encourage healthy choices. SHC has also provided fiscal sponsorship for several community projects involving Early Childhood Development.  One of our goals is to be formally recognized as a community health advisory resource for local government.


Contact information:

Website: http://www.sierrahealthcouncil.com

L. Reilly-Hamil, Manager sierrahealthcouncil@gmail.com

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