New Mexico’s Community Health Councils
For over 20 years, New Mexico’s county and tribal health councils have played a key role in the state’s public health system. New Mexico is one of a handful of states that do not have county-based public health offices and health boards. New Mexico’s county and tribal health councils (currently over 30 active councils) have played a key role in the state’s public health communities, identifying local health needs, and planning and coordinating solutions to address those needs.
Health councils mobilize communities to address important local health problems, such as youth suicide, teen pregnancy prevention, diabetes and obesity prevention, substance abuse and mental health issues, and access to primary health care.
Health councils have produced detailed assessments of local health needs and resources, using published health data and local information. Community health assessments have been used widely by state and local government and non-profit agencies to secure funding.
Health Council Priority Areas (2010)
Health Councils have developed comprehensive, detailed, long-range plans that have guided the work of health care providers, non-profit organizations, and state, county, and city government agencies.
In FY2010, the health councils were able to attract $3.5 million in additional funding. A 2003 study found that the state’s health councils (then Maternal & Child Health Councils) received approximately $8.5 million over a 3-year period from the NM Dept. of Health. In 2000-2003, Health Councils brought to their communities an additional $27 million--$4 for every $1 provided by DOH in core funding.
Evaluation: A 3-year evaluation of the health councils by the University of New Mexico found that the councils established new programs, influenced policies, develop coalitions and networks, and accomplished other outcomes leading to improved health in their communities.
(2010 data from NM Health Council Evaluation Project, Summary Evaluation Report, Sept. 16, 2010; 2003 data from Anne Hays Egan & Ron Hale, Community Health Consulting Group, March 2003)
For more information contact:
Sharon Finarelli, Executive Director
New Mexico Alliance of Health Councils
P.O. Box 53, New Mexico 87931