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Home News Envisioning a Healthy Future
David Morgan
575-528-5197 Office
575-649-0754 Mobile

Envisioning a Healthy Future

During the first full week of April each year, the American Public Health Association (APHA) brings together communities across the United States to observe National Public Health Week as a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation.Taking care of ourselves can be a job in itself. We have to think about what we’re about to put in our bodies, not just blindly order value meal number two. We have to consciously make the time to exercise regularly.  Our health and our future, basically, is in our hands.

Now imagine if you were responsible not just for your health but that of millions of people. That’s the challenge anyone working in public health deals with every day. 

There are approximately 3,000 New Mexicans who work for the New Mexico Department of Health, and in all sorts of ways, be they large or small; local or statewide, they play a role in keeping the more than two million people living in our state healthy.

This coming Monday marks the start of National Public Health Week, an event created by the American Public Health Association for recognizing all the men and women championing the health of all people and communities.

It’s a job, like so many others, that’s recognized for a day, week or month but is worked on year-round.

The theme for National Public Health Week this year is: “Healthiest Nation 2030”, and it’s not just a theme, it’s a goal. It’s a Herculean effort to raise the standards of public health across the board.  It’s also the very mission of the New Mexico Department of Health.

We talk every week in this column about the many ways and many areas in which the Department of Health is working to assure a healthier New Mexico.  The Department has been successful in recent years in reducing childhood obesity rates and in stabilizing the obesity rates for adults – a rate that increased every year for many years is no longer rising. Teen tobacco use is down. Teen pregnancy rates are down as well. New Mexico moms and their children are getting supplemental food and nutrition services from the Department’s Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program.

There are many other ways the Department of Health works to assure a healthy future for residents, thanks to dozens of public health clinics across the state. Here are some of the ways your Las Cruces Public Health office make sure you stay healthy from the start:

Families FIRST offers prenatal care coordination assisting Medicaid eligible pregnant women and children 0-3 years of age to gain access to medical, social and education services that are necessary for healthy births. 

As we mentioned above, Women, Infants & Children (WIC) is the special supplemental nutrition assistance program that identifies health and nutritional risks for mothers and their children.  Enrolled parents and guardians get nutrition education and receive monthly food benefits for high nutrient foods.

Children's Medical Services (CMS) offers access to treatment for eligible children through medical care coordination for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) ages 0-21. It manages the Newborn Genetics Screening Program and the Newborn Hearing Screening Program.

The Southwest Preventive Medicine at the Las Cruces Public Health Office provides family planning services, immunizations, and testing/treatment for tuberculosis and sexually transmitted diseases and breast and cervical cancer screening.

The Public Health Resource Center at the Las Cruces Central Public Health Office offers care and treatment for Hepatitis C and for opiate addiction and classes for diabetes self care management.

Disease Prevention concentrates on the prevention and control of infectious diseases with outreach, surveillance, outbreak response, testing/treatment, contact follow-up, and referrals for sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and more. The team performs Harm Reduction counseling and facilitates needle exchange/disposal to reduce the risk for the transmission of HIV and Hepatitis and Narcan training/dispensing for opiate overdose prevention.

The Health Promotion Team works with community groups, coalitions and councils for awareness and mobilization initiatives related to healthy lifestyles, environments, policies and plans. 

That’s just a small sample of services public health offices provide in southwestern New Mexico, but there is a world of public health we could show you. For more information, please visit the National Public Health Week website.

Media Contact

We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact David Morgan at 575-528-5197 (Office) or 575-649-0754 (Mobile) with your questions.

Versión en Español

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Visualizando un Futuro Saludable