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Home News State shows commitment to safeguarding DD Waiver program participants through increased investigations and oversight.

State shows commitment to safeguarding DD Waiver program participants through increased investigations and oversight.

SANTA FE — The New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) and Adult Protective Services at the Aging & Long-Term Services Department have joined forces to establish a consolidated Central Intake Reporting system for reporting abuse, neglect and exploitation (ANE).  This collaborative effort presents its insights in the 2023 Incident Management Bureau (IMB) Annual Report, published by the Division of Health Improvement at DOH for the fiscal year 2023. It's important to note that the report's findings specifically pertain to developmentally disabled individuals receiving services on the DD Waiver programs.

Earlier this year, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham called for an all-hands approach to improve how the state serves and protects those with developmental disabilities. The state completed in-person wellness checks for 6,815 clients from the states’ DD Waiver programs in April 2023. 

This comprehensive integrated system operates a 24-hour hotline (866-654-3219) for reporting incidents such as abuse, neglect, exploitation, suspicious injury, environmental hazards, and deaths. Alternatively, individuals can submit reports conveniently online at

"In the wake of the tragic Mary Melero case, the New Mexico Department of Health has heeded this wake-up call, intensifying oversight efforts," stated DOH Cabinet Secretary Patrick Allen. “Our heightened vigilance has yielded significant results, uncovering additional instances of abuse, neglect, and exploitation, highlighting the importance of vigilance and accountability in safeguarding vulnerable individuals under our care." 

The table below provides a comprehensive overview of investigations and findings related to abuse, neglect, or exploitation for the fiscal years 2022 and 2023. 
IMB Chart
Key Findings from the Report: 

  • IMB substantiated 777 allegations of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, reflecting the commitment to thoroughly investigate and address these concerns.
  • The report revealed that 547 individuals were determined to have been victims of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. These investigations have had a profound impact on safeguarding vulnerable individuals.
  • IMB collaborates with various agencies to make referrals for criminal prosecution, abuse registry placement, licensing board review, guardianship and provider contract management. Egregious cases are referred to the Attorney General for intervention.
  • With 2,259 investigations conducted, the intensified focus on ANE has led to tangible results. Collaborative endeavors have enabled more comprehensive examination of ANE cases, further safeguarding those in vulnerable situations.
  • The IMB emphasizes an Immediate Action and Safety Plan to ensure the safety of individuals during investigations. This approach is designed to provide immediate support and protection for those affected.
  • The report delves into the causes and contributing factors of neglect, offering valuable insights for preventing such incidents in the future.
  • As the waiver population continues to expand, IMB and its partners remain vigilant in their efforts to prevent ANE, safeguarding individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

Anyone suspecting abuse, neglect, or exploitation of any person who is on one of the state’s Developmental Disabilities Waiver Programs, or anyone else, please call the Adult Protective Services Central Intake Unit toll-free at: 1-866-654-3219 or file a report online at:

Media Contact

We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact Jodi McGinnis Porter at (Office) with your questions.

Versión en Español

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El Estado demuestra su compromiso de proteger a los participantes en el programa de exención por DD mediante un aumento de las investigaciones y la supervisión