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The Role All of Us Play in Public Health

April 2, 2019 - Cabinet Secretary - Blog

The Role All of Us Play in Public Health

Think about the efforts you put in – or know you should and don’t – for the good of your health. Diet, exercise – two words we know are the key to living our best lives can be daunting responsibilities when you’re just one person but imagine if you were responsible not just for your health but that of millions of people – that’s the role of the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH).

There are roughly 3,000 New Mexicans working for the Department of Health. Three thousand for two million people in the state.  Monday April 1st launched the annual National Public Health Week, an event created by the American Public Health Association to recognize all the men and women championing health in communities across the United States.

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

The 2019 theme for National Public Health Week is “For science. For action. For health.,” which covers a lot of important ground. Science: the latest research; action: what can we as people, as a Health Department do to better ourselves and everyone around us; and Health – where do we stand as a state and as a people.  

Here’s some of the ways your local public health offices in southwest New Mexico 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. 

Women, Infants and 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 Preventive Medicine Clinic at our dozens of public health offices statewide provide family planning services, immunizations, and testing/treatment for tuberculosis and sexually transmitted diseases and breast and cervical cancer screening;

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 New Mexico, but there is a world of public health we could show you.  For more information, please visit National Public Health Week.


Versión en Español

En un esfuerzo para hacer que nuestros comunicados de prensa sean más accesibles, también tenemos disponibles una versión en español. Por favor presione el enlace de abajo para acceder a la traducción.

El Rol Que Todos Jugamos en la Salud Pública