These stories feature model programs and successful rural projects that can serve as a
source of ideas. Some of the projects or programs may no longer be active. Read about the
criteria and evidence-base
for programs included.
Updated/reviewed February 2024
- Need: Increase medical management knowledge for New Mexico primary care providers in order to provide care for the thousands of rural and underserved patients with hepatitis C, a chronic, complex condition that has high personal and public health costs when left untreated.
- Intervention: Project leveraging an audiovisual platform to accomplish "moving knowledge, not patients" that used a "knowledge network learning loop" of disease-specific consultants and rural healthcare teams learning from each other and learning by providing direct patient care.
- Results: In 18 months, the urban specialist appointment wait list decreased from 8 months to 2 weeks due to Hepatitis C patients receiving care from the project's participating primary care providers. Improved disease outcomes were demonstrated along with cost savings, including those associated with travel. The project model, now known as Project ECHO® – Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes — has evolved into a telementoring model used world-wide.
Updated/reviewed April 2023
- Need: To reduce health disparities in two rural/frontier counties in southwest New Mexico.
- Intervention: Community health workers worked with clients to help them better manage their health and promote awareness of healthy lifestyle options in the community.
- Results: Better health outcomes for patients.
Updated/reviewed December 2022
- Need: To increase access to medical screening for miners in New Mexico.
- Intervention: A mobile screening clinic with telemedicine capability screens miners for respiratory and other conditions.
- Results: In a survey, 92% of miners reported their care as very good, while the other 8% reported it as good. The program has expanded to three other states.
Updated/reviewed January 2024
- Need: To improve the health of communities in the south central region of New Mexico.
- Intervention: A program was developed to specifically address diabetes prevention and control, behavioral healthcare, and immunization in Luna County.
- Results: During the program, 1,500 immunizations were distributed, baseline measurements of participants improved, and 935 new patients were seen for behavioral health issues.
Updated/reviewed November 2021
- Need: People in rural New Mexico often found it difficult to find and utilize needed resources from the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center (UNMHSC).
- Intervention: UNMHSC created Health Extension Regional Offices (HEROs), in which HERO agents live in the communities they serve, help identify health and social needs, and link them with UNMHSC and other university resources.
- Results: In their regions, HERO agents' activities have been diverse, including recruiting physicians, mobilizing research funds to address local priorities, working on economic development, training laypeople in Mental Health First Aid, and helping local institutions access UNMHSC resources.
Other Project Examples
Added February 2024
- Need: To improve maternal health in northeastern New Mexico.
- Intervention: The Rural OB Access & Maternal Service program provides obstetric and maternal fetal medicine telehealth, home telehealth kits, and free access to lactation consultants and family navigators.
- Results: ROAMS has worked with 1,500 unique individuals since July 2021.
Updated/reviewed January 2024
- Need: To foster relationships with American Indian people in New Mexico to determine culturally appropriate practices in reducing nicotine addiction.
- Intervention: NUPAC provides outreach, community programs, and cessation services.
- Results: In fiscal year 2023, 1,333 QUIT NOW and DEJELO YA quit line enrollees stopped using tobacco.
Updated/reviewed November 2022
- Need: New Mexico's southwestern counties of Hidalgo, Catron, Luna, and Grant have experienced chronic shortages of primary care providers. New Mexico has the oldest physician population in the country.
- Intervention: A comprehensive workforce pipeline program, including programming for middle and high school students, undergraduate and graduate students, primary care program students, and medical and dental residents.
- Results: The program reaches over 1,000 school-aged students throughout the service areas and provides support for students and medical residents in a variety of healthcare-related programs for rural rotation experiences. FORWARD NM received its designation as an Area Health Education Center (AHEC) in 2012.