Skip to main content
Rural Health Information Hub

New Mexico Models and Innovations

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.

Evidence-Based Examples

Project ECHO® – Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes
Updated/reviewed July 2017
  • Need: To increase the capacity for more effective treatment of chronic, complex conditions in rural and underserved communities.
  • Intervention: Through a specially-designed project, remote primary care providers work with academic specialists as a team to manage chronic conditions of rural patients, expanding remote providers' knowledge base through shared case studies.
  • Results: Patient management and care provided by rural providers through ongoing education and mentoring from Project ECHO® has proved as effective as treatment provided by specialists at a university medical center.

Effective Examples

Hidalgo Medical Services – Family Support Program
Updated/reviewed April 2022
  • 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.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy funded by the Health Resources Services Administration New Mexico Mobile Screening Program for Miners
Updated/reviewed December 2020
  • 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.

Promising Examples

Health Extension Regional Offices (HEROs)
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.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy funded by the Health Resources Services Administration Health without Borders
Updated/reviewed December 2020
  • 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.

Other Project Examples

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy FORWARD NM Pathways to Health Careers
Updated/reviewed November 2021
  • 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 hosts students in a variety of healthcare related programs for rural rotation experiences. It has also gained partnership with the HMS-Family Medicine Residency Program since 2013 and designation as an Area Health Education Center (AHEC) since 2012.
Tobacco Use Prevention and Control (TUPAC) Program
Updated/reviewed October 2021
  • Need: To foster relationships with indigenous people in New Mexico to determine culturally appropriate practices in reducing nicotine addiction.
  • Intervention: TUPAC provides outreach, community programs, and cessation services.
  • Results: In fiscal year 2020, 1,938 QUIT NOW and DEJELO YA quit line enrollees stopped using tobacco, and over 4,520 tobacco users made progress on their path to quitting.
Rehoboth McKinley Christian Health Care Services Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment Program
Updated/reviewed June 2020
  • Need: Treatment and rehabilitation for those with alcohol and substance use disorder in a rural area of New Mexico that has high rates of alcohol-related deaths.
  • Intervention: A health center reestablished a 90-day inpatient Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment Program that offers career readiness and work placement for clients.
  • Results: The program has grown from 3 to 69 clients enrolled in inpatient treatment and 32 in the work rehabilitation program. Many of the clients are now employed by local businesses. Additionally, organizational and program success has contributed to development of new graduate medical education programs.
Taos First Steps Program
Updated/reviewed May 2019
  • Need: Support for families that promotes early childhood development and the parent-child relationship.
  • Intervention: Home visits which provide information, support, and access to early childhood resources and tools for building relationships.
  • Results: Easily replicable program, even for rural areas, that result in growth in knowledge and self-sufficiency for families as they provide for and understand their child's earliest years.
Wholesome Rx
Updated/reviewed June 2018
  • Need: A tangible way for providers to increase patients' access to affordable healthy food.
  • Intervention: With Wholesome Rx, a fruit and vegetable prescription program, providers prescribe vouchers for patients to redeem for fruits and vegetables at local healthy food retailers.
  • Results: Over 10,000 people have received Wholesome Rx prescriptions in rural and urban areas across 10 states.

Last Updated: 4/21/2022