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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 October 2022
  • 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.

Effective Examples

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 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.
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.

Promising Examples

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy funded by the Health Resources Services Administration Health without Borders
Updated/reviewed December 2022
  • 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.
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.

Other Project Examples

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy FORWARD NM Pathways to Health Careers
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.
Nictotine Use Prevention and Control (NUPAC) 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: NUPAC 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.
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 results in growth in knowledge and self-sufficiency for families as they provide for and understand their child's earliest years.

Last Updated: 12/19/2022