New Mexico has a legacy of environmental issues from the mining industry, national laboratories, Air Force bases, and the energy industry. In addition, climate change has brought dust storms and wildfires, an increase in allergens, heat stress, and greater risk of flooding and water quality issues.
Comprised of medical, environmental and public health professionals throughout the state, NMEPHN advocates for environmental policies that positively impact public health.
Much of New Mexico has relatively clean air, but the air quality in some areas of our state is significantly impacted by gas and oil development, transportation and industry.
Water is a limited and precious resource in our state and ensuring that our water is clean for human and wildlife consumption, as well as agriculture, is important.
Healthy soil helps sustain the food we eat, provides a filtering mechanism for pollutants, and regulates water. It also absorbs carbon emissions that impact climate change.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control defines public health as the science of protecting and improving the health of people and their communities, achieved by promoting healthy lifestyles, researching disease and injury prevention, and detecting, preventing and responding to infectious diseases. Overall, public health is concerned with protecting the health of entire populations. Public health work also works to promote health equity, quality and accessibility. This work can include education, policy development and advocacy, research and administering services.
A variety of professions contribute to public health work including scientists, first responders, policy makers, health educators, epidemiologists, social works and public health providers such as nurses and physicians.