New Mexico has a long history of legacy environmental issues that have impacted the health of citizens including effects from the mining industry, the presence of national laboratories and Air Force bases, and the extensive footprint of the energy industry. In addition, climate change conditions such as the increase in particulate matter from dust storms and wildfires, an increase in allergens, risks of flooding and resulting water quality issues, and heat stress are also impacting residents’ health.
These environmental factors, combined with our state’s large land mass and rural populations, socioeconomic factors such as poverty, lower levels of education and substandard housing, and a general lack of community resources have all helped to contribute to poor health outcomes for many New Mexicans, especially those residing in underserved communities.
This legacy, along with the health impacts of our changing climate, were part of the impetus to forming the New Mexico Environmental Public Health Network in 2018. Our organization, compromised of medical, environmental and public health professionals throughout the state, is committed to binging a voice to the public policy space, advocating for environmental policies that positively impact public health.
The Network’s Mission
The Network is a group of advocates, whose mission is to protect public health through education and advocacy for environmental policies that affect New Mexican communities. We are nonpartisan and encourage a diversity of viewpoints.
Values of the Network
- Effective communication of environmental public health protection to policymakers
- Advocacy of environmental protection
- Collaboration and Partnerships with health professionals
- Equity and Transparency
- Listen, reflect, evaluate, learn, re-assess
Sam Baca, Community Organizer
Carol Romero-Wirth, Wirth Law Firm, Santa Fe City Council
Lance Chilton, MD Former NM Pediatric Society President; Professor, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine
Ana Rondon, NM Social Justice Equity Institute
Sanders Moore, Moore Consulting Strategies
David Gausson, NM Health Equity Partnership
Jessie Jenson, NM Health Equity Partnership
Erik Schlenker-Goodrich, Western Environmental Law Center
Janine Yazzie, Sixth World Solutions
Erin Englebrecht, City of Albuquerque
Doug Meiklejohn, NM Environmental Law Center
Shelly Mann-Levv, NM Public Health Association
Terri Rodriquez, NM Public Association of Community Health Councils
Teresa Seamster, Sierra Club
Susan Wilger, Public Health Institute