In May 2021, the New Mexico Public Health Association (NMPHA) hosted its annual conference for a group of over 400 participants. This conference brought together individuals from all over the state for a series of keynotes, presentations, and caucus and networking options, with a goal of improving health equity for all New Mexicans.
NMPHA was established in 1917. Its mission, to educate and disseminate knowledge of disease, collaborate with local public health groups, and improve health infrastructure, has remained largely the same over the years. Today, NMPHA has three priority areas: social determinants of health, environmental health and justice, and universal health care access.
This year’s theme was “Public Health Reimagined,” a perspective that was revisited multiple times throughout the conference. Both days were kicked off with NMPHA’s newly adopted Land Acknowledgement Statement, marking renewed commitment to collaborate with and elevate the health of Indigenous people. Plenary sessions included opportunities to break into small-group discussions, allowing people of diverse backgrounds to meet, share their perspectives and visions, and connect with others across the state.
PIRE-Southwest researchers shared their work through two presentations and a virtual booth available throughout the conference. The center also supported the conference as a Guardian-level sponsor.
Cathleen Willging, Elise Trott Jaramillo, and Emily Haozous presented with collaborator Erik Lujan on a project titled Navigating Health Systems to Improve Health Equity for American Indian Elders. This work is based on the Seasons of Care study and the subsequent Seasons of Care Native Elder Health Guide.
Daniel Shattuck and Alena Kuhlemeier presented with New Mexico Genders and Sexualities Alliance Network collaborators on a project titled Rainbow After the Storm: Supporting Sexual and Gender Minority Youth Wellbeing During COVID-19. More information on this mixed-methods study can be found on its project page.