Health Equity Partnership
Participants move dialogue to action at 2013 Health Councils and Community gatherings.
Health Equity Partnership Grant
The Santa Fe Community Foundation has received a three-year, $3.11 million grant to fund a community-based health planning and policy development partnership across New Mexico. The project will give local leaders the data, tools and skills to address social, economic and environmental conditions in their communities that shape health outcomes.
The funding comes from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, MI.
The grant will be used to combine the strengths of three statewide activities: the New Mexico Alliance of Health Councils, the Place Matters initiative, and training local leaders to do Health Impact Assessments. Health impact assessments examine the effects of public policy on health. Place Matters teams, made up of local leaders, use those findings to advocate for policy change and inform public opinion.
Santa Fe Community Foundation will function as a backbone institution coordinating these three efforts out of their headquarters in downtown Santa Fe.
The Health Equity Partnership will ultimately result in the creation of the New Mexico Health Equity Institute. This effort will have a particular focus on racial, environmental and economic-based health inequities related to higher infant mortality, higher rates of disease and disability, and shortened life expectancy.
New Mexico is one of a small minority of states with a centralized, statewide health department, rather than county or municipal-based health departments, making the need for community-based health planning, assessment and action at the local level even more critical. This is especially true in those communities with significant health disparities due to inequitable resource allocation and policies.
“Poverty creates social, economic and environmental conditions that disproportionately affect the health of Hispanic, Native American and immigrant people in our communities. This is a matter of justice. These unnecessary health problems have a tragic impact on quality of life and negatively affect the stability of families and communities across the state,” said Brian T. Byrnes, Santa Fe Community Foundation President and CEO. "This inequity has a ripple effect beyond the individual. It hampers our workforce readiness and competitiveness as a state, and frustrates our ability to contain health care costs and improve overall health care quality. This grant will enable the partners in this collaborative effort to help community leaders drive solutions to this immense problem.”