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NMHEP 2023 Year End Update
Published on December 20, 2023 by DGaussoin

I hope this message finds everyone doing well and enjoying the Holiday season. As promised here are the 2023 NMHEP updates. We had quite a full year and are looking forward to many exciting opportunities for 2024. A huge thank you to all who donated for giving Tuesday. If you would like to still make a tax-deductible donation to NMHEP, before the end of the year, you may do so here – 

If you would like to talk about any of this further or have any questions, please feel free to reach out – David Gaussoin, NMHEP Director 

  • First NMHEP would like to thank the Anchorum Foundation, the City of Santa fe, the Con Alma Foundation, the McCune Foundation, New Mexico Women.org, Together for Brothers, the United Way of Central New Mexico, The Wilderness Society, and many private donors for the generous contributions in 2023.
  • NMHEP clarified and formalized a new business model, mission & vision statement, with the help of Marsie Silvestro CEO - InspHERational Consultant, MoonSong Enterprises, LLC 
    • The main difference is having “two C’s” Capacity Building around community-driven research & Collaborative funding. The other two C’s, convening and connecting, are integrated throughout.  Connecting is not something we do in a vacuum, but in the service of our capacity building work, in the service of collaborative funding. 
    • Updated Mission Statement: The New Mexico Health Equity Partnership (NMHEP) strengthens the capacity of communities to shift power relations and advocate for policy and systems changes.  We work with grassroots partners to (re)shape the narrative around health and racial equity in New Mexico by providing tools and support for community-driven research and creative storytelling, creating funding opportunities for and building capacity with grassroots groups, and facilitating connections and spaces for building collective power. 
  • NMHEP is planning Statewide Gatherings in 2024 around the topic of" Extractive Industries." 
    • So far we are planning to have 3 events in different parts of the state to allow different people to join in and to highlight different communities, and then one to pull it all together.  
    • Also asking "Who do we bring to the table?"- discussions of the complicated dynamics around Chaco and also around having corporate voices involved.  
    • Please reach out if you’re interested and/or connect us with interested people! 
  • SF Community Foundation hosted Alexandra Goldman to attend a workshop series on "Resource Development", where she created a document for NMHEP to use for 2024 and met various people to network with.
  • NMHEP funded 2 Community Driven Research Projects to "Advance Health Equity Grant Funding Cycle" to community-based projects for $10,000 each. 
    • NM Social Justice and Equity Institute - NMSJEI, is ready to update and expand the Looking Within: Uranium Exposure and Health Outcomes. This grant will enable us to plan with the communities of Churchrock, Crownpoint, Pinedale and Manuelito communities. Three focus groups to assess, evaluate, design, update, and implement based on the recommendations/Findings. 
    • NM Environmental Law Center - Funds will be used to address environmental injustices and advance racial justice and equity in Bernalillo County through the development of cumulative impacts regulation, with representation from community members who are most impacted. The proposed regulation will be presented to the Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board with the intent to advocate its adoption statewide. This case will have a profound impact on policy, power building, and leadership development to advance health equity. 
  • NMHEP applied and were awarded two grants from the Environmental Protection Agency to support upcoming 2024 Health Impact Assessment work in partnership with: 
    • Center for Health Innovation- will focus on air quality issues in Northwest New Mexico 
    • Earthcare- will focus on cumulative impacts of development and air quality in the Airport Road area in Santa Fe, NM. 
  • NMHEP is also trying to spread the word about our "re-vamped" fee-for-service capacity building offerings It would be extremely helpful if you all could share our services listed here - https://nmhep.org/research/nmhep-services/ or reach out to us if any of these services would be useful for your organization.  
  • NMHEP would like to send a huge CONGRATULATIONS, to Alexandra and her husband Dave on the birth of their daughter Chole Rose Parker-Goldman, in late August!! They are all doing well, and Alexandra was on maternity leave from mid-August till December 31. This gave NMHEP the opportunity to revisit our maternity leave policy, to make it more “Equitable”. In the past NMHEP used the old SFCF maternity leave policy, which no longer served NMHEP. 
  • NMHEP also revisited our old working hours and now have new working hours (24hrs/20hrs)  
    • David works 24 hrs/week, instead of 32 hrs/week (his working days are T-Th).  
    • Alexandra works 20/hrs week, instead of 32hrs/week.    
    • Since both Alexandria and David reduced their hours in the summer of 2023, NMHEP is able to extend the current NMHEP budget to March 2025! So, we feel we both made the right decision of reducing our hours. In addition, we are continuing to apply for grants and working to secure funds through our fee for service projects. 
    • Beginning January 1, 2024, Alexandra will move from being Codirector of NMHEP to an Independent Contractor. This will allow her to work on special projects and enjoy her time as a new mother. 
  • Finally, NMHEP has been meeting with The Wilderness Society for an upcoming photovoice project. Plans for NMHEP to host and fund the photovoice workshops have started. This will be in partnership with The Wilderness Society, TA provider Mabel Gonzales, and Somos Un Pueblo Unidos, and the communities in the southeast part of New Mexico. This photovoice project will take place in the Permian Basin area (Hobbs, Carlsbad, Roswell, and Artesia), and outside the “Rio Grande Corridor”. This photovoice project will help Somos Un Pueblo Unidos with their current 2024 legislative plans. In addition, NMHEP will provide stipends to community members who participate, to honor their time.
  • In addition, NMHEP has applied for future grant funding to hopefully provide additional photovoice workshops in the west/northwest area of NM, if they are funded. 
  • To give an idea of how photovoice can provide information, below are some of the talking points NMHEP gave to the City of Santa Fe. These were collected from the last photovoice session NMHEP had with the unsheltered populations of Santa Fe in the summer of 2023. This photovoice project was about the need for outdoor safe spaces, as well as the additional needs of the unsheltered populations in the City of Santa Fe. This photovoice project was funded by the City of Santa Fe - Human Services Department. NMHEP has heard through the Santa Fe grapevine, the City is now taking steps to provide warming shelters, water, trash, restrooms, and wash stations around the City, for the unsheltered populations. As you can see, they are very powerful statements. In addition, NMHEP provided stipends to all participants, for their time and attendance. These were all shared consensually and willingly by the unsheltered population of Santa Fe, NM – 
    • People do not treat us like human beings anymore. 
    • We need access to clean water for drinking, cleaning, etc., this is a basic human need. 
    • We need access to trash cans, the city took away trash cans during covid, so now we have no choice but to throw our trash wherever. 
    • We need a safe place to just sit, somewhere cool or warm, depending on the weather. 
    • We need access to public restrooms, businesses will not let us in, even if we are paying customers. Police will throw us in jail for public exposure, this is a basic human right. 
    • Nobody chooses to be homeless/unsheltered; it can happen to anyone. 
    • Some are dealing with mental health issues, need access to free mental health services. 
    • Everything we own is in our locker (at Consuelo’s place) 
    • It’s nice to have a safe place to just let your guard down for a minute (at Consuelo's place) 
    • The streets are not safe, especially for women, elderly, and disabled. 
    • It is hard for the disabled to get around the city, to access some of the services available. 
    • If the city could create an updated webpage for the unsheltered, that tells where services are available, as well as the hours open, usually we find out about stuff, after it is closed or too late. 
    • Need more programs to help folks for getting back into the society/workplace. 

Pat Leahan

Posted on December 21, 2023

Great update from NMHEP! As always, your work is important to our NM communities. Congrats to Alexandra ... so glad to hear you're prioritizing motherhood while maintaining a connection w/NMHEP. We enjoy working w/you. David, it's comforting to know you're in the director's role; it's such a pleasure working w/you all these years. And thanks for sharing the recent accomplishments and upcoming projects. So glad to see the NW part of the state will be receiving support. Thank you, also, to the funders who help keep NMHEP thriving. Your investment is helping to make NM the best it can be. 

pat leahan 
las vegas, nm 

Dolores E. Roybal

Posted on December 27, 2023

Happy Holidays and congratulations on another great year of accomplishments in supporting NM's nonprofits and communities. Mil gracias  -Dolores 

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