Health: Body, Mind, and Spirit
Town Hall & Community Conversations

Health: Body, Mind, and Spirit <br />Town Hall & Community Conversations


Day One
Date: August 4, 2020
Time: 8:30-5:30 pm
Location: Isleta Resort & Casino
11000 Broadway Southeast Albuquerque, NM 87105

Day Two
Date: August 5, 2020
Time: 8:30-5:30 pm
Location: Isleta Resort & Casino
11000 Broadway Southeast Albuquerque, NM 87105

Health: Body, Mind, and Spirit
Town Hall & Community Conversations

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Statement

From the President of New Mexico First, Lilly Irvin-Vitela

We have been in communication with our board of directors about the safest and wisest approach to responding to the pandemic related to Covid-19. Our Executive Committee and chairperson of the Town Hall Planning Committee have unanimously agreed that the best course of action is to follow public health advisories. New Mexico First has decided to postpone all Healthcare: Body, Mind, and Spirit events, including our statewide community conversations (various dates and times), consensus-builder training (March 26-27th), and centralized 2-day Town Hall which was scheduled on April 8th and 9th.

We remain committed to building nonpartisan, consensus-based strategies and action plans to strengthen the well-being of New Mexico. For those who have been part of our research and planning teams, we’ll continue to meet remotely, and we’ll be in touch with a revised timeline. For those who have participated in community conversations, your voices and perspectives will still be brought forward at a future event. For those who have been on track to plan a local community conversation in partnership with New Mexico First, your partnership is still vitally important to us, and we’ll stay in coordination and partnership.

Isleta Casino and Resort, who we have been working with to plan our town hall, has been amazing. While we cannot know what the future holds, we are holding August 4th and 5th as our potential re-schedule date. Please mark your calendars and save the date. We’ll be in touch and encourage you to be in touch too. Part of how this pandemic unfolds depends on systemic and personal efforts to halt the spread of this disease. New Mexico has set up a statewide hotline. If you have concerns about your community, neighbors, family, or self, the number is 855-600-3453.

One of the strong messages we have heard all across NM from north to south and east to west as we’ve held community meetings about Healthcare: Body, Mind, and Spirit is that relationships are core to how we understand health and well-being. Let’s stay connected and share information and support even though we won’t be getting together in large groups for a while.

With great respect for your interest and commitment to health,

Lilly Irvin-Vitela, MCRP
President and Executive Director


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New Mexico First will host a statewide town hall called Healthcare: Body, Mind, and Spirit. A broad range of stakeholders will join in building consensus on approaches and public policy solutions to improve the physical, behavioral and mental health of New Mexicans. We’re looking for folks who are already making a difference in healthcare policy and those who want to make a difference, such as community members from rural, urban, frontier, tribal/pueblo areas, healthcare providers from the promotion and prevention side to intervention and treatment, business leaders, government professionals/policymakers, students, health advocates, faith leaders and people who work with data. We invite those of all geographic, political, and cultural backgrounds to the town hall.

In our groundwork to select a town hall topic, we reached out to New Mexicans to learn which of our policy areas should be addressed. Healthcare was the clear leader as an area of concern. While New Mexico has many assets that promote health, there is more we can do to improve the health and well-being of all New Mexicans. When asked about concerns and opportunities to strengthen the health of New Mexicans, several themes came forward. These themes will provide the structure for the Healthcare: Body, Mind, and Spirit Background Report and for the small group breakout sessions during the April 8th and 9th Town Hall. They will serve as focus areas of the ongoing collaboration and action to achieve policy and systems change.

The New Mexico First board, staff, planning committee, research committee, and mobile town hall participants understand that addressing healthcare through body, mind, and spirit is core to a strong and vital New Mexico.

Small Group Themes

Fostering a Robust and Responsive Continuum of Care. From health promotion and prevention to intervention and treatment, the health of New Mexicans is improved when people have access to high quality and appropriate levels of support to achieve good physical, mental, and behavioral health outcomes. When there are gaps in the continuum of care, people may not receive the support necessary to prevent the erosion of wellness and the snowballing of illness and disease. While access to qualified clinicians is vital and cannot be taken for granted in many communities that are experiencing a healthcare gap in New Mexico, not all support needed to advance health must be provided by a clinician. Health promoters, health educators, and other health extenders all play a role in strengthening well-being in New Mexico. Come to this session to help think about innovative and sustainable approaches to supporting health across the promotion, prevention, intervention and treatment continuum.

Building Inclusive and Culturally Competent Systems to Support Health. New Mexico is not unlike the rest of the country in that many community members experience significant disparities in health access and outcomes. However, as a majority-minority state, these disparities are especially costly on a human and economic level. Personal characteristics as well as social and structural determinants of health drive health outcomes. Geography, race, ethnicity, gender, sex, age, home language, socio-economic status, military service, educational level attained, immigration/citizenship status, housing status, sexual orientation, trauma history, access to enough healthy food, and access to transportation are among the factors that impact health and well-being. This breakout group will discuss and examine concrete and specific values, policies, and strategies that are needed at the systems level to improve health in fair and equitable ways.

Growing, Attracting, and Retaining an Effective Healthcare Workforce. 23 counties in New Mexico had 1.4 or fewer primary care providers per 1,000 people. National reports rank New Mexico between 31st and 34th in terms of access to qualified providers. State and Tribal governments, higher education, nonprofit and for-profit health care systems, healthcare provider associations, nonprofit and community-based organizations, faith communities and others have engaged in efforts to attract, grow and retain a healthcare workforce that can respond to the diverse needs of people and communities across New Mexico. Strategies range from a “grow your own” approach, expanding a career pipeline for health-related professions from community support workers to physicians, to marketing New Mexico as an educational and practice destination of choice for health care providers. In this session, join others from across New Mexico to discuss and determine recommendations for policy and systems change to strengthen the healthcare workforce for physical, behavioral, and mental health.

Health Economics, Data, and Decision-Making. People-centered systems are at the heart of physical, mental, and behavioral health. Meaningful data help to tell the story of people’s experiences of health and illness. Rigorous qualitative and quantitative data can help individuals, families, communities, providers, and policymakers understand and make informed decisions to advance well-being, improve health outcomes, and use resources effectively. As everyday people and policymakers push for better health outcomes, data and information systems support efforts to demonstrate value-based practice models and strengthen quality improvement. In this session, breakout group participants will engage in dialogue to better understand the relationships between data, information, decision-making and health economics. They will apply this understanding to advance actions and conditions that promote community health and the quality of care for those who use healthcare systems.

Resilience, Trauma, and Adverse Childhood Experiences. The impact of trauma and toxic stress throughout a person’s life has a significant impact on behavioral, mental, and physical health outcomes. The relationship between household dysfunction, abuse, and child maltreatment and the leading causes of illness, disease, and death have been identified in foundational research in the 1990s and confirmed in ongoing studies. According to Child Trends, 53% of New Mexico Children have experienced one or more reported adverse childhood experiences. Fourteen percent of those children have experienced three or more adverse childhood experiences at least once, but many report multiple occurrences. In addition, too many New Mexicans are members of communities that are affected by trauma from historical and on-going oppression. If not adequately addressed, trauma and toxic stress have long-term impacts on individual health and well-being, community-wide health, and healthcare costs. Understanding and promoting policies that prevent toxic stress and trauma and/or intervene early to foster resilience and recovery are important to better individual and state health outcomes. In this session, participants will consider policies and systems change recommendations and strategies to promote resilience and reduce the incidence of trauma across the lifespan.

Unmet Healthcare Needs for People in the Legal System. In New Mexico, 89% of those detained in our jails were diagnosed with a serious mental illness, many of whom had a dual diagnosis of substance abuse or dependence. This makes access to services more critical and, at the same time more difficult. New Mexico’s prisons and detention centers are required to provide physical and behavioral health services to these inmates, yet they often lack adequate in-house staff or the resources to purchase these services from the community if they are, in fact, available. County detention centers are finding it very challenging to offer services, which may account for 40% of their operating budgets. In a positive move, New Mexico’s Behavioral Health Services Division has mandated that all three of the state’s Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) provide services to their members while incarcerated and to link members with appropriate community resources upon their release. Together participants in this session will identify recommendations to address behavioral and mental health needs in ways that prevent legal system involvement precipitated by behavioral health conditions and provide appropriate physical and behavioral health services to people who are in state custody.

What happens before the town hall?

New Mexico First will host healthcare community meetings statewide before the town hall. These community conversation meetings will help inform the background report and small group discussions at the town hall. Click on the tab "Conversations" to learn more.

What happens at the town hall?

There will be a round-table-discussion and speakers at the beginning of the event to help set the context, but the bulk of the town hall will focus on small group discussions among participants. Through guided conversations, participants will identify areas of agreement and disagreement and build common ground. We will work to develop concrete public policy and systems change recommendations and strategies that we can act on together to improve healthcare in New Mexico!

What happens after the town hall?

Immediately after the town hall, the New Mexico First implementation team, which is made up of community stakeholders, will develop the recommendations and a plan to advance the town hall recommendations. Together, we will improve healthcare—body, mind, and spirit.


Healthcare Hero Sponsor

Healthcare Champion Sponsor

Healthcare Promoter Sponsors





Health Ally Sponsors


Are you interested in sponsoring the town hall? Please click on the link, review the document, and contact Melanie Sanchez Eastwood at to secure your sponsorship today.

  • Healthcare: Body, Mind, and Spirit Town Hall Sponsorship Tiers Healthcare: Body, Mind, and Spirit Town Hall Sponsorship Tiers

  • Community Conversations

    Before the town hall, New Mexico First will host healthcare community conversation meetings in many counties statewide. Free childcare is available and a light meal will be served.

    At each community conversation, we will address:

    • Why are health and well-being important to your community?
    • What makes your community healthy?
    • What harms health and well-being in your community?
    • What resources do you have to be/stay healthy?
    • What has your community figured out to make folks healthier that the rest of the state should know about?
    • What have you heard about happening in other parts of the state that you’d like to know more about?


    Valencia County
    Date/Time: Jan 30th, 5:30-7:30
    Location: Peralta (Valencia Co.)
    Venue: Memorial Methodist Church
    Partners: NM DOH

    Santa Fe County
    Date/Time: February 19th, 5:30-7:30 PM
    Location: Santa Fe (Santa Fe Co.)
    Venue: Christus St. Vincent Hospital
    Partners: Christus St. Vincent

    Taos County
    Date/Time: February 20th, 5:30-7:30
    Location: Taos (Taos Co.)
    Venue: UNM – Taos Campus
    Partners: Holy Cross Medical Center

    Sierra County
    Date/Time: March 6th, 3:30 – 5:30
    Location: Truth or Consequences (Sierra Co.)
    Venue: The Club
    Partner: The Club
    Topic: Community Healing Circle - Teen Suicide

    Date/Time: March 7th, 10-12
    Location: Truth or Consequences (Sierra Co.)
    Venue: AppleTree Education Center
    Partners: AppleTree Education Center, Sierra Health Council, MRGEDA

    Socorro County
    Date/Time: March 7th, 4-6 PM
    Location: Socorro (Socorro Co.)
    Venue: Socorro Teen Center
    Partners: NM Department of Health, Socorro Teen Center, MRGEDA

    Santa Fe County
    Date/Time: March 10th, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
    Location: Nambe (Santa Fe Co.)
    Venue: Nambe Community Center
    Partners: Santa Fe County  

    More locations will be posted soon. Please check this website regularly to view the updated list of community conversation meeting locations and dates.

    Registration information will be updated soon.


    Some of Our Sponsors