Lead State: New Mexico

Rural New Mexico is uniquely diverse, and we are proud of our rich cultures, communities and agricultural traditions. We also experience some of the poorest health outcomes, both in terms of conditions such as diabetes, as well as factors underlying health, such as having the second highest uninsured rate and the highest percentage of women living in poverty in the Nation. We are working hard to nurture our strengths and overcome our challenges by building innovative partnerships from the grassroots up to our state institutions across the health, agricultural, and education sectors through “health extension” – using the USDA’s Cooperative Extension Service as our model.

The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center (UNMHSC) is the largest academic health complex in the state, and is recognized as an innovator in rural medicine, in community-based medical education, and in service to rural and marginalized populations. The New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service serves a unique role throughout the state. NMSU is the state’s land grant university, and as mandated by its charter, is the “leading object” for agriculture, business, engineering, health sciences, and home economics, as well as educational programs in the liberal arts and natural sciences.

Within UNMHSC, the Office for Community Health (OCH) serves as an umbrella and central point of contact and coordination for programs that engage New Mexico communities in improving health and building the health professions pipeline. The Health Extension Rural Offices (HEROs) of the OCH aims to link UNMHSC programs and resources to rural communities across the four mission areas of education, clinical service, research and health policy – with the vision of working with community partners to achieve the greatest improvement in health status of any State in the U.S. by 2020.

Land Area: 121,298 square miles
Population: 2,082,224
Persons per square mile: 17
Median household: $43,820
Below poverty level: 18.4%

Collaborators within New Mexico

Art Kaufman (PI)

Vice Chancellor for Community Health
University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center

Email: AKaufman@salud.unm.edu



Sonja Koukel

Community & Environmental Health Specialist
New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service

Email: SDKoukel@nmsu.edu



Rob Williams

Director, RIOSNet (Research in Outpatient Settings Network)
University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center

Email: RWilliams@salud.unm.edu



Find out more about the states participating in health extension around the country:

Lead States (funded through AHRQ IMPaCT grants)
Learning Community Participants

Montana Idaho Vermont New York Pennsylvania New Jersey Maryland West Virginia Kentucky North Carolina Arkansas Missouri Oklahoma Kansas Colorado New Mexico Oregon