Two Decades of Giving New Mexicans Better Access to Health Care and Education

In 2023, Project ECHO in New Mexico led the way in tackling our state’s—and our nation’s—most urgent health and education priorities.

We integrated the latest information on brain injuries, fentanyl and sexually transmitted diseases into multiple ECHO programs, and developed new strategies for improving student outcomes in math and reading. Working on the frontlines, we are helping to ensure every New Mexican has equitable access to best practice health care and education.

While expanding our reach across mental health, maternal and child health, substance-use disorder and more, we bolstered our nationally renowned programs for hepatitis-C treatment, HIV prevention and treatment, diabetes care and others.

Our education programs grew to meet massive demand this year. With 23 new programs, including Structured Literacy and STEM ECHOs, we empowered teachers with tangible resources, a supportive community and expert mentoring.

Woman talking to men in orange jumpsuits.

Building Sustainable, Lifesaving Links for Mothers Across New Mexico

In New Mexico, providing timely, best practice care to pregnant mothers and newborns means we are giving our youngest residents the best chance for a long and healthy life.

As a rural state, with 23 Native American tribes, integrating prenatal care within existing provider care, such as primary care, is critical. It’s just as critical to incorporate awareness of traditional birthing practices, culturally appropriate communication and sensitivity to traumatic experiences within hospital settings.

In 2023, the Improving Perinatal Health ECHO program welcomed a new co-director, Nicolle Gonzales, who brings 12 years of experience working with Native communities. Participants, working in gynecology and primary care across the state, learned lifesaving best practices, such as how to treat substance-use disorder; how to link resources to provide continual care before and after birth; and how to safely treat common risk factors in pregnancy—all within cultural contexts.

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At ECHO, I feel, as a woman, I have an opportunity to lead in a way that’s different and framed by my communities: being mutually supportive, being culturally aware and being willing to integrate into our learning process.”

Nicolle Gonzales

Certified Nurse Midwife, Co-Director of the New Mexico Improving Perinatal Health Program, Albuquerque, New Mexico