Our Mission, Vision, Values and Priorities
Mission and Vision…
The VISION of the New Mexico Public Health Association is of New Mexico as a place where the resources, socioeconomic conditions, and environment exist in which ALL people can be healthy.
The MISSION of the New Mexico Public Health Association is to promote public health practice, policies, and systems that support health equity in New Mexico.
We accomplish our mission by providing a forum for sharing research and practices, and serving as a base for leadership development, networking, and action.
What we believe…
The New Mexico Public Health Association is a private, non-profit membership association of individuals and organizations committed to the values of social justice, equity, inclusion, collaboration, and seeking the common good, and to carrying out our mission and goals with integrity, honesty, transparency, cultural humility, and passion.
We believe that:
Ø Health is a state of complete physical, mental, spiritual, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. (World Health Organization definition)
Ø The mission of public health is to "fulfill society's interest in assuring conditions in which people can be healthy." (Institute of Medicine, Committee for the Study of the Future of Public Health, Division of Health Care Services. 1988. The Future of Public Health. National Academy Press, Washington, DC)
Ø All human beings have a right to the resources and conditions necessary for health and well-being, as stated in Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Health equity is the term we use to describe equal access for all people to those necessary resources and conditions.
Ø Human diversity is an asset and must be honored, respected and protected. It is unjust and unacceptable for any human being to be subjected to exclusion or discrimination based on identification with any racial or ethnic group, national origin, language, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability, age, or religious or spiritual beliefs.
Ø Health is determined primarily by socioeconomic and environmental factors, including poverty (level and distribution of income), racism, social and cultural exclusion, education, employment and job security, early childhood development, food security, housing, the quality of the physical environment, and access to health services. These factors in turn influence the range of behavioral choices available to individuals. This means that the search for solutions to health problems and disparities must include the analysis of socioeconomic and environmental factors to inform the development of policies and programs to prevent those problems.
Ø People working together in collaboration with shared leadership are stronger and more effective than single individuals in creating and maintaining positive change in policies, practices, and paradigms. Creating and maintaining the conditions for promotion and protection of health is a collective responsibility with roles for government, community organizations, businesses and individuals.
Ø Communities and tribes have a right to decide which policies and programs will best serve their members. This requires meaningful and equal participation in research that involves communities and tribes, as well as in policies or program development that impact health.
Ø A delicate and ethical balance must be maintained between the rights of individuals and the health and safety of the community in which they live.
Ø The use of the criminal justice system as a response to unhealthy and unsafe behaviors must be critically examined in order to prevent unintended consequences. Public health approaches involving effective education, treatment, and harm reduction programs are desirable first steps.
Ø In seeking the common good, the health and well-being of human beings and the planet we inhabit holds precedence over the financial and political interests of individuals or corporations.
Underlying the health of our communities is a complex web of social, economic and environmental factors. These factors can either create and maintain healthy conditions for the people living in that community, or they can create health problems with long-term and often devastating effects.
The response to health problems frequently involves development of targeted programs aimed at treating a specific illness or a certain defined population, or based on certain professions, geographic areas or funding sources.
This leads to increased specialization and fragmentation, with many skilled and well-intentioned people becoming narrowly focused on their own particular profession or program or what we sometimes refer to as “silos.”
Evidence is growing, however, that the solution to complex health problems actually demands comprehensive, coordinated approaches that reach across “silos” to share promising practices that address all of the underlying social, economic and environmental factors.
The role of NMPHA is to reunite the fragmented responses to health problems by connecting people across all the various institutional/organizational, professional discipline, disease-focused, issue-focused, or geographic “silos.”
As a private non-profit 501(c)(3) membership organization, NMPHA serves as a neutral convener for government agencies, community organizations, academic institutions, and individuals, creating a vital network of public health leaders who support each other in sustaining the long-term collaborative effort needed for major change in systems and policies to keep our communities healthy.
Social Determinants of Health
Where we live, learn, work and play can have a greater impact on how long and how well we live than medical care. Our zip code affects our health more than our genetic code. These are some of the messages that help illustrate the growing understanding that the health of individuals and populations is influenced by a complex set of inter-related social and economic determinants including: income/wealth, education, employment status, housing, food security, early childhood experiences, environment (both built and natural), and discrimination based on race/ethnicity or other personal characteristics.
Environmental health addresses the interrelationship between human health and the environment, and strives to improve the quality of both the natural and built environment. Environmental justice is the understanding that all racial, ethnic, and income groups have the right to equal treatment and protection under environmental statutes, regulations and practices, and that those policies should be consciously designed to protect human health and reduce disparities within and among communities.
Every person in New Mexico is entitled to quality, comprehensive health care as a human right, regardless of income, geographic location, or immigration status.
To learn more, visit the NMPHA Priorities page