Celebrating Twenty Years and Looking Forward
Last year marked Con Alma Health Foundation’s 20th anniversary. For two decades, Con Alma has had the privilege of supporting nonprofits and changemakers that share our goal of advancing health equity in New Mexico. We were founded in 2001 through a $20 million sale of Blue Cross Blue Shield New Mexico as well as a partnership with the Auxiliary of the Los Alamos Medical Center (known as the Northern New Mexico Health Grants Group). We have invested more than $15 million toward improving health in our state through grantmaking, sponsorships and contributions, community collaboratives, serving the role of convener, leveraging local and national resources, and serving as a thought leader. We exist because of the founders, visionary community volunteers, and nonprofit leaders who help shape and strengthen our work and overall impact.
As we move into this new decade and look ahead to the next 20 years, this is the ideal time for us to critically examine Con Alma’s role in strategically responding to the most pressing health needs of our diverse communities in New Mexico. For decades, we have witnessed the impact of historical, structural, and systemic racism within our communities – creating significant health disparities, injustices, and poor health outcomes. The health inequities that exist in New Mexico (and elsewhere) were further illuminated almost immediately at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. With the amplified attention on public health, the influx of federal and state dollars and other aid, and increased understanding of health inequities and social injustices – we will intentionally seize this moment to reflect, and transform how we work internally, deepen our relationships with community partners and peer funders, and shift from responsive philanthropy to a more strategic approach.
In partnership with our Board of Trustees and Community Advisory Committee, our staff will spend much of 2022 developing a new strategic plan and critically examining our own practices, policies, and systems. I anticipate parts of this experience will feel uncomfortable; but I know we must look at our reflection in the mirror to ensure we’re not further perpetuating existing disparities and inequities (or creating new ones). I recently heard someone say, “Philanthropy isn’t a sprint or a marathon. It’s actually a relay.” And that’s how I’m approaching the strategic planning process. Just like every other organization, we are on our own learning journey. Some of us may be further ahead in our understanding than others, some may be ready to take the baton and run for miles, and some of us may need additional time, education, or information to envision where Con Alma is headed. My commitment to you is that we will report back on our progress, share and discuss the approved plan and vision, and we will continue to earn the community’s trust as we work together to make sure every New Mexican has the opportunity to live a healthy and full life.
We wish you a healthy and productive new year. And we thank you for believing in us since inception through this 20-year milestone.
Denise E. Herrera, PhD, MCHES
Con Alma Health Foundation
Office: 505-438-0776 x3
denise (at) conalma.org
Dear Community Partners, This year marks Con Alma Health Foundation’s 20th anniversary. For two decades Con Alma has supported nonprofits and changemakers that share our goal of advancing health equity in New Mexico. We have invested more than $15 million toward...
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Our mission is to be aware of and respond to the health rights and needs of the culturally and demographically diverse peoples and communities of New Mexico.
Con Alma's COVID-19 Response
In light of the evolving public health emergency due to COVID-19, Con Alma Health Foundation continues to take a number of steps in an attempt to minimize exposure and slow the projected spread of infection. Until further notice, Con Alma has suspended in-person meetings at the Con Alma office. In the interim, staff are working remotely and can be reached via email or other means as arranged.
We continue to encourage our partners and friends to follow recommendations from the CDC’s website and the New Mexico Department of Health’s website and other health officials regarding social distancing and other public health advisories, including information on managing anxiety and stress.
VACCINE ROLLOUT & COMMUNITY REBUILD
Our current COVID-19 related work involves an ongoing partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and local partners on a two year grant to help ensure an equitable vaccine rollout and community rebuild effort.
- Albuquerque Area Southwest Tribal Epidemiology Center – COVID-19 Public Health Alert and Resources
- Con Alma’s COVID-19 Resource List – A regional and topical resource list addressing issues specific to New Mexico’s diverse communities
- COVID-19 Funding Resource Center – A collaborative effort to maximize opportunities for NM organizations and agencies to access local, state, and national grants that will help with the state’s recovery and relief
- COVID-19: Emerging Community Needs and Policy Solutions Health Equity Initiative’s Report and Call to Action
- Financial Resource Guide During COVID-19 – New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty’s comprehensive source of information about assistance—and New Mexicans’ rights to access it—available across the state now and in the future
- Navajo Nation Department of Health – Dikos Ntsaaígíí-19 (COVID-19) Info and Resources
- NMDOH COVID-19 Vaccine Info and Registration Users who have questions or would like support with the registration process – including New Mexicans who do not have internet access – can dial 1-855-600-3453, press option 0 for vaccine questions, and then option 4 for tech support.
- NMDOH Community Health Worker Resource Center – A one-stop resource for our community partners, Community Health Workers (CHWs) and Community Health Representative (CHRs) to quickly link to registration, flyers, training materials, data, and trusted resource