As we start to see the vibrant Autumn leaves and feel the crisp air all around us, Con Alma is moving into this new season with optimism, gratitude, and hope.
Reflecting on the first three quarters of 2021, we remain optimistic about the health and well-being of all New Mexicans. While the last 18 months have illuminated the many health inequities and disparities that exist in New Mexico and beyond, we’ve also experienced what happens when entire communities ban together toward a shared goal. All across New Mexico, more individuals are choosing to get vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus. At the time this was written – more than 79% of New Mexicans age 18+ had received the first Covid-19 vaccine compared to 63.5% nationally. According to the New Mexico Department of Health’s Covid-19 Vaccine Dashboard, 70% of New Mexicans age 18+ have completed the Covid-19 vaccine series compared to 54.2% nationally.[i]
While we continue to pay attention to vaccine hesitancy and ensure that every community has access to the Covid-19 vaccine, we can now shift much of our attention to the ongoing healing and recovery that will be needed during and following this pandemic. Thanks to the generosity of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, we recently announced a grant opportunity focused on the community rebuild, and we look forward to the diverse grant proposals and ideas that will be generated from communities statewide.
During this season change, we also have an abundance of gratitude to the many nonprofits, peer funders, coalitions and alliances, national funders, and networks that have trusted us, believed in us, and been on this turbulent journey alongside us. The African proverb rings true now more than ever, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
And last but certainly not least, we are filled with hope. For many of us, there’s no place we’d rather be right now than in the Land of Enchantment. Our state’s rich history, deep culture, meaningful traditions, and overall camaraderie provide the foundation necessary to collectively get through this tough time and become even stronger. When we look back on this era many years from now, I believe New Mexico will be viewed as a success story. In so many ways, we already are.
Please take time this season to enjoy nature’s beauty and the many colors that make our world go ‘round. Optimism, gratitude, and hope can be contagious and are probably worth spreading.
Denise E. Herrera, PhD, MCHES
Con Alma Health Foundation
Office: 505-438-0776 x3
denise (at) conalma.org