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The New Mexico Environmental Public Health Tracking Programs keeps New Mexico on a healthy track by building and supporting an infrastructure to address environmental health in New Mexico. See what our team and partners have been doing to improve the health of New Mexico through the characterization of environmental-related health outcomes in this state and nation.

NM EPHT is instrumental in cultivating environmental health surveillance programs in New Mexico. The work performed by NM EPHT provides the platforms for the Environmental Health Epidemiology Bureau to establish and broaden epidemiology and response-focused programs that specialize in specific collection of health and environmental exposure indicators. Recently the EHEB established and formalized new environmental health surveillance programs. This demonstrates NM EPHT's success in capacity building which empowers the New Mexico Department of Health to characterize diseases and health conditions associated with environmental factors.

Recently established or enhanced surveillance programs include:

  • Birth Defects Prevention and Surveillance program, which now includes a component for Zika virus monitoring and the identification of microcephaly and other birth defects. This program was enhanced after NM EPHT served as the driver for collecting data and expanding partnerships.
  • Established the New Mexico Biomonitoring Program, which was modeled off a system established by NM EPHT. This allows for a multi-state partnership through the Four Corners States Consortium and provides an epidemiologist that is focused on the collection and analysis of biomonitoring data and coordinates biomonitoring projects. This increases our state's capacity to better understand residents' exposure to various naturally occurring metals.
  • Private Wells Epidemiology Project, which makes up half of EHEB's Private Well Water Program (NM EPHT makes up the half). New Mexico is a leader in establishing a private well water epidemiologist to collect, analyze and coordinate private well water data dissemination.
  • Formalized Lead Poisoning Surveillance Program in New Mexico, adding an epidemiologist focused on childhood lead poisoning prevention data collection and analysis.

New Mexico Environmental Public Health Tracking program strives to employ innovative approaches in epidemiology and surveillance by continuing to use aspects of many applied, public health and social science fields. By doing this NM EPHT has built a platform for increasing the utility of environmental health knowledge to influence public health outcomes. One of those milestones is the application of geocoding and mapping.

Geocoding is the process of converting addresses into geographic coordinates (like latitude and longitude), which can be used to place markers on a map, or position the map. This is an important part of modern epidemiology as this helps public health professionals and community health leaders see health and environmental data in map form. Having this information in such a display empowers our leaders to identify areas in which improvements in health changes are occurring and areas that require indicated interventions, for example. This tool easily communicates environmental health indicators to our public health workforce who work hard to keep New Mexico on a healthy track.

NM EPHT initiated the geocoding for:
  • Birth Data
  • Death Data
  • Hospitalization Data (why and where people where hospitalized)
  • Emergency Department Visits (why and where people visited emergency rooms)