News & Updates

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The latest news from the Southwest Center for Health Innovation:


Families USA Joins Diverse Partners in Launching Health Equity Task Force

Washington, D.C. – At its annual Health Action conference on January 26, Families USA, together with partner health equity, civil rights, and consumer health organizations, announced the creation of the Health Equity Task Force for Delivery and Payment Transformation. This first-of-its-kind Task Force brings together leading experts and organizations with the goal of developing a policy […]

Two new RUPRI publications feature our CEO Charlie Alfero

Two new publications from the Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI) feature our CEO Charlie Alfero.   He serves on the panels that discuss rural health policy and innovative ways to interconnect services for better health outcomes for individuals and communities.  Click the link to download the papers. Taking Stock: Policy Opportunities for Advancing Rural Health: The […]

Revived Coalition welcomes new coordinator

Thursday, December 14, 2017; Silver City, NM:  After a short hiatus, the Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (YSAPC) returns this month, now aligned with a new nonprofit and led by a new coordinator, A.J. Sandoval. A Grant County native, Sandoval is a graduate of Cobre High School and Western New Mexico University. “I’m glad to […]

FORWARD NM Summer Academies celebrate success

August 8, 2017; Silver City, NM: When a teenager says, “I want to be a doctor”, how seriously do you take their statement? FORWARD NM not only takes them seriously, the program is designed to make teenagers’, and college students’, dreams of a career in health care come true. To make those career dreams a […]

A Day’s Harvest

July 11, 2017, Lordsburg, NM:  Did you know that Healthy Kids Healthy Communities Hidalgo County (HKHC) is part of the Center for Health Innovation family of programs?  HKHC sponsors the community garden and orchard at the Hidalgo County Fair Grounds. HKHC works with kids and families to grow fresh vegetables and fruit, which is donated […]

SMASH Academy students set test score record

June 15, 2017, Silver City, NM:  Twelve high school freshmen from southwest New Mexico have raised the bar for all those who follow them at the Summer Math and Science Healthcare (SMASH) Academy. They attained the highest increase in their pre and post-test scores in the history of the academy, an astounding 47 percent. SMASH […]

Public Health Institute takes form in NM

Saturday, June 3, 2017; Silver City, NM: New Mexico joins the ranks of 33 other states by establishing a Public Health Institute. With its headquarters in Silver City, the New Mexico Public Health Institute (NewMexPHI) plans to unify the efforts of nonprofit organizations, government, public and private sectors, hospitals, schools and communities to create more […]

FORWARD NM offers summer youth academies

Wednesday May 17, 2017; Silver City, NM:  Area teens and college students intending on pursuing careers in health care can benefit from the summer academies being offered by FORWARD NM.  Currently opportunities open to sign up for Summer Math and Science Healthcare (SMASH) and Health Careers Academy (HCA).  Application deadlines have been extended at both […]

Workshop offers tools for successful meetings

Silver City, NM; Friday, May 12, 2017: Building consensus with a room full of people with diverse backgrounds and conflicting agendas can be tricky. Meeting facilitators are challenge to give everyone a chance to speak, and feeling comfortable to do so, while making headway through an agenda. To accomplish this feat, facilitators need a repertoire […]

Dream Makers celebrate graduation

April 28, 2017, Deming, NM:  Dream Makers Club members and their families packed Deming’s Red Mountain Middle School cafeteria last week to celebrate the students’ year of exploring the diversity of health care careers. Over 30 middle school students from Grant and Luna Counties participated in the clubs, which fosters students’ interest in the health […]

Workshop takes nonprofits beyond the boardroom

Tuesday, December 27, 2016; Silver City, NM: Nonprofits are navigating a time of immense need from the communities they serve, while pursing ways to build long-term viability in the toughest of economic times, according to the Nonprofit Finance Fund’s most recent State of the Nonprofit Sector Report. The analysis says for rural nonprofits the task […]

FORWARD NM Quarterly Newsletter (Oct-Nov-Dec 2016)

FORWARD NM wraps up the year on a high note with our Dream Makers Clubs in full swing and helping the fall rotations of future health care providers experience the wonder that is rural medicine! Our Dream Makers is an after-school club sponsored by University of New Mexico Office for Diversity and FORWARD NM. This […]

Nonprofit Resource Group’s 2017 Training Calendar

Each year, The NonProfit Resource Group develops a series of alternating workshops and brown bag lunches for nonprofit organizations, based on the responses to our annual survey on the needs of nonprofits in southwest New Mexico. Our one-hour brown bag lunches are free, and our workshops last from three to four hours and cost $25 per participant. Because […]

CHI Associate Director recognized as Community Star

November 17, 2016; Silver City, NM:  The spotlight of National Rural Health Day shined brightly on Silver City, as long time nonprofit leader Susan Wilger was selected as a “Community Star” by the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH), which sponsors the national observance day. According to NOSORH’s website, “community stars” have […]

Health Education Centers promote rural practice in primary care

A new project report from Rural and Remote Health Journal , by JD Taylor and SE Goletz, found that health education centers (AHEC) promote interest in rural practice in medical students. CHI hosts the regional AHEC in southern New Mexico, part of our efforts to promote health education in rural communities. Read the abstract and conclusion […]

Advocacy workshop a boon to nonprofits

Thursday, October 20, 2016; Silver City, NM: Grant County’s nonprofits offer a wide-spectrum of vital services to residents, without which the community wouldn’t be as vibrant, or as comfortable of a place to live. But many of the region’s nonprofits face an unpredictable future with the extended economic downturn, and further uncertainty looms on the […]

Advocacy workshop a boon to nonprofits

Thursday, October 20, 2016; Silver City, NM: Grant County’s nonprofits offer a wide-spectrum of vital services to residents, without which the community wouldn’t be as vibrant, or as comfortable of a place to live. But many of the region’s nonprofits face an unpredictable future with the extended economic downturn, and further uncertainty looms on the […]

FORWARD NM Quarterly Newsletter (July-August-September, 2016)

Southwest Center for Health Innovation’s FORWARD NM program had a very busy summer. FORWARD NM hosted 4 top performing summer academies with the help of Gila Regional Medical Center, Hidalgo Medical Services, Western New Mexico University, Freeport- McMoRan, and the McCune Foundation.  Each academy successfully aimed to provide students with the tools, skills, and education […]

Dream Makers Club is Starting Soon!

Dream Makers health career clubs stimulate middle school students to pursue health related careers. The club highlights numerous healthcare professions and the college requirements, as well as the important role of health disparities and diversity in healthcare. During the sessions, the participants have the opportunity to listen to and interact with professionals of a variety […]

Brown Bag Training: Donor Development

Donor Development Basics – It’s About the People Wednesday, August 24, 2016, from 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. in Silver City Join us in learning the essential components of creating and sustaining a successful fund development program on Wednesday, August 24, 2016, from noon to 1 p.m. in Hidalgo Medical Services Community Health Center’s Community Room, 1007 N. Pope […]

Medicaid Coverage of Social Interventions: A Road Map for States

Extensive research demonstrates the impact of social factors—such as income, access to food and housing, and employment status—on the health and health outcomes of Americans, particularly lower-income populations. These findings are not lost on federal and state officials who seek to provide Medicaid beneficiaries with quality, cost-effective care. In developing strategies to address both the […]

Summer Academies Celebrate Success

August 3, 2016; Silver City, NM: FORWARD NM, in partnership with Western New Mexico University (WNMU), Hidalgo Medical Services and Gila Regional Medical Center, recently completed three summer academies offering area high school and college level students the opportunity to expand on and develop their health career dreams.  At the end of July, graduating students […]

Future physicians aid Gospel Mission

June 24, 2016; Silver City, NM:  A team of University of New Mexico (UNM) students, on tract to become future physician, worked with the Silver City Gospel Mission this summer to create a mental health screening tool for its clients. On Thursday, the students shared their experiences in Silver City during a presentation at Hidalgo […]

Premed students host presentation

Premed students host presentation On Thursday, June 30, 2016, four premedical students present their recent community efforts starting at 5:30 p.m. in Hidalgo Medical Services Medical (HMS) and Dental Clinic’s Community Room, 1007 N. Pope St. The BA/MD program gives these bachelor students a direct track to medical school at the University of New Mexico’s […]

Summer Academy a SMASHing success

June 24, 2016; Silver City, NM: In the Harlan Hall Science Laboratory, an exuberant group of teens gathered for their next adventure into science at Western New Mexico University (WNMU). Today, they studied disease and infection as part of a rigorous week-long Summer Math and Science Healthcare (SMASH) Academy, one of three free summer academies […]

FORWARD NM Featured in Rural Health Information Hub

The Rural Health Information Hub ( recently featured an article on the success, reach, and numerical data of FORWARD NM’s pipeline model in expanding access to health care in rural communities through efforts of “growing your own” health care providers.  FORWARD NM Pathways to Health Careers, offers more insight into our program!  Check out the article here!  

3 Ways to Effectively Market Your Nonprofit

Enjoy your brown bag lunch while learning three easy and effective ways to market your nonprofit from Kendra Milligan, Communications Specialists with Southwest Center for Health Innovations. The training is scheduled for Wednesday, June 8, 2016, from noon to 1 p.m., at College Street Plaza’s Suite 5, 301 W. College Ave., in Silver City, NM. This free […]

Wilger named to NM Alliance for School-Based Health Care

May 25, 2016; Albuquerque, NM:  When you think of school-based health care what comes to mind is usually sports physicals and immunization shots. What you don’t think about is the New Mexico Alliance of School-based Health Care (NMASBHC), a state-wide group that advocates for continued and expanded services to assure that students have access to […]

Dream Makers celebrate graduation

May 3, 2016, Lordsburg, NM:  Last month, Dream Makers Clubs from across southwest New Mexico gathered in Lordsburg with their families and friends to celebrate their year of exploring health care careers.  Over 60 middle school students participated in the Dream Makers Club this academic year. “This is our most successful program reaching out to […]

2016 Summer Health Career Academies are here!

FORWARD NM in collaboration with Hidalgo Medical Services, Gila Regional Medical Center, and Western New Mexico University will be hosting a series of academies this summer.  All academies are free and offered to any student residing in NM.  Please see the brief descriptions and links below for more information, the flyer, and to apply! SMASH– […]

Southwest CHI As a New Independent Non-Profit

On January 1, 2016 The Southwest Center for Health Innovation (CHI) officially separated from Hidalgo Medical Services (HMS) to become an independent non-profit organization.  CHI will continue to function as usual and keep a close working relationship with HMS. Check out the news article here for more information.  

Issue Brief: Special Considerations for Mental Health Services in Rural Schools

In rural and frontier areas where mental health services are scarce and families face unique barriers to accessing care, schools play a significant role in providing or linking students and their families to mental health services. This Issue Brief explores challenges faced by rural and frontier schools and innovations used to develop, implement, maintain, and […]

Rural workforce pipeline seeks to increase access to primary care

The FORWARD New Mexico Health Career Academy (HCA) was recently highlighted in Community in Action.  The Health Career Academy is just one of the several programs offered by Forward NM to help give students an enriching education as running start towards their health career goals. Follow the link here to read the full article.

Now Accepting Applications for AmeriCorps Volunteers!

SWCHI FORWARD NM Program is seeking Americorps Volunteers for open positions:   300 Volunteer Hours over a 3 to 7 month commitment Includes a $1,200.00 Educational Award   For more information please contact Edith Lee FORWARD NM Director Program or call at (575) (575) 534-0101  Ext. 2107  

Southwest NM could break new ground with food hub

Gwyneth Jones of the Silver City Daily Press interviews CHI’s Ben Rasmussen on the study he is leading to strengthen southwest New Mexico’s local food system. “Increasing food security and resiliency in southwest New Mexico means ‘growing the growers,’ by increasing their numbers and their opportunities to succeed. Toward that end, the feasibility of establishing […]

One Month Rural

Medical student Michelle Blumenschine discusses her rural rotation in Southwest New Mexico, which was arranged by CHI’s FORWARD NM program. “While I regularly witnessed disparities in access to healthcare and staggering rates of mental illness, I was astounded by the pride and passion of the community and the effectiveness of local healthcare providers. I took […]

Future doctors get a taste of rural medicine

Silver City has played host to a few new, studious faces in a group of University of New Mexico students in town for a program with Hidalgo Medical Services, coordinated by CHI’s FORWARD NM program. The Bachelor of Arts/Medical Doctorate students are here throughout the month, shadowing area doctors to learn the interactions inherent to […]

Rural Family Medicine Residency an Excellent Experience

Hollie Vigil Mills, MD, discusses her experience as a Family Medicine resident through CHI’s FORWARD NM program and NM Primary Care Training Consortium. “My rotation in Silver City, New Mexico at Hidalgo Medical Services (HMS) Family Medicine Residency rural training track was an excellent experience and I will always cherish my time there!  I truly […]

Solid Policy and Heroic Effort – New Mexico’s Pathways to Health Careers

Southwest Center for Health Innovation (CHI) Executive Director Charlie Alfero shares his insights on what makes the FORWARD NM program successful and how community-based planning, collaboration and policy efforts are driving change. He explains the necessary components for long-term sustainability and strengthening a frontier health system by investing in health workforce development. Read more…