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CDC 24/7 - Protecting People - New Mexico's Success

Improving Public Health Services NEW

Business man talking on headset

What is the problem?

When people in New Mexico have concerns about cancer and perceived cancer clusters, they can contact several state agencies for help. Sometimes, multiple agencies responded to the same inquiry with different information. This approach used a lot of staff time and resources unnecessarily.

What did Tracking do?

The New Mexico Tracking Program formed the Cancer Concerns Workgroup to provide a coordinated and efficient response to citizen concerns about environmentally-related health conditions and potential cancer clusters. The workgroup included professionals from cancer, chronic disease, and environmental health. With guidance from the tracking program, the workgroup developed a protocol for timely and consistent response and created a secure Cancer Concerns Database to log and track inquiries. The tracking program provides information about cancer risks, prevention messages, and data to use in responses.

Improved public health

Now, state public health agencies can collect cancer concern information and respond to inquiries consistently. Concerned citizens receive a quicker and more thorough response from a team of professionals. Before the protocol, it could take about 2 weeks to draft an initial response to an inquiry. Now the team can prepare a response within 24 hours.


Improving emergency response in rural areas

New Mexico desert landscape

What is the problem?

Propane gas leaks can cause unsafe levels of carbon monoxide (CO) to build up inside a home. People—and especially children— who breathe in CO can become very sick.

When emergencies like CO poisonings happen in rural parts of New Mexico, providing timely health services can be difficult. Often, rural areas do not have the staff or special skills to respond as quickly as in other areas.

What did Tracking do?

New Mexico's tracking program has developed educational resources to use during CO emergencies. Patient education materials on CO exposure and poisoning and other topics are available on the program's tracking Web site.

Also, tracking staff are available to consult with health care workers across the state about health education and outreach.

Improved public health

Because of the state tracking program's resources, health care workers across the state can better serve the emergency needs of rural residents. Health care workers can access materials any time of the day to educate their communities about:

  • Propane gas safety,
  • CO exposures, and
  • Associated health effects.

Without the state tracking program, rural communities would not have access to such high quality materials.