Newsroom | Community Health

  • Share to Linked in
  • Share to Facebook
A woman and child walk by a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico information tent and its Blue Bear mascot at an outdoor health fair

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico Community Health Days Span the State

For many New Mexicans, living in remote areas of the state can mean lack of access to health care and resources. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico is helping to provide resources to underserved areas by hosting community health days that bring together community partners offering no-cost medical screenings and health care services.

Each health day is customized to meet the unique needs of the community in which it is held. BCBSNM community outreach specialists collaborate with community organizations and health care providers to identify the most pressing health concerns in the area.

“Community health days are a valuable, no-cost resource for the community,” says Amy Fisher, community outreach manager. “We’re able to raise awareness of important health issues, promote healthy living and have fun with our members through special attractions like jump houses, snow cone tables and giveaways.”

“Community health days are a valuable, no-cost resource for the community. We’re able to raise awareness of important health issues, promote healthy living and having fun with our members at the same time.”

BCBSNM’s outreach specialists and tribal liaisons held four community health days in 2023 in each quadrant of the state.

Southwestern New Mexico

In March, BCBSNM and Familia Dental co-hosted a Community Dental and Health Day event in Las Cruces. More than 200 people attended the event, which focused on closing gaps in dental care for BCBSNM members by offering dental screenings in the onsite Familia Dental clinic. 

More than 20 community organizations participated, including New Mexico Lions Operation KidsSight Inc., which provided vision screenings, and Southern New Mexico Diabetes Outreach, which provided blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol testing in the BCSBNM Care Van®. COVID-19 booster shots and flu vaccinations were also offered.

Casa de Peregrinos, a local food bank, supplied 10 pounds of fresh produce to each family at the event.

Northwestern New Mexico

In early summer, BCBSNM and the Gallup Cultural Center co-hosted a community health day in Gallup, drawing more than 350 community members and featuring resources and services for children and seniors.

The New Mexico Department of Health and McKinley County Public Health offered vaccines for middle school-aged children, including Tdap, Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4) and HPV vaccine in the BCBSNM Care Van. Additionally, Utopia Dental provided dental screenings and fluoride treatments, and New Mexico Lions Operation KidSight provided vision screenings to children and adults. Visitors received information from organizations such as the Aging & Disability Resource Center, Share Your Care Adult Day Services, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Indigenous Life Ways.

Central/Northeastern New Mexico

Preventive cancer screenings were the focus of the community health day event held in August in Santa Fe. More than 250 community members visited the health fair at the Genoveva Chavez Community Center. The University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center brought its “strollin’ colon,” a giant medical inflatable for those seeking cancer prevention information. The interactive walk-through offered visitors an approachable and fun opportunity to learn about the importance of early detection colorectal cancer screenings.

Vision screenings were provided by New Mexico Lions Operation KidSight and COVID 19 booster vaccines were offered by the New Mexico Department of Health in the BCBSNM Care Van. Attendees visited the information and resource tables of more than a dozen community organizations, including La Familia Medical Center, Native Health Initiative, New Mexico Human Services Department and the Office of Peer Recovery and Engagement.

Southeastern New Mexico

The final community health day in 2023 took place in early November in Roswell at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chaves & Lincoln Counties, focusing on diabetes management. Over 100 community members attended. Community partners such as the Chaves County DWI Prevention Program, Familia Dental and the New Mexico Department of Health provided community resource information. Additionally, Vdex Diabetes provided glucose, cholesterol, blood pressure and A1C screenings inside the Care Van. 

“Community health days are a great way to reach people where they are and help to address health disparities, particularly in rural communities,” Fisher says. “We look forward to hosting health days in communities across New Mexico in 2024.”

A Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association