Contact: Betina Gonzales McCracken 505-827-6245

Deborah Busemeyer 505-827-2619

Lauren Cruse 505-272-3690

For Immediate Release

July 5, 2006

The Envision New Mexico Pediatric Overweight Prevention Collaborative is one of three programs nationwide that has been selected by the National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality (NICHQ) to receive a 2006 National Recognition Award for health care programs addressing childhood obesity.

"Being selected by NICHQ is validation of the attention New Mexico has given during the "Year of the Child" to improve children's health," said Pamela Hyde, Human Services Department Secretary.

Envision New Mexico is statewide quality improvement program collaboration between the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, the New Mexico Departments of Health, Human Services and Public Education and the New Mexico Pediatric Society.

"The Envision New Mexico program has made great strides in improving children's health throughout New Mexico," said Michelle Lujan Grisham, Department of Health Secretary. "We need to continue this momentum, so more children are educated about the importance of being active and eating nutritious foods. This is essential to help our children become healthy adults."

According to NICHQ, Envision New Mexico was selected "because of its innovation, strong program design, promising outcomes, targeting of underserved populations and potential for reliability and sustainability."

"It is an honor for Envision New Mexico to be selected by NICHQ and a testament to how much the collaborative, the communities and the children of New Mexico have contributed to make this program a success," said Dr. Jane McGrath, UNM Pediatrics faculty member and Department of Health School Health Officer.

Envision New Mexico trains community and school-based health care providers and serves children and adolescents who are recipients of Medicaid. The goal of the program is to focus on preventing pediatric obesity by encouraging community outreach programs that link health care providers and clients and promote the "Get More Energy, Energy Means More Fun!!" key messages:

1. Get up and play hard (at least 30-60 minutes a day),

2. Drink more water (drink fewer sodas and juice drinks),

3. Eat at least five helpings of fruits and vegetables a day, and

4. Turn off the screen (watch one hour or less of TV/video games a day and remote TV from bedroom).

Envision New Mexico has been invited to present at NICHQ's national congress on childhood obesity on September 20, 2006 in Washington D.C.

For more information on the national awards please visitwww.nichq.org<http://www.nichq.org/> . For more information on the Envision New Mexico program please visitwww.envisionnm.org<http://www.envisionnm.org/