NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 16, 2009Community Organizations Assist Underserved, At-Risk PopulationsALBUQUERQUE, NM – Fourteen community-based organizations have been granted a total of $644,000 to construct critical healthcare and social services support pipelines for underserved and at-risk residents in Bernalillo County, including the uninsured, elderly, veterans, homeless youth and families, domestic violence victims, and others.

Pathways to a Healthy Bernalillo County, or Pathways, is an innovative collaborative health project made possible through an agreement between UNM Hospital and Bernalillo County and managed by the UNM Health Sciences Center’s Office of Community Affairs (OCA). Pathways uses Community Health Navigators (CHNs) to coordinate vital health and social services for the most disconnected, at-risk residents – linking them with the appropriate resources, and people, to improve their health outcomes. One important link for the project will be with UNM Hospital primary care and behavioral health clinics.

Pathways-funded organizations, like the Rio Grande Community Development Corporation’s South Valley Pathways Collaborative, Enlace Comunitario, The Storehouse and others will serve individual clients and collaborate with one another to address health issues in the community like depression, diabetes, hepatitis C, dental and a host of other health afflictions.

“The Pathways vision began about three years ago to develop upstream, preventive healthcare options so at-risk individuals in our community can get the care they need,” remarks Leah Steimel, HSC OCA director. “We’re in a county-wide, two-year pilot phase of an eight-year project that will connect and coordinate resources, and measure outcomes. This is a very innovative project that uses a national model in its core design but is adapted to meet local needs. Our project is now the largest funded in the U.S. that is designed after the ‘Pathways Community Outcomes Production’ model.” According to Pathways Program Manager Daryl Smith, four focus areas were identified through extensive participation by community-based organizations in planning for the county-wide project: 1. Individuals will self-report improved health; 2. Individuals will have a health care home; 3. Health & social service networks in Bernalillo County will be strengthened and more user friendly; 4. A dvocacy and collaboration will lead to improved health systems. The HSC’s OCA will act as the project hub and maintain the program’s data collection and reporting systems. An HSC Community Advisory Council (CAC) will provide guidance for ongoing project and program developments. To ensure diverse representation, Pathways awards were reviewed and determined by an eight-person panel comprised of members from CAC, Albuquerque Area Indian Health Board, New Mexico Department of Health, Bernalillo County Environmental Health, UNM’s ENLACE Program and UNM Hospital – and a representative of a non-profit organization that serves the homeless. For more information on thePathways to a Healthy Bernalillo Countyprogram, please visithttp://hsc.unm.edu/about/community/Pathways/index.htmlor contact Daryl Smith at 272-0823.