Community outreach, particularly to vulnerable populations, continues to be a key priority of the medical school and the department of psychiatry.

COMPADRES A new joint outreach program between the University of New Mexico Department of Psychiatry Outreach and the New Mexico State Department of Health, was established in the summer of 2001 to provide clinical support, and outreach educational opportunities to mental-health institutions, providers and consumer groups statewide. The goal of this public-academic collaboration is to optimize limited statewide resources, by partnering the infrastructure of the New Mexico State Department of Health, university-based resources and community expertise.

""In the face of major challenges to the availability and accessibility of mental health services in New Mexico, we see the enhancement of academic-community linkages as an essential, and viable approach to utilizing limited mental health resources state-wide,"" said Program Co-Director Dr. Oladapo Tomori, Department of Psychiatry.

""We are exploring ways to develop and enhance strategic alliances in the areas of education, clinical care, research and health policy,"" said Co-Director Steven Adelsheim, M.D., Department of Psychiatry. ""COMPADRES builds on previous successes in collaborative program development with the New Mexico Department of Health, Behavioral health services division and other partners.""

Among the program goals are:

  • Strengthening the collaboration between university-based clinicians and colleagues in primary care and mental health care in New Mexico

  • Developing innovative approaches to providing consultation, community education and direct clinical services to underserved populations in the state.

  • Recruitment, support and retention of the mental health workforce statewide.

  • Promoting public awareness of mental health issues and eliminating stigma as a barrier to health care access.

  • Enhancing school based mental health initiatives, and improving the children?s mental health delivery system statewide.

  • Partnering with consumer and family groups in areas of mutual interest.

  • Focused research to evaluate health services and health status outcomes.

Core program staff currently includes co-directors Adelsheim, Tomori, and Dona Lewis, who coordinates and provides administrative support to the program. There are several faculty members and clinicians who are affiliated with the program as a result of their professional activities and interest. Over the next few years, the team plans to build a critical mass of interdisciplinary faculty and staff, dedicated to collaboration and outreach activities and to team with various partners on programmatic and health policy initiatives in order to be responsive to mental health needs in New Mexico.


Contact: HSC Public Affairs, 272-3322