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Home|Community|Supporting Community Health in New Mexico|Community Health Program Highlights

Community Health Program Highlights


​​There are new and exciting opportunities to connect with the Presbyterian Community Health initiatives all of the time!

La Cosecha – Community Supported Agriculture

Learn about some of the work Presbyterian is doing to increase access to healthy food in Albuquerque's South Valley. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​


 La Cosecha Video


Prescription Trails​​


Presbyterian supports Prescription Trails as part of our active living priority. The Prescription Trails program is designed to increase walking and wheelchair rolling on suggested routes and promotes healthy lifestyles for families. Healthcare professionals write prescriptions for walking for their patients based on their current physical condition and to treat and prevent a number of chronic conditions such as diabetes, depression, and high blood pressure. Sedentary lifestyles contribute significantly to chronic disease and poor health outcomes. Prescription Trails connects healthcare professionals and their patients to walkable sites in New Mexico communities. To make sure that people engage in appropriate levels of physical activity, healthcare providers assess patient readiness to start or maintain a walking program and then write tailored prescriptions based on these assessments.

Prescription Trails is a collaborative team effort. Partners of the Albuquerque Alliance for Active Living envisioned the program with encouragement from the National Park Service' Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program. The alliance's director, Joanne McEntire, requested the medical community's involvement through New Mexico HealthCare Takes On Diabetes and its executive director, Charm Lindblad. Building a collaborative team was essential to reach real outcomes, and Joanne and Charm hosted two visioning sessions in 2006, which lead to the Prescription Trails program. In 2008, New Mexico HealthCare Takes On Diabetes assumed leadership of the program.

A Prescription Trails walking guide is available for healthcare professionals and their patients. This walking guide lists parks and open trails by ZIP codes or city neighborhoods, making it easier for people to see what options exist for walking in different areas of the city.

View the online walking guide, walking tips, and a walking log to track information on the dates, distances, and times you walk!

Maps have been developed for walking trails at many of our facilities, including:

Other Presbyterian Community Health Programs

Making A Plan for Community Health

Hosting farmers' markets, prescribing physical activity, and promoting smoking cessation programs – these are just a few of the ways Presbyterian works to keep the communities we serve healthy. Beyond providing comprehensive healthcare to our patients and members, Presbyterian is also developing programs to improve health in the broader community as a part of the Affordable Care Act and in alignment with Healthy People 2020, a national initiative to improve the health of all Americans.

A team of Presbyterian employees assessed health needs in the communities we serve and then, working with community partners, prioritized the top three priorities to focus on in community health plans around the state. Those top three priorities are: healthy eating, active living and prevention of unhealthy substance abuse.

Soon you'll be hearing more about community health plans and the specific programs we're supporting around the state to target those priorities. If you have questions about these community health plans or programs, please contact Leigh Caswell, Community Health Manager, or call (505) 923-5398.

We're Connecting Kids with Healthy Foods

As part of our community health plan and focus on healthy eating, Presbyterian is helping to support two programs through FoodCorps. A national program with several sites in New Mexico, FoodCorps teaches kids about healthy foods, builds school gardens, and brings high quality local food to public school cafeterias.

Presbyterian is funding two, one-year FoodCorps positions in central New Mexico to strengthen community connections with healthy eating programs. One FoodCorps service member is working with Albuquerque Public Schools (APS); the other is working with La Plazita Institute, which connects youth, the elderly, and the community in a holistic, cultural way. The FoodCorps service members have several programs underway, including building gardens at local schools, piloting nutrition-oriented curricula, and providing taste tests of new, nutritious food to APS students. For more information, please contact Leigh Caswell, Community Health Manager, or call (505) 923-5398.

Presbyterian Helps Lead Effort to Reduce Opioid Abuse

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, New Mexico has the highest drug overdose rate in the nation. Overdose deaths in Bernalillo County account for almost half of all drug overdose deaths in the state. Presbyterian has joined forces with government agencies, law enforcement groups, education leaders, and community outreach programs to try to reduce drug overdoses in New Mexico. This effort ties in with one of our three community health plan priorities: prevention of unhealthy substance use.

In September 2013, Presbyterian helped sponsor the Bernalillo County Opioid Abuse Accountability Summit, which brought together a range of leaders and stakeholders who are collaborating to "turn the curve" on overdose deaths and help save lives in New Mexico. The group will also work on strategies for reducing dependency on prescription drugs and heroin. Work groups from the summit will meet over the next two years to develop and implement recommendations in key focus areas, including prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and criminal justice.

Thanks to the following Presbyterian employees who participated in the summit: Leigh Caswell, MPH,  Louanne Cunico, PharmD, RPh,  Dayana George-Lucero, MD,  Steven Jenkusky, MD., Lauris Knight, RPh,  Mark Sagarin, MD, and Darren Shafer, MD.

Presbyterian Growers' Market Offers "Two-For-One" Double Value to SNAP Participants

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Presbyterian’s Growers’ Market will offer the two-for-one double value program for recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps.

The SNAP Double Value Program can be spent on fresh fruit and vegetables at select New Mexico farmers’ markets, including Presbyterian’s market on Central Avenue every Tuesday morning. The funding is made possible by the Presbyterian Healthcare Foundation.

Presbyterian is committed to improving the health of the communities we serve and this program will help New Mexico SNAP participants have access to fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables at a discounted cost,” said Leigh Caswell, Presbyterian community health manager.

SNAP customers will be matched up to $20 per market visit. In addition to the Albuquerque Presbyterian Growers’ Market, the SNAP Double Value Program will be available at the Tucumcari and Socorro farmers’ markets.

This is a great program for customers and farmers alike,” said Denise Miller, executive director of the New Mexico Farmers’ Marketing Association (NMFMA), who will help administer the program. The funding has arrived just as the selection of locally grown produce available at farmers’ markets is at its peak,” she said.

More than 30 farmers’ markets around the state accept SNAP benefits. The SNAP program currently serves more than 199,000 New Mexico families with incomes up to 165 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. The SNAP Double Value Program will run until funds are expended and/or the markets close for the season. Presbyterian Community Health has committed to continuing the program during the 2014 growing season.

Presbyterian hosts the Albuquerque Uptown Growers’ Market on its downtown hospital property on Central and Spruce every Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. through October 29. For more information, visit

Presbyterian exists to improve the health of patients, members and the communities we serve. Presbyterian was founded in New Mexico in 1908, and is the state’s only private, not-for-profit healthcare system. Presbyterian offers eight hospitals, a statewide health plan and a growing multi-specialty medical group. Presbyterian is the second largest private employer in New Mexico with more than 9,600 respected employees and growing.

My Chronic Disease (MyCD)

What is the MyCD program?

MyCD is a nationally and internationally-known, evidence-based, chronic disease self-management program, developed and tested by Stanford University. It is a peer-led education program designed to help people gain the confidence needed to take part in maintaining their health and managing their chronic health conditions.

State-level leadership is being provided by the New Mexico Department of Health, in partnership with the New Mexico Aging and Long-Term Services Department.

Who is the MyCD program for?

MyCD is for adults of all ages, who have chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, arthritis, cancer, asthma, heart disease, pain, depression, and high blood pressure. It is especially helpful for adults with one or more chronic health condition. The program is also appropriate for adults with disabilities. The family, friends, and caregivers of those who attend the program are welcome and encouraged to participate. The program is available in English and Spanish.

Program length and cost:

Participants meet in a small group setting, generally 12-20 people, for two and a half hours, once a week, for six weeks. Workshops are open to the public at no cost and are offered in community settings like senior centers, churches, libraries, and hospitals.

For more information on attending a six week community workshop in your community, contact:

New Mexico Department of Health
Chris Lucero

Regional Licensed Providers and Directors

City of Albuquerque Department of Senior Affairs
Catherine Offutt

Albuquerque and Santa Fe Regional Director/Authorized Master Trainer

Southern Area Health Education Center, Las Cruces, NM
Bea Favela

Southwest and Southeast Regional Director/Authorized Master Trainer

Montañas del Norte Area Health Education Center, Las Vegas, NM
Elaine Luna

Northwest and Northeast Regional Director/Authorized Master Trainer

Kitchen Creations

Kitchen Creationsenhances meal planning and food preparation skills for self-management through four sessions, each lasting two  and a half to three hours. Nutrition recommendations presented in Kitchen Creations are in line with current recommendations for people with type 2 diabetes set forth by the American Diabetes Association.

Kitchen Creationsis a cooking school for people with diabetes and their families. The Kitchen Creationscurriculum was adapted from a successful West Virginia curriculum, Dining with Diabetes, in 1999 by certified diabetes educators, registered dietitians, and extension specialists in the New Mexico State University (NMSU) Cooperative Extension Service and the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) Diabetes Prevention and Control Program. Kitchen Creationsis offered free of charge to participants across New Mexico by the NMSU Cooperative Extension Service, with funding from the NMDOH Diabetes Prevention and Control Program.

Kitchen Creations enhances meal planning and food preparation skills for self-management through four sessions, each lasting two and a half to three hours. Nutrition recommendations presented in Kitchen Creations are in line with current recommendations for people with type 2 diabetes set forth by the American Diabetes Association. Sessions are based on social cognitive theory and include participation in nutrition education activities, food preparation activities, and the tasting of foods. Learning is enhanced by the social support of others in the classroom. Extension home economists and registered dietitians, and/or certified diabetes educators facilitate the sessions, incorporating group learning, discussion, and skill-building. Participants receive materials to assist in making recommended lifestyle changes, including a manual and diabetes cookbooks. Find out more.

Connect to Our Community Health Initiatives

Would you like to participate in a class we are offering, learn more about the community health initiatives, or partner with us?

  • For more information about ongoing initiatives email Leigh Caswell or call (505) 923-5398.
  • For more information about upcoming events and classes, visit our Events page.