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Presbyterian Establishes Center For Community Health

Release Date:

September 26, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – As part of our 107-year commitment to improving the health of New Mexicans, Presbyterian Healthcare Services has created the Presbyterian Center for Community Health.

The Center expands and leverages Presbyterian’s community health work in three priority areas: healthy eating, active living and avoiding unhealthy substances. In support of our mission and as part of a requirement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, these priorities were created with input gathered during community health needs assessments in 10 New Mexico counties in 2013 and 2016. Presbyterian’s work support healthy food in healthcare.

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“Establishing the Center for Community Health reinforces our commitment to better health for all New Mexicans,” said Leigh Caswell, MPH, Director, Center for Community Health, Presbyterian Healthcare Services. “Caring for our community extends beyond the walls of our hospitals and clinics. Focusing on community health lets us partner with respected local groups that are working to improve underlying factors that impact health, such as access to healthy food, social supports and opportunities for exercise.”

Since 2012, Presbyterian has leveraged our own investment in community health with more than $3.5 million in external funding to support projects in New Mexico, including a $2.9 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the $250,000 BUILD Health grant, a partnership with Adelante Development Center, Bernalillo County and First Choice Community Healthcare.

With the Center, Presbyterian will continue to focus on community partnerships such as:

  • Healthy Here Mobile Farmers’ Markets in Bernalillo County,
  • Free healthy meals for children at Presbyterian Hospital, Plains Regional Medical Center and Socorro General Hospital in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture and the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department,
  • La Cosecha community supported agriculture, in which low-income South Valley families invest in local farms and receive weekly produce boxes, and  
  • A Wellness Referral Center that helps healthcare providers refer patients for wellness activities

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About Presbyterian Healthcare Services
Presbyterian Healthcare Services exists to improve the health of patients, members and the communities we serve. Presbyterian is a locally owned, not-for-profit healthcare system of eight hospitals, a statewide health plan and a growing multi-specialty medical group. Founded in New Mexico in 1908, it is the state’s largest private employer with approximately 11,000 employees.

Press Contact:

Amanda Schoenberg
Communications Specialist
E-mail: aschoenbe@phs.org 
505-923-6339