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Last year, Rio Arriba County ranked last in the New Mexico for immunizations of Seniors. In one year, we went from last to second by bringing our immunization campaign directly to neighborhood senior centers. This year, we are expanding our push, bringing immunizations for influenza, pneumonia, tetanus and whooping cough to the senior centers once again, but als joint pain prevention, Medicare enrollment, heart and diabetes checks, and more. The site managers of each community we visit are organizing some of their own activities as well. As a result, the tone of each outreach mirrors the personality of that community.

Espanola Hospital, the NM DOH and El Centro Family Health have accompanied us to each site to provide medical staffing. We need to pass the Hospital Mil Levy, and to raise our Market Share among Medicare recipients from 45% to 75% in order to qualify for the $1.8 million federal subsidy for Sole Community Provider Medicare Hospitals. Rather than marketing through ads, Espanola Presbyterian Hospital is assisting us to bring preventive services directly to Rio Arriba Senior Citizens.

We’ve had other providers helping us as well: AmberCare, NM Disability Rights, and the Espanola Energy Employee’s Resource Center for folks who have been harmed by radiation.

In Dixon, they held an arts and crafts fair; we came up with a collaborative solution to a crisis; and we visited the home of a Centenarian. Each of these events has been so inspiring. I hope these videos help you to enjoy them, too!

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It’s not a coincidence that the Affordable Care Act has spawned a host of bills in states dominated by the religious right masquerading as anti-abortion legislation, but in fact punishing women for being able to bear children.

In the last year, attempts have been made in the US House of Representatives and the state of Arizona to defund Planned Parenthood. “Personhood bills” have been introduced in the same time frame in Virginia, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Colorado seeking to ban both birth control and abortion. Bills were also recently introduced in Georgia and Tennessee to criminalize miscarriage, potentially making it a capital offense. And who can forget Virginia’s effort to force medically unnecessary vaginal ultrasounds on females with the temerity to seek medical care?

The ACA may be the most important piece of civil rights legislation effecting women since we gained the right to vote in 1920.

Sadly, the value of the ACA to women remains America’s best kept secret.

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