Place matters. Ethnicity matters. Status matters. Health equity is about ensuring that everyone has an equal chance to live a healthy life regardless of income, ethnicity or zip code. Increasingly, philanthropy and other stakeholders involved in health are developing a better understanding about the correlation between poverty and good health and the importance of prevention nutrition and food systems’ relationship to health and wellness. Con Alma Health Foundation (www.conalma.org), the state’s largest foundation dedicated solely to health, brings together people from different sectors to discuss viable solutions to New Mexico’s health challenges and inform policy makers.
Con Alma also awards annual grants to nonprofits that are working to improve health and wellness in their communities, providing support for organizations such as El Valle Women’s Collaborative and the New Mexico Acequia Association that teach youth about local agriculture and cultural traditions. Con Alma also partners with nonprofits like Earth Care International and the Boys and Girls Club, which teach children how to develop healthy habits. Farm to Table-New Mexico and New Mexico Voices for Children focus on other effective strategies, such as promoting policies that help people access healthy food. Bernalillo County Place Matters has conducted culturally appropriate land-use training workshops that explain how community members can effectively participate in land-use decisions that impact their health.