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Bridge to Health program aims to expand access to health care

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Bridge to Health (BtH), a newly created community health and wellness program, launched Nov. 8 in New Mexico with a goal of expanding access to resources that enable better health through collaboration, education and community engagement, BtH said in a news release.

The program connects community members to no-cost health screenings, educational resources, wellness testing and local services. BtH’s website (www.bridgetohealth.com, or www.bridgetohealth.com/es/ in Spanish) directs participants to information about health, housing support, food and other nearby resources.

“Too many communities across New Mexico lack access to essential resources like health care, affordable food and safe housing,” said Donna Sauter, director of ICAN (Ideas for Cooking and Nutrition), a program of the New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension. “Making health care services available to all New Mexicans is a critical first step to improving the lives of and investing in the future of our communities. We must continue to work together to ensure that access to affordable and healthy food as well as safe housing is accessible to all residents in our great state.”

BtH helps connect community members to local resources by bringing together a wide range of organizations providing access to vital services. BtH is part of Quest Diagnostics and its Quest for Health Equity (Q4HE) initiative, which focuses on improving health equity in underserved communities. Quest Diagnostics is the world's leading provider of diagnostic information services.

BtH also will host community events statewide, which began with a Nov. 13 kickoff at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Las Cruces. The events will offer free resources and support BtH said, including comprehensive wellness testing and health screenings; vision screenings for children; COVID-19 vaccinations; groceries; healthy recipes; and a Kid’s Zone to entertain children.

“St. Paul's is happy to support this important event for the community as an extension of our ministry to Las Cruces,” said Rev. Greg Kennedy. “We hope the community will take advantage of this outstanding opportunity and the Bridge to Health program.”

Contact Zoe Calambokidis at 575-652-6474 and Zoe.Calambokidis@deweysquare.com.

Visit ican.nmsu.edu/index.html.