From Health Care to Health: Weaving the Web of Community Well-being

This Fall Lecture Series aims to convene urgent conversations between health professionals and their collaborators across systems and sectors to understand more deeply the social ecology that impacts health, and to share good news about the abundance of opportunities and resources for nurturing well-being in Taos County.

The SMU/UNM-Taos Fall Lecture Series is a collaboration between the two major institutions of higher education serving Taos County for the purpose of strengthening community bonds, and stimulating dialog and reflection among faculty, students, and the wider community. This year, the UNM-Health Sciences Center is proud to join these higher education partners in appreciating and celebrating Taos through the Fall Lecture Series.

We warmly invite everyone to the Series Opening Reception** Friday September 5th at 6PM, and to join us in honoring and congratulating Taos Pueblo for being a 2014 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation “Culture of Health Prize” recipient. The Prize recognizes whole communities that are ‘beacons of hope and progress for healthier people and families, and are leading some of the nation’s most innovative efforts to build a national Culture of Health’.


Friday September 5th

Health is More than HealthCare: The Community Determinates of Health

Ninety-percept of what determines a person’s health has nothing to with receiving medical care. Increasingly, health care providers realize their treatment plans are doomed if patients lack access to a safe home and environment, financial resources, and healthy foods. This evening, we look at the link between basic needs and health, discuss opportunities for improving the health environment, and share inspiration and ideas for working together to ensure all members of the community have equal opportunity to attain their full health potential.

Series Opening Remarks: Shawn Duran, Tribal Programs Administrator, Taos Pueblo

Framing the Discussion

Arthur Kaufman, MD
Vice Chancellor for Community Health
Distinguished Professor of Medicine, School of Medicine
UNM-Health Sciences Center

Community Respondents
Housing Matters: Matt Foster, MPP, Executive Director, Taos Pueblo Housing Department; Board Chair, Taos Food Co-op
Income Matters: Carol Miller, MPH, Rural Health Advocate; Board, Natl. Center for Frontier Communities; President, Ojo Sarco Community Center
Food & Agriculture Matter: Juliet García-González, Community Project Coordinator, NM Acequia Association; Board of Directors, Peñasco Independent Schools

Friday September 12th

Early Life & Education Matter: Setting the Stage for Life-long Health

Families and communities provide the essential ingredients for a healthy life-course, beginning with a child’s birth and early
childhood experiences. Likewise, research demonstrates that educational success is connected to having a longer life, better
physical and mental health, and fewer risk factors. Together, a person’s early life and educational experiences shape and impact
their health throughout their entire life, and into the next generation. This evening, we explore how a healthy start, nurturing
environment, quality early childhood education, and opportunities to achieve and thrive K-12 are critical investments that save
lives and dollars.

Framing the discussion

Nancy Ridenour, PhD, RN, APRN, BC, FAAN
Dean & Professor, College of Nursing
UNM-Health Sciences Center

Community Respondents
Strong Beginnings: Margaret García, BS, Gates Millennium Scholar
Enriched Early Childhood: Betsy Martinez, PA/C, Taos County Public Health Department
Educational Success K-12: Andrew Leonard, MA, Educator, Upward Bound STEM, UNM-Taos

Friday September 19th

Connectedness Matters: Inclusion and Belonging as Health Resources

Inclusion is the feeling you belong - that you are valued and respected, can participate in your community, and benefit equally
from what your community has to offer. Inclusion and belonging are critical to both physical and mental health, and are at the
core of everything from educational success to civic engagement. This evening we explore how connection to each other -
through culture, spirituality, and community – confers powerful protective factors that are central to health and well-being, and
are plentiful in the rich social landscape of Taos County.

Framing the Discussion

Betsy Van Leit, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Associate Professor, School of Medicine & Director, Occupational Therapy Program
UNM-Health Sciences Center

Community Respondents
Connecting thru Culture: Alfredo Vigil, MD, Family Physician, NM Secretary of Health (2007-2010)
Connecting thru Spirit: Melissa Wohltman, RN, MA, Director, ADN-RN Program, UNM-Taos
Connecting thru Community: Trinidad Argüello, PhD, LISW, RN, Director, Social Detoxification Program, ACT Program, Tri-County Community Services; Past President, NM NAMI; Taos County Coordinator, American Red Cross