UNM Cancer Center, Mexican Consulate and Concilio CDS, Inc. join forces to provide health care, education to New Mexico’s Hispanic Population

Posted on November 21st, 2008 by

The University of New Mexico Cancer Center, together with the Mexican Consulate and Concilio CDS, Inc. is establishing a second location for the Ventanilla de Salud, (“Window of Health”) program in a Santa Fe grocery store, with plans for further expansion. The program was launched in New Mexico last November at the Mexican Consulate in Albuquerque. Since that time, Ventanilla de Salud (VDS) has reached more than 3,200 New Mexican Hispanics with culturally relevant health information and referrals to providers.

“We are very pleased to be opening a second Ventanilla de Salud location,” said Maria Otero, Director of Hispanic/Latino Outreach Programs for the UNM Cancer Center. “We are thrilled by the increasing interest and we are encouraged that so many Hispanics in New Mexico are taking advantage of our services. By partnering with the community supermarket El Paisano, Inc., we are able to increase accessibility with the hope of reaching even more people.”

The second VDS location will be housed at El Paisano, Inc. on Airport Rd. in Santa Fe, and will be open the first Monday and Tuesday of each month. Organizers are working to secure a third location in Espanola, and are planning to hire a part-time staff member to alternate between the two locations by February 2010.

The two new centers, known as Ventanilla de Salud Movil, will be modeled closely after the VDS location at the Mexican Consulate in Albuquerque. Educators work with customers while they wait for services, and volunteers will encourage positive health practices and provide information about insurance eligibility and enrollment, access to services at community clinics and education on various health-related topics.

The UNM Cancer Center, the Official Cancer Center of the State of New Mexico and the only National Cancer Institute designated cancer center in the state, has a long history of outreach efforts to all of New Mexico’s population groups. “With 45 percent of New Mexico’s population being Hispanic/Latino, the UNM Cancer Center is actively working to engage the Hispanic community through outreach efforts to promote education, prevention and early detection of cancer,” said Dr. Cheryl Willman, director and chief executive officer of the UNM Cancer Center. “This partnership is helping advance our mission of providing all New Mexicans with access to world-class cancer care.”

The UNM Cancer Center is proud to lead this effort with Concilio CDS, Inc., an organization which addresses senior citizen needs, health issues, social justice and social services in federally designated medically underserved areas.

A press conference announcing the inauguration of Ventanilla de Salud Movil in Santa Fe will take place on Monday, October 5, 2009 at 4:45 p.m. at the El Paisano, Inc. supermarket at 5948 Airport Rd. Ste. F in Santa Fe. Speakers include New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, First Lady of Mexico Margarita Zavala, Secretary of Health of Mexico Jose Angel Cordova Villalobos, Dr. Cheryl Willman, Director and Chief Executive Officer of the UNM Cancer Center; Josefina Mata, executive director of Consilio CDS, Inc.; David Cross, Mayor of Santa Fe, and Carlos Garcia de Alba, Executive Director of the Institute of Mexicans Abroad. Gustavo de Unánue from the Consulate of Mexico will welcome guests and initiate the press conference.

Ventanilla de Salud works in partnership with the local government, state and federal agencies and nonprofit organizations to promote the active involvement of community members. It is a nationwide program with the goal of serving all 47 Mexican Consulates in the U.S.

The UNM Cancer Center is the Official Cancer Center of the State of New Mexico, and one of only 65 National Cancer Institute designated cancer centers in the nation. It is home to 85 board-certified oncology physicians representing every cancer specialty and more than 120 research scientists hailing from such prestigious institutions as M.D. Anderson, Johns Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic.

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