Health & Human Services
Health & Human Services
The Doña Ana County Health and Human Services Department’s mission is to improve the quality of life in Doña Ana County by identifying and addressing unmet health and human service needs.
It strives to do this by establishing an environment that promotes respect, preserves dignity, fosters trust and creates caring for our residents and employees.
In 2012 Doña Ana County was designated as a Safe Community and is part of the Safe Communities America network. The network consists of communities that have demonstrated leadership in safety promotion and injury prevention and meet all six indicators of the Safe Communities Program. Please visit http://www.safecommunitiesamerica.org for more information about the Safe Communities Program.
If anyone is interested in applying for the Health Fund External Agency Evaluation Committee, please download the following applications:
Outreach and Education
Description of the County
Doña Ana County is situated in the south-central region of New Mexico. It borders El Paso County, Texas to the east and southeast, and the state of Chihuahua, Mexico, to the south, where it shares approximately 53 miles of its border with Mexico. As the second-largest county in the state, Doña Ana County is 3,807 square miles in area (U.S. Census 2000). According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population for 2000 was 174,682 and the estimated population for 2004 was 186,095, a 6.5 percent population growth. Four incorporated municipalities -- Las Cruces, Mesilla, Hatch, and Sunland Park -- lie within the county. The City of Las Cruces, located centrally in the county, accounts for about half of the total population (U.S. Census 2000). The remaining residents live outside the city limits, many in rural communities with limited access to services.
Doña Ana County includes 37 of New Mexico’s 55 federally designated underdeveloped communities, also referred to as "colonias". The New Mexico Environment Department claims 97 percent of colonias residents are Hispanic with an average annual income of $5,000. About 85 percent of colonias residents are U.S. citizens. These rural areas are without safe, sanitary and affordable housing, drinkable water, sewer, and/or drainage systems (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development). Many of the colonias are located in the northern and southern areas of the county.
According to U.S. Census 2000 for Doña Ana County:
- Total Population 174,682
- Urban Population 80 percent
- Rural Population 19.9 percent (colonia residents)
- Total Hispanic or Latino population 63.4 percent
- Not Hispanic or Latino 36.6 percent
- Native residence (Born in state or in other state) 81.3 percent
- Foreign Born (Naturalized citizen or not a citizen) 18.7 percent
- Median household income $29,808, versus the State of New Mexico at $34,133
- Per Capita Income $13,999 versus, the State of New Mexico at $17,261
- Population below poverty level 25.4 percent
- Population at or above poverty level 72.4 percent
Health Profile of the County
The 2004 Data Compendium published by the NM Primary Care/Rural Health Bureau estimates that 33 percent (60,115 people) in Doña Ana County, are medically indigent. In the year 2000, there were 39,242 individuals in Doña Ana County who were eligible for Medicaid and 56.1 percent of female-headed households with children under the age of 18 were living below the poverty rate (2003 Doña Ana County Health Profile).
Doña Ana County has a large contingency of immigrant and migrant workers, along with their families, which are predominately monolingual in the Spanish language. It is estimated that 30 percent of the population in the New Mexico border area is uninsured or under insured. The 3,969-migrant/seasonal farm workers and their non-working dependents are not included in the 33 percent of people who are considered medically indigent in Doña Ana County.
The county is a designated Medically Underserved Area and a Dental Health Professional Shortage Area. There are 1.8 physicians per 3,000 residents (2000 NM Border Health Office). The Medicaid, uninsured, and underinsured residents currently receive care from a variety of locations throughout the county. Two Federally Qualified Health Centers (Ben Archer Health Center and La Clinica de Familia) provide primary/dental care via 11 clinic sites thought the county. In addition, the county also has two acute-care hospitals: Memorial Medical Center and Mountain View Regional Medical Center, both in Las Cruces.
According to the Doña Ana County, NM data for Healthy Gente/Healthy Border 2010
- Female breast cancer death rate 23.6 percent
- Deaths due to diabetes 36 percent, compared to New Mexico rate of 27.5 percent
- Hospitalizations caused by diabetes 9.9 percent
- HIV positive incidence 10.9 percent, compared to New Mexico 8.4 percent
- Achieved immunization coverage in children aged 19-35 months 61.7 percent, compared to New Mexico 65 percent
- Hepatitis A rate 5.7 percent, compared to New Mexico 3.8 percent
- Hepatitis B rate 8.6 percent, compared to New Mexico 7.9 percent
- Tuberculosis incidence rate 3.4 percent, compared to New Mexico 2.5 percent
- Infant mortality rate 5 percent
- Percent of women beginning prenatal care in 1st trimester 68 percent
- Pregnancy rate in adolescents 15-17 years of age 48.5 percent, compared to New Mexico 39.1 percent
- Suicide mortality rate 15.4 percent
- Asthma hospitalization rate 6.9 percent
- Percent of population residing in counties exceeding EPA air quality 7.4 percent