Magdalena community health assessment complete
The Magdalena Village Council learned that the community views drug and alcohol abuse as the most important health issue through the municipal health needs assessment.
The assessment showed the results of a survey of almost 900 village citizens that Socorro General Hospital conducted in Magdalena and its surrounding area.
The assessment also showed citizens believe diabetes is the most important health issue in their own families.
Other health concerns for the village includes diabetes, teen pregnancy and obesity. For their own families, those surveyed said heart and lung disease, injury and cancer are the major concerns.
Many told the surveyors that they were in “excellent (or) very good health,” but also people reported having more than the state average days of physical and mental health symptoms, according to the assessment.
“The data really shouted to us that we needed to do something,” said Beth Beers, the community-based program’s chief at the Presbyterian Socorro General Hospital.
The hospital plans to promote healthy eating, healthy lifestyles and the early detection of risk through its community-based programs.
Also, improved access to care at Socorro General Hospital, through recruitment and expansion of service hours, is a priority.
Along with the health issues, another concern are the barriers to care, Beers said.
In Magdalena, more than 30 percent of those surveyed believe scheduling appointments, the cost of doctor’s visits and the lack of night or weekend care are obstacles to health care.
In rural areas, more than 20 percent reported the same obstacles, but also cite finding free time from work to go see a doctor as a problem.
Trustee Barbara Baca cited another barrier to care in the village at the meeting: the language barrier.
Magdalena is a trilingual area, with many citizens who speak English, Spanish or Navajo. Beers told her that a priority of the hospital is that patients are treated in their mother tongues.
“It’s frustrating for the (patient),” Beers said, adding that it’s also “dangerous” if health care providers are unable to communicate with patients in the language with which they are most comfortable.
Beers also said the hospital has had great success in having both English and Spanish speakers available to patients, but having Navajo speakers available has proven more difficult.
Also, language wasn’t a big concern for those surveyed, she said.
In other actions, the council:
- Approved the first consideration of three ordinances involving the prohibition of the possession of marijuana in the village to try possession cases in municipal courts. The council will vote to finalize the ordinances in their first meeting in August. Possession of medical marijuana is precluded from the ordinance.
- Tabled a decision regarding the proposed construction of livestock pens at the rodeo grounds until the head of the committee for the restoration of the rodeo grounds, Sara Robinson, can meet with Mayor Sandy Julian, who was absent from the meeting on Monday, about the specific size of the pens.
- Approved almost $700 to tint the side and rear windows of four cars used by the Magdalena Marshal Office. A marshal present at the meeting cited protection from heat and the safety of suspects, who are clearly visible in the back seat of the cars without the tint, as the reasons for the tint.
- Approved $500 to be used for a portable jail at the rodeo grounds during the Old Timers Reunion.
“We generally do this every year,” said City Clerk Rita Broaddus at the meeting.