SANTA FE, N.M. (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials with the New Mexico Department of Health recently announced that around $3.5 million in grant funding has been awarded to various organizations across the state, including one organization in Quay County.

According to a news release, this funding was awarded to 12 community-led organizations through the Better Together Grant Program, a federally funded program that helps support vaccine equity and inclusion throughout the state.

The aim of the program is to reach a diverse population of individuals with various cultural, economic, and social backgrounds with access to the COVID-19 vaccine and information, emphasizing areas with low vaccination rates. The release said that the money helps support the longevity of the project, aiming at having a “positive systemic long-term impact in the community.”

“This critical grant serves some of the most vulnerable New Mexicans by ensuring opportunities for community-led messaging and amplifying ever-important community voices to promote health equity,” David R. Scrase, the acting cabinet secretary for the department of health, said in the release. “An equitable allotment of resources feeds inclusive communication pathways and celebrates cultural diversity.”

According to the release, the Quay County Health Council received $85,000 for efforts that focus on engaging high school youth and young families with discerning misinformation as well as disinformation through social media. The other projects given funds through the Better Together Grant Program include:

  • Chainbreaker Collective: $200,000, focused on the essential worker and immigrant population in Santa Fe County.
  • Comadre a Comadre, a program of the University of New Mexico: $199,999, a trusted resource in the Spanish-speaking community, ensuring their community gets vaccinated and stays up to date.
  • Empowerment Congress, a program of the Community Action Agency of Southern New Mexico: $200,000, focused on the Colonias in Southern New Mexico.
  • New Mexico Community Health Worker Association: $200,000, focused on business owners in Southeast New Mexico, to educate employees about vaccination (specifically dairies and other agricultural businesses).
  • Partnership for Community Action: $57,240, partnering with the Mexican Consulate on three vaccine clinics per year with their established clientele.
  • Presbyterian Healthcare Services/Community Health: $200,000, creating a program that educates personal service providers (hairdressers, barbers, nail salons, tattoo artists) as educated ambassadors and encourages them to speak with their clients while rendering services.
  • Somos Unidos Foundation: $75,000, vaccination campaign with the NM United soccer team.
  • South Valley MainStreet: $100,000, focused on partnerships with small businesses, to educate them about vaccinations and how their workforce is impacted by an outbreak.
  • Black Leadership Council: $825,000, a statewide focus on the black population throughout New Mexico, offering technical support for established programs.
  • Boys and Girls Club Alliance: $700,000, focused on engaging youth and families at 29 established clubs statewide.
  • Generation Justice: $650,000, working with youth to teach them how to navigate misinformation and disinformation around the topic of the pandemic. 

For more information about the grant program, visit the Better Together website.