County awarded grant to increase health care access

Special to QCS

Quay County MCCH Council has been awarded a $15,000 grant each year for the next five years. This grant is part of a larger statewide initiative to increase access to health care.

The Quay County MCCH Council has partnered with Dr. Dan C. Trigg Hospital in a review of local health care services and those services that might be possible additions. The analysis included the 2009 Quay County Community Priority Survey, in which residents identified obesity and related illnesses as a critical issue.

This review clearly pointed to services that have never existed in Quay County: Diabetes self-management education Services.

Quay County residents have a very high rate of diabetes; much higher than New Mexico as a whole. According to New Mexico Department of Health estimates, slightly more than 1 in 5 Quay County adults has diabetes. Diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death among Quay County residents. The latest data (2002-2006), shows that local residents died of diabetes-related illnesses at a rate higher than New Mexico and 50% higher than the U.S.

In addition, diabetes causes several debilitating and expensive complications; cardiovascular disease, blindness, end stage kidney disease, and lower extremity amputations. The risks of cardiovascular disease and stroke are two to four times higher in people with diabetes. Avoiding these complications along with improved quality of life are the goals of Diabetes Self-management Education Services.

The likely need for diabetes services in the future is also supported by recent data. Some 3 percent of Quay County adults are obese; ranking the county first in New Mexico. A 2009 study of Tucumcari Elementary students found that 41percent are overweight or obese, compared to 33 percent of this age group nationwide.

Based on this health care access review, a coalition of community partners has begun planning for local diabetes self-management education services. The partners include the Quay County MCCH Council, Dr. Dan C. Trigg Memorial Hospital, Tucumcari Public Schools, and TeamBuilders Counseling Services, Inc.

“This community partnership is working hard to lay a solid foundation for these services in Quay County”, says Bob Grzywacz, MCCH Council Chair. “The Council appreciates these partners and their commitment to the well-being of Quay County residents.”