It has been a busy week as I prepare to make the trek home from Santa Fe, NM to Colorado next Friday. Yesterday I went with the four other environmental health officers from the Santa Fe Service Unit up to Nambe Pueblo to talk to one of the Community Health Representatives (CHR) there. The CHRs do a ton of work with the community to ensure that health initiatives are in place and are successful. In Nambe, they worked on a very successful community intervention for fall protection – primarily targeting seniors and those with disabilities – that was actually a topic for a poster presentation at NEHA’s conference this summer. The CHR we spoke with explained how she and the other people involved were able to collaborate and network with other entities to find the funding and put environmental controls in place to prevent falls. It was really encouraging to hear about a very successful intervention, and I learned a lot about the process for implementation. We also were able to propose the idea of starting as asthma program in the community and talk a little bit about some of the materials I have been working on. After our meeting we went to check out a mold issue in a house on one of the reservations and offer advice to remediate it and limit the hazard.
Today I was able to attend another feast! This was a particularly large feast in Santo Domingo (Kewa), with plenty of temporary food vendors to survey, carnival rides, and dances. Our whole office went out so we were able to finish up the surveys relatively quickly and feast at a couple of different houses. I am really going to miss the people in the communities I’ve been working with and all the homemade green and red chili.