Community Health Profile – Rio Arriba, New Mexico
The main aim of this paper is to present a comprehensive community health profile for Rio Arriba county. The profile will analyze the current state in Rio Arriba in relation to health and what the major barriers are in relation to healthcare access by the citizens. The county is located in the northern New Mexico state with an area of more than 5,000 square meters. The county is challenged by high rates of poverty and lack of adequate access to healthcare services. The main obstacles when it comes to healthcare access include; lack of heal insurance cover and poor transport.
Rio Arriba County is a land of approximately 5,885 meters square. Human activity in the area is not much, with small homesteads scattered around the area. The county is rural and mountainous; this topography has had a great impact on transportation in that the roads are poorly constructed and are normally impassible during extreme weather conditions. This has had a great impact when it comes to accessing healthcare e.g. the roads are impassible during winter (Bullis, 2008). This is a clear indication that the climate also has a role to play in regard to less access to healthcare. During winter, there is little economic activity since most areas are inaccessible due to poor roads (Twitchell, 2009). Apart from hindering economic activity, it is hard for residents to access healthcare during winter due to too much ice and the roads are equally as impassible. During this time, only Medicaid-eligible patients are able to access healthcare since they have access to the SafeRide vehicles (Dethier, 2004).
Rio Arriba has high rates of poverty, a fact that has led to drug and alcohol abuse. Very few residents have health insurance, and there is a high level of unemployment with almost a quarter of the population living below the poverty line. Government and retail service businesses are the backbone of the county’s economic...