Community Health Education and Resiliency Program








Suicide Awareness Day at Pine Hill School

As part of Pine Hill School’s Suicide Awareness Day, CHERP’s Proud Indigenous Youth Leaders Program Coordinator, Tony Quintana, presented about suicide awareness for middle school and high school students. Students learned important facts about suicide including how suicide impacts young people, the importance of talking about suicide, tools for talking about their emotions, and what they can do if they or someone they know is having thoughts of suicide. 

A powerful action you can take for Suicide Prevention Awareness Month is to talk about suicide - it is important to start conversations in your community so that people feel safe to ask for help if they are thinking about suicide. CHERP provides a variety of trainings that help prepare you to talk about suicide and provide support and guidance to someone who is having thoughts of suicide. Trainings can be tailored for different ages and levels. For more information on training opportunities please contact Proud Indigenous Youth Leaders Program Coordinator Tony Quintana at

Good News in the Work Against HIV? The Syndemic Testing Paradox

September 27th is National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. In recognition of this day we are looking at some recent data to assess our progress. As the figure below shows, while the rates of new diagnoses in the nation slowly fell, in New Mexico the rates rose (though stayed below the national average). Then somewhere between 2019 and 2020 they both fell sharply. Though in 2021 they rose again, rates did not rise to the point where they had been in more than five years.

There is good new in that rates of HIV diagnoses in New Mexico remains below the national average and that the national average has fallen almost every year for a decade. But what about the sudden drop in 2020? Have we made progress? Not so fast!

A recent JAMA article pointed to a number of declining measures of HIV testing. For example, in particular laboratories testing declined as much as 50% among some groups, “most at risk” during some periods of 2020. From 2019 to 2020 the CDC funded about 1.35 million fewer tests. Overall, they estimate the pandemic resulted in a 17% drop in testing. This is a good example of why we must always look critically at data, especially when it comes to Native communities. 

Fortunately there are solutions to this problem. Together we can redouble our efforts to advocate for more testing, including home test kits.


Bridget M. Kuehn, MSJ. Reduced HIV Testing and Diagnoses During COVID-19 Pandemic. JAMA. 2022;328(6):519. doi:10.1001/jama.2022.12790

Substance-Use Prevention Community Event at Santo Domingo Pueblo

The Positive Directions for Native Health and the Community Health Education and Resiliency Program Staff collaborated with the Kewa Family Wellness Center, Tribal Behavioral Health Native Connections, and the Santo Domingo Tribal Epidemiological Outcome Group (TEOW) to host the Substance Use Prevention Community Event at the Santo Domingo Pueblo Community Center Cafeteria on September 6, 2023.

The event comprised of highlighting two guest speakers promoting community wellness and prevention through their presentations on “What is Meth?” and “Opioid 101.” Promptly following these presentations was the showcasing of the Indigenous tv series Reservation Dogs’ season 1 episodes 1-6 articulating Native youth and substance use challenges.

The presentations were led by Estefanita Calabaza, Santo Domingo Project Coordinator/Prevention Specialist, and Lee Torres, the Community Opioid Intervention Pilot Project (COIPP) Program Coordinator. Staff were able to distribute goodie bags and provide support through community education, specifically emphasizing harm reduction interventions for individuals encountering substances such as meth, xylazine, and utilizing the use of fentanyl testing strips and naloxone for responding to overdoses. Community members in attendance expressed gratitude for discussing these topics which had not previously been extensively presented on.

Photo above is with Guest Speaker Lee Torres assisting in distributing goodie bags to Santo Domingo Community Members

The Good Samaritan and Naloxone Access Law

There are many benefits when a community knows the laws of their city, county, state, and Tribe. The Good Samaritan and Naloxone Access Laws are two of those laws. The Good Samaritan and Naloxone Access Laws protect an individual from legal charges when getting involved in reversing an overdose from drug consumption. The Good Samaritan statute also states that it's purpose is to encourage people to help others in trouble and to volunteer their assistance without compensation. Each state has varied forms of this law, which is good practice in community care.


The Government Accountability Office published a report highlighting the benefits of having and advertising the Good Samaritan and Naloxone Access Law, which can be downloaded at

Good Samaritan Laws are in most states. If the state does not have the Good Samaritan Law, they have adopted the Naloxone Access Law. This information is clear when it comes to states, but when it comes to Tribes adopting the Good Samaritan and Naloxone Access Laws, it is unclear. It would be in good interest for local tribes to research whether they have a similar law, like the Good Samaritan and Naloxone Access Laws, and promote those laws along with providing Naloxone training. The more a community is educated, the stronger it becomes. 

Online Supply Orders

The Community Health Education and Resiliency Program provides safer sex supplies (condoms, dental dams, lube), HIV Self-Test Kits, Narcan, Fentanyl Test Strips, and Deterra Pouches to individuals and organizations in the IHS Albuquerque Area. Please use the links below to order your supplies.


Safer Sex Supplies and HIV Self-Test Kits:

Narcan, Fentanyl Test Strips, and Deterra Pouches:

For more information about online orders, contact Kurt at


2024 Biomedical HIV Prevention Summit

April 19-20, 2024

Seattle, WA

The 2024 Biomedical HIV Prevention Summit is headed to Seattle, Washington, April 19-20. In it's eight year, the Summit continues to focus on the implementation of biomedical tools in our prevention and treatment efforts to ultimately end the HIV epidemic in communities.

For more information, click here.


Reimagine Youth Wellness: A Caring Adults Summit

The Community Health Education and Resiliency Program (CHERP) at the Albuquerque Area Indian Health Board, Inc. (AAIHB), will host the Reimagine Youth Wellness: A Caring Adults Summit, from November 8-9, 2023 at the Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza.

The summit will focus on innovative ways to support youth in Native communities with the underlying goal of reducing risks related to suicide and substance use. The purpose of the summit is two-fold: 1) to educate adults who work with Native youth about programs, strategies, models, and frameworks that promote positive outcomes for youth; and 2) to build community and strengthen our networks for supporting each other in this work.

Presenters have been selected for their expertise in issues that impact Native youth, and alternative approaches that are strengths based and trauma informed. We are building an engaging, informative, and motivating agenda, that will provide new tools and insights that will help adults improve their ability to support and care for our youth.

Any adults who work with youth are welcome to attend including teachers, administrators, coaches, after-school program staff, social workers, and more.

Any adults who work with youth are welcome to attend including teachers, administrators, coaches, after-school program staff, social workers, and more. Summit registration is free for all participants. Additional information, including registration and lodging, can be found on the summit website:

NM Community Planning and Action Group Meetings - Friday, October 6, 2023 beginning at 9:30 am.

To join the NM CPAG list serve, email John Murphy at

If you have events you want to include in our monthly newsletter, please send them to Kurt at

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