By Michael Haederle

Wealth equals health: UNM-led initiative wins awards

Healthy Neighborhoods Albuquerque, a collaboration by local anchor institutions to grow Main Street jobs by hiring and buying locally to support business development in underinvested neighborhoods, won two awards at Tuesday's Innovation New Mexico event.

The collaboration garnered an Innovation New Mexico Award sponsored by CNM Ingenuity, and a Job Creator Award sponsored by City Alive (formerly Albuquerque Living Cities). Albuquerque Business First hosted the afternoon event at Civic Plaza.

The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center led the creation of Healthy Neighborhoods Albuquerque in 2016. Other partners in the initiative include Presbyterian Healthcare Services, Albuquerque Public Schools, Central New Mexico Community College, First Choice Community Healthcare, the City of Albuquerque and the Albuquerque Community Foundation.

"We are gratified that there is so much community support for our strategy of buying, hiring and investing locally," said Richard S. Larson, MD, PhD, the Health Sciences Center's executive vice chancellor. "We know that by coordinating our efforts we can make a positive impact in the lives of the people we serve. Access to jobs and education translates into better health outcomes."

Anchor institutions have a long-term commitment to the communities they serve, said Randy Royster, president and CEO of the Albuquerque Community Foundation. "Partners in the initiative are finalizing plans for the first two projects," he said. "They will buy produce from local growers and create a training pipeline for residents of underinvested neighborhoods to prepare them for job opportunities."

Ryan Cangiolosi, director of economic and community development at the Health Sciences Center, was on hand to receive the two awards at the Innovation New Mexico event. Judges Dale Armstrong, founder of TLC Plumbing and Utility, business consultant Lucrece Borrego and SINC CEO Tim Nisly scored award applicants on innovation, impact and disruption.

Categories: Community Engagement