Searchlight New Mexico
Location: * Southwest, New Mexico
Beat: Healthcare including mental healthcare for the state's poorest residents
Position: Health, without any question, is the most important gap in coverage we face. High on the agenda: the rebuilding of NM's behavioral health system. In 2013, the former governor Susana Martinez froze Medicaid payments to 15 nonprofit community mental health and substance use treatment providers based on what turned out to be baseless allegations of fraud. Those agencies provided critical mental health, suicide counseling, and addiction services to 30,000 New Mexicans. Twelve of those agencies had to stop operations completely, and families and communities all over New Mexico are still reeling from a manufactured crisis that decimated the behavioral health system. We need a smart, energetic reporter to collaborate with our photographer and videographer, while crisscrossing the state and writing about the problems of rural communities, where residents lack information and ability to have their stories told.
Reporter: Julia Sclafani