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P003: Epidemiology and Response Division (FY17-FY19 Strategic Plan)

What We Do

The Epidemiology and Response Division (ERD) monitors health, provides health information, prevents disease and injury, promotes health and healthy behaviors, responds to public health events, prepares for health emergencies, and provides emergency medical, trauma, vital registration, and sexual assault-related services to New Mexicans.

Who We Serve

ERD serves all New Mexicans, particularly those at risk for injury, disease, and health emergencies, and those in need of emergency medical services, trauma care, birth certificates, and death certificates.

How We Impact

ERD provides services through six bureaus: Vital Records and Health Statistics (VRHS), Health Emergency Management (BHEM), Emergency Medical Systems (EMS), Environmental Health Epidemiology (EHEB), Infectious Disease Epidemiology (IDEB), and Injury and Behavioral Epidemiology (IBEB). In addition, the Community Health Assessment Program (CHAP) operates the online NM Indicator-Based Information System (IBIS) providing data on numerous health-related measures; and the Health Systems Epidemiology Program (HSEP) analyzes and disseminates hospitalization and emergency department data.

VRHS annually registers approximately 26,000 births and 17,000 deaths, and issues over 250,000 birth and death certificates. VRHS also analyzes and distributes data to numerous agencies and organizations to assist them in improving the health of New Mexicans. By working at the state, regional, and local levels through public and private partnerships BHEM enables New Mexicans to prevent, detect, report, respond to, and recover from health-related emergency and disaster incidents. The EMS Bureau administers the Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Trauma, and Stroke/STEMI (Heart Attack) programs. EMS assures licensure for over 8,000 NM Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs).

EHEB conducts surveillance on conditions associated with environmental exposures (e.g. drinking water, air, and soil), provides information to other programs and the public, and implements interventions. IDEB performs surveillance for notifiable infectious diseases and conducts epidemiologic field investigations associated with those diseases, investigating over 10,000 potential cases each year. IDEB and EHEB also provide an on call service, responding to over 5,000 calls annually from healthcare providers, state agencies, educational facilities, the general public, and others seeking advice and recommendations. IBEB analyzes alcohol- and drug-related public health problems; supports substance abuse prevention programs and policy initiatives; provides injury prevention services for infants, children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly; and conducts studies in injury epidemiology. IBEB also conducts the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System annual survey of about 9,000 adults as well as the Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey of about 30,000 mid- and high school students to provide state, county, and school district level data on risk behaviors and resiliency factors.


FY17 OPERATING BUDGET: $29,006,500

  • General Funds: $13,037,200
  • Other Transfers: $612,300
  • Federal Funds: $14,515,500
  • Other State Funds: $841,500


During the second quarter of FY17, some of ERD’s accomplishments included:

  • The efforts of various state, federal, local agencies, advocates and other partners were recognized and rewarded by a decline in NM’s drug overdose death rate from 26.4 per 100,000 population in 2014 to 24.8 per 100,000 population in 2015, and an improvement in the death rate from 2nd highest in the nation to 8th highest.
  • The Sexual Violence Prevention Program reached 1,063 students in five counties with evidence-based sexual violence prevention programming designed to increase rejection of rape myth, increase acceptance of flexible gender norms, and decrease acceptance of couple violence. Evaluation of these programs is underway.
  • NMDOH encourages use of New Mexico’s Indicator-based Information System for Public Health (NM-IBIS) to support evidence-based public health program and policy decision-making. During calendar year 2016, there were 62,114 visits to the website. This was a 37% increase over the number of sessions in 2015 and a 111% increase over the number of sessions in 2014.
  • The Emergency Medical Systems (EMS) Bureau is transitioning the state’s emergency medical services data system to the National Emergency Medical Services Information System (NEMSIS), version 3 standard. This has entailed revamping much of the current system’s data dictionary and working with agencies to assist them in transitioning to the new data submission standard.
  • The Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics (BVRHS) was able to continue to provide excellent customer service to the public despite the significant increase in customers being served due to the need for a birth certificate for the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) implementation of the Real ID driver’s license.

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