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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Northern New Mexico is known for tourist attractions such as artsy Santa Fe, eclectic Taos and the healing dirt of El Santuario de Chimayó. The region’s relaxing spas and skiing options present middle-class and wealthy visitors the opportunity to bask in the allurement of quiet and breathtaking landscapes.
But seldom do these tourists stop in the drive-by towns and villages where largely Hispanic and Native American residents make their home. And there sits another side of northern New Mexico.
Documentary - Air - PBS - Independent - Lens
A new documentary, set to air on the PBS Independent Lens series this week, explores the world of rural health care amid poverty and a persistent opioid crisis by focusing on these northern New Mexico communities.
“The Providers” looks at the challenges three health care workers in rural New Mexico face as they give services to aging patients and those struggling with addiction to alcohol and opioids.
Eyes - Assistant - Matt - Probst - Family
Through the eyes of physician assistant Matt Probst, family physician Dr. Leslie Hayes and nurse practitioner Chris Ruge, the film shows how the health care providers from El Centro Family Health Center refuse to pass judgment on their patients who are just trying to get to the next day. El Centro is a group of clinics in northern New Mexico that helps people in a region four times as large as Connecticut.
They meet pregnant mothers on heroin, patients’ whose liver and stomachs have been destroyed by alcohol and aging residents begging for a just a little more dosages of painkillers. Staff shortages make the work overwhelming, so does the worry over funding home visits.
Meanwhile, the young are moving away and high-paying jobs are rare....
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