A New Year Dawns

As the new director of EleValle, I have spent the first few months wrapping my arms around the enormous opportunity we have to make a greater difference together in our community. As with most aspirational work, there is a natural gap between what we say we do, and what we actually do. And that gap will narrow as we approach the elusive pinnacle of collaboration for social change. We have the right people, who share a forceful analysis, working diligently together to expand our organizational and community capacity for change. I'm extremely grateful for being given the opportunity to work alongside truly grassroots, integrated family health, mental health, community health and social justice leaders. Check out this video about where we work for justice!
Stay tuned. You haven't heard the last of EleValle. We are just getting started in the new era.

The core collaborators share an analysis, informed by the lived experience of the people they serve, that postulates: Health equity can only be achieved through targeted (geographic and population) investments in high-impact strategies that address the root causes of poor health; and that these strategies must include leadership development and strategic collaboration of community-accountable people and organizations in order to achieve and sustain social change.

Each organization serves primarily the South Valley of Albuquerque, with a focus on low-income, uninsured, and under-insured individuals, LGBTQ people, Spanish-speakers, urban Native Americans, returning citizens, adjudicated youth, and mixed-immigration status families.

Altogether, EleValle organizations serve 1 in 5 South Valley families.

The EleValle Collaboration’s goals are health equity and a reduction in Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). These goals are informed by years of experience living and working in the South Valley, where risk and outcome data can be summed up in one telling statistic: The average life expectancy in the South Valley is 13-16 years shorter than it is in the more affluent northeast sector of Albuquerque.

Our work is laid out for us. Our values of self-determination, dignity and justice guide our work. Hasta la victoria siempre!

Michelle Melendez



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Building a healthy community in the South Valley of ABQ