Health and Wellbeing Specialist Areas

Economic opportunity and quality of life vary greatly for New Mexicans. New Mexico still suffers from some of the highest statistics nationally relative to families with children poverty levels, per capita retirement incomes, numbers of high school graduates, illiteracy, crime, unemployment in rural communities, teen-pregnancy and uninsured motorist among other unsatisfactory figures. Addressing the quality of life issues is a core piece in New Mexico Extension's educational efforts.

Economic Institutions, Health, and Social Services
This work addresses the development, quality, and functioning of community institutions and social services. Work in this area enhances the scope, scale, and effectiveness of public and private community institutions and services, including emergency preparedness and response, and public safety.
Hazards to Human Health and Safety
Work in this area is concerned with reducing hazards to the health, safety, and biosecurity of people involved in the production, processing, and distribution of agricultural and forest products. This area includes safety aspects of agricultural injuries and illnesses and methods for effective intervention. The emphasis is on immediate hazards to humans.
Healthy Lifestyle
This area concerns activities related to healthy lifestyles, including maintenance of social, emotional, and physical health. The focus is on physical activity, exercise, stress management, and health-related practices including screening, immunization, and preventive care. The work in this area frequently involves population groups at risk and the factors that promote or hinder healthy lifestyles in these groups. Work is also concerned with development of a theoretical basis for behavior related to healthy lifestyles. Education and extension programs on healthy lifestyles and behavior change are concerned with the development, evaluation, and dissemination of education programs and strategies for professionals, students, and the public.
Human Development and Family Well-Being
Work on family and human development provides an understanding of the social, cognitive, emotional, and physical development of individuals and families over the human lifespan. The focus is on family and life cycle studies. Work in this area also provides a better understanding of family systems, family performance, and well-being.
Human Environmental Issues Concerning Apparel, Textiles, and Residental and Commercial Structures
Work on social, aesthetic, and functional aspects of apparel and textiles provides a better understanding of the interface among producers, retailers, and consumers. This area also provides knowledge about the products of agriculture used in apparel and textiles and on factors that affect consumer choice. Work includes the social, economic, and design aspects of housing and other structures.
Individual and Family Resource Management
Work in this area provides an understanding of how individuals and families obtain and use resources of time, money, and human capital to achieve their standard of living and overall quality of life. This area is also concerned with factors affecting the decision-making process, such as availability of resources, life events, living patterns, values, goals, interests, and attitudes of families, and external forces such as public issues, policies, and programs.
Nutrient Composition of Food
This area is concerned with the determination of the quantities of nutrients and other food components in food; development of analytical methods; development and maintenance of data banks of information on food composition; development of software and other systems to facilitate use of data on food composition, including recipe calculations; development and evaluation of educational materials and strategies on food composition; and dissemination of information on food composition for professionals, students, and the public.
Nutrition and Hunger in the Population
This area is concerned with food insecurity, insufficiency, and hunger in the population. Included are the development of analytical methods and pro-active attempts at hunger reduction through food banks, communities organizing to gain farmers markets, community gardens, gardening, food buying clubs, food recovery, and gleaning.
Nutrition Education and Behavior
This area is concerned with assessment of food intake and dietary patterns, the factors that influence food intake and dietary patterns, the interrelationships among these factors, and with the assessment of food and nutrient intake in relation to nutrient requirements, dietary guidance, and food plans. The focus is frequently on population groups at nutritional risk and on the factors that promote or hinder healthful food choices in these groups. Programs on dietary standards, guidance, food guides, and behavior change are concerned with the development, evaluation, and dissemination of education activities and strategies for professionals, students, and the public.
Requirements and Function of Nutrients and Other Food Components
This area concerns fundamental knowledge about relationships of food eaten by people to their physical development, physical activity, and mental status, and to the maintenance of optimal health. It is concerned with defining nutrient requirements and functions throughout the life span and in response to the environment. Functions include cellular and molecular regulation of gene expression by specific nutrients. This area is also concerned with development of methods to quantify relationships of nutritional status to well-being to provide a scientific basis for establishing Dietary Reference Intakes and Dietary Guidelines. Programs on nutrient requirements and function are concerned with the development and evaluation of education activities, strategies, and materials, and with the dissemination of related information for professionals, students, and the public.
Sociological and Technological Change Affecting Individuals, Families, and Communities
Work in this area provides an understanding of the technological, demographic, and social changes occurring in society. Work also provides an understanding of the current and historic ways in which individuals, families, and communities cope with sociological and technological change, and includes activities that extend this knowledge to the population.