Department of Health Secretary Retta Ward died Thursday morning in a car crash. A spokesman for the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office told NM Political Report on Thursday that Ward had no apparent trauma from the crash, which led the responders to believe it was a medical incident. KRQE-TV first reported Ward may have suffered a health episode. The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office said that EMS was called. “They transported Ms. Ward to the hospital and en route they tried to revive her, but their measures were not successful,” Juan Rios said.
The New Mexico Department of Health announced on Monday that they were offering licenses to 12 more non-profits to grow medical marijuana. New Mexico now has 35 licensed medical marijuana providers, though the process is not complete for the approved non-profits. If you want to know who these non-profits are, you will have to keep waiting, because the department kept the veil of secrecy that surrounds the program up. Open government advocates and journalists have sought more information on the applicants and past approved non-profits to little effect. DOH did release some information about the non-profits, including which counties the non-profits will operate in.
While New Mexico has so far been spared from the latest outbreak of measles, the increasing number of local schoolchildren who haven’t been vaccinated is cause for concern as the highly contagious disease afflicts surrounding states. The Santa Fe New Mexican last week cited figures from the Department of Health showing a 17 percent increase since 2012 in the number of vaccine exemptions requested by parents. From the article:
New Mexico law allows parents to request vaccination exemptions for their children based on medical need or religious beliefs. The exemptions registered with the Department of Health cover all vaccines, not specifically measles. But the recent measles outbreak is reason to raise awareness, said state Health Secretary Retta Ward.