PAs Can Help New Mexico’s Ignored Hepatitis C Epidemic

44% of State’s Prison Population Screens Positive for Hepatitis C

October 28, 2019

Debbie Newman headshot
Debbie Newman, MPAS, MHP, PA-C

Debra Newman, MPAS, MPH, PA-C, is passionate about treating patients with substance use disorder. She lives in New Mexico, and has worked in Rio Arriba County — known for its long-standing history of heroin use, overdose deaths, and high rates of Hepatitis C — since she graduated from PA school in 2007.

In February 2019, Ted Alcorn of New Mexico In Depth published “An ignored epidemic in New Mexico’s prisons.” His thoroughly-research article highlights the struggles facing New Mexico’s prison population, where 44 percent of people screen positive for Hepatitis C.

As a PA working in New Mexico, Newman has first-hand experience with the Hepatitis C epidemic. “I’m passionate about treating high-need populations,” Newman says. “These patients are often without homes, transportation, employment, or families to turn to for support. As PAs, we need to rally around these patients; we can really make a world of difference.”

For other PAs interested in getting involved in public health issues, Newman recommends volunteering in your own community. “You can find something that matches your interests and outlook,” she says. “It’s a great way to connect with government leaders, educators, and law enforcement. Together, we can achieve more with our collective voice.”

Read New Mexico In Depth’s full article, “An ignored epidemic in New Mexico’s prisons.”

You May Also Like
Debbie Newman Devotes Her Career to High-Need Populations
PAs Critical to New Mexico Rural Health Clinics
2019 PA of the Year ‘Lives to Serve’ New Mexico’s Rural Communities