NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – New Mexico State University and the University of New Mexico are collaborating to develop a new health equity sciences Ph.D. program for New Mexico. The program will train the next generation of researchers, professionals, and advocates and aims to eliminate health disparities for racial and ethnic minorities.

NMSU’s Department of Public Health Sciences is partnering with UNM’s College of Population Health to offer this program. The 54-credit hour program will host its first courses beginning this fall. It will address some of the many barriers to health, including poverty, discrimination, and racism. The program will teach students how to implement and evaluate programs to address these issues affecting access to healthcare.

The program was designed by faculty members Jagdish Khubchandani, Karen Kopera-Frye, Sue Forster-Cox, Tamara Stimatze, and Rebecca Palacios, and was led by Joe Tomaka. The programs at NMSU and UNM are collaborative but will be independent of each other so students will graduate with a degree from a single university.

“We anticipate that such individuals will become the next generation of public health leaders, academics, and policymakers,” says Rebecca Palacios. For more information regarding the NMSU program, email Leah Henderson at