Connecting Rural Communities to Improve Health and Wellbeing

VIVA Connects fosters collaboration for spreading relevant, useful, evidence-based prevention strategies to rural communities throughout New Mexico, with a focus on sharing examples of on-the-ground implementation of best practices. It includes a web-based platform that serves as an engagement and communication portal for promoting active communities. The website contains relevant and useful information on community programs, current evidence-based recommendations for such programs, user-tested prevention strategies, best practices and lessons learned, “ask the expert” facilitation, and training modules and webinars.

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Mission

The mission of VIVA Connects is to partner with community groups to disseminate and implement effective strategies for increasing access to, and social support for, physical activity and healthy lifestyles in rural New Mexico communities.

Vision

Our vision is more walkable, physically active, healthy communities throughout New Mexico, with a reduction in health disparities and an improvement in wellness.

Who We Are

VIVA Connects was developed by the University of New Mexico Prevention Research Center (UNM PRC) and funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It began as a community-academic partnership between a local community coalition, the Step Into Cuba (New Mexico) Alliance, and the UNM PRC.  Learn More about VIVA Connects.

What Are VIVA Action Communities?

A participating community in New Mexico that joins the VIVA Connects Network and is actively engaged can be designated a VIVA Connects Action Community. This designation means the community is using evidence-based strategies for increasing physical activity or is contributing to research on such strategies. Cuba, New Mexico, was the first Action Community, and community-academic partnership in Cuba continues to share what it has learned and expand its evidence-based health promotion work in the community.

Spotlight on Our Featured Community

Tulie Trails


Tularosa Residents and interested parties have been meeting since June in a newly founded group, “Tulie Trails Planning Committee.” This idea started with a visit from the VIVA Communities Initiative of UNM’s Prevention Research Center. Recently, Tulie Trails has drafted goals which are currently under review for formalization. The goals focus on both short-term and Read the full article...

Tularosa Residents and interested parties have been meeting since June in a newly founded group, “Tulie Trails Planning Committee.” This idea started with a visit from the VIVA Communities Initiative of UNM’s Prevention Research Center. Recently, Tulie Trails has drafted goals which are currently under review for formalization. The goals focus on both short-term and long-term ideas, as well as long-range and in-town connectivity.