Our History

Health Equity Alliance for LGBTQ+ New Mexicans (HEAL Plus NM) is a community-based organization with a long history of promoting health, specifically working on commercial tobacco-free policies and sexual violence prevention.

Stop Tobacco On My People (STOMP)

Founded in 2003, STOMP was a cross-sectional coalition working to combat the powerful targeted marketing by tobacco companies towards marginalized communities. STOMP had representation from LGBTQ+ folks, African-Americans, Asian Pacific Islander communities, people with disabilities, Spanish-speaking populations, and Native Americans.

Fierce Pride

In 2005, The priority populations involved in STOMP created their own specialized networks; the LGBTQ+ network was formed and named Fierce Pride. Our network efforts included:

  1. Creating targeted commercial tobacco cessation messaging for LGBTQ+ people
  2. Advocating and educating for tobacco-free pride events
  3. Developing and teaching a Health Relationship Skills Course for LGBTQ+ People (in-person and remotely)
  4. Advising NM health department on addressing health disparities

In 2020, we incorporated as a nonprofit and transitioned to using the current name, HEAL plus NM. Our work combatting the harmful impact of Big Tobacco has shifted to a focus on changing the social determinants of health– the environments and systems that we live our lives, access services, and reach our full potential. Bright Space, Welcome Places is an example of focusing on changing healthcare environments to be more welcoming and providing health resources to our community members.

Tobacco and nicotine are one piece of health inequity for LGBTQ+ people. LGBTQ+ folks are targeted with violence, sexual violence, and relationship violence.  Since 2016, HEAL Plus NM has worked to increase resilience and relationships skills in our community and decrease incidents of intimate partner violence and sexual violence.