Spreading awareness


As a mother of an adult living a full life with congenital heart disease (CHD), I am writing today to remind your readers that February is not just Heart Month, it also includes Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) Awareness Week from Feb. 7-14 and CHD Awareness Day on Feb. 14.

He is one of the one in 100 people born with a heart defect who needs ongoing specialized care. The medical care for CHD began the day he was born. We were very fortunate his many surgeries could be provided in New Mexico at that time.

Today, he is still seen in New Mexico by one of the few accredited adult congenital cardiologist and goes out of state to an Adult Congenital Heart Association Accredited Center when needed. This (month) is incredibly important to my family and other families as we spread awareness about the importance of CHD care throughout the entire lifespan.

Thanks to medical advances in just the last decade, more children born with heart defects — the number one birth defect in the United States — are living to adulthood. This is great news, however, less than 10 percent of the nearly two million adults living with CHD, with many personal stories of their own, are being seen in specialized centers and getting appropriate and specialized cardiac care.

That’s where the Adult Congenital Heart Association comes in. ACHA is a nonprofit whose mission is to empower our CHD community by advancing access to resources and specialized care that improve patient-centered outcomes. Importantly, ACHA is the only national patient advocacy organization dedicated solely to serving adults living with CHD and the healthcare community that cares for them.

I am so proud to be a member and supporter of ACHA, as we celebrate our 25th anniversary this year. For a quarter of a century, ACHA has made sure that no one with CHD, including my family, has felt alone. They fulfill this mission by offering conferences, peer-to-peer mentors, educational opportunities, one in 100 walks, sponsored research, an accreditation process for ACHD centers, and advocacy for legislation to improve patient-centered outcomes. ACHA is the conduit for adults in the CHD community to connect and lean on each other.

So, let’s celebrate the advances in CHD care and how far we’ve come. This month, join me and ACHA in spreading awareness about adults living with CHD and the specialized treatment they need to live a full life and thrive.

If you or someone you know was born with a heart defect and needs medical care, education, or just someone to talk to, please visit achaheart.org to connect and receive the support you need and deserve. Happy Heart Month!

Dubra Karnes-Padilla

ACHA Patient & Family Advisory Board Member


Supporting veterans


On behalf of the veterans in Los Lunas and Valencia County, thank you for publishing the two great stories in the Feb. 9 edition of the News-Bulletin.

The local VFW  Post 9676 is very active locally and represent all the veteran organizations, such as the American Legion, Blue Star Mothers, Wounded Warriors, just to name a few. We are very appreciative for all their military service and now volunteering to help fellow veterans, youth and general public.

Veteran organizations function with all volunteers and donations that help others. No funds are furnished with federal, state or local dollars. One of the largest local non-profit organizations that support our local veterans is the NMLIVE, INC. organization (New Mexico Los Lunas Invests in Veteran Events).

This volunteer group organizes and conducts an annual fundraising running event the first weekend in June. This year’s event will be conducted on Saturday, June 3. Additional information can be had by reviewing the website, loslunasvet.com, and then participating (Run-walk-donate).

NMLIVE, INC also organizes the annual Veterans Day event held annually on Nov. 11. This event is well supported by the public.

Thank you to the Valencia County News-Bulletin for supporting our veterans, including the VFW-Post 9676 and the NMLIVE, INC organization.

Jim Schnitzler



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