Austin Fisher

Austin Fisher

Austin Fisher is a journalist based in Santa Fe. He has worked for newspapers in New Mexico and his home state of Kansas, including the Topeka Capital-Journal, the Garden City Telegram, the Rio Grande SUN and the Santa Fe Reporter. Since starting a full-time career in reporting in 2015, he’s aimed to use journalism to lift up voices that typically go unheard in public debates around economic inequality, policing and environmental racism.

Doctor: New Mexico leaves incarcerated people’s health problems untreated

By: - January 9, 2023

People complain all the time to Dr. Janet Arrowsmith about the health care they can or can’t receive in the free world. But she says people incarcerated in New Mexico’s prisons and jails are going through something exponentially worse. Arrowsmith, a public health physician and retired internal medicine clinician, has not directly examined patients in […]

Family of teen killed in SWAT raid to sue city for wrongful death

By: - January 6, 2023

Police threw a tear gas grenade into a home in the International District in July, burning the house down with a teenager inside, according to fire officials. His family intends to sue the city of Albuquerque for wrongful death, according to their attorney, but the city’s failure to provide records may create a barrier. An […]

Gov. Lujan Grisham to ask Legislature to create new health agency

By: - January 4, 2023

As she was sworn in to a second term, New Mexico’s head of state announced she wants to create a new state health agency with the goal of getting more people insured. Details are still sparse about the function of the New Mexico Health Care Authority, an initiative announced by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham in […]

‘We’ve always been surplus’: Individual tragedy and collective trauma from COVID

By: - December 23, 2022

The last meeting of the Ojo Caliente area chapter of the penitential confraternity known as La Fraternidad Piadosa de Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno was Friday March 13, 2020, three weeks into Lent. It was also the same day the United States first declared the public health emergency for COVID-19. Luis Peña showed up to his […]

At least 10 people are seen in an open-air container train car, many of them resting next to the side of the car. One person adjusts their clothing, a jug of water hanging from their shoulder by a strap. The sky above them is bright but cloudy.

Driven from home by U.S. sanctions, Venezuelans hope to find work

By: - December 21, 2022

A 20-year-old bank worker left her home country of Venezuela in September with her partner and her uncle, each of them hoping to find work to provide for the family they left behind. She gave up on her dreams of studying law because her job didn’t pay enough for anything more than feeding herself, and […]

People sign in to the Scholes Hall work-in, an action pressing for the University of New Mexico to allow its grad student workers to unionize.

UNM and NMSU graduate workers approve collective bargaining agreements

By: - December 20, 2022

Graduate workers at New Mexico’s two biggest higher education institutions overwhelmingly approved their first-ever collective bargaining agreements with their bosses. Rank-and-file members of the two unions representing graduate workers at the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University said in interviews they are happy with the contracts but consider them only a starting […]

New Mexico’s HSD proposes medication-assisted treatment for incarcerated people

By: - December 19, 2022

Beginning in 2024, New Mexico’s Medicaid program could start providing medication-assisted treatment to incarcerated people 30 days before they are released, along with a 30-day supply of medication when they leave. In a 275-page application to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services by the New Mexico Human Services Department published Friday, HSD says […]

Sign about food stamp benefits

With social safety nets about to shrink, HSD asks for more staff and tech

By: - December 15, 2022

After as many as 100,000 New Mexicans get kicked off of Medicaid when the COVID health emergency is declared over, 30 days later, nearly everyone getting food benefits in the state will see that payment drop by one-third, according to the state’s Human Services Department. HSD manages the state’s Medicaid and SNAP programs, which together […]

‘We need someone to stand up for us’: NM fails patients hounded by medical debt collectors

By: - December 14, 2022

As a father of two lay in bed with excruciating pain in his back, he wasn’t sure where it came from, but he felt like he had nowhere to take it. His girlfriend and mother told him he needed to go to the hospital and see a doctor. “I can’t,” he told them. “I don’t […]

Head of New Mexico prisons says current level of oversight ‘more than enough’

By: - December 14, 2022

A proposal in the upcoming session could result in more scrutiny of New Mexico’s prisons, but the person in charge of the prison system said this week that the oversight already in place is more than enough. Rep. Nathan Small (D-Las Cruces) asked New Mexico Corrections Department Secretary Alisha Tafoya Lucero whether  there is opportunity […]

A crowd of demonstrators march toward the viewpoint of the camera. In the center, a person holds a sign above their head that reads, "Medicaid Matters! Health care is a human right!"

85,000 New Mexicans or more could be kicked off Medicaid this winter

By: - December 13, 2022

After the Biden administration calls the end of the state of emergency for COVID, between 85,000 and 100,000 people in New Mexico would be kicked off Medicaid, according to the state’s Human Services Department. Those changes could begin on March 1 of next year — that’s the earliest possible date — New Mexico’s top health […]

Community health advocates push state to keep PCR test sites

By: - December 9, 2022

New Mexico is preparing to no longer provide easily available, community-wide, free diagnostic testing for COVID, worrying community health advocates that it could affect New Mexicans’ ability to get treatment. KUNM reports Curative PCR test sites around the state and the country will close by the end of December, ending reliable access to fast and […]