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We wrote Anna, Age Eight to transform every community into places where 100% of our children could thrive. This is where you can join the groundbreaking mission of the 100% New Mexico initiative to ensure the safety of children and families by providing them with the ten vital services for surviving and thriving. Every one of us urgently needs to act to confront health disparities in urban and rural communities made more severe by the pandemic and economic disruption.

If you’ve just discovered us, after this page, continue by exploring the ten ACTION TEAMS to learn how ten service sectors can be empowered to reach 100% of county residents. If you’re engaged in our initiative, visit NM LEADERS and your county’s page for the resources to complete our new “7 steps to success.” If you seek a road map for starting the initiative, check out our BOOKS menu and be sure to investigate 100% Community to gain the insights required to facilitate innovation on a countywide scale.  

—Katherine Ortega Courtney, PhD and Dominic Cappello
Co-authors of 100% Community: Ensuring 10 vital services for surviving and thriving and Anna, Age Eight: The data-driven prevention of childhood trauma and maltreatment.



The Anna, Age Eight Institute was funded by the New Mexico state legislature in 2019 to reach the goal of ensuring that our children, students and families are trauma-free and empowered to succeed. To achieve this the 100% New Mexico initiative is using a data-driven and collaborative process focused on building the capacity of each county to strengthen local systems of health, safety and resilience.

The initiative brings to each county’s leaders and stakeholders a process of brainstorming, learning, mobilizing and innovating, all with the support of state-of-the-art technology. Locally, the institute’s 100% New Mexico initiative helps guide collaborative efforts using the critical steps of assessing, planning, action and evaluation to ensure accessibility to the ten vital services shown to empower all families and communities.

Dr. Soules

For all of us who believe that we can make every student’s and family’s health, education, safety, and resilience a priority, this initiative shows the way.
—Bill Soules, PhD, New Mexico State Senator


We all face challenges. Some of us are thrust into a public health crisis. For others, they’re born into a world of adversity, trauma and chaos. 100% New Mexico Initiative is about how we can strengthen systems of health and safety that serve everyone, everywhere. Working within the 100% New Mexico initiative, we provide you and your community with the insights to ensure that ten vital services are working well in times both calm and chaotic. 

We call these services that none of us can do without, the “surviving services” that start with medical care and include behavioral health care, safe housing, secure food and transport to vital services. In addition to the services for survival, we focus on strengthening the “thriving services” which include: parent supports, early childhood learning programs, community schools, youth mentors and job training. Each of these services play a vital role in keeping us safe from challenges — both predictable and unexpected.

The initiative empowers communities to address barriers to vital services with a sense of urgency and ownership.
—Katherine Ortega Courtney, PhD, Institute Co-Director


The 100% New Mexico initiative is designed to bring all county leaders and stakeholders together from ten key family serving sectors we refer to as “surviving services” and “thriving services” shown to strengthen families:

Survival Services

Medical/Dental Care

Medical/Dental Care

Behavioral Health Care

Behavioral Health Care







Thriving Services

Parent Supports

Parent Supports

Early Childhood Learning

Early Childhood Learning

Community Schools

Community Schools

Youth Mentors

Youth Mentors

Job Training

Job Training

In light of this pandemic, these efforts to identify and create easy accessibility to these vital services is more necessary than ever. I call on all our county’s stakeholders to get involved so we can ensure every child and family gets the support they need.
—Michelle Perry, New Mexico State University – Alamogordo, Associate Vice President of Extended Programs

With the continued support from the Anna, Age Eight Institute, the Community Wellness Council receives the support it needs to launch the initiative in Valencia County. This is a game changer for our community.
—Noelle Chavez, CWC Coordinator, Valencia County, NM


The 100% New Mexico initiative supports local leaders and stakeholders in strengthening the local system of readiness, care and safety that makes us as crisis-proof as possible. In a world where any day can present new challenges, we can work to make all our communities as strong and prepared as possible — ready to weather any storm guided by courage, compassion, cooperation and timely facts.

We know that by investing in strong local systems of care, safety and education, community agency leaders can decrease the challenges of getting access to vital community services. United with local leadership, we can also strengthen local capacity to address any problems related to crime, violence, adverse childhood experiences, trauma, substance misuse and injury.

At the heart of the local initiative are action teams representing ten service sectors — providing our “surviving” and “thriving services. Action team members work to achieve the goal of ensuring 100% of county residents have access to the ten vital services for surviving and thriving. Our vision is expansive because the need is urgent and the opportunities are abundant.

As a city official I am committed to every child and we connect the dots between healthy and safe children and successful students and readiness for work. It is my belief that if we generate awareness and engagement of all our family-serving agency staff, businesses, community leaders and our policy leaders, we can prevent adverse childhood experiences.
—Kasandra Gandara, Las Cruces city council member and mayor pro tem.


Everyone thrives! That’s the big picture and we get there through collaboration, courage and creativity. 

With alignment of all local leadership, both elected and informal, each county can become an engine for local problem-solving to ensure all residents are healthy, safe and resilient. The work of the initiative builds on current local efforts to improve systems of care, always committed to working in alignment with city government, county government and local nonprofit organizations.

The initiative guides us as we embrace the opportunity to design the new systems of care and safety we urgently need.
—Matt Probst, PA-C, Medical Director, El Centro Family Health, NM and 100% New Mexico initiative director


Our theory of change guiding the 100% New Mexico Initiative is informed by a wealth of research focused on a wide variety of topics including the public health model, the ecological systems model, and decades of research focused on the social determinants of health, health equity, health and education disparities and historical trauma.

THEORY OF CHANGE: If all community residents have access to the ten vital services for surviving and thriving, there will be a decrease in adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and family trauma  and an increase in family resilience.

The 100% New Mexico Initiative is collaborative and works in alignment with all local programs that impact health, safety, learning and job readiness.
—Dominic Cappello, Institute Co-Director

In order to grow and continue the healing of our communities from the long-endured trauma and suffering, it is essential that we come together as creative entities. It is vital to collaborate in ways that are unique, exciting and bring vibrancy to the zeitgeist of Northern New Mexico. We need it now more than ever.
—Diego López, Española, Rio Arriba County, NM


The Anna, Age Eight Institute, part of NMSU’s Cooperative Extension program, is a technical assistance center serving all 33 counties. By working on a county scale, with buy-in from local elected leadership and stakeholders, a locality can build the capacity to ensure access to ten vital services. This can achieve groundbreaking results that include: increasing physical health, household stability and self-sufficiency, school achievement, higher education engagement, and job readiness.

With a system of care, counties can also reduce costly problems that include: adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), maltreatment, trauma, substance misuse, violence and untreated mental health challenges.

Please visit the Anna, Age Eight Institute site at

Everyone thrives!
With collaboration, technology and creativity, everyone can thrive.
The 100% New Mexico provides the insights and resources to work differently, and collaborate in new ways across all service sectors and levels of government. We can bring together leaders from the services that provide the ten surviving and thriving services to work in alignment and share resources.

In our rush to connect everyone on the planet over the last two decades, we forgot to make sure that 100% of residents had access and to encourage people to use technology to make their series as cost-effective and user-friendly as possible. 

Revolutionary advances in the promotion of idea-sharing, the prevention and treatment of health challenges, and strengthening of countywide systems of safety, health, education and economic stability depend on technology. As discussed in 100% Community, “Chapter 36: Connecting, Improving, Surfing and Muting” we have to step back to take a realistic look at how technology could or should help us create healthier communities where we’re all in, leaving no one out. There are powerful tools out there waiting to be used effectively.

With the 100% New Mexico initiative, we focus on how technology can transform and vastly improve services in rural and urban areas, addressing the digital divide and implementing cutting edge communications and technology.
—Gregory Sherrow, Institute IT and Communications Director


The 100% New Mexico initiative is demonstrating how New Mexico can bring together leaders in the public and private sectors to innovate and design systems of health, safety and education in New Mexico that serve everyone. The initiative has a very large umbrella, inviting the engagement of youth, college students, parents, grandparents, community activists and business people.

Amid a collision of crises, with a new one appearing almost weekly, each state has a choice to make. Either we surrender to manmade chaos or we, as local leaders and stakeholders, forge a new path. We can collaborate on the state, county, city and organizational levels to ensure 100% of us are safe and successful. We have the strategies, vision, goals and inspiring local leaders–as well as a tested collaborative process for measurable and meaningful progress. Join us in making every county in New Mexico a place where 100% of child, parent, student, caregiving grandparent, elder and business – everyone, everywhere – thrives. 


To get more information on Anna, Age Eight and 100% Community book clubs, as well as community forums, take the next step and contact us.

Connect the Dots