McKinley Community Collaborative for Health Equity

Mission Statementthumbnail_MCHE LOGO

Using a health equity lens, the McKinley Community Collaborative for Health Equity team seeks to change systems that perpetuate environmental health disparities related to the impacts of institutional racism and multi-generational trauma, by empowering participating communities within the county to impact equitable policy change.

In 1979 at the United Nuclear Corporations’ uranium processing mill in Northwest New Mexico, a dam broke releasing more than 1,100 tons of uranium miming wastes-tailings along with 100 million gallons of radioactive water into the Pipeline Arroyo and went downstream along the Rio Puerco. The “Church Rock Tailings Spill” is the second largest accident in the United States that released radioactive materials.

There has been minimal attention to the health risks associated with mining and environmental contamination in the Northwest Region. There are proposed uranium mining sites in McKinley County and we want to ensure that people are aware of the health risks associated to either working in the mines or secondary exposure from family members bringing home contaminated clothes, air pollutants, etc. Also, there has been inadequate clean up of currently contaminated areas.

Health Impact Assessment (HIA)


Our HIA looks at a proposed moratorium that brings together a diverse group of people committed to conducting this assessment in order to benefit the local community members. It will address health broadly and be culturally sensitive instead of focusing solely on physical or disease related issues. It is an opportunity to offer recommendations to decision makers to enhance the positive health impacts of policy-making and economic development projects.  We will be looking at the following health impacts:

  • Environmental exposures/contamination
  • Displacement and relocation
  • Cultural relevance of the land to holistic health
  • Community Efficacy

Artist- Akilah Martinez

McKinley Community Collaborative for Health Equity Links & Updates

Dr. David Ragland, Professor, Melinda Salazar PHd., Red Water Pond Road Community Members, Gallup Somos Unidas Pueblos Members, McKinley Workers Justice Coalition Members, McKinley Community Health Alliance Members, McKinley Collaborative for Health Equity Members, Gallup Behavioral Health Office, McKinley Juvenile Justice Office, KNIZ 90.1 Greater Gallup Community Radio, Available Media Inc. (video taped session), New Mexico Social Justice Equity Institute


Contact Info

McKinley Community Collaborative for Health Equity

PO BOX 2931
Gallup, NM  87305


Facebook: mckinleycommunitycollabortiveforhealthequity

Contact Person

Anna Rondon
Executive Director of the New Mexico Social Justice and Equity Institute in McKinley County


Anna Rondon- Executive Director
email –


(505) 906 2671


Red Water Pond Project One PagerA Year in Review 2013- 2014 – McKinley Community PLACE MATTERS

In The News

McKinley Community Collaborative for Health Equity Partners:

  • McKinley Community Health Alliance
  • Red Water Pond Road Community Association
  • McKinley County Public Health Office
  • Navajo Birth Cohort Study
  • Eastern Navajo Diné Against Uranium Mining
  • Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment; Conservation Voters of New Mexico Education Fund

Anna Rondon – Executive Director
NM Equity and Social Justice Institute

Anna Marie Rondon, Dine who is Kinya annii (Towering House) and born for Nakai Dine (Mexican Clan), Tabaha (Edge Water Clan) Maternal Grandfather and lives in Chichiltah, NM.

Ms. Rondon has 40 years of experience in community planning and community development, grant writing, social and environmental justice issues and ten years of volunteer work on Gulf War Veterans health concerns.

Her community planning/development is based on years of research and interviews with elders and the study of sustainable community development practices throughout the world. It’s critical that local traditional knowledge be preserved and woven into the community-based planning process. Blending the past with modern day technological tools is also a good beginning for planning for the future.

She studied Native American Humanities, Public Health, Business Management, Indian Law and Community Planning at Contra Costa College, UNM-Gallup and Navajo Technical University.

Ms. Rondon was born in 1957 to Gertrude Henderson Rondon of Chichiltah, N.M. and Frank Rondon, a Mexican/Hispanic of Richmond, Calif. She has one brother, Arthur J. Ledezma (deceased). Both of her parents worked for the Santa Fe Railroad and were strong union members for 39 years.

Her father was in the U.S. Army Infantry and served in World War II. He received the Purple Heart and Bronze Metal for saving fellow soldiers on the front line in Italy. He is now deceased. Anna’s brother was a U.S. Marine and served in the Vietnam War. He also is a member and former Secretary of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Ms. Rondon is the proud mother of 2 children and 5 grandchildren. She also cared for her mother for 12 years who passed on in 2010 at the aged of 90 years of age who suffered from Alzheimer’s.

When her family lived and worked in California, they always maintained strong ties to Chichiltah. During her childhood, her family would travel by train from California to Chichiltah to visit her grandmother, Marie Y. Henderson, and other relatives during the summer months.

Her memory of her first chapter meeting at Chichiltah in the summer of 1967 is vivid because she traveled to it in a horse drawn wagon with her mother, grandmother and granduncle.

Her grandfather Happy Henderson, was a well-known and respected Hatathlie (Navajo healer/singer), unfortunately, she never knew him because he was robbed and murdered in April 22, 1956 in Gallup, New Mexico.

Throughout her early teen years, she gained valuable experience in community development from her mother, when she helped her mother organize local water and electric power line projects, which took them to Crownpoint, N.M. and Window Rock, Ariz., many times.

While Ms. Rondon was in Richmond, Calif., she actively participated in numerous multi-cultural events of the Bay Area because her family had raised her to respect all people, which was strengthened through the many friendships that her family created with other people of color.


PO BOX 2931
Gallup, NM  87305


(505) 906 2671

Email – Anna Rondon