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Home » Uncategorized » A new home for Southern Area Health Education Center

A new home for Southern Area Health Education Center

New Mexico Southern Area Health Center (SoAHEC) and its director, Eugenia “Gena” Trujillo are joining the Center for Health Innovation.

Thursday, November 28, 2018; Las Cruces, New Mexico: The Center for Health Innovation (CHI) is proud to be the new home for the Southern Area Health Education Center (SoAHEC) and its program director, Eugenia “Gena” Trujillo.

SoAHEC provides health education, health career recruitment and support for health-related continuing education for 13 counties throughout the southern portion of the state: Chaves, Cibola, Doña Ana, De Baca, Eddy, Lea, Lincoln, Otero, Roosevelt, Sierra, Socorro, Torrance, and Valencia counties.

Previously, SoAHEC was administered by New Mexico State University (NMSU), the program now is under the auspice of CHI, a growing health policy and education nonprofit headquartered in Silver City but with offices throughout the state, including in Las Cruces where Trujillo is based.

“It’s a big move,” said Trujillo of the new organization administering SoAHEC. “We feel CHI is an excellent fit for our program and affords us the opportunity for expansion.” Trujillo was born, raised and educated in Las Cruces, receiving her bachelor and master’s degrees in criminal justice from NMSU. She happened into the health field by chance and is now committed to “bringing social justice into health care.”

According to Trujillo, SoAHEC offers education opportunities to a variety of health care providers from “dental hygienists to promotoras to physicians.”

In the last year, SoAHEC has supported 20 medical residents rotate through rural rotations during their studies, outreached to over 700 students about opportunities in health careers, and offered continuing education trainings to over 850 health care professionals.

“Currently we are restructuring and hoping to expand our staff over the next several months. We are collaborating with Doña Ana Community College on the State approved DACC Community Health Worker Certificate,” said Trujillo.

There are Area Health Education Centers located throughout the nation. New Mexico has three centers, of which two are now administered by CHI: Forward AHEC, based out of Silver City, and SoAHEC, in Las Cruces at 205 W. Boutz Road, Building 8 in Suite 2.

“The Center for Health Innovation is pleased to be able to support Area Health Education Centers in both Silver City and Las Cruces – we are committed to providing community-based student education, health careers promotion, and professional education and support,” said Holley Hudgins, CHI Director of Workforce Programs. “Our goal is to improve access to health services through changes in the education and training of health professionals.”

For more information on SoAHEC contact Trujillo at (575) 597-0036 or email