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Home » Uncategorized » New staff shifts project into high gear

New staff shifts project into high gear

Alexis Brandt

Monday, September 16, 2019; Las Cruces, NM: New staff member Alexis Brandt is continuing to shift the conversation around alcohol with the Unified Prevention Coalition of Doña Ana County (UP!) as part of the Shift Positive (Shift+) grant awarded by Paseo del Norte Health Foundation. Brandt will guide the Doña Ana County residents to discover “innovative ways to use data for advocating on issues around the impact of alcohol on youth.”

Brandt will build on previous UP! efforts that included mapping alcohol sales in Las Cruces along with select crimes that usually are related to alcohol like underage drinking, vagrancy, thefts, DWIs, harassment, and domestic violence. The resulting maps were presented to various community leaders this past January at the Alcohol Outlet Summit in Las Cruces.

“The number one goal here is to assist local leaders, who have a wealth of knowledge and are experts in their community, in finding, gathering, and using data,” said Marisol Diaz, Director of Prevention for the Center for Health Innovation, the nonprofit of which UP! is a program. “Our work is to aid in bridging a gap between lived experience and the numbers that support that.”

With the New Mexico Data Collaborative (NMCDC), Brandt will coordinate a series of community data trainings, data seminars and story mapping sessions throughout Doña Ana County to engage residents in opportunities to advocate for their communities relating to alcohol issues and its social harms.

Brandt said, “I’m excited to work with our local community residents to further build skills around data use and advocacy. We need the stories behind the numbers to help explain these issues.”

Diaz said, “For years community leaders have provided spaces and places for the collection of data.  Now they will see where some of this data is stored, they will have access to much of it, and they will use it to tell their own stories in a powerful way.  This is public health at its best.”

“It’s exciting to be back providing education and outreach regarding substance use and misuse,” added Brandt who received her Master of Public Health degree from California State University Northridge. “Having worked with students, I am looking forward to sharing and exploring these issues with parents too.”

Her previous work at college campuses included time at a health center and a crisis mental health service where Brandt saw the first-hand effects of alcohol and substance misuse on students’ lives. There Brandt provided prevention and education on health-related issues regarding alcohol and marijuana use to students.   

Now Brandt wants to expand her work from the personal-level and apply it at a broader community-level, “I wanted to see larger and longer lasting change; the Shift+UP! project can positively affect families, neighborhoods, and communities.”

A native of California, Brandt has found the area welcoming, “The people of Doña Ana County have been so friendly. Everyone we speak to about the project is very enthusiastic and excited to learn more.”

UP! is a coalition of leaders from diverse backgrounds of the community, like law enforcement, civic, educational, charitable and governmental sectors, dedicated to implement data driven strategies to reduce underage and binge drinking in Doña Ana County. UP! Coalition is a program of the Center for Health Innovation, which is designated as New Mexico’s Public Health Institute.

For more information contact Alexis Brandt at (575) 597-0042 or email:

This news release is made available by the Unified Prevention (UP!) Coalition for Doña Ana County, a program of the Center for Health Innovation.