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As New Mexico's public health institute we believe in – and deeply value – the power of community in creating wellbeing, resilience, diversity, inclusivity and equity. About CHI-PHI
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New Mexico’s Health Equity and Social
Justice Advocates


We are public and behavioral health experts, program leads, activists and academics devoted to community wellbeing, resilience and growth.

We support communities, other nonprofits and organizations, lawmakers and the justice system to improve health equity, wellbeing and resilience statewide. We share information and resources, champion community based causes, offer proven programs, and engage for change.


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Stacey Cox, PhD Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Cox brings her distinguished history as a nonprofit visionary to leading organizations into the national spotlight. A native New Mexican, she has spent years working to bridge the urban and rural divides that lead to health inequities in the state. Her approach is to build community resilience while working to dismantle systemic barriers, with the ultimate goal of creating thriving, healthy communities.  Dr. Cox combines her deep industry knowledge as a consultant with her vast practical experience as CEO of large social justice organizations. She excels at high impact strategic and systems thinking and implementation, vision, relationship building, and national leadership. Look for her in the New Mexico Roundhouse educating legislators of the effects of social determinants of health and the importance of public health policy. She received her doctorate in psychology from Saybrook University.

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Lucinda Tecca Chief Financial Officer

With more than 35 years of experience in Finance Administration, Lucinda has been with our Institute for nearly a decade guiding the nonprofit to greatness. She has a degree in Accounting and Business Administration and received her certificate in Leadership Training. Previously, she was employed with a regional community health center for 12 years in the finance department as the Finance Manager/Assistant CFO.

A native of Southwest New Mexico, Lucinda was born and raised in beautiful Hidalgo County – a frontier area located in the bootheel of the state. In her free time, she camps or hikes with her family in the serene Gila National Forest.

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Joseph Hill Director of Prevention and Community Collaborations

Joseph leads a team of community coordinators who positively impact the health and wellness of residents through grassroots collaborations across New Mexico,  Joe has led community advocacy, change, and engagement projects for more than two decades. Before joining the Institute, he helped build capacity in rural and frontier communities through Frontier Forward, a National Center for Frontier Communities’ program that helped small and medium-sized nonprofits to make a difference. Educated as an ordained minister, Joseph later pursued degrees in human services from Columbia College and business from Western Governors University. In his spare time, Joseph enjoys giving back by serving on boards such as the New Mexico Health Equity Partnership and the New Mexico Public Health Association, of which he is a former president.

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Baudelia Salgado Director of Frontier and Rural Workforce Development

Baudelia “Bala” has led the education center since 2018.  A Grant County native and life-long New Mexican, she started as a program specialist for Frontier and Rural Workforce Development New Mexico Area Health Education Center (FORWARD NM AHEC), where she took the lead in coordinating student rotations, and healthcare pipeline activities like the Dream Makers Health Career program.  Bala is especially proud of her efforts to retool the program’s annual Teen Academy for Health Sciences – a summer STEM program for high school students – into the success it is today and intends to expand the academy to the entirety of New Mexico.

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Eugenia Trujillo Director of the Workforce Development Department and the Southern Area Health Education Center

With more than 20 years in health education, Eugenia “Gena” leadership as director of the Workforce Programs Department has thrived.  Under her guidance, the two Area Health Education Centers that the institute administers – which span 17 counties in southern New Mexico – have continually exceeded goals and expanded programming. Highly motivated, she possesses impeccable interpersonal, leadership and teamwork skills. She is bilingual and works extensively with multicultural populations. Gena received her master’s degree in criminal justice in 2016 and a minor in Business Management from the New Mexico State University (NMSU). In her free time, Gena plays a variety of sports and is an avid fan of the San Francisco 49ers.

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Emily McRae Director of Information and Special Projects, and the New Mexico Community Data

Emily is the Director of Information and Special Projects, which includes the New Mexico Community Data Collaborative (NMCDC). She has a Masters in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Administration, and she loves the intersection of art and science inherent with mapping. She is passionate about data sovereignty and is grateful for the opportunity to work with and learn from so many who support a diversity of health outcomes across New Mexico. Emily enjoys collecting rocks, anything that involves being in the water, crafting, and snuggling with her cats and dog.

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Arlene Salazar Finance Director

Arlene has a decade of experience in both for profit and nonprofit organizations. A New Mexico native, Arlene intends to lead our Institute to new financial heights to aid her fellow residents. She has always had an affinity for numbers and worked in accounting since her initial cooperative job in high school.  Since then, she has received an associate degree in office administration and furthered her expertise with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, both from Western New Mexico University. You can catch Arleen cheering from the stands during her children’s athletic teams’ games or spending time with her beloved grandchild.

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Francesca Regina Administrative Assistant to the CEO

Francesca has 20 years experience in community organizing, most recently in South Minneapolis before she settled with her family in New Mexico. She has experience in public speaking for drug prevention and trauma recovery, grant writing, and financial reporting. She has worked as a teacher, fundraiser, and administrative aid in two sober high schools in Minnesota. Francesca enjoys organic gardening in her backyard greenhouse. A published poet, she was the featured reader at the Southwest Word Fiesta. Francesca loves reading, especially with her children, and can often be seen around town writing or sharing poetry.

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Monica Hernandez Climate Change Health Impacts & Community Actions Manager

Monica helps to identify and develop drought-related public policy content and disparity impact statements with a cohort of county and tribal health councils. Together they collaborate with communities across New Mexico to provide technical assistance on climate change policy analysis and community engagement. Monica has more than 11 years of experience in leadership and teamwork which she uses to better understand the environmental factors that impact New Mexicans’ health. Outside of work, she volunteers as a board member for multiple high school activities, which gives her the chance to spend more time with her children.

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Angelica Rodriguez Luna County Coalition Against Teens Using Substances Coordinator

As a program specialist for the Luna County Coalition Against Teens Using Substances (CATS), Angelica works to help reduce alcohol and prescription drug misuse among underage youth. She is a catalyst for community change with an extensive background in education, sociology, and criminal justice. She also knows the dance steps to any line dance, having taught public school students how to mosey for many years.  You can find Angelica strolling with her dogs or cycling in the shadows of the scenic Florida Mountains.

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Erin Small Unified Prevention Coalition for Doña Ana County Coordinator

Born and raised in Las Cruces, Erin is well versed with the communities in southern Rio Grande Valley. Previous to her work with the Doña Ana County coalition, Erin was the Sierra County Coalition’s coordinator. She enjoys spending her free time with her family of four, plus one dog. She holds both an associate and bachelor’s degree in public health. During her internship with the Families and Youth Inc., she worked in harm reduction as part of a needle exchange program in Anapra, which is a small community close to the U.S. and Mexico border. Erin takes pride in being knowledgeable of behavioral health resources and how to connect her community with those resources.

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Margaret Felecia Chavez Hidalgo County Health Council Coordinator

Margaret is laser-focused on capacity building and collaboration within the Hidalgo County Health Council to assure every resource in the frontier county comes together to improve health equity for residents. Under her care, the health council was awarded the 2022 Organization of the Year from the Hidalgo County Chamber of Commerce. She continuously works to promote diversity and the unique multicultural experiences of the isolated region where she lives. A mental health advocate, Margaret recently received her (QPR) Question, Refer, Persuade, Gatekeeper Instructor Certificate. Margaret’s family is her foundation, and she advocates asthma awareness, inspired by her son who was diagnosed with the chronic lung disease.

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Tayler Lopez Frontier and Rural Workforce Development New Mexico Area Health Education Center Coordinator

Tayler works hard to increase access to quality health care, by growing the supply and improving the distribution of healthcare professionals through community and academic educational partnerships. She received her associates in applied science and public health from New Mexico State University, as well as her community health workers certification. Taylor can be found hunting, hiking, or fishing in New Mexico’s public lands.

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Valerie J. Zech Prevention and Community Collaboration Manager & Grant County Community Health Council  Coordinator

Valerie has a passion for prevention, community work, and social justice – maintaining that self-awareness and introspection are key aspects to continuous progression. She loves spending time with her nieces and nephews stating, “they are so smart, capable, and full of life – they are the reason I do prevention work”.  Valerie has an associate of science in Respiratory Therapy, an associate of Arts, and received her undergraduate degree in public health at New Mexico State University. She is currently pursuing her graduate degree in social work.

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Jeanette Gutierrez Training & Technical Assistance Coordinator

Jeanette helps build a stronger behavioral health infrastructure by coordinating a consortium of treatment and clinical facilities across New Mexico. The consortium she leads strengthens capacity for behavioral health facilities’ fiscal management by streamlining billing processes from client office visits to reimbursement by state agencies. Prior to joining our Institute, she  spent more than 20 years in the legal field, including a decade in public service with New Mexico Judiciary. Jeanette’s ability to form long-lasting professional relationships, as well as work closely with our consortium, has resulted in the establishment of a great team. Jeanette is the proud and busy mother of an adorable son.

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Jessica Garcia, MPH Unified Prevention Coalition for Doña Ana County Coordinator

Jessica entered the prevention field to explore her passion for behavioral health as part of the staff for the Unified Prevention Coalition for Doña Ana County (UPC). As a first generation American, Jessica was the first of her family to receive a postgraduate degree. She is focused on preventing substance misuse among youth and fighting the stigma around treatment and recovery. Jessica loves to curl up with a good book or take time for crafts.

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Josephine Vienna Sierra County Prevention Coordinator

For over 35 years, Josephine has served the Sierra County community in different capacities from helping children to caregiving for seniors. Currently, she is the program specialist for Sierra County Prevention, where she raises awareness and helps prevent substance misuse among the county’s youth. A proud mother and grandmother, Josephine values kindness and integrity – traits she has instilled in her family. An artist at heart, Josephine draws and paints topics inspired by her grandchildren’s interests.

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MariaAnna Molina Southern Area Health Education Center and the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Coordinator

MariaAnna started as a contracted translator for Southern Area Health Education Center (SoAHEC) in 2020 and later, was hired as a program specialist where she oversees interns, and helps them improve their public speaking skills. She is passionate about her work to increase the behavioral health workforce and dedicated to increasing the number of health professionals in New Mexico. MariaAnna was recently appointed as President of the New Mexico Public Health Association. She received her bachelor’s degree from New Mexico State University in 2011.

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 Brianna Flores Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Manager

Brianna is passionate about helping others begin their careers in behavioral health through the internship program she leads. She interned with our Institute during college then worked her way up to become a program manager. She has a Bachelor of Public Health and has worked in the field for six years. In her free time, Brianna enjoys sports and traveling with her family.

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Joyce Rico Administrative Specialist Manager/Human Resources and Payroll

Joyce is responsible for the end-to-end management of the payroll process, benefits administration, as well as year-end compliance and processing for Payroll and Human Resources (HR) Management at our Institute. She has over 13 years of experience in designing, implementing, managing, and administering HR, payroll, and benefits systems for Grant County government.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in management information systems and a minor in Business Administration from Western New Mexico University. She has received numerous certifications in Payroll Law.

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Linda Guerra Finance Administrative Manager

Linda has been balancing our Institute’s  financial books for over five years. Originally from Montana, she has lived in Southern New Mexico for 21 years. She graduated from Western New Mexico University with degrees in Business and Finance.  Linda spends her free time with her family and five rescue dogs, enjoying the outdoors.

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Kim Jackson Administrative Specialist Finance

Kim is a hardworking and versatile specialist with impressive organizational skills and knowledge of procedures, as well as excellent communication and people skills. She brings nearly a decade of prior experience as an administrative assistant. She loves baking and cooking. When not in the kitchen, Kim can be found cheering on her grandchildren at their athletic and sport events.

Board Member

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Magdaleno Manzanárez Board President

Magdaleno is Vice President of External Affairs at Western New Mexico University (WNMU) where he previously served as Professor of Political Science and Chair of the Department of Social Sciences. He also oversees several departments including the Language Institute, Office of International Initiatives, Government Relations, and Grants & Rural Initiatives. He also serves as liaison between WNMU and the Western Institute for Lifelong Learning. Magdaleno also serves on the boards of the Community Action Agency of Southern New Mexico and the Grant County Workforce and Economic Development Alliance. He previously served  on the Hidalgo Medical Services board for 15 years. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Northern Arizona University, an MA in Political Science / Public Administration with a graduate certificate in the Admin. Of Nonprofit Agencies, a BA in International Relations, and an Associate of Arts in Political Science. He has co-authored three books on North America’s social issues and immigration and currently resides in Silver City, New Mexico.

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A. Manuela McDonough Board Vice President

A. Manuela is Director of Government Affairs and Advocacy for The Jed Foundation, a nonprofit that protects mental health and prevents suicide for teens and young adults. Passionate about improving health inequities for black and brown communities, Manuela has dedicated her career to advocating for systemic change. With more than 15 years of experience, Manuela has been Director of Issue Advocacy at BerlinRosen, Director of Communications at the NYC Health Department’s Center for Health Equity, and Associate Director at UnidosUS (formerly the National Council of La Raza), the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States. Manuela holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Chicago and a master’s in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Panama, was born in Puerto Rico, and hails from the DC area.

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Frank Chaires Board Secretary/Treasurer

 Frank is a financial leader and current President of Western Bank, where he has served on their board of directors since 1998, and been employed since 1992. Frank was formerly employed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and has been involved with various community organizations in his home state filling multiple roles such as director for the Independent Bankers of New Mexico, Police Athletic League (PAL), and Chamber of Commerce. He has also served as the finance chair for Hidalgo Medical Services (HMS). He is a graduate of New Mexico State University in Accounting / Economics and received his masters of banking designation from Louisiana.

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John Andazola, MD, FAAFP Board Member

John is Program Director for the Southern New Mexico Family Medicine Residency Program in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Dr. Andazola has been involved in academic medicine his entire career, has presented at numerous local, state, and national conferences, and has authored several book chapters and peer-reviewed publications.  He is President of the board for New Mexico Primary Care Training Consortium and past president of the New Mexico Academy of Family Physicians.  He is also an inaugural member of National Physician Advisory Board for LifePoint Health where he was awarded the Physician Leadership Award in 2018 for demonstrating excellence in his field through quality care, commitment, and dedication to staff and patients. Dr. Andazola has received numerous state and national awards that recognize his contributions to public service and to the community.  He received his BS in Biology from New Mexico State University and his M.D. from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. John completed his Family Medicine residency at the Southern New Mexico Family Medicine Residency Program, a fellowship in Advanced Hospital Training for Family Physicians in Phoenix, and a Faculty Development Fellowship at the University of Arizona. He currently resides in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

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Joaquin Baca, MSPH, American Medical Association Board Member

Joaquin is an educator and public health professional who is currently the Director of Equity Diversity and Belonging of Medical Education. He previously served as a Senior Health Equity Policy Analyst for the Center for Health Equity at the American Medical Association (AMA) and served dually as the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) Deputy Director of the Office of Policy and Accountability and Director of the Office of Health Equity, overseeing the department’s Office of the Tribal Liaison and Office of Border Health from 2015-2019. He worked at the UNM Health Sciences Center for 15 years, serving at the UNM HSC Office of the Vice Chancellor for Community Health as a Program Director, as the Director of Diversity and Institutional Ethnic Research at the UNM HSC Office of Diversity, and as Student Navigator for the UNM HSC Center of Native American Health. Joaquin is a Lecturer III in the University of New Mexico (UNM) School of Medicine, Department of Family and Community Medicine. He facilitated cultural competency courses for medical school students at the School of Medicine and developed a course on Advancing Health Equity for the UNM Master of Public Health program. Joaquin has been on the Scientific Advisory Board for a Pacific Institute Research and Evaluation project on developing an LGBTQ Primary Care Toolkit, and participates on the New Mexico Birth Equity Collaborative. He earned his MS in public health with a concentration in community health, a BA in liberal arts through St. John’s College’s Great Books Program, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Organization, Information, and Learning Sciences (OILS) at the University of New Mexico. Joaquin is from New Mexico and currently resides in Chicago Illinois.

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John E. Kutinac MPH, MBA Board Member

John is Health Promotion Program Manager for the New Mexico Department of Health in the Southwest Region based in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He was the Academica Residency Coordinator for Southern New Mexico Family Medicine Residency Program at Memorial Medical Center where he became Administrative Director. He has worked in hospital and health care settings and is skilled in nonprofit organizations, physician relations, team building, public speaking, and fundraising. He has been an active board member for the Southern Area Health Education Center (SoAHEC), New Mexico Health Resources, and the New Mexico State University Alumni Association. He received his MPH from New Mexico State University and his MBA from Texas Tech University, Rawls College of Business. His major interests include workforce development, community health education, capacity building, access to primary care and social determinants of health. John resides in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

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Rodolpho “Rudy” Martinez Board Member

Rudy is a former New Mexico State Representative from 2017-2021 and previously served in the state House from 2007-2014 and has been the vice chair of the Transportation Committee and a member of the Appropriations and Finance Committee. Rudy served 10 years as District 7 Director of NM Municipal League, as well as Chairman of the Grant County Commission. Rudy is an Airforce Veteran who served in Vietnam, and once home in New Mexico he was employed at Chino Mines for over 30 years and a former International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) 611 Union electrician. He served on the Bayard Town Council and Grant County Board of Commissioners and was Mayor of Bayard. Rudy has a wealth of knowledge of New Mexico history and its people. He received his bachelor’s degree in business from Western New Mexico University in Silver City. Rudy was born and raised in Southern New Mexico. He grew up in Bayard and currently lives in Silver City.