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Home » Uncategorized » Two new staff join CHI Finance Department

Two new staff join CHI Finance Department


Thursday, November 5, 2020; Silver City, NM: The Center for Health Innovation (CHI) is pleased to welcome two new staff dedicated to bolster the organization’s finance and administration effectiveness.  The staff additions include new administrative assistant Arlene Salazar and returning staff Erika Burke as human resources and payroll specialist.

“We are thrilled to have these two on board. Arlene brings six years of accounting experience and will be a valuable asset to the organization. Erika worked with us before and has returned with more experience to give our growing organization the support it needs,” said Lucinda Tecca, CHI Director of Human Resources and Finance.

Arlene Salazar

Life-long Grant County resident, Salazar has worked in both nonprofit and for-profit businesses during her career. Most recently, she was furloughed from the largest business in the county because of the economic downturn due to the pandemic.

Of her new position with CHI, Salazar says it has expanded her perspective. “I have more awareness now of public health and its greater implications,” said Salazar of joining the organization that serves as New Mexico’s designated Public Health Institute.

Salazar has always had an affinity for numbers and worked in accounting since her initial cooperative job through Cobre High School at a local business.  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 (WNMU).

Now Salazar is enjoying working with a smaller company than previously, and “feels closer to her coworkers and programs” she serves, like New Mexico Primary Care Training Consortium (NMPCTC) – a gathering of higher education institutions, clinics and hospitals dedicated to advancing physician training opportunities in the state. Salazar will aid the consortium’s efforts as an administrative assistant to Holley H. Hudgins, NMPCTC Executive Director.

Also joining CHI’s finance and human resources department is Erika Burke, who previously worked with the organization before taking a sabbatical to Hawaii and, upon her return, settled back with the nonprofit.

Erika Burke

“I feel the company’s mission aligns with my core belief in equity and helping rural communities,” said Burk of her return to work for CHI. The organization is one of the few rurally-located public health institutes in the nation and has advised other forming institutes on the unique experiences and challenges such a location brings.

Burk received her bachelor’s degree in expressive arts, and later received her master’s in business administration from WNMU, which she plans to put to good use at the nonprofit.

“I hope to streamline our practices to be compliant with the various grants and funding received by CHI,” Burke said.

The CHI has an annual budget of $1.5 million and offers public health orientated programs throughout the state, including substance use prevention, health care workforce development and mapping of public health real-time data at the New Mexico Community Data Collaborative.

“CHI is so much bigger than when I left,” Burke noted. “It’s become a statewide institute and that was the vision.”

For more information contact CHI at (575) 534-0101 or or visit: