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Home » Uncategorized » UP! Coalition welcomes new program specialist

UP! Coalition welcomes new program specialist


Monday, May 6, 2019; Las Cruces, NM: Unified Prevention Coalition for Doña Ana County (UP!) has welcomed a new face to the role of leadership, Alyssa Myrick. She’s a familiar face to the community, recently completing her internship to attain a bachelor’s degree in Public Health with the Coalition by coordinating the county-wide New Mexico Community Survey.

Alyssa Myrick, UP! Coalition
program specialist

“I love the all-inclusive environment of UP! Coalition,” Myrick said of her new role with the Coalition. “One day you are working with the community and the next day you might be meeting with the Chief of Police or the Mayor.”

UP! is a community coalition working to make sure that all residents in Doña Ana County have the opportunity to live a life free of drugs and alcohol. Myrick will oversee the UP! efforts focus on drinking and prescription drug misuse partially funded by New Mexico’s Office of Substance Abuse Prevention. UP! is a program of the Center for Health Innovation.

A born and bred New Mexican, Myrick says her intertest community health began during her field work for her Associates degree in Public Health from Doña Ana Community College. During her capstone project for her bachelor’s degree she helped to organize an alcohol summit for New Mexico State University (NMSU) students and became interested in the field of prevention.

“From there I learned about UP! Coalition’s efforts with substance abuse, and its hard to find someone in New Mexico that hasn’t been touched by substance abuse” said Myrick.

New Mexico has consistently had among the highest alcohol-related death rates in the United States over the last 30 years, according the New Mexico Departments of Health’s 2018 Substance Use Epidemiology Profile. Doña Ana County has an alcohol-related death rate of 42 per 100,000 population, significantly higher than the national average of 34.  Also, 18% of Dona Ana County High School students reported using a prescription painkiller without a prescription which is higher than the national average of 14%, on the 2017 Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey.

Myrick’s first task was to support coordination of 15 sites for Doña Ana County’s National Drug Take Back Day held last month. She traveled to Anthony, Sunland Park and Hatch to participate in their respective communities’ efforts to provide safe and anonymous disposal for medications, removing unused or expired pills from homes throughout the county before they can fall into the wrong hands to be misused or abused.

“Our partners, the Anthony Police Department collected 43 pounds of medications. You could tell the success was due to the community-based efforts. Everyone was greeting each other and the police officers by name,” added Myrick.

Next on Myrick’s agenda is working with the public school districts in Gadsden, Hatch and Las Cruces to expand existing policy and prevention efforts regarding substance use and abuse. 

“Alyssa’s proven ability to manage a variety of projects is a great asset to the program.  In her short time with UP!, Alyssa has already begun building relationships to advance the work and supported partners to increase the impact of the work,” Marisol Diaz, Director of Prevention and Community Collaborations Department for the Center for Health Innovation, the nonprofit which oversees UP! efforts.

For more information contact Marisol Diaz 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, New Mexico’s Public Health Institute, and funded by the New Mexico Office of Substance Abuse Prevention (OSAP).