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Home » Uncategorized » UP! Coalition welcomes new program specialist

UP! Coalition welcomes new program specialist

Julia Rausch

LAS CRUCES – The Unified Prevention Coalition for Doña Ana County (UP!) has a not-so-new face joining as the new program specialist. Julia Rausch assumed the new role last week, transitioning from her previous role as the health promotion specialist at the Doña Ana County Health and Human Services Department.

In her new role, Rausch said one of her first goals is, “to continue fostering positive relationships with Doña Ana County communities to increase education and awareness of the health consequences of substance misuse and abuse, specifically among youth.

“I am passionate about working with the UP! Coalition, because this is another avenue to continue to give back to my community and help improve the environments that contribute to youth use of substances,” added Rausch.

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. As a division of the Southwest Center for Health Innovation, UP! has been awarded funding by New Mexico’s Office of Substance Abuse Prevention to reduce underage drinking and prescription drug misuse by youth and young adults.

UP! is happy to welcome Julia to the team. We know her skills will contribute greatly to the prevention efforts of our Coalition. UP! strives to provide a venue for community collaboration and support prevention efforts by drawing from many sectors of the community, including law enforcement, youth organizations, government agencies, youth, parents, state and local substance abuse agencies.

Julia’s knowledge and expertise in working with rural communities, as well as a variety of sectors in the county, will be an asset that will increase opportunities to connect with non-traditional participants, parents and youth.”

Rausch graduated from New Mexico State University with a bachelor’s degree in public health in 2016, where her coursework included a student position as an AmeriCorps’ VISTA. She has focused her professional efforts on identifying and addressing health disparity issues, working in rural communities to better understand type II diabetes, and increasing youth physical activity.

Currently, the Coalition is working to increase perception of risk for providing alcohol to minors, making sure residents are storing their prescription medications in a lock box, disposing of medication properly, and working with health care providers and pharmacies to reduce opioid overdose deaths.

Rausch, who resides in Las Cruces with her husband, Juan Rausch, and her two dogs, Cookie and Brownie, says she has worked hard to develop meaningful relationships with members of the community that will serve the UP! Coalition in discussing substance use issues with parents.

UP! monthly meetings are held the third Thursday of every month at 10:30 a.m. in the Diocese of Las Cruces, 1280 Med Park Dr.

Marisol Diaz is Prevention Program Director for the Unified Prevention! (UP!) Coalition for Doña Ana County, an initiative of the Southwest Center for Health Innovation. Contact her at (575)597-0042 or or visit their website at