| wednesday |

Meet the Head to Toe 16 Keynotes

Amy SchaletAmy Schalet is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, a specialist on adolescent sexuality and culture in comparative perspective and author of Not Under My Roof: Parents, Teens and the Culture of Sex (University of Chicago Press). Ms. Schalet has worked closely with physicians and others across the nation on new approaches to sexual health promotion for adolescents. She has served on boards of national and local health organizations, consulted with community groups and the media, and collaborated on clinical and educational materials. She has delivered plenary addresses, webinars, and trainings at the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, and the STD-prevention branch of the Centers for Disease Control, among many others.  Her research has been featured by a range of media, including the Washington Post, CNN, Public Radio, and TIME.com. Schalet has been awarded grants and fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the National Science Foundation and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard and a doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley.

John Linney (M.A.), author and international speaker, is Executive Director of Impact Coaching and Speaking. As a “climate control specialist,” he has supported over 400 educational institutions and other organizations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. John has been a featured guest on numerous television and radio programs including National Public Radio, C-SPAN, and Univision and is co-author of, “Safe School Ambassadors: Harnessing Student Power to Stop Bullying & Violence.” Best-selling author Deepak Chopra describes John’s recent work as, “the only sane solution for ensuring security in our society.”



JC PohlJC Pohl Executive Producer, TEEN TRUTH. During 1999, in response to the Columbine High School shooting, JC created TEEN TRUTH with writer / director, Erahm Christopher.  Since the launch of their movement, the team has produced several student made TEEN TRUTH films, the TEEN TRUTH LIVE speaking series, the TEEN TRUTH guidebook, and the TEEN TRUTH: FILM FESTIVAL. Having reached an estimated 4 million people with his products and mission, Pohl is regarded as an expert on school climate and student issues. In addition to his collaboration with Christopher, Pohl has produced award-winning work for companies such as Warner Brothers, ESPN, and Disney, as well as created innovative educational content for The American Film Institute and Human Relations Media. Through his efforts with TEEN TRUTH, Pohl has personally reached almost 500,000 students and has been featured on various news programs, radio shows, and magazines.  Over the last five years he has presented the TEEN TRUTH programs at schools across North America, spoken to crowds at conferences and film festivals, and produced live events of all sizes.


Breakout Session Presenters

Mandy Allison is the Kesselman-Jones project manager for ReasonsPlus. Mandy is especially close to the message of ReasonsPlus, encouraging teen parents to graduate and look forward to creating a positive life experience for themselves and their child.  Mandy is excited to announce Reasonsplus.com as the first-of-its-kind website (in the nation) that will soon evolve as the ‘wiki’ for pregnant and parenting teens in New Mexico; a website that will provide access to valuable resources that can aid the teen through graduation and beyond.

Amanda L. Askin, MS, a native New Mexican, currently works as the school mental health advocate (SMHA) for Region Five, based out of Las Cruces, New Mexico. Ms. Askin has a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and prior to joining the Office of School and Adolescent Health five years ago, provided support and clinical services for youth and families in the private and non-profit sector. As the SMHA for the Department Of Health, Ms. Askin has worked to promote suicide prevention in school communities and offer technical assistance and support to school-based health centers and schools in the ten counties of southwestern New Mexico. Ms. Askin also hosts a weekly local health-themed radio talk show where she actively promotes mental health awareness.

Jessica Aufrichtig, LMSW currently works with the New Mexico Public Education Department as the behavioral health coordinator where she plans and coordinates with multiple agencies, schools and the New Mexico Behavioral Health Purchasing Collaborative to address issues related to school behavioral health. Her work includes supporting cooperative relationships between schools and local collaboratives. Ms. Aufrichtig has over 13 years of experience as a social worker serving children and families in New Mexico in the areas of child welfare, early childhood home visitation, Medicaid and school behavioral health. She received her bachelors of social work at the University of Texas and her masters of social work, with a focus on community organizing, at the University of Michigan.

Lucinda Banegas-Carreon, MPH, CHES is a native of New Mexico and a graduate of New Mexico State University. Ms. Banegas-Carreon’s education focused in community and public health. Her career started in the field of health and emergency preparedness, working with the New Mexico Department of Health and Bureau of Health Emergency Management. Currently Ms. Banegas-Carreon works for the New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service, Ideas for Cooking and Nutrition Program as the project coordinator for the OrganWise Guys Program and promoting physical activity programs to both youth and adults.

Twila Becenti-Fundark, MSW, LISW, LCSW currently works with the New Mexico Department of Health as a school mental health advocate for Region One. Ms. Becenti-Fundark has more than 15 years of clinical practice in school setting, private practice, and community mental health working with children, adolescents and families. In the past six years, Ms. Becenti-Fundark has worked with schools and school-based health centers providing technical assistance in school mental health. Ms. Becenti-Fundark has also worked with schools and communities in crisis planning and coordinated crisis response.

Amina Bilal has a long history of teaching, in both the public and private sector. Having taught in San Antonio to homeschooling her own children, teaching is Ms. Bilal’s passion. Currently, she is a first grade teacher in Taos, New Mexico.

William Blair, PhD, earned his PhD from the University of New Mexico and is the assistant director of the Albuquerque office in the School and Family Support Bureau of the New Mexico Public Education Department. After 20 years of employment at the post-secondary level, Dr. Blair joined the New Mexico Public Education Department and has been with the agency for 29 years.  He has served in a variety of capacities including instruction, accreditation, assessment and accountability, and coordinated school health.  Dr. Blair has held leadership positions at the state and national levels and has presented at numerous events.

Rudy Blea is responsible for coordinating the day-to-day activities of the New Mexico Department of Health, Office of Oral Health’s Preventive and Restorative Care Programs which includes supervising nine state employees throughout the state, he is responsible for the program budget, selects and administers provider agreement contracts in excess of $1,000,000, and provides technical assistance to state and local government entities and the general public. The Office of Oral Health program director and dental hygienist serves as staff to the Governor’s Oral Health Advisory Council and as members of the New Mexico Oral Health Advisory Council.

Gloria Blea-Johnson, LISW, originally from Santa Fe, New Mexico is a graduate of the University of New Mexico with a bachelor of arts in Psychology and a bachelor of arts in Criminology. She earned a master of social work from New Mexico Highlands University and has been serving youth and families for over 15 years. Currently, she is the senior program therapist with the University of New Mexico ACL Teen Center and has been providing trauma informed and culturally relevant individual, family and group psychotherapy to 7th-12th grade students in a school-based health setting since January 2005. She exhibits a true passion for working with youth, has served on several committees, panels, and has presented on many Native American youth related social issues. In addition to working on trauma-focused projects, she continuously assists in efforts to prevent Native American youth suicide and to improve mental health care services in Indian Country.

Christine Brown, MS, CHES has nearly 12 years of public health experience, including program planning, implementation and evaluation. For several years, she worked on tobacco use prevention issues, combining policy, education and advocacy approaches to reduce tobacco use among New Mexicans. She currently works as a health educator in the Comprehensive Cancer Program in the New Mexico Department of Health, which offers cancer information and resources to the public and health care providers. She holds an MS in health education and is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES).

Micaela Cadena is the campaign coordinator at Young Women United (YWU). YWU is a community-based, non-profit agency in Albuquerque, New Mexico that is dedicated to the issues young women of color face today and in their future. Improving access to quality health care is a priority area.

Tom Chavez, MA is a doctoral student in counseling psychology at the University of Wisconsin and is a clinical child psychology intern at the University Of New Mexico, Department of Psychiatry. Mr. Chavez is originally from the beautiful Espanola Valley and has worked with youth in various capacities within community, psychiatric, juvenile justice, school and research settings in New Mexico, New York and Wisconsin. The promotion of self and other understanding in context to social-emotional well-being and social justice is a driving force in his work with youth and their families. Mr. Chavez has accomplished part of this work through facilitating Diversity Dialogues with administrators, college students, and elementary and high school students.

Lora Church, MPA, MS is the bridge grant coordinator for the New Mexico Public Education Department, School and Family Support Bureau. Ms. Church has over 25 years’ experience working in the health and human services profession centering on substance abuse prevention, health promotion and education within school-based health centers and community-based settings, cultural competency community-based healthcare services, program administration, community-based participatory research, grant-writing, strategic planning and implementation.

Rita Condon, BSN is the healthy kids health educator for the New Mexico Department of Health. Ms. Condon has led the New Mexico Department of Health’s body mass index (BMI) population-based monitoring effort in elementary schools throughout New Mexico. She has trained school health staff to use the Department of Health’s standardized measurement protocol and has measured over 6,000 elementary school children. Ms. Condon is a nutritionist with 21 years’ experience educating consumers about healthy eating and active lifestyles.

Sarah Couch has worked with young people and families on substance abuse, suicide prevention and the promotion of health and wellness. Ms. Couch focuses on youth and family participation, empowerment and leadership by educating young people and families on effective strategies to take ownership of their lives and responsibility for their community. Ms. Couch also works across systems to shift agency culture and help people understand and integrate authentic youth and family engagement and participation opportunities.

Meg Curtin Rey-Bear, LPCC has worked with adolescents with substance abuse issues and their families at the Center for Family and Adolescent Research for over 10 years. She is also a private practitioner specializing in substance abuse treatment for adolescents and their families, and the clinical expert for the Heroin Awareness Committee. Ms. Rey-Bear is trained in a variety of highly effective evidence-based therapies and specializes in motivating people who are resistant to seeing therapy to get help as well as in working with the parents of treatment resistant teens in identifying effective ways to motivate them into therapy.

Anna Daggett is a junior at Escalante High School. She enjoys volleyball and basketball. She hopes to be an engineer when she grows up. She is the recent past facilitator of the Northern Rio Arriba Communities Health Coalition. Ms. Daggett received her first Natural Helper training when she was in the sixth grade and continues to be an active Natural Helper.

Maxine Daggett, BSW is a preventionist for North Central Community Based Services. Her passion is working with youth to help them achieve their highest potential. She has experience implementing evidence-based prevention curriculums, Co-facilitating the Natural Helpers Program in three school districts, participating in program evaluation, and developing collaborative relationships between programs and agencies. Ms. Daggett also volunteers as a victim advocate for victims of domestic violence and as a court monitor.

Betsy Diaz, PhD received her doctorate in counseling psychology from the University of New Mexico. She worked for 15 years as a counselor in an elementary school. Her adopted son lives with bipolar and was exposed to drugs in utero. She is an advocate for public education and mental health care.

Olin Dodson, MA, MA, LPCC has been a licensed marriage and family therapist since 1986. He is the author of Melissa’s Gift, the story of his life with his late Costa Rican daughter, Melissa, who passed away from complications of cystic fibrosis. He is a professional consultant in the field of opioid treatment and teaches workshops on grief and resiliency.

Paul Ettestad, DVM, MS has been with the New Mexico Department of Health since 1994 as an epidemiologist and the state public health veterinarian. Dr. Ettestad is a member of the infectious disease outbreak response team involved in numerous foodborne and other infectious disease outbreaks; and is in charge of surveillance and investigation of cases of zoonotic diseases including Plague, Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, Rabies and West Nile Virus. Dr. Ettestad received his doctorate from the University of Illinois and a master’s degree in Wildlife Ecology from Texas A&M University. Before coming to New Mexico, Dr. Ettestad served as an epidemic intelligence service officer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was a veterinary medical officer with US Department of Agriculture, and worked in a mixed animal practice in Illinois.

Kristi Erikson, RN, NCSN, is employed by the Santa Fe Public Schools as an elementary school nurse. She has over 20 years of nursing experience working with children; she is currently implementing strategies for promoting healthy eating and active living among the students, staff and parents at her school.

Pamela Espinoza is currently the New Mexico Behavioral Health Services Division lead on Health Promotion. Her recent work includes serving as the Behavioral Health Services lead for the video The New Faces of Opioid Addiction: A New Mexico Health Crisis, which includes the youth to youth video No Exceptions.  Ms. Espinoza has worked in the community implementing evidence-based programming and at the state level developing strategic plans utilizing evidence based best practices and policies to inform policy and practice to impact outcomes and behavioral change. She also serves as a substance abuse prevention program manager as well as the lead for a Parenting and Post-Partum Women Substance Abuse Grant. 

Jim Farmer, MPH is the health services manager for the New Mexico Department of Health, Office of School and Adolescent Health. Mr. Farmer has been working on school health issues for the past ten years.

Paula Feathers, MA (Pawnee/Keetoowah Cherokee) was raised in the Zuni Pueblo in New Mexico. Ms. Feathers has extensive experience and expertise in project management, strategic planning, training development, facilitation and organizational development. Her specialty is community development, especially in regards to substance abuse prevention and professional development skill building. Ms. Feathers has facilitated system change meetings for several states and Tribal communities. She is the owner of Kamama Consulting, which specializes in providing training, project management and technical assistance to Tribes, communities and states. Ms. Feathers received her undergraduate degree from the University on New Mexico and her master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma.

Melody Fill, MSW, LISW is currently a school social worker with Albuquerque Public Schools. Ms. Fill earned her masters of social work degree from San Jose State University. She has been practicing professional social work for 21 years.

Eve Flanigan, MPH is the program manager of Carlsbad Community Anti-Drug/Gang Coalition, a grassroots-driven non-profit organization. Ms. Flanigan facilitated the organization of New Mexico’s prescription drug take back event and designed the Rx Drug Awareness Campaign that won the 2009 New Mexico Behavioral Health Collaborative Excellence in Media Award. She has worked in behavioral health treatment in numerous capacities. She presently operates her own proposal writing and consulting business.

Carlos Flores, MSW, LMSW, LADAC is the coordinator of the South Valley Male Involvement Project and has been working with students in South Valley and West Side Schools for the past five years on youth development projects. Mr. Flores focuses his work in the arts to promote health, wellness, and to prevent youth violence, dropouts, teen pregnancy and high-risk behaviors through programs like the poetry programming in the schools.

Tara Ford, JD is the co-director of Pegasus Legal Services for Children. Ms. Ford has been involved in children’s legal issues for nearly 20 years, providing representation to children and their caregiver’s even while in law school. Ms. Ford is a frequent speaker at national and state conferences regarding the important role of education in children’s lives. She often teaches as an adjunct faculty at the University of New Mexico, School of Law and she regularly works with state and community stakeholders to develop policies that support children in New Mexico.

Lorraine Freedle, PhD, LISW, ABPdN, ABSNP is board-certified in pediatric and school neuropsychology. She is the co-founder and chief clinical officer for TeamBuilders Counseling Services, Inc. TeamBuilders is a large, non-profit children’s community mental health center and designated Core Service Agency (CSA) with offices in 23 counties throughout New Mexico. Dr. Freedle has over 20 years’ experience in System of Care development, clinical administration, and the provision of an array of mental health services for children and young adults with severe emotional/behavioral disturbance and neurobiological disorders.

Todd Goldblum, MD is a pediatric ophthalmologist at Family & Children's Eye Center of New Mexico. He has been serving New Mexico children and their families for over 16 years.

RuthAnn Goradia, RN, BSN, MSN, MPH is the community asthma resource nurse with the Albuquerque Public School asthma program.  She assists in managing APS asthma program activities, including community and parent activities to promote asthma awareness and management.  She has been working with Project ECHO to develop a Facebook page to provide asthma and diabetes information to high school students.

Dan Green received a master of public health degree from the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston, with an emphasis in epidemiology, survey methodology, and the use of geographic information systems in public health. From 1999 until 2002, he was the director of the Center for Border Health Research (CBHR) in El Paso, Texas. While with the CBHR, he was responsible for implementing a Youth Risk Behavior Survey in El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. His current position is with the Epidemiology and Response Division, New Mexico Department of Health, where his duties include implementation and analysis of the New Mexico Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey, a survey of risk behaviors and protective factors among New Mexico high school and middle school students.

Cindy Greenberg, RN, BSN, MSN, NCSN is a state nurse consultant with the New Mexico Department of Health, Office of School and Adolescent Health. Ms. Greenberg has 32 years of nursing experience with a focus on school health and school nursing administration.

Jerome Gurule is an 18-year-old senior attending Mesa Vista High School who lives in Ojo Caliente. He enjoys playing sports, ranching and riding horses. Mr. Gurule is an active member of the Northern Rio Arriba Communities Health Coalition and Natural Helpers Program.

Janie Lee Hall, RN, PNP is as a school health advocate with the New Mexico Department of Health. Ms. Hall has  35 years of nursing experience, with an emphasis in school and public health, in Native American communiites.

Jennifer Leeds is from the village of Seama in the Pueblo of Laguna, New Mexico. She is not only Laguna, but also, Paiute, Quechan and Washoe. Her cultural traditions are of high importance to her and she is proud to be Native American. She is currently a senior at Laguna-Acoma High School and is a mentor and leader with the 4-Youth ACL Teen Center Youth Advisory Group.  This is her first year participating in the Youth Advisory Group, she is very involved and has been instrumental to the success of the program. Ms. Leeds is also a loving mother of a wonderful son, Lorrance (21 months old), and manages to balance school, motherhood and extracurricular activities.

Erika Harding has an MA in Latin American Studies, and has a long history of public health advocacy and education work. She served as PTA president and founded and led the Sun Shade Committee at Bandelier while her children were students there. She was the founder and director of Body, Mind & Spirit Family Birth and Resource Center, and currently works as the education and outreach manager for Diabetes and Community Health Worker Initiatives with Project ECHO at the University of New Mexico.

Penny Holland, MA, LPCC has developed and presented trainings on the impact of trauma for educators and health professionals throughout New Mexico. Ms. Holland is a clinical counselor at a school-based health center and in private practice. She also assists in training clinicians and social organizations in a new understanding of trauma and its healing. Her approach encourages us to quiet ourselves, develop mindfulness and attend to relationships.

Pam Husted is a graduate of Eastern New Mexico University. Mrs. Husted has spent the last 13 years working and coaching as the head volleyball and basketball coach in Cloudcroft, New Mexico. Along with work in education, she has also assisted her husband, as a youth sponsor at various churches and, for a short break in her career, was the youth director at First United Methodist Church, in Roswell, New Mexico. Mrs. Husted is currently the health and New Mexico history teacher at Tucumcari High School, where she is the assistant volleyball and softball coach.

Jenn Jevertson, MS is a program manager at the Santa Fe Mountain Center (SFMC) and oversees SFMC’s anti-bullying program, Adventures in a Caring Community. She is well versed in issues of bullying, included bullying towards LGBTQ students, and has presented at local, national, and international conferences. Ms. Jevertson has a master’s degree in Adventure Education, and over 13 years’ experience providing experiential programs to adjudicated and at-risk youth. She has developed anti-bullying curriculum and programs for elementary through high schools students.

Rachel LaZar is a native New Mexican and is the executive director of El CENTRO de Igualdad y Derechos, a local immigrants’ rights organization whose mission is to organize Latino immigrant communities and allies in Central New Mexico to defend, strengthen, and advance the rights of our communities for the betterment of all New Mexicans. Ms. LaZar was the co-founder of Enlace Comunitario, a domestic violence organization based in Albuquerque that was founded to bridge the gap between direct services, advocacy, and organizing around domestic violence and immigrants’ rights in the Latino immigrant community. Through her work with El CENTRO, Ms. LaZar, along with many allies, has worked to pass model anti-discrimination and pro-immigrant policies in Albuquerque.

Paula LeSueur, MSN graduated as a family nurse practitioner from the University of California, Los Angeles. As a certified nurse practitioner for the last 20 years, Ms. LeSuer has worked in public health, private practice and at the University of New Mexico. Ms. LeSuer’s area of expertise is in primary care for school age children and youth. She is currently the program manager for the Children's Healthcare Improvement Project (CHIPRA) in New Mexico.

Michael Lovato, MA is a special education program support specialist for Santa Fe Public Schools specializing in students with behavior disorders. He has ten years’ experience in special education and administration, and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in special education with a double minor in educational leadership and educational psychology at the University of New Mexico. He also has a projected date of completion of April 2012 for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Certificate. Mr. Lovato serves as an adjunct faculty member at Santa Fe Community College and New Mexico Highlands University. Mr. Lovato is devoted to innovations in education and the pursuit of community partnerships that meet the needs of students with the most challenging emotional and behavioral problems.

Stacy Martin is from the village of Mesita in the Pueblo of Laguna, New Mexico. His parents are Alvin Martin Sr. and Kathrine Charlie. He resides with his Aunt and Uncle and is a senior at Laguna- Acoma High School. Mr. Martin is currently employed at Sky City Casino Hotel as a Front Desk Clerk. He has been a member of the 4-Youth Laguna-Acoma Youth Advisory Group for two years and plans to enlist in the Marines following graduation.

Martin Martinez is a health educator dedicated to using hip-hop music, rap, and his love for music to encourage youth to create positive messages for youth focused on health and community issues. He is studying for a degree in social work and is a founding member of Project M, which works with youth to provide training and skills to promote health, provided peer education, and service to the larger community through outreach and community education.

Carmen Martinez-Tittmann, LPCC, LMSW is a behavioral health education and outreach provider with Envision New Mexico. She brings 22 years of clinical and educational experience with children, adolescents and families. A native New Mexican, Ms. Martinez-Tittman is focused on quality improvement in the area of assisting providers with developing clinical and inter-professional skills. She provides behavioral health services at Young Children’s Health Clinic. Trained in Motivational Interviewing (MI), Ms. Martinez-Tittman uses MI in her work as a community provider, as well as in trainings and webinars through Envision New Mexico.

Ashtyn Megariz is a senior at Mesa Vista High School. She has had perfect attendance since kindergarten as she takes her education very seriously. Ms. Megariz plans on going to college to become a Neonatologist. She is a member of the Mesa Vista Natural Helpers Program and is currently serving as the facilitator of the Northern Rio Arriba Communities Health Coalition.

Delia Mendoza, MSW, LISW, LCSW has been the Region Four school mental health advocate with the New Mexico Department of Health, Office of School and Adolescent health for over six years. In this role, she provides behavioral health consultation and technical assistance to school-based health centers and schools in southeast New Mexico and statewide. She previously provided direct care clinical services in a variety of community-based programs and inpatient settings.

Kari Meredith is the teen dating violence project coordinator with the Office of the New Mexico Attorney General. Prior to this position, she was part of the legal team that secured the first two human trafficking indictments in New Mexico. She currently sits on the Intimate Partner Death Review Team, which reviews facts and circumstances surrounding intimate partner and sexual violence related deaths in New Mexico and leads a statewide program, which offers training and technical assistance to law enforcement, social service providers, school staff and students about issues surrounding teen dating violence.

Frank Mirabal is the founder and president of Contigo Research, Policy & Strategy, which is a social business that works with communities to plan, test and evaluate strategies that ensure that families are educated, healthy, economically stable and prepared to contribute to a community’s well-being. Over the past three years, Mr. Mirabal has been a lead consultant to Elev8 NM, which is a full service community school approach that provides bundled services to middle school youth and their families. The core components of the model include extended learning, school-based health services, and family engagement and support services. Mr. Mirabal is also a leader in the service and volunteerism movement at the state and national level as an AmeriCorps Program Director and as a lead evaluator for service programs for Latino youth.

Anna Nelson, LISW is the executive director of the New Mexico Forum for Youth in Community, adjunct professor at New Mexico State University School of Social Work, and Robert Wood Johnson Ladder to Leadership Fellow. Ms. Nelson is dedicated to serving youth, their families and communities through youth and community engagement, violence prevention, gender-responsive, culturally relevant, trauma-informed service systems development and policy transformation. She is an executive board member of SafeTeen New Mexico and a national advisory board member of Love is Not Abuse. Ms. Nelson was the first to create New Mexico’s gender-responsive behavioral health plan in 2006 and has championed New Mexico’s Teen Dating Violence Strategic Prevention Initiative guided by Positive Youth Development since 2007.

Patsy Nelson, MA, BSN is a private consultant in the areas of facilitation, strategic planning and school health programs. She has worked in school health for over 30 years as a school nurse and school-based health center director. Ms. Nelson retired in July 2007, from the New Mexico Department of Health where she held positions as the school health director, Improving Health Initiative (focused on substance abuse prevention) and the deputy director of the Public Health Division. She facilitated the groups that provided input to the Statewide Strategic Health Plan. Patsy is experienced in policy development at the local, state and national levels through her work in school health.

Mary Ann Osuchowski-Sanchez, PhD, FNP-BC received her PhD from the University of New Mexico in 2011 and has a research focus in adolescent sexuality and rural populations. Dr. Osuchowski-Sanchez also holds a master's degree as a family nurse practitioner. She currently practices as a family nurse practitioner in Northern New Mexico.

Renee Paisano-Trujillo is the Elev8 Director at Youth Development, Inc. She brings more than 25 years’ experience in working with nonprofit advocacy and community development organizations. Over the last 13 years, Ms. Paisano-Trujillo has devoted her attention to the support of afterschool program initiatives, primarily in Native American reservation and rural contexts, with the goal of assuring extended learning opportunities, safe havens and trained and caring adults in the lives of young people. More recently, she has launched an integrated-services-in-schools approach in five middle schools in New Mexico, intentionally linking health to extended learning and family engagement activities in the schools. Ms. Paisano-Trujillo testified to the US Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee hearing on “Innovative Approaches to School Time” on August 24, 2010. She is a native New Mexican, born in Gallup, who spent most of her growing-up years on the Pueblo of Laguna.

Leon Paquin is a youth community organizer for the Laguna Acoma Youth Advisory Group and has been participating for almost four years now. He is a recent graduate of the Laguna Acoma High School and is currently working on going to school at a local college in New Mexico. Mr. Paquin has been very active in participating as a youth advocate for suicide prevention in New Mexico. He also has had many experiences with friends and family who have dealt with suicide in one form or another. Mr. Paquin has demonstrated positive leadership among his peers and has lead several group discussions during meetings. Mr. Paquin resides on the Laguna Pueblo reservation with his parents who are supportive of him being part of the Indian Health Services Suicide Prevention committee.

Linda Peñaloza, PhD is a research associate professor at the University of New Mexico’s Division of Prevention & Population Sciences. She received her doctorate degree in mass communication from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and has BA and MA degrees in sociology. Dr. Peñaloza is currently principal investigator on several important research and evaluation projects in New Mexico, including coordinating the data collection, data analysis, and reporting for the New Mexico Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey (NM-YRRS) among middle schools and high schools in all of New Mexico’s 89 school districts, plus selected Bureau of Indian Education schools and state-sponsored charter schools.

Christina Perry, PhD is an assistant professor of Health Education, Department of Health, Exercise and Sports Sciences College of Education at the University of New Mexico. Her research interests include access to health care at school-based health centers in New Mexico.

Gilbert Ramirez, LICSW is a licensed clinical and school social worker. He is currently employed as a school social worker for the Albuquerque Public School District and has 11 years of employment in Albuquerque Public Schools. Mr. Ramirez is also the contracted clinical consultant for the New Mexico Young Fathers Project and an associate professor for New Mexico Highlands University School of Social Work in Albuquerque. Mr. Ramirez specializes in adolescent therapeutic services and has extensive training in working with gang involved male youth as well as young fathers. He is the co-author of several publications through Oxford University Press and has a third publication scheduled for release in fall 2012.

Mary Ramos, MD, MPH is a pediatrician and public health practitioner at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. She serves as the school health officer for the New Mexico Department of Health.

Karen Rencountre is the program coordinator for the New Mexico Gay Straight Alliance Network Program at the Santa Fe Mountain Center. She brings expertise in issues of Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) youth, social justice, anti-oppression and bullying towards LGBTQ students. Ms. Rencountre has led a variety of staff trainings and presented locally on these issues throughout New Mexico.

Dan Rifkin, MD works with Envision New Mexico, ACL Teen Centers and Elev8 school-based health centers, Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Rifkin is the assistant professor of pediatrics and psychiatry, at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. Dr. Rifkin is a board-certified child & adolescent psychiatrist who provides school-based health center (SBHC) psychiatric services as well as training and consultation to SBHC medical and behavioral health providers emphasizing integrated student care.

Laura Rowland is the executive director of the New Mexico Suicide Prevention Coalition, and a certified QPR instructor. Ms. Rowland has been working and volunteering with the Coalition for over six years, and is a suicide survivor, having lost a loved one to suicide 11 years ago.

Demian Rubalcaba, MSW graduated with his master’s degree from New Mexico State University and has an undergraduate degree in psychology and philosophy from the University of New Mexico. Mr. Rubalcaba spent the majority of his twenties as a heroin and methamphetamine addict, in and out of jail, rehab, and the state and federal legal systems. He has been clean for six years. Mr. Rubalcaba has worked in clinical settings focusing on substance use issues with adults.  He also advocates for struggling addicts. Mr. Rubalcaba currently works with dual diagnosis severe and disabled mentally ill and substance dependent populations.

JoAnn Sartorius, LISW has focused her work on prevention, working with youth, schools and communities in a variety of clinical and educational settings throughout New Mexico. For the past 17 years, she has concentrated on suicide prevention. She is an independent consultant, trainer and program manager for peer-to-peer helping programs statewide for the New Mexico Department of Health, Office of School and Adolescent Health. Ms. Sartorius was a participant in Hope for the Heart, the work that marked the beginning of targeted youth suicide prevention efforts in New Mexico and has since continued to be active in helping to reduce suicide through her prevention and postvention work.

Chris Schueler has created over 100 television programs in the past 20 years that have garnered 19 Emmy® Awards and have been broadcast worldwide. Focusing on educational and social issues, Mr. Schueler produces youth programming, cultural and social documentaries and family series television all geared to create “Television to Touch the Heart”. His clients have ranged from the United Nations to the PBS network to the CBS Network Foundation. His documentaries have raised public awareness and also impacted public policy nationally and internationally. The National Broadcast Association for Community Affairs has named Chris Schueler national “Innovator of the Year.” Additionally, Mr. Schueler is the executive director of SafeTeen New Mexico which was recently named one of the six best community outreach programs in the United States at a ceremony in Washington, DC. 

Patricia Serna, LISW is the executive director of North Central Community Based Services. She has implemented suicide prevention, substance abuse prevention, youth violence prevention and family violence prevention programs for over 25 years. She began implementing the Natural Helpers program in 1991. She has trained youth and adults in the Natural Helpers program in several states and Canada.

Natalie Skogerboe has helped coordinate the Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant and the Statewide Epidemiological & Outcomes Workgroup for the past five years. This work has given her a thorough understanding of data sources and how to use data for planning at the state and local levels. She incorporates experiential learning techniques into her sessions and breaks complex topics down into everyday language and real life examples. She has been a trainer in New Mexico for ten years and has worked with Coop Consulting for five years. Ms. Skogerboe has completed graduate level coursework in Public Health and Public Administration and is a Certified Prevention Specialist (CPS).

Chad Smelser, MD is currently a medical epidemiologist with the New Mexico Department of Health responsible for the tracking and investigation of notifiable infectious diseases in the state of New Mexico. He is a board certified pediatrician and completed a fellowship with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Epidemic Intelligence Service.

Eloise Smith, a tribal member of the Pueblo of Laguna, has lived in the village of Seama (one of the six villages of Laguna) for most of her life. She has been an active member involved with the Laguna/Acoma High School-Based Health Center as a School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) member since 2005.  As a member of SHAV she focuses on addressing issues of suicide and its prevention, drug and alcohol use and helping the youth in her village. In January 2012 Ms. Smith completed two one year terms as councilwoman for the Pueblo.  She remains involved by promoting the education of the Keresan language, culture and tradition, as well as the understanding of the government and its constitution.

Brigitte Stewart, RN, MA, MSN is the school nurse leader for the Loving Municipal Schools. She recently received her master's degree in public/community health nursing from New Mexico State University School of Nursing. Ms. Stewart’s master’s degree in bilingual education with a focus on teaching health to Spanish speaking students has helped her strengthen health promotion and prevention programs within her school community. In her role as the school health advisory committee coordinator, she serves her community by conducting yearly on-going evaluation of the district’s wellness policy in partnership with various community members.

Gail Stewart is a 1983 graduate of University of New Mexico, School of Law. She is in private practice in Albuquerque with Steve Granberg and Laurel Nesbitt. Ms. Stewart’s goal is to help ensure meaningful public education for students with disabilities across the state of New Mexico. For the past decade, persistent exploration of federal and state law to represent students, parents and school staff in disputes with the 89 local school districts, dozens of charter schools, and the New Mexico Public Education Department, has motivated her legal practice.

Ashley Swanson, LISW is currently employed with the Roswell Independent School District where she works with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) children kindergarten through fifth grade. She is TEACH certified and continues to receive training on working with ASD children. Her prior work experience includes three years as the behavioral health provider for the Roswell School-Based health Center (SBHC) where duties included individual counseling and treatment plan development for at risk youth ages 11-18, she developed and facilitated a support group for teen mothers and expectant mothers, worked in collaboration with Roswell agencies to develop an annual Youth Suicide Summit, provided education and awareness to community about teen dating violence, and consulted on the development of school policy and procedure for school crisis team in which she has served as a member of for last four years.

Rubina Syed, MSW, LISW, ACSW is a school mental health advocate for Region Three with the Department of Health, Office of School and Adolescent Health providing technical assistance and behavioral health consultation to school-based health centers and schools. Mrs. Syed graduated from Michigan State University with two Bachelor of Science degrees in psychology and sociology and received her masters of social work degree from Boston University. She has over 15 years’ experience in clinical practice that includes supervising children’s case management and wraparound services, outpatient therapy, site reviewer of community mental health boards for the State of Michigan and contract manager for Substance Abuse Coordinating Agencies.

Jessica Tafoya is the community liaison and outreach coordinator for the New Mexico Teen Pregnancy Coalition, New Mexico Young Fathers Project. She has extensive experience in providing outreach, case management and direct services to young parents. She has experience in coordinating trainings and presentations to support community outreach workers on how to support young fathers and parents in New Mexico.

Mike Tattershall is a licensed independent social worker currently employed by the Roswell Independent School District. His work experience includes 13 years working with children in kindergarten through 12th grades. He has worked with children in programs designed to serve students with emotional disturbances as well as alternate school settings and life skills programs. He also served on the district’s crisis team and helped to plan programs geared toward specific populations in special education and general education. In addition to his work with the Roswell Schools, Mr. Tattershall has worked for nine years as an ancillary instructor for New Mexico Highlands University Social Work Department on their Roswell program. He has also worked in residential treatment with adolescents and inpatient mental health units in New Mexico and Kentucky.

Eski Tenorio, NREMT-P Kewa Pueblo/Dine is a full time firefighter and paramedic with the City of Albuquerque and is the program manager for the 4-YOUTH project. Working with youth he seeks out health related venues where teens can present and speak out on their own behalf. Through this outreach, teens have presented their health care needs in front of audiences of medical professionals and community leaders. Additionally, they have met with policymakers in the New Mexico Legislature to advocate for increased support for school-based health care centers as a model of care for adolescents and children and secured funding for peer-to-peer suicide education. Mr. Tenorio has groomed several youth members to become the new community organizers of the 4-YOUTH project.

Donna Teuteberg, LISW is a school social worker with Albuquerque Public Schools. Ms. Teuteberg earned her master's in social work degree from Wayne State University. She has been practicing professional social work for 18 years. Ms. Teuteberg loves working with people and she is dedicated to the self-determination of the students and families she serves.

Megan Thompson, PharmD is the new director of Advanced Professional Pharmacy Experiences (APPEs) after serving as the interim associate dean for Professional Education at the University of New Mexico College Of Pharmacy, where she received her doctor of pharmacy degree in 2001. In her new role, she manages fourth year pharmacy student rotations, enhances existing sites, and develops new sites throughout the state. Dr. Thompson has recently received a grant from the Cardinal Health Foundation to develop materials for and educate the New Mexico community on preventing the misuse and abuse of prescription medications. The grant, entitled “Generation Rx” is a program designed to increase awareness about the issue of prescription drug misuse, abuse, and overdose.

Arianna Trott works at a consulting firm specializing in behavioral health research and evaluation. She has used data visualization and innovative presentation styles for six years. Ms. Trott has worked specifically with data related to substance abuse prevention and early childhood education since 2009. She is passionate about community outreach, prevention, and early education.

Cecilia Trujillo has been an educator, administrator and coach for many years teaching kindergarten to university levels at public and private schools. Currently, Ms. Trujillo teaches physical and health education at Enos Garcia Elementary in Taos, New Mexico.

Rebecca Trujillo, RN, MSN is the school health advocate for New Mexico Department of Health, Public Health Division, Region Four. Ms. Trujillo provides technical assistance and medical oversight to 27 school districts, 82 school nurses, ten school health assistants and nine school-based health centers throughout southeastern New Mexico.

Nancy Vandenberg has more than 15 years’ experience working with youth and families. As youth engagement specialist for Envision New Mexico, Ms. Vandenberg is involved in the quality improvement work with school-based health centers (SBHCs). She provides technical assistance regarding positive youth development and youth engagement to SBHC's participating in the School-Based Health Center Improvement Project (SHCIP), funded by the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA).

Haley Van Winkle graduated from the University of New Mexico in 2007 with a bachelor of science in dental hygiene and is currently employed as a dental hygienist for the New Mexico Office of Oral Health.   Ms. Van Winkle provides dental sealants, fluoride varnish and oral education to children, in a school-based prevention program.  She has primarily devoted her time to serving the needs of those in a public health setting.  Prior to her current position, she worked as a dental hygienist at the Penitentiary of New Mexico in Santa Fe.  Ms. Van Winkle also holds a bachelor of arts in criminal justice from New Mexico State University and has previously worked for New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department and Second Judicial District Court as a juvenile probation officer.  In her free time Ms. Van Winkle enjoys playing sports and played Women’s Professional Football in Albuquerque from 2005 through 2009.

Jennifer Weiss is the founder and president of the Heroin Awareness Committee, a local non-profit agency dedicated to prevention and education surrounding prescription drug and heroin abuse. Ms. Weiss has her bachelors of science in information technology and her masters of business administration from the University of New Mexico. Ms. Weiss helped her son battle his heroin addiction for two years until he lost his battle on August 13, 2011. Her son passed away from a heroin overdose at the young age of 18.

Ruth Williams is the Elev8 Public Policy Director at Youth Development, Inc. She brings more than 30 years’ experience in communications and public relations. For the past 11 years, she worked for the New Mexico Public Education Department (PED). There she was manager of the PED's Legislative and Community Relations Bureau, where she was responsible for advancing the education priorities of Secretary of Education, particularly with interim legislative committees, and assessing factors for legislative success. Ms. Williams served as the first point of contact for legislative committees and analysts during the legislative interim and legislative sessions.

Belinda Wolff is a parent of a bipolar child. Ms. Wolff has been able to cope with her child’s illness and even co-facilitates a support group for parents of children with bipolar illness.

Desiree Woodland, BS has a dual license in elementary and special education teaching. She has taught both elementary and middle school for Albuquerque Public School and Rio Rancho Public School districts. After the death of her son, she became an advocate for education about mental illness.



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