The Community Advisory Committee provides advice and recommendations to the Con Alma Health Foundation Board of Trustees concerning the performance of the Foundation in achieving its Charitable Purpose and Mission and to identify and assess the health needs of all New Mexicans.

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Beverly Allen
Eddy County

Beverly has a passion for social justice in healthcare and is an advocate for health disparities to be addressed in New Mexico. She has many years experience working in community health and has a degree in social justice.

“I have always been drawn to the mission of Con Alma Health Foundation, which gets resources to those in New Mexico that are doing the work to address social change and health disparities in our state.”

Joaquín Argüello
Bernalillo County

Joaquin is a clinical youth and family Social Worker with the Bernalillo schools. He has experience in working with community based programs throughout the state for over 25 years; and he has provided program development, supervision and direct services in efforts to sustain integral internal and external accountability.  He is a Native Northern New Mexican. He provides a positive cultural male mentorship to youth and families, program development and service provision focused on family centered philosophy.  His goals are to support organizations that are focused on leadership and capacity building to help local youth and family support services and resources.

Adán Carriaga
Bernalillo County

Adan is a native of Albuquerque and serves as the Behavioral Health Program Manager for Molina Healthcare.  He has 30+ years direct and indirect addiction recovery service experience.  His education and work in Community Organizing, Program Management, and Recovery Advocacy has been in the public sector through Medication Treatment (methadone), Community Networking, Recovery Homes, and Detox with the City of Albuquerque and state. His priority is to stimulate growth in communities and assist in making them healthier and safer for all of us to live, and also to attract new employment opportunities for New Mexicans.  Adan is has also celebrated 32 years in long term recovery.

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Leigh Caswell
Bernalillo County

Leigh is the Director of Community Health with Presbyterian Healthcare Services. She is responsible for facilitating the selection, prioritization, and implementation of community health initiatives and serves as Principle Investigator for a Center for Disease Control, Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health Cooperative Agreement focused on chronic disease prevention.  Leigh has a B.S. in Environmental Health from Colorado State University and a Masters of Public Health from UNM. She has served on several community Boards including Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless, is the Chair of the Bernalillo County Community Health Council, is past President of the Albuquerque Mountain Rescue Council, and past President and Policy Co-Chair of the New Mexico Public Health Association.

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Jim Coates
Chair Community Advisory CommitteeCatron County

Jim is a planner with the Town of Silver City. He currently serves as Chair of the Community Advisory Committee, of which he has been a member since 2003. He sees Con Alma as the best hope to find solutions to the state’s health and wellness issues through collaborative community action and best use of scarce resources.

“I’m proud to serve on the Community Advisory Committee, described by a former board trustee as the Foundation’s conscience.”

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Patricia Collins
Vice Chair Community Advisory CommitteeLea County

Patty is currently working with the State of New Mexico with the Healthy Kids initiative and the UNM BA/MD program.  She is also the Executive Director for a local nonprofit, Faith In Action, Inc.  Ms. Collins retired from the City of Hobbs in 2003, where she served as the Community Services Director.

“As a member of the Community Advisory Committee, I look forward to serving our New Mexico communities in my newest role with the Con Alma Health Foundation. I hope that I can not only help to continue promoting the mission of the foundation in southeastern New Mexico, but show what the very southeastern part of our state has to offer in return.”

Linda Dodd
Eddy County

Linda Dodd is the Executive Director of United Way of Carlsbad and South Eddy, an organization focused on helping the community’s most vulnerable through access to adequate shelter, food, health care and other basic necessities of life. Linda works closely with business leaders to acquire funding for United Way and with city and county governments to advocate for the underserved. While her focus has been on improving the lives of individuals in South Eddy County, she would like to expand her skills to the entire state. Linda currently serves on the Board of Directors for Ronald McDonald House Charities of NM, Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce, Carlsbad Main Street, and volunteers with the Eddy County Health Council.

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Melanie Goodman
Doña Ana County

Melanie recently joined U.S. Sen. Tom Udall’s state staff after 6 ½ years working as a field representative for U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman in his Las Cruces office. She advances Sen. Udall’s education and health policy agendas at the community level and reaches out to constituent groups and elected officials in southwest New Mexico. She has a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature and a master’s in public health.

“It’s an honor to serve as a member of the Community Advisory Committee for Con Alma Health Foundation. Each member brings deep connections and perspectives of the needs and strengths of our state’s many diverse communities. I feel I am part of a truly unique and valuable partnership with the staff and the Board in helping to carry out the core values and mission of Con Alma.”


Photo of Donna House (Diné)
Donna House (Diné)
McKinley County & Alcalde, Rio Arriba County

Donna currently assists Native American community-based organizations in protecting traditional eco-cultural assets from adverse development. Donna is a botanical consultant and specializes in ethnobotany of indigenous peoples, and traditional ecological knowledge research and environmental policy.

Sonlatsa Jim-Martin
McKinley County

Sonlatsa is Navajo-Modoc enrolled in the Navajo Nation. She is of the Sleeping Rock Clan and born for the Modoc Tribe. Her maternal grandfather is of the Salt Clan. She was raised on and lives on the Navajo Reservation in Tohlakai, NM. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from Colorado College and is working on a Master’s in Public Administration. She is the Policy Analyst for the COPE Project after serving as the Program Manager for the CDC REACH grant. She is a leadership coach for the Navajo Community Health Outreach Youth Leadership Program, and an advocate for social justice in public education and environmental justice. She is leading food justice efforts through Navajo Food Policy advocacy and drinking water access on the Navajo Nation. Sonlatsa is a Native American Consultant, wife, mother of four children, a traditional food grower, and an indigenous activist and advocate.

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Robert Nelson
Bernalillo County

Nelson has 10 years of experience working in Albuquerque’s nonprofit sector, focusing primarily on homelessness and hunger. Currently he is the program manager of the Grants Collective, which helps nonprofits compete for and secure federal and philanthropic investment. His volunteer work includes serving on the boards of both the New Mexico and national Young Nonprofit Professionals.

“Authentic engagement and representation is so critical, and it’s a lot of challenging work, but it’s something I love in working with community every day. That’s the biggest reason I joined Con Alma’s Community Advisory Committee,” said Nelson, who works with neighborhoods to establish community-driven, equitable economic development.

Photo of Wanda Ross Padilla
Wanda Ross Padilla
Secretary Community Advisory CommitteeSanta Fe County

Wanda is a holistic life coach, spiritual teacher and mystic for more than 15 years. She is president of her Santa Fe-based consulting firm, A Better Life Now. She has a bachelor’s degree in education, a master’s in counseling and a doctorate degree in public administration. She and her spouse divide their time between their home in Santa Fe and their ranch in Tajique, New Mexico.

“The Community Advisory Committee is one of the most important groups I have chosen to be a part of. Our health system is in crisis, and our people are suffering. Con Alma is doing some amazing work to help end the suffering of all people in New Mexico. Its great staff and passionate volunteers is why I stay involved.

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Twila Rutter
Curry County

Twila has been a member of Con Alma’s Community Advisory Committee since 2005. She currently holds the position of General Manager with Interim HealthCare and Hospice in Clovis. Previously, she was the Special Projects coordinator with the Curry County Administration, and adjunct faculty at Wayland Baptist University. In addition to her participation with the Community Advisory Committee, Ms. Rutter is the President of New Mexico Health Resources, Inc., Secretary of the Clovis branch of the Salvation Army, and a member of Curry County Public Library Board. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from Texas Tech University, and an M.B.A. from Eastern New Mexico University.

Photo of Susie Trujillo
Susie Trujillo
Grant County

Susie, a native of Silver City, has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in education. She has been happily married for 40 years and is proud of her three children and four grandchildren. She has worked at Gila Regional Medical Center for 21 years in the Community Health and Wellness/Community Outreach field. She is a past member of the Health Policy Commission and the Behavioral Health Planning Council.

“I am proud to serve on the Con Alma Community Advisory Committee because I feel that is where I can best advocate for rural community voices.”


Photo of Helen Tso
Helen Tso
San Juan County

Helen Tso is the Director of the NW-Navajo Nation Health Extension Regional Office. Her education and work in program management and administration of public health initiatives has been in the public sector in education, research, contracting and procurement, and community health, in the northwest part of the state as well as throughout the state. In local communities she serves as a community preceptor for pre-med students and provides technical assistance and consultative services, addressing the varied elements, of the social determinants of health in collaboration with local organizations, community coalitions, and community colleges. She has served on the statewide advisory committee, specifically the resource committee, for the GRADS Program which is a student retention service, supporting adolescent parents to complete high school, and to prevent teenage pregnancies.