This profile about one of our steadfast volunteers, Twila Rutter from Clovis, is the first in a series recognizing our volunteers and staff to show appreciation for the work they do and their commitment to improving health in New Mexico.
Twila Rutter has had a unique and varied perspective of health in New Mexico – writing health grants for Curry County, coordinating the local Maternal Child Health Council, working at a home health care agency, overseeing health-care contracts, and serving as a dedicated volunteer of Con Alma Health Foundation.
We have appreciated her presence in meetings and on the Grantmaking committee that makes recommendations on which nonprofits we should fund each year to improve health in New Mexico. She has honored us with her commitment, and now we’d like to take time to honor her.
Twila grew up in Clovis, home to 38,000 people and near Cannon Air Force Base in Eastern New Mexico, where people’s conservative beliefs align closely with their Texas neighbor. She explored life outside of her rural hometown for several years — earning her bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University, living in Denver, and teaching English to Japanese stockbrokers in Tokyo.
When she returned to Clovis, she earned her master’s from Eastern New Mexico University and delved into a career focused on health care and volunteer work that supports her community. She has volunteered for the Clovis branch of the Salvation Army, the Curry County Public Library Board, and New Mexico Health Resources, where she learned more about New Mexico’s difficulties recruiting and retaining health-care professionals.
“So many people have to go to Texas because we don’t have enough providers here, especially in our side of the state,” she said. “We need to do something to encourage providers to come to our state.”
Her career writing grants for Curry County and working in home health care has given her a broad view of health in New Mexico; she understands challenges around health inequities, health-care access, and a lack of insurance payers. She served as regional vice president of Home Health Operations with Interim Healthcare and Hospice before recently assuming a new role overseeing insurance contracts as director of HealthCare Contracts for Empower Services, Interim’s management company.
Twila’s life beyond work includes traveling to places like Paris and the Cayman Islands. She had considered leaving Clovis once her daughter, Tasan, started attending Texas Tech in 2020. Instead, Twila met and married a man who moved to Clovis to be close to his daughter and two grandsons. “Grandchildren rule the world,” she joked, noting that her parents returned to Clovis to be near Tasan years ago.
In her time with Con Alma, she’s made friends with fellow Board members, appreciating that people come together from geographic and philosophical differences to focus on the health needs of New Mexico.
“We’re all New Mexicans, and we all need health care,” she said.
Thank you, Twila, for your commitment to Con Alma and your dedication to community service!