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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.”
Community Advisory CommitteeSan Miguel County
Patricia M. Gallegos, LMSW employed by New Mexico Department of Health as a Community Service Manager where she provides outreach and technical assistance the Local Collaborative Alliance which addresses concerns around behavioral health and integrated health. She currently serves on the El Valle Community Center Board, a grass roots group serving remote, underserved communities in San Miguel County.
“There are many of us that continue to work toward the better good and believe we can make a difference. So many rural communities have such little resources and yet stand proud of their communities history and culture. I am honored to join Con Alma Health Foundation to do just that so to better serve rural areas and underrepresented communities in New Mexico.”
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.”
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 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.
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.
Nathan, a LMSW in Roswell, provides mental and behavioral health services through his private practice, Forgiven Social Services. He is CEO of the nonprofit, Embrace, Inc., and lead social worker for La Familia Mental Health. He joined the Community Advisory Committee in 2009.
“I joined Con Alma because it is a voice and provider of funding for underserved, at-risk populations of New Mexico. It helps in grassroots and policy movements. Con Alma truly helps all aspects of New Mexico.”
Wanda Ross Padilla
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.
Doña Ana County
Louise has retired after being a CEO of nonprofit organizations for more than 30 years, including being executive director of La Piñon Sexual Assault Recovery Services of Southern New Mexico from 1996 to 2007. She is a member of national and local advocacy committees, including the Doña Ana County Health Alliance and Niños/Seguros Child Safe Committee for the Southern NM Community Foundation.
“I thank Con Alma Health Foundation leadership, staff, volunteer Board of Trustees and Community Advisory Committee for their dedication and professionalism in implementing our mission. I am proud to be part of Con Alma Health Foundation.”
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.”
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.