Steering Committee

Kari Bachman

Kari Bachman is the team coordinator for Doña Ana Communities United. Her previous job experience includes coordinating the Ideas for Cooking and Nutrition Program at NMSU Cooperative Extension Service, working as a farm educator, and serving in the Peace Corps. Kari’s passion for social justice is marked by her commitment to practice participatory facilitation methods and her respect for multiple perspectives. She has advocated for health-promoting policies including a healthy food zone ordinance, competitive foods rules, and Child Nutrition reauthorization. Kari obtained her bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College in political science and her master’s degree from NMSU in Agricultural and Extension Education. She is currently pursuing a PhD in rhetoric and professional communication at NMSU. In her free time, Kari enjoys collecting oral histories, exploring foodways, experiencing other cultures, and participating in almost any kind of physical activity.

Michael Barrio

Michael Barrio is an advocacy and public affairs specialist with a background in corporate human resources, external relations, and government affairs. Originally from Las Cruces, NM and a graduate of NMSU graduate school, he serves as Honorary Commander of the 377th ABW at Kirtland Air Force Base and has recently been named one of Albuquerque Business First’s 40 under 40.

Yolanda Cruz

Yolanda served as the HEP Health Councils and Community Coordinator from 2013 – 2015. Now, as the Santa Fe Community Foundation Philanthropy HUB Coordinator, Yolanda will oversee the foundation’s professional development programs from support for boards to leadership cohorts and workshops addressing fundraising, communications, finance, and strategic planning.

Yolanda is a longtime community champion who has collaborated with and learned from Strong Families NM, Tewa Women United, El Valle Community Center and Con Alma Health Foundation. She has served as the Program Coordinator for San Miguel County DWI, Director of the San Miguel County Family & Community Health Council and Community Coordinator for the UNM BA/MD summer practicum. Yolanda has co-hosted a radio show addressing women’s issues and social change, Our Opinion – Let’s Talk About It, and has held many volunteer and community advisory roles in northern New Mexico.

A life-long New Mexican, Yolanda grew up in Gallup before relocating closer to her family’s roots in the Mora/Las Vegas area. She spent 36 years there and raised 3 wonderful children. Yolanda serves as a Getaway family for 12 United World College students from around the world and enjoys her grandchildren at every opportunity.

Joseph Hill

Joseph has spent his entire adult life serving families and communities. He holds undergraduate degrees in human services and ministry and is currently pursuing his MBA. Joseph believes his community leadership experience, and direct work with marginalized and ignored populations, enables him to inspire, educate, learn from, and collaborate with those who long for positive change.

Currently, he coordinates and facilitates collaborative efforts among public, private and non-profit groups and organizations to meet the wellness needs of Southwest NM through the National Center for Frontier Communities and the Southwest Center for Health Innovation. Joseph works directly with the communities to improve access to services, reduce disparities, prevent substance abuse, assist state and local governments in the development of policies, and advocate on behalf of the underserved. Amongst those endeavors he also serves as the pastor of a local church.

Joseph happily lives in Lordsburg, New Mexico with his wife, four children, and 2 dogs.

Hazel James

Ya’at’eeh doo Ahe’hee (Greetings and Thank you): To all “My Relations”.

I am a Diné (Navajo) Woman. My matrilineal clan is Zuni Edgewater People; Born for Black Streak Through Wood People; Maternal Chei/grandfather is Big Water; Nali/Paternal grandfather is Salt People. I am a proud wife, a mother of four, a joyful grandmother of four grandsons, and a happy gardener.

First, I give thanks to my parents and grandparents for gifting me the everlasting Diné traditional teachings of courage, love and respect for the sacred elements as this has guided my life’s work. Through learning Diné values, principals, and wisdom we find spiritual balance, guided by the four directions. This is the strength of indigenous protocols which I have applied to important community work as the San Juan Collaborative for Health Equity-Coordinator (SJCHE). The Hozhógo na ada /Diné Research and Evaluation process clarifies employs these protocols, applying Diné epistemology and language to nurture positive change. It facilitates the inclusion of Diné youth, children, parents, elders, decision makers, educators, and health professionals to create and evolve solutions to shared issues. In this way we can sustainably and effectively address systemic injustice to uphold Human Rights and nurture Health Equity, Environmental Justice and Food Sovereignty among other things. The SJCHE Team works with a vision of harmony, sustainability, and building community capacity in social, environmental, and economic sustainability that promotes racial healing.

Christina Morris

Christina is the Health Promotion Specialist, DOH PHD, NW Region. In her seven years as Health Promotion Specialist in San Juan County and interim for McKinley County, Christina works closely with local, inter-sectoral, and tribal organizations to empower communities and leverage health outcomes affected by programs and policies. Christina served two consecutive terms as the NMPHA Northwest representative. Supported by the HEP team and Human Impact Partners, Christina has served as a HIA Technical Assistance Provider since 2015. She has provided support to state and local northwest New Mexico teams, including the McKinley Collaborative for Health Equity, Somos Un Pueblo, Unido, and Global 505. She currently supports the McKinley Community Health Alliance HIA team focused on housing. Prior to Public Health, Christina’s experience stems from eleven years in research in Diabetes Intervention models with the National Institutes of Health. Christina enjoys the outdoors and traveling.

Maria Perez

Born and raised in Ecuador, Maria Perez immigrated to the United States in the 1990s to pursue a B.S. in Biology and later a M.S. in Chinese medicine and an MPH with an emphasis in Community Health.

Maria has crafted a career guided by her passion to address social disparities. With 20 years of experience working on equity and equitable health policy, she is a seasoned organizer, facilitator, health care practitioner, advocate, coalition builder and a firm believer in the power of people coming together to address complex social problems.

As a health care practitioner, Maria spent over ten years serving uninsured and under-insured populations. She is also a health educator, having served in faculty and curriculum development roles for community health workers and Chinese medicine students. Maria spent several years deeply involved with Affordable Care Act outreach, education and enrollment, and legislative work in the state of New Mexico. She spent three years working on place-based health equity initiatives in the Bay Area, where she supported collaborative groups in planning and implementing campaigns around issues of health access, education, economic opportunity, and housing. Maria has spent the past three years back in New Mexico, working on electoral reforms. She believes that democracy is the ultimate health equity indicator, and is committed to ensure that our democracy is strong, fair, and representative.

Anna M. Rondon

Anna M. Rondon, who is Kinya’aa’aanii Clan and born for Nakai Dineh and whose grandparents are Tabaaha and Nakai Dine, is a dedicated lifetime advocate for the rights of Indigenous people, which began from

Her late mother, who is Kinya’aa’aanii, was involved in many community events and Indigenous gathering in the California Bay Area because like so many other Dine’ people, her mother left her home community of Chichiltah, New Mexico, to seek work on the railroad in 1943, which resulted in the family traveling each summer to Two Wells, the place where her mother and siblings were born. elementary school.

Anna Rondon experienced first-hand this diaspora of Indigenous women and their families from their ancestral homelands to urban cities to work for the railroad, which naturally resulted in negative cultural impacts but which also strengthened the endurance of the Indigenous people to continue successful nurturing of the survival of their cultural roots.

For the past 50 years, Anna Rondon has worked alongside many influential Indigenous leaders and her own spiritual advisors, which has deeply rooted her, educated her in how to navigate movement-building at the various levels of organizing for change and justice.

And for the past 40 years, she has worked in various leadership positions. Today she serves as the Project Director of the New Mexico Social Justice and Equity Institute and the McKinley Collaborative for Health Equity coordinator, a management position she currently holds.

She has also worked for the Navajo Nation government as a Navajo Nation, Land Use planner across the vast Navajo reservation and for the Eastern Navajo Agency-Local Governance Office and as an office manager for the Navajo Nation Chichiltah Chapter, New Mexico.

Her work with the Navajo government also involved employment with the Navajo Nation Department of Health, where she was the Project Director and Co-Principal Investigator for the Navajo Birth Cohort Study, which was conducted in partnership with the University of New Mexico-Community Environmental Health, the Navajo Area U.S. Indian Health Services, and the Southwest Research and Information Center.

And since the focus of her work is Indigenous rights, she has also worked as the Native Outreach Director for the Southwest Research and Information Center and with New Energy Economy, the New Mexico, Installation of Solar unit at the Crownpoint, New Mexico, Chapter, as an advocacy for the closure of San Juan Generating Station, and supporting environmental public health protections through pressuring the New Mexico Public Regulatory Commission and Public Service Company of New Mexico.

Fatima_van_HattumFatima van Hattum

Fatima was born and raised in Abiquiu, New Mexico. She has a BA in Arabic and Development Studies and an MSc GLobalisation and Development from University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. She has a background in international development, food justice, gender and labor rights. She is the Program Manager of NewMexicoWomen.Org and is committed to working towards social justice in New Mexico.