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Our Team

NMHA's professional staff work closely and collaboratively with our Board of Directors and members to implement the programs and advance the priorities of the organization. We apply a broad range of relevant skills and prior experience including as hospital leadership, governmental agency and political staff and managers of healthcare and association programs.  As a close knit and mission driven team, we are deeply committed to doing our part to create a healthier New Mexico by strengthening access to quality care. 

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Troy Clark

President & CEO

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Troy brings over 20 years experience in operational and financial healthcare leadership to NMHA. With extensive knowledge of hospital business and a passion for finding ways to sustainably provide quality healthcare services to rural and urban communities throughout the state, he previously served as the Vice President of Regional Operations for Presbyterian Healthcare Services. His experience includes physician practice management, ambulatory surgical centers, specialty hospitals, rural and critical access hospitals, large hospital systems, opening five new hospitals, and working in for-profit, not-for profit and academic environments. He is a former member of the NMHA Board of Directors, PAC Steering Committee and PARC Committee. He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Accounting from Brigham Young University and his CPA designation before venturing into healthcare. 

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Pamela Blackwell

Director, Government Relations & Communications

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Pamela leads key communications and advocacy work collaborating with others across government, healthcare and business to develop evidence-based policy solutions to improve healthcare access at state and federal levels. Previously, as Senior Policy Director for nonpartisan, nonprofit New Mexico First, she conducted independent research, facilitated bringing diverse groups to consensus, and lobbied on healthcare, education, journalism and ethics in government issues affecting New Mexico. Pamela also served as legislative staff in Washington, D.C. for U.S. Congressional Representatives. She earned her BA in journalism at Colorado State University and her JD at George Mason University School of Law in Arlington, VA.

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Lydia Caba

Program Manager
Quality & Patient Safety

Lydia manages grants, projects and events, building a calendar of quality and patient safety programming for hospital teams each year. Her previous work at Presbyterian Health Plan as an Employer-based Wellness Program Coordinator honed her skills as she managed large group accounts and was responsible for helping groups succeed in improving the overall health of their population. A marketing communications buff, Lydia expertly crafts print and online collateral and maximizes outreach for each  learning opportunity. She is  the manager of the prestigious NMHA Hospital Quality Awards and has grown the program from inception. 

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Manon Gouse

Director
 Quality & Patient Safety

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Manon brings experience from a variety of leadership roles at Rome Memorial Hospital in Rome, NY, including Director of Therapy Services, Vice President of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Services and Chief Quality and Compliance Officer. The time spent in front-line patient care shaped her perspective and she believes that to achieve improved quality and patient safety outcomes, there must be a highly engaged workforce and organizational leadership that values the contribution of each employee. Manon recognizes and responds to the challenges healthcare organizations face at the community, state, and national levels. Manon earned a Masters Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Utah and a Masters Degree in Healthcare Administration from Utica College in Utica, NY.

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Andrea Lohse

Program Manager Communications

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Andrea manages communications efforts across NMHA initiatives. She brings extensive experience in association management, focused on professional and trade organizations that deal with complex subject matter and diverse stakeholder groups. She is a former marketing manager at IFT in Chicago, an organization for food industry R&D and host of a 25,000-attendee annual meeting and trade show. Before that, she led outreach for the American Academy of Microbiology in Washington, D.C. Andrea began association work at the American Sociological Association, documenting outcomes for equity grants funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health. Andrea has a BA in sociology and ethnic studies from the University of Colorado, Denver, and completed master’s coursework in sociology at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

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Kandace Northness

Executive Assistant to the President & CEO

Kandace brings a 30-year healthcare background to her work at NMHA. Starting as a medical assistant in a private physician’s office, she obtained her certification as a phlebotomist. Kandace worked for the State of New Mexico for nearly 27 years in several roles at Miners’ Colfax Medical Center (MCMC) in Raton. During her tenure with MCMC, she supervised departments including respiratory, a medical mobile unit providing telemedicine examinations and ancillary services. Kandace has collaborated with Dr. Aksay Sood, University of New Mexico Pulmonology, on several research projects around healthcare delivery in rural settings. She has published in peer reviewed publications and is the recipient of a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) grant for development of unique healthcare delivery lines. A proud recipient for the Mike South Scholarship Award, Kandace was recognized for her work with miners affected by pneumoconiosis.

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Julia Ruetten

Director, Government Regulation & Reimbursement Policy

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Julia brings over a decade of experience in New Mexico state government, government relations and healthcare public policy to her role advocating for hospitals. Born and raised in Montana, she headed to the Midwest to attend the University of Northern Iowa where she completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in political communication before moving to New Mexico. Prior to joining NMHA, she was the Manager of Government Relations and Public Policy for Presbyterian Healthcare Services, and previously worked for the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration and the Office of the Governor in positions ranging from administrative to communications. She holds a master’s degree in law from the University of New Mexico.

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