Board Members

Consumer Members

Ms. Sara Baca, South Valley Area

Ms. Baca was involved in writing the first grant in 1972 to establish First Choice, which was then called Albuquerque Family Health Center. She was the health center's first community outreach coordinator and ensured that First Choice was connecting with community needs and that residents had access to care, including a van to bring them to appointments. After leaving employment at First Choice, Ms. Baca returned as a board member and promotes First Choice to the community as a good place to work. "I can see the pride of people who work at the South Valley Health Commons as they grow up here, go out and get a profession and come back and be able to work in the community," Ms. Baca says. "That's really wonderful. This is providing health care, but it's also building the community as a health venture and a social venture."

Ms. Grace Chavez, Vice-President, South Valley Area

Ms. Chavez worked at First Choice for 21 years since it was established in 1972 as Albuquerque Family Health Center. She returned as a board member, serving as vice president and president, since 1997. She saw the first clinic start in the rectory of St. Francis Xavier Parish on Broadway Boulevard, and the second clinic start on Isleta Boulevard, also in an old church. The patients' needs quickly outgrew those two sites, and the original South Valley Health Center was built in 1974 on the site of the current South Valley Health Commons. The new 43,000 square foot South Valley Health Commons opened in 2008 in Ms. Chavez's area.

Ms. Dominguez, North Valley Area

Ms. Dominguez started the WIC program in Albuquerque in a South Valley church in 1973 while working for First Choice, which was then called Albuquerque Family Health Center. She worked for First Choice for 18 years before moving to the WIC program at Isleta Pueblo and returning to First Choice as a board member. "My heart is here and I decided I wanted to continue serving the community. I know everyone and their grandchildren," Dominguez says.

Ms. Linda Holle, Edgewood Area

Ms. Holle is currently serving as Councilor for the Town of Edgewood. She became familiar with First Choice and the services it provides while preparing for the election. She is committed to First Choice’s mission and values because they align with her own. Ms. Holle has been very supportive of the expansion projects which include a new health center in Edgewood.

Ms. Lucy Jojola, South Broadway Area

Ms. Jojola was working at the South Broadway Cultural Center on a mural designed by Working Classroom when the former manager of the First Choice South Broadway Health Center asked her to serve on the board of directors. She continued volunteering at the National Hispanic Cultural Center and as an English tutor at various Albuquerque Public Schools while serving on the board and supporting the expansion of services.

Mr. Henry Rod Mercure, Secretary, Alameda Area

Mr. Mercure is a licensed mental health counselor and a postal worker with the US Postal Service in Albuquerque. He came to First Choice while seeking care for his oldest of three daughters, who was uninsured. After a year of getting to know the First Choice system, staff, and leaders, he accepted a nomination to serve on the board of directors. Mr. Mercure said he is committed to First Choice's mission and values because they align with his own, which he learned growing up in northern New Mexico. He was used to seeing small clinics that could only provide limited service and now appreciates having neighborhood health centers where people need them, without requiring patients to travel long distances. His proudest accomplishments as a board member have been in supporting the expansion of services and improvements of facilities. "Rather than feeling like, 'This is all I've got, people can say, 'This is a nice place," he says of the new facilities. "It helps the image of the whole community." First Choice's future will include continued service to people who need access to good quality medical care, under the board's leadership.

Ms. Lourdes Ortiz, Los Lunas Area

Ms. Ortiz worked for First Choice in the early ’90s; she understands the needs of the communities served. She believes in the mission of First Choice which is to improve the quality of life in the communities which they serve. She serves as an advocate for First Choice with the many clients she comes in contact at her job. Ms. Ortiz feels that First Choice is becoming a very important and vital organization in these changing times of Healthcare reform.

Ms. Patricia West, South Valley Area

Patricia West was looking for a dentist and found First Choice in the phone book. After becoming a patient, she was invited to serve as a representative of the South Valley on the board of directors. She says the reason she sits on the board is that of the service it provides to the community. She had moved to Albuquerque from England some 33 years ago and missed the universal access to healthcare that people have in Great Britain. Patricia West is most proud of First Choice's expansion of services and new clinics and looks forward to more expansion in the future.


Appointed Members

Dr. Lance Chilton

Dr. Lance Chilton is a retired Pediatrician. Dr. Chilton served as medical director for First Choice (formerly called Albuquerque Family Health Center) in 1974. From 1975 to 1993 he worked in the UNM Department of Pediatrics in many capacities. Beginning in 1982 he has worked at Lovelace Medical Center, St. Vincent Hospital, Holy Cross Hospital and the University of St. Francis. Dr. Chilton, through his experience and expertise, is a valuable asset to the First Choice board of directors.

Ms. Gloria Sue Doherty

Gloria Sue Doherty was a nurse practitioner student doing her clinical practice at First Choice before she was asked to serve on the board of directors. "I was very impressed with everybody being treated with equal respect regardless of their ability to pay and I wanted to be part of that," Doherty says. Doherty has been an acute care nurse practitioner intensivist at UNM Hospital in trauma/Surgical Intensive Care Unit for 21 years.

Ms. Rachel Flores

Ms. Flores is a former patient board member of First Choice. She resigned from the board when she moved out of Albuquerque to pursue a business venture. Ms. Flores returned as a non-patient board member and is ready to assist First Choice in addressing the medical, dental and behavioral needs of the communities it serves. She is excited to be back and is very impressed with the expansion of services and facilities.

Mr. Paul Luna, President

Mr. Luna is a retired educator who has dedicated 20 years of service to the First Choice Board of Directors. Mr. Luna is driven by the organization's mission to address the health needs - not just physical, but mental health needs, in an integrative model. As a former middle school principal, teacher and superintendent, Mr. Luna knew how important access to quality health care is for families. The former CEO of First Choice asked Mr. Luna to serve on the board. His goal now is to see First Choice continue expanding services.

Mr. Floyd Wilson, Treasurer

Mr. Wilson is an attorney practicing in Albuquerque who came to First Choice Community Healthcare's board by answering an ad at the New Mexico Bar Association for volunteers to serve non-profit organizations. "I grew up in the South Valley and when I was a kid, there just wasn't medical care available down here - even apart from the economics," Mr. Wilson says. "It was a subject I was interested in. Now we do have access, and the barriers are different." Wilson is dedicated to the mission of First Choice, which is to provide care to anyone without regard to their financial situation. "We do our best to level out any other barriers that might exist - whether they have to do with language barriers or any other kind of barriers to make sure people feel welcome and included and don't feel any reluctance to get the services that are appropriate."

To contact a member of the FCCH Board of Directors, please direct your correspondence to: 2001 North Centro Familiar SW, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87105.

Our Patient-Centered Healthcare Home makes you feel welcomed and cared for by a team that:

  • Knows your health history and goals
  • Communicates effectively with you and with each other
  • Gives you appointments when you need them
  • Coordinates the complexity of labs, prescriptions, referrals and insurance

We go the extra mile to help our patients get help paying for their health care.

  • We assist with Medicaid applications
  • We help patients find insurance on the Marketplace
  • We enroll patients in special programs when they are eligible
  • We provide a discount for services based on family size and income