Community Health Worker Referral Process in New Mexico

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Speakers will highlight an initiative to refer community members to Chronic Disease Self-Management Programs through visits with Community Health Workers. After this session, participants will be able to:

1. Discuss how Presbyterian Healthcare Services has introduced the role of Community Health Workers in health centers in New Mexico. 
2. Discuss the process of building trust and showing the value of these services among both providers and community members. 

Valerie Quintana, MA, PTP

Director, Community & Clinical Linkages

Presbyterian Healthcare Services

Valerie V. Quintana, MA, PTP is the Director of Community & Clinical Linkages at Community Health, with Presbyterian Healthcare Services (PHS).  Her skills are proficient in the psychology of human interaction and human communication. They have been instrumental in the implementation of Change Theory within healthcare systems by strengthening and developing relationships, facilitating collaborations, ensuring clear communication, and building consensus. Valerie orchestrates linkages between Presbyterian, FQHCs, Community Health Workers, Peer Support Specialists, and community wellness programs to create a shared operations model that improves access to healthcare, behavioral healthcare, nutritious food and safer physical activity opportunities for Hispanic, Latin, and Native American residents of New Mexico. She is leading a team that is building out the Community Health Worker and Peer Support Specialist models, as Presbyterian strengthens how it addresses health related social needs and behavioral health in our communities. Valerie enjoys building collaborative relationship within healthcare systems, including providers and medical staff.  Through those relationships, and by building a shared understanding, she crafts human habits and behaviors that lead to highly desired, yet unconventional means of connecting patients to resources that can enhance medical treatments for those with chronic disease, on a statewide level. She has built her career helping organizations change their systems, thinking and operations in order to best suit the people and communities they serve.


Valerie was born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and has a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree of Arts in Communication Studies from New Mexico State University. She has fifteen years of experience in the field of behavioral health, and created her own business providing on-site wholistic care for social workers. Valerie is an award-winning Rosary Artist who is also Internationally Certified as a Polarity Therapy Professional. She also holds certifications in Herbalism, Essential Oils, Touch Therapy, Health Facilitation, and Cranial Sacral Therapy.  

Jennifer Pretzeus

Project Coordinator

Presbyterian Healthcare Services

Jennifer Pretzeus, CCHW, is a project coordinator at Presbyterian Community Health in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Jennifer joined Presbyterian in January 2018 as Community Health Worker for the CMS Accountable Health Communities (AHC) Project in which she screened patients for health-related social needs and referred them to resources for assistance. She transitioned into her new role as a Project Coordinator in May 2019 on the AHC project and provides training to the Community Health Workers assigned to this grant and helps with quality improvement. She is now also a project coordinator for our ACL grant awarded in 2020 entitled “Central New Mexico Thrive for Life: Empowering Older Adults in Central New Mexico to Address Chronic Pain.”

Jennifer earned her B.S. degree in advertising and graphic design from Kent State University in Ohio. Soon after graduation she moved to Chicago where volunteering with lonely and isolated seniors led to a new career path. Jennifer has over 15 years of experience working in social services and has a strong affinity for working with the older adult population. 

Crystal Ziff, CCHW

Community Health Worker

Presbyterian Healthcare Services

Crystal is a Certified Community Health Worker Specialist II with Presbyterian Healthcare Services. She was hired by Presbyterian Community Health in August of 2019 and comes from a background of serving her community in a variety of roles including Behavioral Management Specialist, Community Support Worker, and Mental Health Tech. Crystal is currently responsible for screening patients for health-related social needs and connecting patients with resources in the community. Crystal also facilitates self-management workshops in the areas of chronic disease, diabetes, and chronic pain.


Crystal began this journey by completing an Associates of Art degree in Psychology from Central New Mexico Community College in 2012. She is passionate about her community, health education, and mental health awareness.


Community Health Worker Referral Process in New Mexico
03/09/2022 at 1:00 PM (EST)  |  Recorded On: 03/09/2022
03/09/2022 at 1:00 PM (EST)  |  Recorded On: 03/09/2022
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