Health Action New Mexico

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Board of Directors

Erik Lujan

Erik Lujan joined the Executive Board of Health Action New Mexico in the fall 2013, and was nominated to serve as President of the Board in fall of 2014.  Erik Lujan is an enrolled Tribal member of Taos Pueblo.  Erik first became aware of the disparities within the healthcare system when he became disabled with a serious health condition at the age of 30. Since that time , he has helped raise attention to healthcare disparities that specifically affect Native American elders in New Mexico. 

Lujan has served as a policy analyst for New Mexico Indian Council on Aging where he extensively studied and presented on the implications of federal health reform and state-led Medicaid reform for Native American elders. He also served as the New Mexico Indian Council on Aging’s representative regarding reforming the Medicaid program in New Mexico, leading to the formation of Centennial Care.  As Chair of this committee, he coordinated the efforts of all the New Mexico Pueblos to share information and testify before the State Legislature in opposition to managed care for Native communities.  Mr. Lujan is also a trained and certified Enrollment Counselor who is skilled in conducting outreach in Native communities on matters pertaining to health insurance and healthcare services.

 Mr. Lujan is a member of the All Pueblo Council of Governors  Health Committee. The APCG Health Committee is charged with analyzing healthcare related issues that Pueblos face and then making recommendations to the 19 Pueblo Governors of New Mexico.  Mr. Lujan is also a member for the Indian Health Service’s Advisory Committee regarding UNM hospital’s contract mandating that the University provide no cost in-patient and out-patient healthcare services for Tribal members.

Lujan was appointed to the New Mexico Office of Healthcare Reform where he served on its Native American workgroup.  His efforts with this workgroup led to the creation of the Native American Health Education and Outreach Program operated by Native American Professional Parent Resources (NAPPR).   Mr. Lujan became the Assistant Director of the Health Education and Outreach Program for NAPPR where his role is to coordinate the outreach, education and enrollment services to New Mexico’s Native American communities statewide. 

Lydia Pendley

President of the Board

Lydia Pendley is currently the President of Health Action NM and Co-Group Leader, RESULTS-Santa Fe. She is a part-time public health consultant. She served five years as Executive Director of the New Mexico Public Health Association, retiring at the end of 2006. She worked from 1980 to 2000 for the NM Department of Health. She has 35 years of public health planning, program, policy development and management experience. She has lived in New Mexico for 36 years. Professional and volunteer work include policy advocacy related to health, poverty, and hunger issues. She has provided state and national leadership in health promotion and healthier communities.

Mandy Pino

Harriet “Mandy” Pino, a resident of Albuquerque, is the first President of the Pino Center, and Chairperson of its Board of Directors. Mandy was born and raised near Gallup, NM. From 1978 to 1990 she was the Manager of Senior Information Services at the Albuquerque Office of Senior Affairs. Mandy has been a longtime advocate for the rights and benefits of people of all ages. She was a co-founder of the organization that evolved to become Health Action-New Mexico. Mandy is a 1992 inductee of the Silver Horizons-New Mexico Senior Hall of Fame, for her lifetime commitment to community service; and in 2000 she received a Consumer Health Advocate of the Year award from Families USA.

Michael Bird, MSW, MPH

Michael E. Bird is a Santo Domingo/Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo Indian from New Mexico. Mr. Bird has over 30 years of public health experience with Native American populations in the areas of medical social work, substance abuse prevention, health promotion and disease prevention, HIV/AIDS prevention, behavioral health, and health care administration. Mr. Bird is currently a public health consultant and nationally recognized speaker on health disparities and Native American health. From 2005 to 2007, he served as the Director of Region 6 for Native Americans with ValueOptions-New Mexico (VONM), a national for-profit behavioral health company. From 2001 to 2005, he served as Executive Director of the National Native American AIDS Prevention Center (NNAAPC). At NNAAPC, he increased and strengthened the provision of technical assistance in HIV prevention program development to American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities. For 20 years, Mr. Bird was with the U.S.P.H.S. Indian Health Service (IHS), an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services, which provides health care to American Indians and Alaska Natives nationwide. Prior to leaving IHS, Mr. Bird was the Director of Preventive Health Programs for the Santa Fe Service Unit and the Albuquerque Area office. He also served with the Office of Tribal Activities and Office of Planning and Evaluation. Mr. Bird was the first American Indian, and social worker, to serve as President (2000-2001) of the American Public Health Association in the organization’s history. He is also Past President of the New Mexico Public Health Association and was a fellow in the U.S.P.H.S. Primary Care Policy Fellowship. He has also been involved on numerous projects and boards on a local, tribal, national and international level. He currently sits on several boards serving indigenous populations, including the American Indian Graduate Center, Seva Foundation, National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health Advisory Committee (Canada), Bernalillo County Urban Indian Health Commission, AARP National Policy Council, and Kewa Pueblo Health Board.

Mr. Bird earned his Master’s in Social Work (MSW) degree from the University of Utah, and Master’s in Public Health (MPH) at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2009, he was recognized as Alumnus of the Year by the School of Public Health at UC Berkeley.

Nick Estes

Richard (Dick) Mason

Born in Lexington and a resident of Massachusetts until 2004. Educated in the Lexington Schools and then graduated from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst with a Bachelor of Science in Production Management. For fifteen years, Dick was an industrial engineer / corporate planner for four major Massachusetts based companies. Mr. Mason then helped start and was the chief operating officer of a business that grew to 18 employees and 3 million dollars in sales. For the last 15 years of his career he was Director of Employment Services for an Association for Retarded Citizens.

After moving to New Mexico in 2004, Dick became a Board Member of the League of Women Voters of New Mexico and is Chair of their Action Committee. In addition, he is the LWVNM representative on the Steering Committee of Health Care for All New Mexicans. Dick is also co-chair of the Sandoval County Health Council and is on the Executive Committee of the New Mexico Alliance of Health Councils. He also is on the Board of Health Action New Mexico where he serves as the chair of the Legislative Committee. Dick is also on the Board of the University of New Mexico Sandoval Regional Medical Center that opened in July, 2012.