by Carol Bridge
RATON — The Regional Agency Intervention Network (RAIN) met on February 1 at the Raton Convention Center to continue organizing as a prelude to action against the addiction problems the community struggles with. Over 30 area representatives from a wide ranging group of agencies attended as Mary Lou Kern, chair of RAIN, identified sub committees and area resource providers gave brief overviews of what their agency or organization provides to the community.
Representatives of nearly every city, county and state agency that is affected by chemical abuse problems were present, along with Congressman Martin Heinrich’s representative, Eric Castillo.
Rick Ortiz, who works in adult probation and parole, presented the group with information about what his agency does with and for offenders. Probation and parole is an alternative to jail. Ortiz works for HRDA (Human Resource Development Associates, inc) and they are tasked with the supervision of a number of people in the county by assessing risk to the community while offering services to the offenders. His agency works closely with local courts, law enforcement and other service agencies. For more information check out http://hrda.org/.
Rose Matzkin, of Youth Heartline located in Raton, told the group about the two main services her agency provides. CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) advocates for children involved in abuse, neglect and ongoing foster care (CYFD) cases and Youth Heartline that provides supervised visitation between parents and their children. www.youthheartline.org/
Paul Jenkins, RAIN facilitator and director of GroRaton!, broke the group up into sub committees and gave each committee a ‘Smart Goals’ framework for developing action plans. The sub groups will be extremely important in guiding the larger group in areas such as political awareness and activism (Bill Sauble), plans for the detox center (Paul Jenkins), intensive and ongoing treatment programs (Tami Rubin), peer support workers (Nancy Passikoff), Crime Stoppers (John Woodard), resource guide (Sue Fleming) and funding (Mary Lou Kern). If you would like to give input to one of the various sub committees, please direct your questions to Paul Jenkins at GroRaton! GrowRaton@ratonnm.us (575) 245-4769
Among those in attendance were: Andy Ortiz, Raton Public Schools. Cindy Johnson, MCMC Pharmacy Director. Loretta Conder, MCMC ER physician. Chris Espinoza, Raton Interim Fire Chief. Josh Green, Captain Raton Fire Department. Susan Oviedo and Nichole Romero, NM Department of Health. Bill Sauble, Chairman Colfax County Commissioners, Sue Fleming from the group addressing chemical addiction problems. Phalysha Kennedy and Pagan Roueche from the Raton Ambassadors. Dee Burk from the Raton Chamber of Commerce. Josh Wood from the Raton Ministerial Alliance. Erika Meadows, CYFD. Lu DeGregoria, treatment specialist. Mary Lou Kern, Colfax County Manager, Tami Rubin, Director of Tri County Community Services. Rose Matzkin of Heartline Child Advocacy Programs, and Nancy Passikoff, New Mexico Behavioral Health Council.
For more information, go to www.facebook.com/colfaxcountyagainstaddiction/ , or simply type “Regional Agency Intervention Network” into the search bar in Facebook.