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Community Drug Coalition of Lea County, New Mexico Fellows

Photo of Melissa Barnett
Melissa Barnett
Chief Juvenile Probation Officer, New Mexico
State of New Mexico Children, Youth, and Family Department

Melissa Barnett is the chief juvenile probation officer for the State of New Mexico Children, Youth, and Family Department. Her career in criminal justice began as a detention officer in Lea County, New Mexico, as well as in California. Ms. Barnett has a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice, a certificate in human services alcohol and drug abuse studies, an associate of arts degree, and an associate of science degree. She supports her staff with the understanding that safety is priority but helping a youth overcome difficult life challenges and providing the help they need is also very important.

Photo of Teresa Grady
Teresa Grady
Sergeant, New Mexico
Lovington Police Department

Teresa Grady is the detective sergeant over the Criminal Investigations Division for the Lovington, New Mexico, Police Department. Sergeant Grady has 14 years of law enforcement experience and began her career as a dispatcher and jailer. She is a crisis intervention/mental health instructor and also has a seat and advocates for the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) Program for Lea County, New Mexico. LEAD is a police-led diversion program in which officers use their discretion to refer individuals who routinely get arrested for minor offenses related to substance use to a case manager as opposed to filing charges for traditional criminal prosecution.

Photo of Megan Kirtley
Megan Kirtley
Assistant District Attorney, New Mexico
New Mexico 5th Judicial District

Megan Kirtley is an assistant district attorney at the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office in Lovington, New Mexico. Prior to attending law school, Ms. Kirtley was a victims’ advocate in the office. She decided to attend law school to further help victims of violent crimes. Ms. Kirtley grew up in Hobbs, New Mexico, then attended West Texas A&M University, where she earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in animal science. She began working for the local district attorney’s office then attended Michigan State University College of Law to obtain her law degree.

Photo of Yadira Lila Serrano
Yadira Lila Serrano
Executive Director/Licensed Substance Abuse Associate, New Mexico
Community Drug Coalition of Lea County

Yadira Lila Serrano, originally from Alpine, Texas, but raised in Lovington, New Mexico, spent 6 years working as a probation/parole officer for the New Mexico Department of Corrections after earning her bachelor’s degree in psychology. During this time, she became acquainted with the substance use treatment industry. She eventually transitioned to a position at the Community Drug Coalition of Lea County, starting as a program coordinator and later advancing to executive director. In this capacity at the nonprofit organization, Ms. Serrano fulfills both administrative duties and provides counseling services as a substance abuse associate.

Photo of Sally Smith
Sally Smith
Nurse Manager, New Mexico
New Mexico Department of Health – Lea County Public Health Offices

Sally Smith is a registered nurse with more than 20 years of experience in the field, serving in various career roles as staff nurse, supervisor, and educator. Her most recent roles include tuberculosis nurse consultant and previously a nurse manager for public health, where a passion and dedication to serve the most vulnerable of rural communities led to inclusion in this initiative. Ms. Smith believes that empathy-driven care helps others define their purpose and recognize or relearn their own value to make positive life-changing and impactful decisions and hopes to be part of creating space for others’ connectivity and healing.