Sabrina Martin, MPT, Chief Executive Officer
Sabrina possesses more than 18 years of healthcare leadership in acute and inpatient rehabilitation facilities. Today, she is responsible for the leadership and management of the day-to-day functions of our hospital.
After earning her bachelor’s degree in biology from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM, Sabrina completed her master’s degree in physical therapy at the University of Texas in El Paso, TX. Sabrina has a passion for stroke and brain injury rehabilitation and has served as a member of the National Stroke Association Rehabilitation Steering Committee.
Sabrina is committed to elevating her community in all its facets and serves on the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, New Mexico State University’s College of Health and Social Services Advisory Board, and the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico Board of Directors. Sabrina is also passionate about elevating the level of healthcare throughout the state as a member of the New Mexico Hospital Association Board of Directors.
Jonathan D. Ellen, MD, Medical Director
Jonathan Ellen, MD, completed his residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation in 1990 at Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital in Chicago, IL. After his residency, he joined a physiatry practice at the Weldon Center in Springfield, MA, where he practiced for five years.
In 1995, Dr. Ellen became the medical director of the St. Francis Hospital Inpatient Rehabilitation unit in Memphis, TN, where he practiced until 2011. He then joined HealthSouth in Memphis as the stroke program director and went on to become the medical director there in 2014.
In 2016, Dr. Ellen accepted the associate medical director position at Rehabilitation Hospital of Southern New Mexico, and in 2018 he became the medical director.
Dr. Ellen has a strong passion for stroke and brain injury rehabilitation, and he served as the physician advisor to the West Tennessee Brain Injury Association for more than ten years.
Dr. Ellen and his wife, Melissa Esparza, OTR, enjoy running, biking, and hiking activities. From 2003 until 2015, they organized and sponsored Ride for Your Mind bike charity event to help support the Brain Injury Association.
Christina Salazar, RN, Chief Operations Officer
As a registered nurse, Christina brings a passion for rehabilitation nursing to our leadership team.
Christina initially earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from New Mexico State University (Go Aggies!). She later returned to NMSU and earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Presently, she is enrolled at Walden University to obtain her Master of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner.
She sits on the board of the New Mexico Organization of Nurse Leaders, where she serves as Region III director for Doña Ana County and sits as the chair of the legislative committee.
Christina was born and raised in Las Cruces. During her time off, she enjoys spending time with her daughter and family.
Melanie Gutierrez, RN, Chief Nursing Officer
As a registered nurse, Melanie has 15 years of critical care and nurse management experience. She has a passion for exceptional outcomes for all patients.
Melanie’s responsibilities include clinical nurse management of the rehabilitation and advanced care hospitals. She strives for all patients to have the best outcomes by delivering comprehensive, quality nursing care to the patients we serve.
Melanie earned an associate degree in nursing in 2007 and is currently obtaining her bachelor’s degree from Western Governors University. She has lived in Las Cruces for the past 13 years. She enjoys spending her time helping local animal rescue operations in Dona Ana County.
April Barela, MSN, RN, CCM, MRMC, Director of Patient Outcomes
April provides direction in care coordination and discharge planning for the case management team to ensure our clients receive exceptional, safe, quality, and cost-effective care.
A registered nurse and certified case manager, she brings more than ten years of clinical case management and 19 years of nursing experience to her role. April earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing and master’s degree in nursing administration from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM. She is a member of the American Nurses Association and a volunteer on the American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association’s credentialing committee.
Jennifer Risley, Director of Therapy
Jennifer is committed to learning and doing all she can to provide quality, state-of-the art, and patient-centered therapeutic services for everyone who walks through our doors. Jennifer has spent more than eight years as an occupational therapist with experience in critical care, inpatient rehab, home health services, and pediatrics. She is Neuro-IFRAH Certified with additional training in aquatic therapy and hippo-therapy.
Her responsibility is to oversee inpatient and outpatient therapy operations.
Jennifer gained her bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition sciences from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM, and then completed her master’s degree in occupational therapy at Barry University in Miami Shores, Fla. She is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association.
Jennifer loves helping others and now serves as secretary for the Advisory Board of the Salvation Army of Las Cruces.
Tyler Short, Director of Pharmacy Services
Tyler Short, a New Mexico native, completed three years of pharmacy-centered undergraduate work at New Mexico State University and went on to obtain his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University Of New Mexico College Of Pharmacy. While attending UNM, Tyler was recognized for outstanding intellectual achievement by induction into The Rho Chi Society (The Academic Honor Society in Pharmacy).
Tyler actively participates in community health through medication information lectures. With a strong interest in critical care, infectious disease, and cardiovascular medicine, he brings extensive clinical knowledge to the leadership team. With a passion for ensuring quality patient care through clinical management and cost-effective pharmaceutical care, Tyler’s goal is to advance the pharmacy profession.
Meghan Johnson, BSN, RN, Director of Compliance
Meghan is passionate that all patients receive the highest quality of care and constantly strives to assure the improvement of patient satisfaction and patients’ overall functional gains.
Meghan brings more than 15 years of compliance and critical care nursing experience to her role. She oversees the quality program, infection control, regulatory compliance, and health information management at the hospital.
A registered nurse, Meghan earned an associate degree in nursing from Oklahoma State University in Oklahoma City and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Oklahoma Panhandle State University in Goodwell, Oklahoma. She is a member of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses and the American Heart Association.
In her spare time, Meghan enjoys spending time with her two children, who are very active in sports and other extracurricular activities, as well as attending church, watching and playing sports, and spending time outdoors.
Luis A. Roman, Director of Plant Operations
Luis is an El Paso, TX native and has more than 18 years of experience in hospital plant and operations. Luis holds an Associate’s Degree from Western Tech in HVAC. Luis has most recently been an engineering supervisor for the previous ten years and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our team. As a Navy reservist, Luis has been formally trained as an equipment operator as well and will bring with him the comradery and training he received there to the benefit of our entire team and facility.
Brandon Masters, Director of Human Resources
Brandon has more than 20 years of experience in human resources management, including employee relations and generalist experience. He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration in human resources management from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM. He has earned his PHR Certification from the HR Certification Institute and is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
As the director of human resources for RHSNM, he prides himself in supporting all employees that contribute to the mission of our hospital and make a positive difference in the lives of the patients and families that we serve.
Joey Valenzuela, MHA, Director of Marketing & Business Development
Joey is a native of Las Cruces and possesses over 20 years of management and business development experience, the last of six of those years in the acute and post-acute healthcare industry. Joey is passionate about patient care and is invested in ensuring that every person receives the right care at the right time.
Joey received his bachelor’s degree in management and later his master’s degree in health administration from the University of Phoenix. He is currently working on his doctoral degree in healthcare administration and is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
In Joey’s spare time, he is a father and enjoys working with children and teens in various youth groups. He also enjoys cooking and enjoying time with family.