This month Border Eco features Rosa Lopez- Merino from Wellness Connections. Ms. Lopez-Merino is not new to the field of behavioral health. She started 10 years ago working for SEABHS as a driver in December of 2008. In January 2011, she went to work for MIKID as an area coordinator. She played an important role in helping to bring this program to Santa Cruz County.
In September of 2012, an opportunity opened up for a family support specialist with Corazon. Ms. Lopez-Merino saw this as an opportunity for professional growth with Corazon.
Ms. Lopez-Merino is currently working as a program manager for Wellness Connections. She is a certified Recovery Support Specialist with a Certification as a Family Support Specialist. The organization has been serving Santa Cruz County since 2015. Wellness Connections is a “Peer Run” organization. In the five months, she has been working for Wellness Connections, she has been working with her team to increase the number of participants by 20%.
“I have an extremely supportive team. I am fortunate to work with an organization that is so supportive they understand the value of teamwork. Wellness Connections empowers not only their employees but also its members to step up in making their own decisions by paving their own path to success. This helps to create a better workplace and culture for all,” said Rosa.
According to Rosa Lopez-Merino, her leadership style is one that is positive and collaborative, “I enjoy working with my team and community partners as we all have a common goal, which is to help those who are struggling. I believe it is important to have an open mind. I try to always lead by example. I am open to new ideas and constantly learning from those around me.”
“My passion for helping others is what attracted me to work with Wellness Connections. It is an organization that helps individuals in recovery by empowering them to find their full potential. Our program is designed to help our members learn to live healthy and productive lives. We see ourselves in the people we serve, they remind us of our vulnerability as we all need support at one point in our lives,” said Lopez-Merino.
Rosa was born and raised in Nogales Sonora. In 2008, she became a U.S Citizen. She currently lives in Santa Cruz County with her husband Tomas Lopez and sons Thomas, David and Sebastian Lopez.
“My goal is to increase mental health and substance abuse awareness in Santa Cruz County. It is important to make the community aware that recovery is possible. We need to promote advocacy, education, and support for people struggling with these issues, while also including their family members in the process of recovery,” said Ms.Lopez-Merino.