For information about the programs and services of the New Mexico Professionals Resource Network, LLC please contact:
Connie Merrell-McDonald, MA, LPCC, LPAT, LADAC, CEAP, SAP
6000 Summer Avenue, NE
Albuquerque, NM 87110
Connie Merrell-McDonald is a licensed in New Mexico as a clinical mental health counselor (LPCC), an art therapist (LPAT), and an alcohol and drug addiction counselor (LADAC). Ms. Merrell-McDonald is a certified employee assistance professional (CEAP), a Department of Transportation certified substance abuse professional (SAP), and a board certified art therapist (ATR-BC). Ms. Merrell-McDonald received her master's degree in Art Therapy from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1996 and then obtained additional training in substance abuse counseling and graduate level training in clinical mental health counseling. Ms. Merrell-McDonald has worked in both inpatient and outpatient clinical mental health and substance abuse treatment settings with individuals of all ages and from diverse backgrounds. She specializes in the treatment of co-existing mental health and substance use issues and is frequently asked to provide presentations on topics related to pesonal effectiveness and wellbeing and the prevention of problems that lead to impairment. Ms. Merrell-McDonald began providing employee assistance services for Federal Government Employees and US Postal Services Employees in 2000. She moved from Chicago, Illinois to Albuquerque, New Mexico in November 2001 to assume the position of District EAP Consultant for the New Mexico US Postal Service. In 2003 Ms. Merrell-McDonald began working as a contracted counselor for the New Mexico Monitored Treatment Program (MTP) to help impaired healthcare professionals achieve personal and occupational rehabilitation. In 2005 Ms. Merrell-McDonald assumed the role of Clinical Director for MTP. As the MTP Clinical Director Ms. Merrell-McDonald developed an ethical and objective rehabilitation and monitoring program for impaired healthcare professionals who are mandated by their licensing boards to participate in treatment and monitoring. This program was based on EAP best practices and principles that include confidentiality of clinical services, evidenced based treatment decisions, comprehensive and well coordinated treatment services, objective monitoring, maintenance of appropriate treatment and monitoring boundaries, and protection of public safety. In addition, Ms. Merrell-McDonald developed a state-wide network of qualified mental health and substance abuse treatment professionals who could effectively identify and address impairment and safety-to-practice issues among healthcare providers. After more than 6 years of helping healthcare professionals manage and overcome the serious occupational consequences that resulted from their personal problems and public licensing board actions (including loss profressional certification, loss of malpractice insurance, and inability to be credentialed by health insurance panels and employers) Ms. Merrell-McDonald decided to focus on helping healthcare professionals prevent the problems that lead to such consequences. This shift in focus began in April 2009 with the establishment of The New Mexico Resouce Center for Health Professionals, LLC (RCHP). The MTP Board of Directors established this program and appointed Connie Merrell-McDonald to be the program director with the aim of attracting voluntary participation among New Mexico Healthcare providers in confidential direct treatment and preventative services. The New Mexico Professionals Resource Network, LLC (New Mexico PRN) was established by Ms. Merrell-McDonald in June 2010 in order to extend our program of specialized rehabilitation and monitoring services to other professionals (inlcuding healthcare professionals) and to enhance our assurance of ethical treatment , privacy, and confidentiality and to acheive the following goals:
- Provide safe and confidential resources for New Mexico Professionals to obtain help to appropriately address personal problems and avoid occupational consequences.
- Provide resources for New Mexico Professionals to achieve and demonstrate personal and professional rehabilitation.
- Provide resources for organizations who employ or educate New Mexico Professionals in order to effectively manage workplace impairment issues.
- Provide resources for regulatory agencies to appropriately address impairment issues among professionals under their jurisdiction and safely return individuals to professional practice.
- Provide resources to the professional community that increase knowledge about how to prevent problems that lead to professional impairment and promote personal and professional effectiveness and wellbeing.