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Alamogordo health official wins democracy award


Health official Kayla Blanchard of Alamogordo is the League of Women Voters of Southern New Mexico’s choice for its 2024 Making Democracy Work award, an annual honor with a $250 cash prize.

Blanchard is the health equity specialist and coordinator for the Otero County Community Health Council, according to a news release, who underwent a seven-month training program in the nonpartisan Vot-ER initiative. Vot-ER is a project enhancing voter access at health care institutions.

League co-president Jo Galván Nash said Blanchard’s work “exemplifies what this award is all about —recognizing individuals who are strengthening democracy in southern New Mexico.”

Blanchard, who was unable to attend the Feb. 10 meeting where the award was announced due to weather, said in a statement: “As someone who has witnessed firsthand the unique challenges faced by rural areas, I am acutely aware of the critical need to empower and engage residents in the democratic process.”

The League of Women Voters also marked its 104th anniversary on Feb. 14. The Las Cruces-based chapter represents Doña Ana, Otero, Sierra, Grant and Luna counties, with a unit of the league based in Alamogordo. More information about the organization is available online at LWVSNM.org, or by emailing lwvsnm@gmail.com.

Kayla Blanchard, League of Women Voters of Southern NM, Making Democracy Work Award