About Us

Welstand Foundation is a 501(c)(3), newly established in June of 2019 by a group of community members and other organizational leaders who want to improve health equity in NM for people of color.  Welstand is Afrikaans for “Well-being” and has the vision of serving as a hub for all things involving the well-being of our communities. Welstand Foundation currently has a governing board of four community members and our founder serves as our Chief Impact Officer.

Nichole Rogers, Founder

Nichole Rogers vast experience in both the public and private sector has allowed her to build the relationships within institutions to drive positive change.

She currently works at UNM Hospitals in the Department of Nursing Excellence as a Staff Development Specialist. Ms. Rogers background in customer service, leadership development and process improvement has given her a passion for capacity building.  Nichole is known to be a positive influence, whose super powers are removing communication barriers to promote effective resolutions. In addition to that, she is a master at getting individuals to connect with each-other on deeper genuine level. Her passion is improving the experience for people of African descent in New Mexico. Welstand Foundation was founded to fill the gaps for our children by first opening a behavioral health home, then transitional living housing units.

Toyese Oyeyemi, Chairman of the Board

Toyese Oyeyemi is an experienced public health practitioner, having forged his past six years as a Health Extension Regional Officer at the University of New Mexico – a public health leadership position that involved facilitating community engagement, policy advocacy and education, mixed method analysis of local disparity data, and the development of community-based interventions to address racial health and education inequities.

Mr. Oyeyemi has research and practice expertise across population health, with an area of focus in applying behavior-change and systems-change models to multilevel interventions for equitable health. He is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), and retains a UNM faculty title in Family and Community Medicine for his research on interprofessional health education and social accountability.

Mr. Oyeyemi earned a bachelor’s degree in Community Health from New Mexico State University in 2012 and Master of Public Health from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine in 2015 with a concentration in Community Health. He is a Senior Fellow for Health Equity at the Atlantic Institute (George Washington University, 2017) and a 2020 Policy Fellow with The Network Towards Unity for Health. He is also the founding director of an independent start-up that partners with equity-based nonprofit organizations by providing skilled program evaluation support.

Mario Cruz, M.D., Board Member

Mario Cruz, M.D. is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of New
Mexico School of Medicine. Dr. Cruz is also an Associate Chief Medical
Information Officer and the Medical Director of Health Information Management
for the University of New Mexico Hospitals, and he is the Director of Quality and
Informatics for the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Sciences at
the University of New Mexico School of Medicine.

Dr. Cruz is board certified in general psychiatry and clinical informatics. Dr. Cruz specializes in treating individuals suffering from depression, anxiety, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In his over 30 years as a psychiatrist, Dr. Cruz has held several positions in community and academic institutions throughout the country including the Chief Medical Officer for Mental Health Services in Tucson, AZ; Vice-Chair for Clinical Services in the Department of Psychiatry, Arizona Health Sciences Center; and Co-Investigator in the Advanced Center for Intervention and Services Research-Late-life Mood and Anxiety Disorders at the University of Pittsburgh’s Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. Dr. Cruz has published 37 peer reviewed articles and book chapters on issues related to the delivery of mental health services to the poor and under-served.

Aaron Rogers, Board Member

Aaron Rogers is an actor, public speaker and mentor. He helps clients by establish goals related to personal development, or agendas that serve to improve their spiritual, mental, or physical standing with the world. 

Aaron has extensive experience helping clients overcome substance abuse by sharing his personal story and giving real world steps to overcoming addiction. He has a special interest in working with the children of Welstand Village who have an aptitude for athletics.

Aaron is an asset because he seeks to understand the world in analytical ways, processing reality with logic and wisdom.

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