Vicente Vargas is a New Mexico licensed attorney with Bachelor of Arts degree and Juris Doctorate from the University of New Mexico. Prior to joining the New Mexico Health Care Association, Vicente served as General Counsel for the Office of Superintendent of Insurance (OSI). In his capacity as General Counsel Vicente provided direct legal counsel to the Superintendent of Insurance on all issues related to OSI’s regulatory oversight. This included managing the agencies outside litigation, advising the Superintendent on recommended administrative decisions and resulting final orders, and working through the legislative process to strengthen consumer and patient protections.
Vicente has also worked for New Mexico State University (NMSU) as Director of State Government Relations and legal counsel for NMSU’s constitutionally attached New Mexico Department Agriculture. As the Director of State Government Relation, Vicente particularly enjoyed collaborating with NMSU faculty and staff to develop legislative priorities for consideration and approval by the NMSU governing board.
Vicente is a native New Mexican from Las Cruces and currently lives with his wife and children in Albuquerque. He has participated in several community organizations including being a member of his neighborhood Parent Teacher Association and serving on the financial advisory committee for his local church. The Vargas family enjoys all that New Mexico has to offer including traveling around the state and spending time outdoors.
Senior Director of Member Services
Tracy Alter holds a BBA in marketing and advertising from Georgia Southern University. She joined the New Mexico Health Care Association in October of 2002 as the Director of Education and Public Relations, where she worked with the Education and Convention Committee to develop and plan education conferences, events, and workshops throughout the year. Over the years, Tracy's responsibilities have grown to include a myriad of other duties including working on grassroots efforts, member service, web and IT support, fundraising, and grant writing. Tracy produces most NMHCA communications, including the weekly Bulletin for members. Other areas of responsibility include member liaison for Assisted Living members, the Education and Convention Committee advisory group, the Public Affairs Committee, Emergency Preparedness, and Associate Business members.
Tracy takes the Member Services part of her job to heart and considers her services to members to be the most important piece. She enjoys reaching out to current members, recruiting new members, and spending time helping members through whatever issue they have, big or small.
Tracy and her husband, Joel, have been married 27 years and have two daughters, Jordan and Hailey. They have two sons-in-law, Victor and Cole, and welcomed their first grandchild, Olivia, in early 2020. After spending many years traveling to view soccer fields and choir rooms throughout the southwest, they now enjoy spending time at home with family and camping is their favorite vacation.
Director of Quality/Clinical Services
Pat Whitacre joined the New Mexico Health Care Association in 2015, bringing with her an extensive and diversified background in long-term care. For the last 18 years as a Registered Nurse, Pat has served as a Director of Nursing in skilled nursing and assisted living facilities in New Mexico. Additionally, she has served as a corporate and regional nurse overseeing national clinical operations, performing quality service reviews. She is consistently challenging and encouraging facilities to provide the best quality of care and the best quality of life for all residents.
Pat is responsible for the research and development of quality initiatives and quality measure training. She is also responsible for oversight and coordination for CMA I and II classes, which she thoroughly enjoys as teaching is one of her passions. She is the primary staff liaison for the NMHCA Regulatory/Clinical committee, addressing facility quality, surveys, and state/federal regulations.
She is actively involved in clinical and regulatory oversight issues in conjunction with the New Mexico Department of Health Improvement and engaged with the Board of Nursing Medication Aide Advisory Committee.
Pat has three married children and seven grandchildren all living in Albuquerque. She loves traveling, reading, biking, and spending time with her family.
Peggy is the Office Manager of the New Mexico Health Care Association, where she ensures the daily operations run smoothly. Since she joined the Association in 2021.
Sara Tinkcom is grateful to serve as the Administrative Assistant for the New Mexico Health Care Association/New Mexico Center for Assisted Living. She came to NMHCA/NMCAL after working for 10 years as a Parish Administrator. Previously she worked for the Federal Food Stamp and Food Distribution programs, USDA Agricultural Research Agency, and a nuclear engineering research firm. She also worked as a social worker for Child Protective Services, St. Elizabeth's Psychiatric Hospital, and an outpatient mental health clinic.
Ms. Tinkcom earned a Bachelor's degree in clinical psychology from the University of Maryland-College Park and a Master's degree in clinical social work from the University of Maryland-Baltimore. She enjoys interior design and spending time with her son, his fiancée, and close friends.