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Omar Negrete, Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation

Omar holds a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with an Exercise Science Concentration and a minor in Biology from University of Texas at El Paso. He is

Certified in Personal Training from the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He has been in the industry for six years. Omar was formerly a PT/OT Aide at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, a PT Tech at El Paso Physical Therapy Services, and a Microbiology Laboratory Tech II at Providence Memorial Hospital.

Omar says, “It is my personal mission to make an impact on individual and community health. My life experiences and education have left a strong desire in me to help others reach their health goals both today, and in the future. Understanding how physical fitness, nutrition and lifestyle impact our health is of vital importance for the health of all of our communities and New Heart is the perfect environment for that understanding to take place. I consider myself lucky to work with the excellent staff and members of our community on a daily basis.”


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Courtney Cook, Exercise Specialist

Courtney holds a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from University of New Mexico and has been in the industry since 2013. She was formerly a Therapy Tech at Lovelace Rehabilitation Hospital. Courtney says, “I chose a career in the healthcare field to expand my knowledge of the human body and be able to educate others about health.”


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Serina Griego, Exercise Specialist

Serina holds a Liberal Arts degree with focuses in Nutrition and Exercise Science from University of New Mexico and has been in the industry for two years. She was formerly a Personal Trainer at Planet Fitness and an Assistant Women’s Basketball and Soccer Coach at Menaul High School. Serina says, “I got into this industry because I love to help people. With the knowledge that I have gained through college and throughout the past couple of years, I am able to reach out to more patients. There is no bigger reward than receiving a thank you for helping change someone’s life for the better.”


dsc_0036Jonathon Duran, Exercise Specialist

Jonathan holds a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from University of New Mexico and has been in the industry for three years. He was formerly a Rehab Technician at Presbyterian Rust Medical Center, a Trainer at Fifty N’ Fit and worked at Mean 1 MMA and Fitness. Jonathan says, “I got in this industry to aid others in their continuance of activities of daily living and to help others improve their overall wellness.”


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Desiree Gallegos, Exercise Specialist

Desiree holds a B.S. in Sport and Exercise Science from the University of Northern Colorado. She also works as a Dietary Aide for Genesis Healthcare where she oversees the health of residents. She was formerly a Cancer Exercise Specialist at University of Northern Colorado Cancer Rehabilitation Institute and an Event Team Manager at University of Northern Colorado. Desiree says, “Growing up I knew I wanted to work in a healthcare setting. I wanted a career where I could make a difference in people’s lives health wise. My interest in human anatomy and physiology brought me to the exercise science field. Ultimately, I want to work the rehab field of healthcare.”


dsc_0049Ryan Fresquez, Exercise Specialist

Ryan holds a B.S. in Exercise Science from University of New Mexico and has been in the industry for 1 year. He is formerly a Health Information Management Specialist at Atrinea Health Inc. Ryan says, “I got into this industry because I wanted to utilize my knowledge of the human body and exercise to help and educate people. Seeing people transform as they progress through their exercise program is what makes me love my job!”

dsc_0070Jackson Nzau, Exercise Specialist

Jackson holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Exercise Science from New Mexico Highlands University and a Master’s in Exercise Science from University of New Mexico. He was formerly a Sales Representative at Defined Fitness, a Physical Therapy Tech at Spine Solution, a Physical Therapy Tech at New Mexico Sports Fitness, a Physical Therapy Tech at Christus St. Vincent and a Physical Therapy Tech at Nova Medical. Jackson says, “I love educating members and non-members on the values of staying healthy from a cognitive level and physical level.”


Lynette Gutierrez, Exercise Specialist

Lynette holds a Bachelors of Science in Exercise Science from University of New Mexico. She has been in the industry for 23 years, 18 at New Heart! In addition to her work at New Heart, Lynette is currently a Supervisor in Cardiac Rehabilitation at University Hospital. Lynette says, “I got into the industry of health care, particularly Cardiac Rehab, because I had a strong interest in exercise related fields. I did an internship in Cardiac Rehab and loved it! In this field you can see good things happening to heart patients including improving their quality of life, increasing confidence, reducing depression, reducing the risk of heart disease and having fun with exercise! Also, I love all people/staff I work with.”


dsc_0138Joseph Flores, Exercise Specialist

Joseph holds a B.S in Exercise Science from University of New Mexico and is currently working on his M.S. of Occupational Therapy. He has been in the industry for six years. Joseph says, “My father has a long history of cardiac events that started when he was 40 years old. I chose to go to New Heart for my undergraduate internship to learn as much as possible about the heart. I was hired at New Heart during my second internship, and have been helping people overcome their cardiac events ever since. I feel privileged to have the experience of working with New Heart founder, Dr. Richard Lueker who is a great cardiologist, medical director, and human being. He taught me to always do my best and have compassion. I will continue to implement these lessons for the rest of my life.”


paulaPaula Walker, Exercise Specialist

Paula holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science from University of New Mexico and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Occupational Therapy. Paula has been in the industry for four years. She was formerly an Advertising Distributor at Dreamstyle Remodeling. Paula says, “I have always been interested in anatomy and rehabilitation of the body. While obtaining my bachelor of science, I had the opportunity to be an intern at New Heart. That experience allowed me to learn more about healing through exercise, lifestyle changes, and stress management. I love working with individuals in this setting and watching their progress through the program. I am grateful to be a part of the New Heart team and continue to learn more every day.”


Natalie Furst, RDN, LD

Natalie Furst is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist. Natalie has 6 years of clinical experience practicing in-patient medical nutrition therapy, at two acute rehab hospitals in Albuquerque. She has 3 years of experience practicing clinical out-patient medical nutrition therapy in a medically supervised weight loss and diabetes education program in Albuquerque. Natalie is also a natural foods chef with more than 10 years of culinary experience.

She graduated with a B.S. degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of New Mexico and has successfully completed her Dietetic Internship approved by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND.) She is currently working on her master’s degree in functional medicine.

As part of her continuing professional education, Natalie has completed the level 1 and level 2 certificate of training in the Adult Weight Management Program from the Commission of Dietetic Registration and is scheduled to sit for her Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) board certification in 2016.  An active contributor to the nutrition community, Natalie is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the New Mexico Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She currently serves as the New Mexico State Policy Representative for Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and was awarded Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year 2015 by the New Mexico Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Natalie says her every day professional goal is to “Empower my clients through education. Encourage and promote positive change. Instill passion for healthy living and healthy cooking, and to embrace and acknowledge our imperfect selves while celebrating our achievements one step at a time.”