Leadership & Staff

Rachelle Spencer

Rachelle Spencer


Rachelle Spencer was named chief executive officer of HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of New Mexico in July 2018 bringing more than 25 years’ healthcare executive leadership experience in long term acute care and acute care settings to the role. Most recently she served as Administrator of Heart Hospital of New Mexico at Lovelace Medical Center. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University and a master’s degree in business administration from Arizona State University. In addition, she is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

J. Michael Long, M.D.

J. Michael Long, M.D.

Medical Director

J. Michael Long, M.D., is the incoming medical director at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital. He graduated from the University of Mississippi Medical School in 1977.  He then completed a PM&R residency at Letterman Army Medical Center in San Francisco, Calif. He was instrumental in the transfer of the residency program to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.  There, he was the assistant director of the residency program and director of the first inpatient rehabilitation service in the United States Army. In 1984, after the PM&R residency program was accredited by the ABPMR, he left Walter Reed and became the medical director of the Rehabilitation Institute at Memorial Hospital in South Bend, Ind. where he remained for 32 years. 

Susan Blanchard

Susan Blanchard

Chief Nursing Officer

Susan joined the HealthSouth Albuquerque team in 2017. Her experience as a nurse, charge nurse, nurse manager and director of nursing from her previous work in acute care hospitals in Albuquerque gives her a comprehensive appreciation of the importance of every member of the HealthSouth Albuquerque team. Susan was a nominee for the New Mexico Nursing Excellence Awards in 2015, and now serves on their awards committee to help encourage recognition of the excellent work her nurses provide to their patients. Providing high quality care in a patient-centered environment is Susan’s passion, which mirrors the mission of the Company.

Lisa Brower

Lisa Brower, MOTR/L

Director of Therapy Operations

Lisa oversees physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech pathology for both inpatient and outpatient services at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital, as well as patient transport. She earned her bachelor's degree in biology with a minor in chemistry, and her master’s degree in occupational therapy, both at the University of New Mexico. Lisa has been with HealthSouth since 2005.

Janice Emerson

Janice Emerson, RN, BSN

Director Quality/Risk

Janice joined HealthSouth Albuquerque in April 2018. She is a native New Mexican and Registered Nurse with more than 25 years of nursing experience including sixteen years as nurse leader. In her role, she leads and directs quality management activities including patient care and relations, The Joint Commission compliance, safety and performance improvement. Janice, who is additionally trained Lean Six Sigma, graduated from New Mexico State University and the University of Phoenix with a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Prior to joining HealthSouth Albuquerque, she worked at University of New Mexico and Sandoval Regional Medical Center as a manager of quality/risk/infection control.

Kristen Hernandez

Kristen Hernandez

Director of Human Resources

Kristen brings over 15 years of human resources experience to HealthSouth. A native New Mexican, Kristen earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration with a minor in human resources from The Anderson School of Management at the University of New Mexico in 2003. Kristen has been with HealthSouth since March of 2014 and oversees all functions of the human resources department as well as employee health services.

Tony Lucero

Tony Lucero

Plant Operations Director

Tony Lucero joined HealthSouth Albuquerque as the director of plant operations in 2016. A New Mexico native, he retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1984 and has spent more than 20 years working in healthcare facilities and plant operations.


Michelle Martinez

Michelle Martinez, CPA, CGMA


Michelle joined the HealthSouth Albuquerque team in June 2017. She oversees the finances, payroll, accounts payable, central supply and medical records. Michelle graduated from the University of New Mexico, Anderson School of Business, where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in business administration, with a concentration in accounting. She is a certified public accountant (CPA) and Chartered Global Management Accountant.  Prior to joining HealthSouth, she worked at UNM Hospitals as a director of finance and prior to this, she worked in public accounting in audit and assurance services. Prior to her public accounting career, she obtained experience in governmental auditing while working for the U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the Inspector General, in Virginia. Michelle is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the New Mexico Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Healthcare Financial Management Association. 

Jennifer O’Brien Dambmann

Jennifer O’Brien Dambmann, LCSW

Director of Case Management

Jen joined HealthSouth Albuquerque in 2017. Prior to HealthSouth Albuquerque, she spent most of her career at the University of New Mexico Children’s Psychiatric Hospital (CPH) where she served youth and families for more than 17 years in various roles. Most recently, she held the position of director of clinical services. Jen holds a master’s degree in social work from New Mexico Highlands University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from State University of New York College at Brockport. Altogether, she has more than 20 years of experience in healthcare with emphasis on behavioral health, clinical social work, social work administration, and staff and program development.

Shawn Wilbur

Shawn Wilbur

Business Development Director

Shawn joined HealthSouth in May 2016. Before coming to New Mexico, Shawn resided in Michigan where she received her Bachelor of Science in nursing at Madonna College and her registered respiratory therapist license at Washtenaw College. She has more than 23 years of clinical experience as a registered nurse and 18 years of sales experience including homecare, specialty, infusion and durable medical equipment