Meet the Team

Darlene Wood

Owner & Care Coordinator

Darlene Wood is the owner of Always Best Care of Albuquerque/Rio Rancho. She is a graduate of the University of New Mexico. After college she was an elementary school teacher for 10 years. Prior to owning Always Best Care, Darlene opened and managed Eagle Ridge Gymnastics in Rio Rancho.

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In 2012, Darlene’s brother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. As he went through the process of home care assistance, Darlene became more and more interested and intrigued by the care team that helped her family. It became clear that their support was detrimental in order to assist not only her brother but the family members helping care for him and seeing him through the difficult stages.

Because Darlene has dedicated her life to the service industry it was in her heart to involve herself in helping others care for their families. Based on her life experiences, Darlene is sensitive to clients and their families who find themselves in need of care and a support team who is dedicated to helping them not only through the many stages involved but with honesty, respect and dignity they deserve.

Her dedication and commitment to Always Best Care and the community is invaluable.

Darlene is the proud mother of her two son’s Evan and Luke. Her interests include skiing, mountain biking and spending time with her children.

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Sara Gardiner

Client Service Director

A Native East Coaster, Sara Gardiner comes to Always Best Care with a Degree in Sociology and a Credential in Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counseling. Helping with the Senior population is something she has always had a desire to do. Before joining the Always Best Care team Sara worked as a Social Worker and has experience working as an Addictions Therapist. In her spare time, she is a Gymnastics Coach.

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Miranda Saavedra

Office Manager

Miranda is a proud wife and mother of a beautiful daughter. Miranda was born and raised in Santa Fe New Mexico. She came to Always Best Care with a background in Management and Mental Health. She has a drive to succeed in helping others. She has a personality that is infectious and can make you feel understood and safe.

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Donna Gonzales

Human Resources

Donna was born and raised in Albuquerque, NM. Attended the University of New Mexico. Retired from The City of Albuquerque in 2011 after 25 years of service. While at the City of Albuquerque was employed at the Solid Waste Department for 18 years and the Albuquerque Police Department Chief’s Overtime Program for seven years.
Donna joined Always Best Care December of 2017. She is responsible for billing and collections, payroll, and human resources.

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April Williams


April Williams is a single mother of two teenage boys and an U.S. Army veteran. April enlisted into the U.S. Army right after high school and proudly served in the Army for 3 ½ years. After getting out of the Army, April went to school to become a medical assistant. Her nephew with Angel-Man Syndrome was her motivation on becoming a medical assistant that way she could help with all his medical needs. April has been in the medical field since 2006 and has passion for helping others. Her dad is also a veteran and served in the U.S. Navy.

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Renee Achunde


I am a mom to three amazing kid’s Jordan, Aaliyah and Jaaziah, I graduated from Eastern New Mexico University with a emphasis in psychology after graduation I moved back to Albuquerque NM where I started my career in the medical field. I spent most of my life working in the ministry with my parents and in the mission field. In January of 2019 I launched my lip balm line wAVe Lip Culture my first launch was in honor of my parents I named it 3:16 He Gave, for every one purchased one was donated to my parents mission, Living Word Ministry International I was able to donate 500 lip balms to the collage students and families in Thailand. I will be launching my next line in 2020.

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Natasha Abrams

Director Of Nursing

Natasha has had a passion for nursing and helping people in the community since she began her nursing career in 2008. She has fully enjoyed working at ABC as a caregiver, a nurse, and director of nursing for 2 years now. She enjoys life on her free time by going to church, working out, and spending time with her family.

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Kathie Dunning

Registered Nurse

Kathleen is a registered nurse with Always Best Care. She has over 35 years of experience in various fields of nursing. She graduated with an Associates degree in nursing and started her career in the Oncology department at Thunderbird Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. After several years of caring for patients with cancer, she moved into the Operating Room at Good Samaritan Hospital. She continued her career in surgical nursing at St. Joseph’s Medical Center until she moved to Albuquerque in 1996. Since moving to New Mexico, she has worked in the Operating Room at Lovelace Medical Center and as a School Nurse for the Rio Rancho Public School District.

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Sam Small

Quality Care Advocate

Sam is from Detroit Michigan and he loves his children. He is a football fanatic and loves all other sports. Sam is a CNA who loves working to help people and doing things to make their lives easier. He cannot imagine not being in the medical field helping people, he believes it is his calling.

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Macey Hughes

Care Advocate

Macey is a lifelong New Mexico resident who grew up farming and ranching with her family on the high plains. She’s always had a care taking personality so becoming a CNA helped her realize she has a passion for home health care. She became a member of the Always Best Care team in 2017. Her favorite part of her job is the people she gets to meet. When she is not caregiving, Macey enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.

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