Corizon Health Nurse awarded Medal of Valor by New Mexico Corrections Department

Corizon Health Nurse awarded Medal of Valor by New Mexico Corrections Department

(L-R) Preston Farnum, Paul Torrez, Jessie Phelps, NMCD Deputy Secretary of Operations Joe W. Booker, Alice Martinez, Jerry Roark and Associate Warden David Brown

Alice Martinez, a licensed vocational nurse (LVN) for Corizon Health at Northeast New Mexico Detention Facility, was recently awarded the “Medal of Valor” by the New Mexico Corrections Department (NMCD). Nurse Martinez received this honor for her decisive actions during an emergency situation that could have easily resulted in the death of a correctional officer.

Upon completing rounds with the housing sergeant on duty and preparing to exit the general population pod, a visibly-upset offender approached the housing sergeant, leaving the sergeant distracted while a second offender began to position himself behind him. As Nurse Martinez was instructing the second offender to move so she could have a clear view of the situation, the first offender pulled a weapon and began to stab the housing sergeant in the face. With amazing situational awareness, Nurse Martinez yelled to the sergeant to alert him to the threat behind him, and then yelled to the offenders to stop what they were doing. Her actions caused enough of a distraction to allow the sergeant to escape through the pod door, with Nurse Martinez right behind to secure the door and prevent the offenders from being able to pursue. The sergeant was transported to a local hospital where he was treated for just minor injuries.

Correctional nursing requires strength, awareness, fearlessness, quick-thinking and compassion for others. Nurse Alice Martinez exhibited excellence true to the values of Corizon Health and the NMCD and was so awarded the Medal of Valor—the first time this award has ever been presented to an employee outside the NMCD. In the housing sergeant’s words, “I would have more holes in my body than I was born with had it not been for [Nurse Martinez].” Thank you, Nurse Alice Martinez, for exhibiting the true and necessary qualities of a Corizon Health Nurse.