Yesterday, our Director of Community Development Jaime Martínez was honored by the Minnesota Public Health Association (MPHA) at its annual meeting in Minneapolis. Jaime received the Paul and Sheila Wellstone Public Health Achievement Award.
The Wellstone Award is given by the MPHA to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to public health in Minnesota, and who has demonstrated leadership and innovation in public health work.
“Jaime has shown tremendous commitment to reducing health disparities among the most negatively impacted populations in Minnesota, and we are delighted to see him recognized in this way,” said David J. Willoughby, ClearWay Minnesota’s Chief Executive Officer. “We are so proud of his work, which has made Minnesota a national leader in addressing commercial tobacco use among communities with some of the highest cigarette-smoking rates.”
Jaime Martínez has been a staff member at ClearWay Minnesota since 2000. As Director of Community Development, he oversees work to address smoking among Minnesota’s diverse communities, who often smoke at higher rates and have greater disease burdens than the general population in Minnesota. Highlights of Jaime’s tenure at the organization have included the Leadership and Advocacy Institute to Advance Minnesota’s Parity for Priority Populations (LAAMPP), a program building health leadership among communities of color, American Indians and LGBTQ communities; unique partnerships with American Indian communities to restore traditional tobacco practices; and passage in 2007 of the Freedom to Breathe Act, a law that protects Minnesotans from secondhand smoke in public places.
“Over the past 17 years,” said Jaime, “I have seen incremental changes in addressing health disparities in Minnesota, and movement towards true health equity for all communities. I am proud to have played a role in helping these changes become possible.”
He added, “I am humbled by this honor, but we are all doing this work together, and the work must continue.”