ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico – December 11, 2012 – Molina Healthcare of New Mexico
recently recognized six community heroes at its fourth annual Community Champions Awards,
including Patsy Nelson, a community volunteer and health advocate from Albuquerque. The
ceremony was held at the Sheraton Albuquerque Uptown hotel and included a traditional
blessing by Mr. Patrick Romero, the Taos Pueblo Tribal Secretary.
Nelson is a community volunteer who supports activities that improve health and educational
success for young people. She has been a public health nurse, a school nurse, and the Director
of the School-Based Health Care (SBHC) Program for the University of New Mexico Health
Sciences Center. Nelson has served on the New Mexico Alliance for SBHC Board of Directors
for the past five years as its President-Elect, President and Secretary. She has been an integral
part of the challenging process to help identify strategies to sustain school-based health centers.
One of these strategies includes implementing a patient-centered medical home approach and
integrating with the “health neighborhood” of other health care providers in the community.
Nelson has played a key role in bringing together various community and health care agencies in
her efforts to help sustain, improve and expand school-based health services in New Mexico.
"Patsy is an extraordinary example of someone who truly cares about the health and well-being
of young people,” said Patty Kehoe, president of Molina Healthcare of New Mexico. “The
work she has done to improve and expand access to school-based health centers has made a
huge impact in our community and we are proud to recognize her as a Community Champions
Established to honor the memory of Dr. C. David Molina, Molina Healthcare’s founder,
the Community Champions program spotlights the good deeds of everyday heroes in their
communities. The 2012 winners were all nominated by community-based organizations and
also each received a $1000 grant to give to a deserving nonprofit organization as part of his/her
award. Nelson selected the New Mexico Alliance on School-Based Health Care to receive her