New Mexico Distinguished Public Service Awards 2008
Recognizing Those Committed to Making a Difference
Mr. Facundo Bernabe Valdez

A native New Mexican, Mr. Valdez taught briefly at Socorro Junior High and worked for the old Department of Public Welfare as a social worker, and then as County Director in Taos , New Mexico. Since 1965 he has been actively involved with various national and local community based projects and programs that have improved the lives of so many New Mexicans including the Tribal populations of Northern New Mexico.

While working for the University of New Mexico Center for Community Action has assisted the Village of Canones, New Mexico with the consolidation of their school system. And during Mr. Valdez’s tenure at New Mexico Highlands University, he was instrumentally involved with the initial efforts to organize on the first conferences that directly dealt with issues, problems and possible solutions for Mental Health treatment of our states Native American population. This ultimately provided a more effective way of delivering these services to New Mexico’s Native Americans.

He was involved in the planning and preparation of what is now known as the Health Centers of Northern New Mexico. This Health and Medical Service Program currently operates a number of out patient clinics in Northern New Mexico providing medical and dental services to low income and indigent citizens of our rural communities. And Mr. Valdez was the Northern Area Program Coordinator for the Home Education Livelihood Program, HELP N.M., Inc., a non-profit social service agency serving over one million of our state’s low income population.

He is a founding member of the Nation Council of La Raza (NCLR). He was recruited by New Mexico Highlands University to be the lead in its efforts to develop a curriculum and start a social work program. He took a year leave of absence to set up what is now known as the Sangre de Cristo Community Mental Health Services. These are just some of the ways this tremendous citizen has made a difference for New Mexicans.