New Mexico Distinguished Public Service Awards 2012
Recognizing Those Committed to Making a Difference
Roland K. Sanchez, MD
Roland Sanchez, MD, exemplifies the spirit and traditions of the small-town physician who unselfishly dispenses goodwill and compassion along with sound medical care. A letter of nomination on his behalf noted that Dr. Sanchez has been earning the N.M. Distinguished Public Service Award ever since his school days in Belen, where he was involved in student government and leadership activities; and, today, community service remains a cornerstone of his life.

The Pueblitos native graduated from the Belen Consolidated Public School System in 1966. He graduated from New Mexico State University in 1969 with a BSCE degree in Civil Engineering, and where he was a member of the Blue Key Society. The future physician found temporary employment as a civil engineer in Santa Fe, working with Robert Crouse Engineering and the New Mexico Highway Department. He then went on to the University of New Mexico’s School of Medicine, graduating in 1975. While in med school, he earned the Community Service Award, Fred Netter Award and Leo Romero Scholarship for Community Efforts.

Dr. Sanchez served his internship and residency program at the University of Texas Southwest Medical School, Family Practice Program, where he was named Intern of the Year upon graduation in 1978. He served the Texas medical community as an emergency room physician at various hospitals from 1976 – 1978. The practitioner then returned to New Mexico, working in emergency rooms in Clovis, Hobbs and Carlsbad, and in Emergency Medical Services at Eastern Valencia Hospital in Belen. He has maintained a private practice in Belen from 1979 to the present.

He has a number of professional affiliations at the state and national levels, and maintains university affiliations in New Mexico and Texas. Dr. Sanchez has served as a member of the advisory boards for the Agricultural Experimental Farm, NMSU Valencia County; New Mexico Boys and Girls Ranches and Valencia County Committee to Establish a County Hospital. He is a past chairman and member of the Hispanic Medical Association; and member of the Hispanic Round Table, Valencia County Planning and Zoning Heavy Industrial Committee, Confederacion Ganaderos and Our Lady of Belen Finance Committee

Dr. Sanchez has provided affordable medical care to an impoverished community, often without cost, for over 34 years, devoted to stewardship. At the same time, he has served on numerous boards and committees in supporting the people and traditions of his native state. He has worked tirelessly to improve the city of Belen and the image of the State of New Mexico through his involvement with the Farm and Ranch Museum, the Santa Gertrudis Catttlemen’s Association and the church in many ways over the years. His family is his pride and joy, and all its members are following in his footsteps, each in his or her own way, in carrying on the public service legacy of their mentor.