A native Texan and licensed psychiatrist, Dr. Martinez is the fifth executive director and the first Hispanic to lead the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health since its creation in 1940. The foundation’s grants and programs support mental health services, research, policy analysis and public education projects in Texas. As chief executive officer, he oversees the vision, mission, goals, strategic planning and day-to-day operations of the foundation. The Hogg Foundation is part of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Martinez holds an appointment of Associate Vice-President within the division. He is also a clinical professor with an appointment in the university’s School of Social Work; and holds an adjunct professor appointment at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry. His academic interests include minority health, health disparities, and workforce issues.
In addition to his administrative and academic duties, he currently serves on the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on the Governance and Financing of Graduate Medical Education. He formerly served on the IOM’s Committee on the Mental Health Workforce for Geriatric Populations. He is on the board of the National Hispanic Council on Aging. He is a commissioner on the Supreme Court of Texas Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth and Families and a member of the University of Texas – University Charter School Advisory Board. Dr. Martinez is a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a member of the American College of Mental Health Administration, the National Hispanic Medical Association, the American Public Health Association, and the Texas Society for Psychiatric Physicians. From 2002 to 2006 he served as a Special Emphasis Panel Member for the National Institutes of Health, National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities.
He was awarded a Shining Lights Award for Excellence in Hispanic Mental Health Advocacy and Leadership in 2012 by the National Resource Center for Hispanic Mental Health and he is a recipient of the 2008 Adolph Meyer, M.D. Research Award in recognition of contributions in minority health and efforts to improve the mental health of all citizens regardless of socioeconomic status by The Center for Health Care Services. Dr. Martinez is licensed to practice medicine in Texas and North Carolina and is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
The Commonwealth Fund/Harvard University Fellowship in Minority Health Policy is truly a unique experience. It embodies the true meaning of fellowship, not only from an academic perspective, but even more so from a humanistic perspective. You are among a company of equals and are provided with the skills and tools to rise above the din and take your "seat at the table." The academic program is invigorating and challenging. The exposure to public, private, and government leaders at the national, state, and community level is outstanding. A lifetime of networking is consolidated into twelve months. This in and of itself makes the Fellowship priceless. The interdisciplinary approach taken by the Fellowship is a valuable model well suited to address the challenging public health issues facing minorities, disadvantaged populations, and all communities in general. This approach is especially pertinent to the unique mental health issues facing our communities. This model nicely complements the biopsychosocial model learned by mental health professionals during their formal training. Both models promote a comprehensive understanding of relevant problems. Together, these two models provide a strong foundation from which a mental health professional can build a career dedicated to improving mental health policy. The Fellowship encourages and challenges one to absorb, integrate, and formulate solutions to major issues. These issues are formidable, but the Fellowship teaches one that they are not insurmountable.
The knowledge acquired, the skills learned, and the confidence instilled has provided me with exciting opportunities to give back to the community and enhance my career. In the first twelve months since I completed the Fellowship, I have had the privilege of serving on several grant review committees for the NIH, conduct peer reviews for academic journals, participate in strategic planning to improve the mental health clinic of a local federally funded community health center, establish an alliance with a regional public mental health foundation, enhance the health disparities curriculum for the medical school of which I am a faculty member, and have been asked to join hospital policy committees usually reserved for more senior staff.
I feel these opportunities came to fruition because of the knowledge, skills, and confidence imparted by my education and fellowship experience. Therefore, I encourage all mental health professionals, who want to make a contribution to humanity, who want to further enlighten their fellow man, and who want to experience personal growth, to apply to the Fellowship. It can be the beginning of a wondrous journey.
The combination of the Fellowship and the Health Policy and Management Department of the Harvard School of Public Health showed me the value of and gave me the tools to pursue a future molding America's health policy. They exposed me to the importance of networking with and learning from experts already established in high places. They made me understand what leadership entails and that there is a leader in me. This experience will remain invaluable throughout my life.
"Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough: we must do." (Quote from Goethe printed in the 2002 Institute of Medicine's report Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Healthcare.)