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Program spotlights 10 for exceptional service

Dr. Sanjeev Arora is a Lifetime Achievement winner in the Governor’s Distinguished Public Service Awards. (Steve Wright/Albuquerque Journal)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Governor’s New Mexico Distinguished Public Service Awards has selected 10 winners, including a Lifetime Achievement winner, the local founder of an international model to deliver and extend high-quality heath care and other critical resources to the world’s most vulnerable populations.

Dr. Sanjeev Arora of the University of New Mexico Hospital created Project ECHO in 2003, with an initial goal of helping thousands of New Mexicans with hepatitis C who were unable to get care.

Echo has expanded worldwide to cover more than 60 disease areas and complex issues, with 256 academic hubs and around 600 projects in 34 countries. The ECHO “hub-and-spoke” model links expert specialist teams at an academic hub with primary care clinicians in communities though “teleECHO” programs, according to Arora.

The project goal is to reach 1 billion people around the world.

This year’s other award winners, alphabetically, are:

• David Campbell of Rio Rancho..

• John Heaton of Carlsbad.

• Joe Mauderly of Albuquerque.

• Tammie Moe of Gallup.

• Debbie Moore of Las Cruces.

• Alicia Ortega of Pojoaque Pueblo.

• Kyle Rhodes of Farmington/Bloomfield.

• Eliseo “Cheo” Torres of Albuquerque.

• Pat Vincent-Collawn of Albuquerque.

The awardees will be celebrated during a banquet Nov. 13 at Marriot Pyramid Albuquerque. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is expected to attend. Tickets are $75 each or $750 for a table of 10. Visit to purchase.

The awards program, in its 50th year, seeks out individuals to recognize not only for contributions to public service and the improvement of government at all levels, but also exceptional contributions to their respective communities.

Dr. Albert Rosenthal, professor and director emeritus in public administration at UNM in the 1960s, developed the program.

Campbell, Rio Rancho city manager, has served on countless boards, advisory groups and chambers, including United Way, Explora and Supreme Court Disciplinary. He has been an adjunct professor in administrative law and is a previous winner of the State Bar Courageous Advocacy Award. He was a Peace Corps volunteer high school teacher and served in West Africa.

Heaton, a longtime former state representative for Eddy County, is president of a nonprofit dedicated to projects that promote practical solutions to issues that affect human health and the environment. He also works as energy development coordinator for Carlsbad. He received a B.S. from UNM and became a Fellow in the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists.

Mauderly is a retired scientist with Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute and has played a role in numerous international policy decisions on air quality and human health on everything from radioactive aerosols from nuclear accidents to power plant and auto emissions. He has published hundreds of international research papers on related subjects, and served as an adviser to the World Health Organization, and has played a leadership role with the UNM Medical School.

Moe is the director of the Octavia Fellin Public Library in Gallup, who has developed and implemented noted professional development and mentorship programs among her team members. She has played a key role in local tourism campaigns, been instrumental in bringing members of the community together to participate in programs at the library, and credited with taking the library to the people of the community. Moore, president and CEO of the Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce, has served on numerous boards and commissions, many dealing with helping small businesses grow. She also is a previous winner of the SBA New Mexico Legacy Award, has served as chair of the CNM Governing Board, executive director of the Rio Ranch Community Foundation, and worked with the American Diabetes Association.

Ortega, the executive director of the All Pueblo Council of Governors, grew up in Santa Clara Pueblo and is an enrolled member of Pojoaque Pueblo. She is a graduate of UNM and Anderson School with multiple degrees. She has used those talents working with a variety of pueblo organizations and businesses. She also is an artist and has been involved with Native Guitars Tour, American Indian Chamber, and Native elder and youth initiatives.

Rhodes is president and CEO of Process Equipment and Service Co. from the Farmington/Bloomfiled area, which also is one of San Juan County’s largest employers. He and family company are noted for their leadership training programs. He is credited with assisting the state and San Juan College in developing local job training programs. A former school board president, he is considered a champion of education at all levels in the area.

“Cheo” Torres is vice president for student affairs at UNM, tasked with providing leadership to 26 student support departments and programs. He is director of UNM’s Center for Continuing Education. He regularly lectures on the history and lore of curanderismo and teaches Traditional Medicine Without Borders: Curanderismo in the Southwest and Mexico.

Vincent-Collawn has served in multiple roles local and statewide to improve education, increase economic development, and support organizations that make meaningful impacts in local communities. She is a previous chairwoman of the United Way and helped launch Mission: Graduate which is a cradle-to-career education partnership.

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