Recognizing Ms. Carmen Martinez, Outstanding Citizen in the 51st Congressional District

Floor Speech

Date: Feb. 6, 2023
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. VARGAS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor Ms. Carmen Martinez, outstanding healthcare advocate and community member in the 51st Congressional District.

Ms. Martinez is being honored for her long-time commitment to supporting healthcare and public health access. She was one of seven founding ``Mothers'' of San Ysidro Health, founded by residents in search of medical services for their children.

Ms. Martinez originally established ``el Club de las Madres,'' and in 1969 opened the ``casita,'' the Centro de Salud de la Comunidad, which was a small house with only 2 rooms and 4 dedicated volunteers. San Ysidro Health, one of San Diego's largest non-profit community health providers, has grown to having a $50 million budget, 650 employees and 24 medical, dental, counseling and other services. San Ysidro Health has provided care for more than 110,000 patients and has more than 50 clinic and program sites, serving patients who have no insurance and receive Medi-Cal or Medicare.

For her dedication, Mother Carmen Martinez was awarded with Southwestern College's honorary degree. She has been honored in the community for her strength, wisdom, perseverance, courage and love for its people.

Ms. Martinez is being honored as the 51st District Constituent of the Month in September 2022, during Hispanic Heritage Month, as well as, during the month she turns 99 years of age. She is recognized for her work in paving the way to provide greater access and affordable healthcare services for all constituents, and she also continues to inspire the next generation of supporters of healthcare access.