June 3, 2021

Iris M. Martinez has worked in the prevention field for 21 years and has been a certified prevention specialist for 13 years. A contract policy and training program specialist for DFPS, she recently won the 2021 Texas Prevention Professional of the Year Award, and International Prevention Professional of the Year Award from the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC).

Before joining state government, Martinez served as director of Youth Prevention Programs for the Coastal Bend Wellness Foundation. While at HHS, she supervised contracts in youth prevention, prevention training and public awareness. She was highlighted in this video for her work in Substance Use Prevention in 2019.

Martinez will be honored in September at the annual Texas Association of Addiction Professionals Conference in San Antonio.

“To be recognized for my work and accomplishments over my entire career by the Texas Certification Board and my peers is the most sincere compliment I can receive,” Martinez said. “I love this work and am thrilled to be accepting this award.

At HHS Martinez worked with tribal and border communities and on the Red Ribbon Rally Kickoff, an annual prevention event for youth at the Texas Capitol.

“The work is so important. I will continue to dedicate my time and efforts in helping prevention specialists achieve greatness and become the next experts in the field,” she said.

The Prevention Professional of the Year Award honors a certified preventionist who best embodies the ideals of the profession. Criteria include number of years spent working in prevention, education, reliability, quality of work, commitment to purpose and outcomes achieved.

“It’s a real honor to have one of our experienced program specialists recognized for her work by a community of her peers,” said Elizabeth Green, BHS public awareness manager. “Iris has a long-standing passion for the field of prevention that has left a mark on so many across the state.”

IC&RC is an international nonprofit organization that promotes public protection by developing internationally recognized credentials and examinations for prevention, substance use disorder treatment and recovery professionals.