Harris Health System’s Pete Rodriguez Honored with HIV Advocacy Award

Pete Rodriguez, director, Harris Health System’s Thomas Street Health Center, received the L. Joel Martinez Memorial Award, a prestigious community award presented by Legacy Community Health Services and The Center for AIDS.

The award recognizes a recipient for making significant contributions to the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS. The award is named in honor of L. Joel Martinez, who championed the fight for people living with HIV/AIDS in Houston/Harris County. Martinez believed education and advocacy could improve the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS. He also encouraged the medical community to look for better treatment options and a cure.

“It’s an honor to receive this award that recognizes determination, courage and advocacy for the HIV/AIDS community,” Rodriguez said during a presentation of the award at the United Way Community Resource Center on July 25. “  

Rodriguez has been with Harris Health System since 1993, first working as an HIV nurse case manager at Harris Health Ben Taub Hospital.

“Pete is more than deserving of this award because of his ability to see far ahead of tomorrow and make visionary decisions that have great impact on the care of our patients,” said Ricci Sanchez, vice president and associate administrator, Operations,
Harris Health Ambulatory Care Services, during her introduction of Rodriguez at the awards dinner.

Rodriguez has more than 36 years of nursing experience, 26 in HIV/AIDS care, and is also director of Harris Health’s Health Care for the Homeless Program. In his role, he oversees the HIV/AIDS care of more than 5,000 patients at Thomas Street, Northwest and Settegast health centers, as well as the women’s program at Harris Health Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital.