The honorees of A Tribute to Excellence are selected for their commitment to the community and for their support of the Arthritis Foundation’s vision: to find a cure and end the pain of the more than 50 million Americans who suffer from arthritis, the nation’s most common cause of disability.
The funds raised through this event will be used to conduct research to find a cure; provide public health education; pursue public policy and legislation; and conduct evidence-based programs to improve the quality of life for those living with arthritis.
Click here to make a donation in honor of Dr. Courtney Johnson and his team.
Courtney Johnson, MD is a Professor of Pediatrics and Rheumatology at the University of New Mexico Children’s Hospital and School of Medicine. He grew up in Cheyenne, Wyoming and graduated from Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Johnson also graduated from Harvard with a BA in Musicology. He is one of only approximately 300 board-certified pediatric rheumatologists worldwide. Dr. Johnson is interested in the relationships between medicine, music and the humanities.
Samantha Madrid, MA, is a Rheumatology Medical Assistant and Office Manager at Carrie Tingley Hospital which is part of UNMH. She has worked with the pediatric rheumatology program with both Dr. Johnson and Dr. Bankhurst for the past 12 years. For several years she has worked alongside the Arthritis foundation in supporting the children of New Mexico. Of those many years, she has also volunteered at the Arthritis Foundation-NM Arthritis camps including the 1st camp held here in NM. Samantha is married to her husband of 18 years Tommy Madrid Jr. They raise their 2 children; Mariah- age 16 and Tommy III- age 11 in Los Lunas, New Mexico. Both Samantha and Tommy spend most of their free time helping both of their children pursue their soccer and after school activities.
Jessica Hernandez, MA moved to Albuquerque from Chihuahua, Mexico when she was three years old. Jessica graduated from Albuquerque High School in 2008 and has been working as a Medical Assistant for the past six years. She has been with Dr. Courtney Johnson in the Pediatric Rheumatology Department at the Carrie Tingley Children’s Hospital as both a Medical Assistant and Assistant Office Manager for the past two years. She and her partner, Saul, have been together for over eleven years and have a son together, Saul Jr. Jessica finds it both a joy and a responsibility to be part of a team that ensures each child receives the best care possible and in giving them their best shot at a long, healthy life.
Click here to make a donation in honor of Sophia Colón.
Sophia Colón is a 16 year old Cibola High School Student. Sophia was only three years old when she was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. She doesn’t really remember a time when her knees didn’t hurt. And now, unfortunately, the arthritis has spread to her fingers and ankle. Unlike her peers her age, she has gotten used to the pain, the countless doctor visits, constant medical treatments, and explaining that although she is only 16, she has arthritis. Because athletics is not really going to be something Sophia is able to do, she has become involved in other things. She is a great student, she is involved in Student Senate and drama for Cibola and New Mexico Young Actors here in Albuquerque. Sophia has attended summer camp for kids with arthritis for the past several years as a participant and as a Jr. Counselor. She was also selected to represent New Mexico at the annual Advocacy Summit for Arthritis in Washington, DC, for the past two years. She has become a strong advocate for the Arthritis Foundation. Since she first participated in the Jingle Bell Run/Walk in Albuquerque, Sophia has raised thousands of dollars for the Arthritis Foundation and has been the individual top fundraiser for four years. She was chosen to be the Jingle Bell Youth Honoree in 2013. Sophia has been fortunate to have met so many great people through the Arthritis Foundation. Meeting these people has encouraged her to work hard to raise awareness and funds to better the lives of people living with the disease.
One reason Sophia is doing so well is because she was diagnosed so young and had medical care early and often. She is able to feel relief through physical therapy and steroid injections. Sophia is well aware of the progress that has been made in just the last 10 years with the biological medicines and realizes that it is a real possibility that there could be a cure for arthritis in her lifetime. That fact is her motivation and inspiration to continue to work with the Arthritis Foundation and perhaps pursue a career in the medical field.
Arthritis Foundation New Mexico is working to improve the lives of the 373,000 adults and 2,000 children across our state who struggle every day with this serious health epidemic. To help reduce the unacceptable pain, disability and other burdens of arthritis and related diseases, we offer information, events, research grants, advocacy activities and other vital programs and services.
Arthritis Foundation New Mexico
8100 Wyoming Blvd. NE, Suite M4, PMB 115
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87113
Katie McEuen, firstname.lastname@example.org | 505.200.1924
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