KUNM’s Public Health Reporter Deborah Martinez took first place in two news categories for large market radio stations at the annual New Mexico Broadcasters Association awards banquet last night in Albuquerque.
Martinez won best continuing coverage of news for her stories on New Mexico’s behavioral health shake-up that began with the funding freeze of 15 non-profits that provided mental health services, after the administration of Susana Martinez paid for a private audit, declared an emergency, and accused the firms of mismanagement and Medicaid fraud. The Human Services Department then replaced management with five Arizona firms, and patients began to complain about disruptions in services.
Attorney General Gary King found several of those firms did not commit fraud, while others agreed to settlements and stayed in business. Final results of the AG’s investigation are still pending.
The other NMBA award was for Martinez’s feature on families waiting for enrollment in the state’s Developmental Disabilities, or DD Waiver Program, including the Tatz family who has waited almost 10 years with thousands of others the state has been slow in admitting to the program.
The complete list of winners is posted on the NMBA website.