The Edinburg Chamber of Commerce surprised a local doctor with the 2021 Woman of the Year award while at work Monday afternoon, continuing widespread recognitions of the region’s medical community amid pandemic times.

Dr. Marissa Gomez-Martinez is congratulated by co-workers after receiving the honor of Woman of the Year by the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce at Edinburg CISD’s school-based health center, operated by DHR Health, on Monday, Oct. 4, 2021, in Edinburg.
(Joel Martinez | [email protected])

Dr. Marissa Gomez-Martinez, the medical director for the DHR Health-operated Edinburg CISD Health Center, was originally told she was going to be interviewed about the start of flu season, but she was intentionally misled for the surprise announcement.

Staff and other doctors stepped out from their offices and work areas to see her reaction to the news.

The clinic’s waiting room erupted into cheers and applause as Ronnie Larralde, the chamber’s executive director, announced she had been nominated and selected for the award.

Gomez-Martinez was at a loss for words, but said she felt thrilled and humbled. But she didn’t take full credit for the award.

“Everything that I do, I do it with other teams, and this is my biggest and best team right here,” she said about the clinic. “So, this is an award that’s shared with you all, with my family and other community members.

“I do what I do just because I love to do it.”

She thanked her friends, staff and colleagues who help run the clinic, which she said allows her to participate in other aspects of health care, such as being on different committees at the hospital and within the community.

Not only has she been in the medical field for nearly two decades, but Gomez-Martinez also helps at Edinburg CISD and has been a Girl Scout Troop Leader for about 10 years. She’s an officer at the Edinburg Service Unit, which oversees all the Girl Scout units in Edinburg.

“Right there is another team of women who are also troop leaders and community leaders —  who help the girls in this community grow up to be strong leaders and learn different skills,” Gomez-Martinez said.

Larralde said in order for someone to be nominated for the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce’s Woman of the Year and Man of the Year, the nominee must reside or own a business in Edinburg.

Nominees are reviewed by a selection committee made up of members of the board and community leaders.

“Obviously, all the individuals nominated were great individuals who have demonstrated a lot of leadership, civic engagements and community hours outside their responsibilities at work,” Larralde said. “They’re all deserving, it was a tough decision, but the selection committee went with Dr. Martinez.”

The chamber will hold its annual banquet to honor the Woman and Man of the Year, community volunteers and local leaders Oct. 14.

A co-worker hugs Dr. Marissa Gomez-Martinez who was named Woman of the Year by the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce on Monday, Oct. 4, 2021, at the DHR Health-operated school-based health center for Edinburg CISD.
(Joel Martinez | [email protected])