CHS Honors 2021 Gold Nugget Victor Medina
UTEP’s Gold Nugget Award recognizes exceptional graduates from each of its colleges and schools who have excelled in their professions, given back to their communities and alma mater, and serve as an inspiration for future generations of Miners.
This year, the College of Health Sciences selected Victor Delgado, a 2014 graduate of the Master of Rehabilitation Counseling program. Delgado was recognized at the college’s Gold Nugget ceremony on September 29 th and presented to an audience of students and faculty prior to the award ceremony.
Medina is a retired Sergeant First Class of the U.S. Army and a Purple Heart recipient. Along with his wife, Dr. Roxana Delgado, Medina co-founded the TBI Warrior® Foundation. He is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor whose work and passion focus on advocacy for veterans and their families and assistance with reintegration into their communities.
On June 29, 2009, while serving his third tour in Iraq, Medina was wounded when an explosive-formed projectile impacted his vehicle. He was medically evacuated and sustained moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI). As a result of his injuries, Medina experienced multiple disabilities requiring long-term care. His wife, a health sciences researcher at the time, became his primary caregiver.
Medina and Delgado faced many challenges commonly experienced by families affected by TBI. They decided to reach beyond their own struggles and advocate for other veterans, becoming National Traumatic Brain Injury Advocates. Medina identified gaps in TBI diagnosis and treatment and brought that to the attention of military and civilian leadership to help shape new military healthcare policies. His advocacy on TBI, coupled with his passion to make a difference and TBI messaging, eventually resulted in a Congressional Record.
Medina remains active in the military, veteran, and caregiver communities. He is a much sought-after speaker, participating in diverse state and national meetings, including Pentagon events. Medina also serves as an advisor to many organizations.
In addition to being a Purple Heart recipient, Medina has received many multi-year military commendations, including the Army Commendation Medal (1 st Award: Jan. 2003 – Jan. 2006; 2 nd Award: Apr. 2004 – Apr. 2005; 3 rd Award: Feb. 2007 – Jul. 2007; 4 th Award: Nov. 2006 – Jan. 2008; 5 th Award: May 2009 – May 2010; 6 th Award: Jun. 2009 – Aug. 2009); the Army Good Conduct Medal (1 st Award: May 2002 – May 2005; 2 nd Award: May 2005 – May 2008; 3 rd Award: Sep. 2008 – Sep. 2011); and the Army Achievement Medal (1 st Award: Jan. 2004 – Feb. 2004; 2 nd Award: Oct. 2004 – Nov. 2004; 3 rd Award: Dec. 2004 – Mar. 2005).
Medina and Delgado attribute their successes to their faith and love and the support of their family, friends, and community as companions on their healing journey.