Press Release – Three Additional Domestic Violence Advocates


Chiricahua Community Health Centers, Inc. Gains Three Additional Domestic Violence Advocates

Published in the Sierra Vista Herald, March 21, 2017

SIERRA VISTA, AZ (March 16, 2017) – Beginning in 2006 Chiricahua Community Health Centers, Inc. (CCHCI) has employed a full-time patient advocate, Rosa Maria Mendoza Chapa, aka Rosie. When the Fast Pitch Grant was offered last fall by the Legacy Foundation of Southeast Arizona as a small grant that could be used by nonprofits for training, CCHCI was ready to add to the patient advocacy program. The grant was awarded to CCHCI and three existing employees are now certified as domestic violence advocates by the Department of Justice. This specific training and certificate is required by Arizona law to provide victim advocacy in certain situations.

The new advocates are: Noemi Chavez, women’s health program supervisor in Douglas, Janetta Richardson, care coordinator in Sierra Vista, and Alma Campillo, insurance and referral specialist in Elfrida. Janetta Richardson said, “As a minister, it really fits into what we do with the community. It is in my nature to help others in any way I can. Also, as a survivor, I can relate to the patients I am working with.”

Being able to juggle the extra responsibility has not been an issue for the advocates who volunteered to take on the extra responsibility in addition to their current duties. Richardson said that coworkers and supervisors understand that when an advocacy situation arises it takes priority.

According to the Department of Justice, 50 percent of domestic violence victims report an injury of some kind and 20 percent of victims will seek medical assistance following a domestic violence incident. Training existing employees who are already located throughout the county ensures there will be a trained advocate available close by to most situations.

Rosie said, “The critical moment is when they want to do something. We have to be able to act immediately, in their time of crisis. We have to get them education right then, tell them that there is help available, tell them what domestic violence is, and explain to them what it means to be a victim. If you miss the opportunity and they return to the environment, may be willing to give the abuser another chance. The next explosion is almost always worse. Or the abuser could be more upset because they sought help.”

Rosie said of the advocate’s role, “It’s not our job to encourage a victim to leave a partner. We work to give them the tools to make a good choice about their individual situation.”

Jonathan Melk, M.D. chief executive officer of CCHCI said, “At CCHCI, we deeply believe in caring for the whole person. In addition to physical health, this includes both emotional and mental well-being. We are very proud to have these remarkable and caring employees on our staff, and we are proud to offer this important program countywide to all people regardless of ability to pay or insurance status.”

With added advocates, CCHCI hopes to expand education about domestic violence in the community. Rosie said, “For me, education is prevention. It is very hard to prevent domestic violence, but when we educate the community on how to recognize and stand up against domestic violence we help to bring forward those victims who may otherwise not seek help.”

A community and population with even one less domestic violence situation is a healthier one. With a larger number of trained domestic violence advocates CCHCI hopes to play a larger role in the prevention of domestic violence in Cochise County.

Those seeking patient advocacy services can call or visit any CCHCI clinic or contact Rosamaria Mendoza Chapa at (520) 642-6088 or (520) 678-9039, rmendozachapa@cchci.org. Additional resources for assistance: 24/7 National Domestic Violence hotline 1-800-799-SAFE(7233), TTY:1-800-787-3244, 24/7 National Sexual Assault hotline 1-800-656-HOPE(4673), Stalking Resource Center 1-800-394-2255.

Chiricahua Community Health Centers, Inc. is a mission-driven Federally Qualified Health Center and is a tax exempt not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. It was founded as a grassroots community effort in 1996 as a makeshift clinic in Elfrida’s small community center and has since grown to be the largest primary care organization in southeastern Arizona. Chiricahua Community Health Centers currently has seven clinics in Bisbee, Douglas, Elfrida and Sierra Vista and four mobile medical and dental units that serve rural Cochise County.

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Media POC: Sarah Pacheco, Public Relations and Media Specialist, spacheco@cchci.org, 520-459-3012 ext.7525

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