Chiricahua Community Health Center opens Behavioral Health Center – Sierra Vista
Chiricahua Community Health Center held a ribbon cutting for its new Behavioral Health Center Thursday. The grand opening and ribbon cutting not only celebrated the opening, but Director of Behavioral Health Tamika Sullivan, too.
The new behavioral center, located at 77 Calle Portal, is next to the main health care center, allowing for more space for the behavioral health care specialists. Sullivan said the space has been in development for over a year.
“Our counseling department was initially housed inside Chiricahua Community Health Centers at 155 Calle Portal,” Sullivan said. “We received a grant from the Legacy Foundation (a private foundation that benefits nonprofit organizations promoting health and community wellness) to move our counseling program into the building next door, which is 77 Calle (Portal). This was over a year ago, so in February we decided to do a walkthrough of the space, and finally got all the construction done and all the licensing completed, so we were able to finally move our whole counseling department into this suite.
“We were really tight, the rooms were smaller, so now we have bigger rooms and offices that allow for families. We have an expressive art therapy certified provider, and so she now can do that in her office versus the break room, which is where we had to put her before because her office wasn’t big enough.”
At the event Sullivan was spotlighted for her work and dedication to the behavioral health services offered by CCHC. Jonathon Melk, CCHC CEO, praised her and her team’s work in the dedication of the new center.
“In 2022, Tamika’s team cared for 3,879 patients,” Melk said. “With an average, get this, with an average of 1,300 patient visits per month. Tamika oversees a more than 3.2 million dollar budget that employs 27 full-time professionals, including 17 staff, located not only here, but throughout Cochise County. There are more staff that are going to be joining soon. Why? Because they want to come and join, and be part of Tamika’s team.
“She’s really, really making a difference.”
Part of the difference Sullivan has been making is in how she and her team have created and molded the new space. She said the purchasing and renovating of the location has allowed for the staff to create an area with patients in mind. Part of this design process, she said, is making the space into something that is calming and conductive of calm emotions.
“The colors are nice and soft,” Sullivan said. “In the medical clinic there’s bright orange and bright yellow and bright red, which is really not conducive to behavioral health counseling. So now we have specific greens, specific blues, and so we were able to really kind of develop the space the way we wanted it to be and provide that softer tone for counseling services.”
While the grand opening was held March 23, the center has been open since March 14. The center saw its first patient earlier that week.
Now that the center is officially open, Sullivan hopes it can be a resource for the community, no matter what the needs are.
“All of our providers are working on their license if they’re not already licensed,” Sullivan said. “We have providers who do expressive art therapy, we have those who do EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) — which is really good for trauma patients. We have someone who’s very specific with substance abuse and alcoholism and has kind of that experience and training to provide those services, and then we have those who can see our little kids with the ADHD and behavior concerns and then those who are very comfortable with our older adult populations who are going through life’s changes.
“The importance of it is that you have a safe place to go. If you’re gonna come to Chiricahua for medical care, then you really have kind of a one-stop shop. You have behavioral health and the dental clinic is right behind us. We’re all kind of here on the same campus, so you can get all of the care that you need from Chiricahua in one place.”