Unidas Award to Southern Arizona Senior Pride

Unidas, the award-winning after-school teen program run by the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona (WFSA), has awarded $5,000 in funding to Southern Arizona Senior Pride, a community organization dedicated to serving the LGBTQ+ community.

The award, generously sponsored by Buffalo Exchange, allows Southern Arizona Senior Pride to deliver programming to older adults and people with disabilities who are isolated or homebound.

WFSA’s Director of Program Engagement, Desirée Maultsby noted that the Unidas teens were inspired by Southern Arizona Senior Pride’s commitment to diversity. “We know that representation matters at all stages of human development. The stories shared regarding the unique social and emotional services provided to this population of our community truly spoke to the hearts of our Unidas participants,” said Maultsby.

New Palliative Care Network to Be Developed Amid Pandemic

A new home- and community- based palliative care network (HCBP) to address community care during the COVID-19 pandemic response will be developed by the Arizona Coalition to Transform Serious Illness Care and the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC). This network will provide palliative care both at home and in the community, allowing more patients to remain safe and at home by helping them and their family caregivers manage conditions and avoid crises that stem from uncontrolled symptoms and acute events.

The Coalition, partnering with the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (AzHHA), Discern HealthArizona End of Life Care Partnership (AZEOLCP) and others, conducted a study that identified the need for a HCBP network, especially in light of the ongoing pandemic. The study was funded by the Lovell Foundation and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona.

“This study reinforces the urgent need to meet people with serious illness where they are,” said C-TAC Executive Director Jon Broyles. “By connecting individuals and families with the services they need in a setting that is right for them, we can keep them safe and improve their quality of life during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.”

“Often confused with hospice care, palliative care is much larger and not only for end of life care,” said Sandy Severson, senior vice president of care improvement for AzHHA. “Palliative care focuses on helping patients and their care givers create goals of care so they can focus on living well. This new network will be a valuable addition to Arizona healthcare.”

The network will be designed to help patients, with the support of family members, manage their conditions from the safety of their homes and reduce the risk of crises that could require a hospital visit. The recommended components of this network are:

  • Management of symptoms that stem from serious, chronic illness & pain management
  • Use of an interdisciplinary team
  • Efficient coordination of care
  • Goals of care conversations to promote Advance Care Planning
  • Collaboration with primary care
  • Access to telehealth
  • Connection with provider- and community-education programs
  • Connecting patients with community-based services and supports that target social determinants of health

Phase 2 of the program will be the development of this new model and to target pilot cities in the state where it can be implemented. This phase will begin early this year.


Through a literature review, a survey sent to the Arizona Coalition Steering Committee, exploratory interviews with key informants, and collaboration with the Community Service Supports workgroup, Discern Health gathered evidence to develop recommendations for which interventions the Arizona Coalition should pursue to improve care and outcomes for the seriously ill.

To learn more about the findings and methodology for the study, please click here.

About the Arizona Coalition to Transform Serious Illness Care:

The Arizona Coalition to Transform Serious Illness Care (AZ Coalition) is a group of 40+ stakeholders in Arizona working to improve the quality of care and outcomes for people with serious illness. This organization is led by the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association, the Arizona End of Life Care Partnership, Discern Health, and the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC) with support from the David and Lura Lovell Foundation

Girl Scouts of the USA Campfire Chat

Wednesday, March 24, 2021 4:00pm to 5:00pm Arizona and Pacific; 7:00pm to 8:00pm Eastern

Join GSUSA for Campfire Chat: A New Decade of Leadership on how leadership is defined, aspired to, and prepared for in our country. We’ll convene a panel of Girl Scout alums from a variety of industries in order to get a 360-degree view of American women today and develop advice for the next generation. Together we’ll ask: how has the perception of women in leadership roles changed in the last decade, and what can be done to move the needle even more in the future? Are women leaders finally seen as the boss rather than just bossy? What glass ceilings and limiting factors are still intact…and what needs to happen for us to finally smash through them — and bring other women with us?

This special live virtual event, which is sponsored by The David and Lura Lovell Foundation, will launch the groundbreaking Girl Scout Research Institute study on the state of girls and leadership. We’ll hear the results of this important research, exploring opportunities to remove the barriers that prevent girls from rising to their full potential.

Adults and high school girls (Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors) are all welcome to join us! Unable to attend live? Register now and you can view the playback.

Alysia Montaño, Olympic Athlete and Founder, &Mother
Ráchel Roché Walton, Intelligence Analyst, FBI
Ann Lovell, President, The David and Lura Lovell Foundation
Jo Ling Kent, Correspondent, NBC News (moderator)
Kimberly Belmonte, Vice President, Girl Scout Research Institute (introduction)

Click here to register.

Independent Lens Names BEDLAM Documentary Feature

Click here for the Independent Lens Newsletter.

Shot over five years, this critically acclaimed Sundance favorite takes viewers inside Los Angeles County’s overwhelmed and under-resourced psych ER, to a nearby jail warehousing thousands of psychiatric patients, to the homeless encampments and homes of people affected by severe mental illness – including the filmmaker’s own sister.

Directed, Produced and Written by Kenneth Paul Rosenberg
Produced and Written by Peter Miller
Co-Produced by and Director of Photography Joan Churchill, ASC
Co-Produced by and Location Sound Alan Barker
Cinematography Bob Richman, Additional Cinematography Buddy Squires, ASC
Edited by Jim Cricchi, Additional Editing by James Holland
Executive Producers Sally Jo Fifer, Lois Vossen

HH4Y Transfers to Arizona Youth Partnership

After exciting growth, Help & Hope for YOUth, the youth mental health initiative started in 2018 by the National Alliance on Mental Illness Southern Arizona, will now be an initiative of Arizona Youth Partnership, effective January 1, 2021. Arizona Youth Partnership will create the opportunity for statewide expansion of the initiative and provide infrastructure support for the Help & Hope for YOUth Alliance, currently with over 50 members from Pima, Pinal, Cochise and Santa Cruz Counties.

Following several months, many meetings and with your input, we mutually agree the mission of Arizona Youth Partnership aligns with the goals of Help & Hope for YOUth and the focus on prevention and youth. Help & Hope for YOUth’s mission is to reduce the stigma of mental health conditions so youth ages 10-24 get the help they need when symptoms first appear. Arizona Youth Partnership builds solid foundations for youth and families by partnering with Arizona communities to prevent and solve local issues such as substance abuse, youth homelessness, lack of educational opportunities, teen pregnancy, and challenging family dynamics. With Help & Hope for YOUth joining Arizona Youth Partnership, more community organizations and individuals will be mobilized to help young people struggling with depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions, especially as they cope with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

NAMI Southern Arizona will continue to be involved in the Help & Hope for YOUth Initiative and is now providing the stigma reduction program Ending the Silence online. Ending the Silence is available for students, school staff and families to learn about the symptoms of mental illness and how to ask for help. Contact NAMI Southern Arizona at 520-622-5582 or www.namisa.org to learn more.

As we look to 2021 and beyond, we hope you’ll join in our excitement about being a part of Arizona Youth Partnership and the future of youth mental health!

Arizona School Safety Task Force Releases Final Report and Model School Safety Plan

After over one year of Help & Hope for YOUth serving on the Arizona Department of Education School Safety Task Force, a final report and model school plan has been released.

The School Safety Task Force was formed after House Bill 2597 introduced by Representative Daniel Hernandez working with students with March for Our Lives failed to pass. In partnership with March for Our Lives, Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman created the statewide School Safety Task Force which focused on school climate, prevention, mental health, and relationship building. The task force report provides recommendations intended to be the basis for Arizona to be a state where all students feel connected and safe in their schools and where family and community members have confidence in the leadership for school safety. The final report and plan can be accessed below.

School Safety Task Force Final Report

Model School Safety Plan

SAAF’s CEO Elected to TUSD Governing Board

A Letter from Dr. Ravi Grivois-Shah, November 18, 2020:

Dear SAAF Community,

I’m writing today to share good news…. As many of you may have already heard, the voters of Tucson have elected me to serve on the TUSD Governing Board!

The Tucson Unified School District, with over 40,000 students, is the largest school district in Southern Arizona, and third largest in the state. I’m humbled and honored that voters of Tucson not only put their trust in me, but also elected our first openly LBGTQ+ member of the TUSD Governing Board.

As a member of the TUSD Governing Board, I’ll help set policy and priorities that affect the education and lives of so many in our community, including my own family and three children. From my vantage point as CEO of SAAF, I’ll be able to fight for inclusive curriculum, policies that are fair for students of all backgrounds, and support for our most vulnerable youth.

We all know how important it is to have seats at the table in order to develop sound policy. I learned that first-hand when I was a member of the TUSD Family Life Curriculum (FLC, “sex ed”) Committee last year, and what it took to ensure that the FLC curriculum was not only medically accurate and comprehensive, but inclusive of LGBTQ+ students and families.

So much of what we do at SAAF is standing up for the most vulnerable in our community, especially LGBTQ+ youth. I’m excited how my role on the TUSD Governing Board will further this mission.

These past few weeks have been an amazing time for me and my family. My start at SAAF has been so amazing, thanks to you and the outpouring of support from a community that so wants SAAF to succeed. Thank you for the positivity and support these past few months. I hope I continue to earn that from you in the months and years ahead!

Here’s to working together towards a “healthy and stigma-free society”. Thank you for being a part of this critical mission.

Warm regards,

Ravi Grivois-Shah, MD MPH MBA
Chief Executive Officer
Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation

Shattering Stigma Mural in Downtown Toledo

The second installation of the “Shattering Stigma” project was done recently – a project funded by the Greater Toledo Community Foundation (GTCF) and a collaboration between artist Gail Christofferson of Animal House Glass Studio and Zepf Center. Unique to this installation are QR codes embedded in the piece that allow viewers to get more information about mental illness and how to help someone who is experiencing a mental health crisis. Funding came from GTCF’s David C. and Lura M. Lovell Foundation Designated Fund which supports programs that seek to reduce the stigma around living with and seeking services for mental health issues.

What are the facts?

One in five adults will experience a mental illness.

  • Life expectancy for someone with a mental illness can be up to 25 years shorter than for someone without – often due to untreated medical conditions.
  • Mental illnesses are more common than cancer, diabetes, or heart Half of all cases of mental illness begin between the ages of 15-25.
  • More than 50% of all adults living in the United States will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their
  • For more information, visit Mental Health America at mentalhealthamerica.org. If you need help now, call 911 or proceed to the nearest emergency room.

–From 11/5/20 GTCF Facebook Post