Mariposa Community Health Center is dedicated to providing the best care for all residents of Santa Cruz County. In that spirit, Mariposa organized an intimate ceremony at its Nogales campus on October 15th to promote domestic violence awareness. The ceremony, which took place outside the new pharmacy on National Purple Day, featured lighting nearby bushes in purple lights that were generously donated by the Nogales Home Depot.
Although Mariposa began to assist domestic violence survivors in 2008, this was its first ceremony to raise domestic violence awareness. Several organizations were in attendance at the ceremony, including representatives of law enforcement, the judicial system, victims’ services, and schools, along with members of the Coordinated Community Response Team (CCRT). Several elected officials were also present, including State Representative John Ackerley and Nogales Mayor Doyle.
Mariposa’s Chief Executive Officer, Ed Sicurello, opened the ceremony thanking those who helped make it possible. “It’s time for community members and supporters to engage in meaningful conversations on how to prevent domestic violence,” said Sicurello. Susan Kunz, Mariposa’s Chief of Health & Wellness, also addressed the public providing a brief overview of the types of support they provide to victims of domestic violence. “The funding we receive is specifically for women, our priority is to ensure their safety. We help these women develop safety plans, and provide information on the resources available to them. Additionally, we assist with into hotel lodging until we are able to help them find shelter. Our patient advocate served 188 women during 2014 who were Mariposa patients or other community members referred to us for services. We work closely with many of the organizations here tonight, and we are also now working together to address sexual assault,” said Susan Kunz.
Mayor John Doyle commended the many community organizations that work together to address domestic violence. He added that our local law enforcement is well trained to respond to domestic violence incidents.
Funding for Mariposa’s victim advocate services is awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice to the Arizona Alliance of Community Health Centers that then distributes the funds to three community health centers, including Mariposa. This funding helps Mariposa join other community organizations in assisting female domestic violence survivors and their children move from an unhealthy environment to one a safe one. For more information, please contact Susan Kunz at (520) 375-6050.