Border Eco’s choice for people who “echo” in Santa Cruz County for the month of February is Terry Cañez, Clinical Director from Community Health Associates. She was born and raised in Nogales. Terry is the oldest of 3 daughters, her parents are Jose (deceased for 20 years), and Rosa Belia Cañez. Ms. Cañez is married. She has 5 children; 2 biological and 3 step-children (age ranges: 26, 22, 20, 19, and 14).
“My parents supported me throughout my years of education and employment. They were pivotal to my accomplishments. I would not have been able to get thru my schooling without them. In addition, my mother was extremely supportive in helping me care for my daughters when I needed assistance. My field of work can be very demanding. I have a husband who has been very supportive and understanding,” said Ms.Cañez.
“Upon starting college, I was undecided about what career I wanted to be in. Around the 4th semester of college, I took a psychology class and I was hooked. I knew then I wanted to help people and become a counselor,” said Ms. Cañez.
Terry Cañez started her career in social services working as a case aide for Child Protective Services, later transitioning to a caseworker. In 2000, she went to work for SEABHS as a crisis counselor, before moving into a counselor position. She was later promoted to a clinical supervisor for the children’s team. In 2010, she started working for CIA as a clinical supervisor for the children’s team. Community Intervention Associates changed their name to Community Health Associates. CHA promoted her to a clinical director in 2015.
CHA is a behavioral health organization in Santa Cruz County. It currently holds the county crisis contract. They provide an array of services to consumers those include individual/family counseling, psychiatric services, support services (skills training, family support, health education, and employment support), group services (to address substance abuse, anger management, mood management, and parenting classes), and case management services for coordination of care with stakeholders. Services can be provided in the office, home, or in the community.
Throughout Ms.Cañez career in mental health services, Dr. Delgado has been the most influential person. “Dr. Delgado was my supervisor for about 14 years. I learned a lot from her. She modeled a high standard of professionalism and ethical behavior. I appreciated her guidance and support,” said Clinical Director Terry Cañez.
“I enjoy working with people who are dedicated to their profession. I think it is important to work as a team. My leadership style is a democratic style. The democratic style of leadership is inclusive. It enhances the participation of employees in the decision making of an organization. I don’t always have the answers and I like to get feedback from the staff; they have very good clinical insight and they work well as a team. Just because I have a license or because I’m the director, it doesn’t mean I’m better than anyone. Everyone is valued as an individual and their voice is important. I expect the staff to hold this standard when providing services. I have dedicated staff who work well together to ensure the needs of our clients are being met. I am extremely grateful to Connie Gallegos our office manager and Melinda Castillo our adult team manager for their continued support. We work well as a team and share the same goals,” said Ms.Cañez.