Susan Kunz, Mariposa Community Health Center’s Chief of Program Development, was recognized as the 2018 Exceptional Rural Health Professional by the Arizona Rural Health Association on August 7 in Flagstaff. Public health colleagues nominated Susan for her career working in partnership with American Indian and Hispanic/Latino communities. Susan’s unique talent for designing programs, leveraging partnerships and sustaining systems was cited in her nomination, resulting in more than $50 million in competitive grant funding for community health programs and services over her career. Susan has been part of the Mariposa team for 11 years. “Susan’s unique ability to conceptualize new programs combined with her strong relationships both regionally and nationally has resulted in immeasurable benefits to Mariposa and the communities we serve. We are honored to have her as part of our team,” said Ed Sicurello, CEO of Mariposa Community Health Center.
Before joining Mariposa, Susan worked with the Tohono O’odham Nation, Pascua Yaqui Tribe and the Tucson Indian Center, as well as in Santa Cruz, Yuma and Cochise Counties while directing the Border Health Foundation. Susan chairs both the Health Equity Council of the National Rural Health Association and the Arizona Rural Women’s Health Network. An Arizona native, Susan served in the Peace Corps in Colombia, South America and received her Master’s in Public Health degree from UC Berkeley. “It is an honor to be recognized for a career that has been so rewarding. I love what I do,” Kunz said.
Mariposa Community Health Center was recently named a “National Quality Leader” by the US Department of Health and Human Services. Community health centers that exceed national clinical quality benchmarks, like Healthy People 2020 goals, receive special designation as National Quality Leaders.
Of the nearly 1,400 Federally Qualified Community Health Centers nation-wide, 33 awards were given in 17 states and an additional 3 awards were given in the 8 US Territories. Mariposa was the only health center to receive this recognition in Arizona.
“Community health centers provide coordinated, comprehensive, and patient-centered care to millions of Americans,” said HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan. “They have a track record of delivering quality care at significantly lower cost, and are vital partners in our movement toward a health system that delivers quality, affordable, value-based health care for all Americans.”
“We are honored to receive this special recognition and very proud of the work we do to improve the overall health of our communities. Mariposa’s team of over 300 employees work tirelessly to exceed patient expectations and embrace all opportunities to improve health outcomes. We believe that quality, affordable health care is a right, not a privilege,” said Ed Sicurello, CEO of Mariposa Community Health Center.
The National Rural Health Association recognized Mariposa’s “Platicamos Salud” program for its innovative Community Health Worker initiatives, as well as its many partnerships with other organizations and the broad scope of work in the community to help improve the lives of community residents.
MCHC is proud to announce that the National Rural Health Association presented Susan Kunz, MCHC’s Director of Health and Wellness, with the first-ever Rosemary McKenzie Legacy Award during a recent meeting in Asheville, N.C.
Ms. Kunz was applauded by the NRHA for securing funds to improve rural health access for multiracial and multicultural populations, as well as her history of mobilizing partnerships to improve rural health care access.
The Arizona Chapter of the American College of Physicians named Dr. Eladio Pereira its “Leader of the Year” during a ceremony on November 17, 2012. The award is presented annually to a physican in Arizona for excellence in the practice of internal medicine and the demontration of vision and leadership in the implementation of creative solutions to health care issues.
July 1, 2011 marked Dr. Pereira’s 25th anniversary at Mariposa. To recognize Dr. Pereira for his countless contributions to Mariposa, our patients and community, a reception was held in his honor. Mariposa’s Board of Directors, providers and leadership team gathered to honor “Dr. P” and express their collective appreciation for his dedication, leadership and service.
Dr. Pereira was the first physician recruited after Mariposa became a private non-profit corporation in 1985 and was the anchor and drive behind the Health Center’s growing adult medicine department.
Dr. Pereira’s leadership and respect in the medical community were well established when in 1998 he accepted the extremely challenging position of Chief of Medical Staff and Clinical Programs. Dr. Pereira has bridged the disciplines of clinical medicine and management and has been a critical member of the Leadership Team.
On Friday, May 27th, the Arizona-Mexico Commission presented Mariposa Community Health Center with the annual Senator Andy Nichols MD Award. This award is in recognition of Dr. Nichols’ contributions to improve the quality of life in the Arizona – Mexico border region.
Mariposa was recognized for our commitment to excellence in health care. Molly Anderson, MD, a Nichols family friend, received the award from Governor Brewer on behalf of Mariposa.
In receiving the award, Dr. Anderson commented, “Mariposa’s foundation is predicated on the conviction that health care is a basic right, not a privilege. Like Dr. Nichols, we also believe that creating a healthy community is not only heavily dependent on all of our neighbors having access to high quality medical and dental care, but it also involves forging community partnerships and developing innovative, community-based education and outreach services that target such things as chronic disease, fitness and nutrition, leadership and personal and community empowerment.”
Ms. Susan Kunz, Director of Platicamos Salud, MCHC Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Program and Vice Chair of the National Community Committee, was recently awarded The Community-Based Participatory Research Best Practices Award on behalf of the University of Arizona Prevention Research Center.
The Arizona Prevention Research Center was one of only eleven centers nationwide to receive the award this first year. Mariposa Community Health Center is a partner with the University of Arizona’s College of Public Health’s Prevention Research Center.
November 2010 – SEABHS, The Southeast Arizona Behavioral Health Services Free of Violence Program, presented an award to Platicamos Salud staff members, Mr. George de la Riva and Ms. Sandra Anguiano, in recognition of their many efforts to end domestic violence by raising awareness in Santa Cruz County.
November 2010 – Mariposa Community Health Center’s Medical Director, Eladio Pereira, MD, MBA, FACP, received the prestigious Outstanding Preceptor of the Year Award.
June 2010 – Dr. Joel Block, Family Practice physician at our Nogales center, was selected by Carondelet Health Network as the winner of the 2010 Carondelet Network Mission Award in the category of Physician Commitment.
Mariposa Community Health Center was one of the first three organizations in the nation to be named by the federal Department of Health and Human Services as a Community Center of Excellence in Women’s Health (CCOE) The Mariposa CCOE facilitates women-focused care and educates patients and the community on women’s health issues. Leadership training and learning opportunities for women are also provided which empowers them to be proactive and informed with regard to health and well being.
In April 2006, we were honored to be a recipient of the fourth annual Crystal Award presented by A.T. Still University of Health Sciences located in Phoenix, Arizona. The organizational award recognizes organizations that exhibit extraordinarily innovative and effective models of health care delivery.
In 2004, we were awarded the Preceptor Site of the Year for exemplary performance and support of the Arizona SEARCH program by the Arizona Association of Community Health Centers. SEARCH provides opportunities for health profession students and physician residents to serve in interdisciplinary primary health care teams at community health centers. The program encourages those same providers to work in underserved communities after completion of their training.
Our Health Promotion/Disease Prevention Department was also recognized as a “Border Model of Excellence” in 2003 by the U.S./Mexico Border Health Commission.
In 2008 A.T. Still University School of Dentistry and Oral Health presented the Clinical Quality Award to the MCHC Dental Department.
In 2007 Dr. John Betz, Dental Director, received the Clinician of the Year Award presented by the Western Clinician’s Network.