Office of Individual and Family Affairs
The Office of Individual and Family Affairs (OIFA) builds partnerships with individuals, families of choice, youth, communities, organizations to promote recovery, resiliency and wellness. OIFA collaborates with key leadership and community members in the decision making process at all levels of the behavioral health system. In partnership with the community, we:
- Advocate for the development of culturally inclusive environments that are welcoming to individuals and families.
- Establish structures to promote diverse youth, family and individual voices in leadership positions throughout Arizona.
- Deliver training, technical assistance and instructional materials for individuals and their families.
- Ensure peer support and family support are available to all persons receiving services and their families.
- Monitor contractor performance and measure outcomes.
Who We Are
Kathy Bashor, Bureau Chief Office of Individual and Family Affairs
Kathy serves as Manager of the Office of Individual and Family Affairs at the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) - Department of Health Care Advocacy and Advancement. She earned a Master of Counseling degree from Arizona State University and holds a B.S. in Sociology from the University of Kentucky. She is a Certified Practitioner Trainer on Readiness Assessment - Psychiatric Rehabilitation Model through Boston University and is trained in Critical Incident Stress Management-Group Crisis Intervention.
She is the founder of Arizona Dialogues, which is designed to reduce stigma and increase community inclusion of persons having behavioral health challenges and is co-chair of the Arizona Stigma Reduction Initiative.
Kathy is a staunch advocate of peer and family-driven care in the behavioral health system. Her can-do spirit has resulted in the strengthening of peer and family voice, assess to care, and choice in services throughout the behavioral health system.
Kathy has presented at numerous state and national conferences, has had numerous papers on Stigma published in journals, and is a recognized national, community, and peer leader.
Susan Junck, Healthcare Advocacy Coordinator
Susan Junck serves as the Healthcare Advocacy Coordinator at the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) - Department of Health Care Advocacy and Advancement, Office of Individual and Family Affairs. Susan has been involved with the behavioral health community for over a decade serving as an advocate, manager of family support, human rights liaison, family psychoeducation facilitator, mother of a young man with a serious mental illness and active volunteer with NAMI (National Alliance on Mental illness) where she has helped hundreds of families who have been affected by mental illness. Susan is a past president for NAMI Southeast Valley, NAMI Family-to-Family teacher/trainer and family support group facilitator. Susan holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and paralegal certification. Susan is also co-author on a book chapter on stigma.
Chaz Longwell, Recovery & Resiliency Programs Coordinator
Chaz Longwell is the Recovery & Resiliency Programs Coordinator for the state of Arizona. Since 2012 he has overseen the policies and procedures guiding Arizona’s Medicaid-Reimbursable peer support programs. He facilitates the Arizona Stigma Reduction Initiative: a grass-roots movement using new, evidence-based stigma reduction strategies to succeed in places other initiatives have not.
He had previously been employed in public relations, event coordination and program development in the non-profit sector, before coming into the behavioral health field on a dare by his therapist.
Mr. Longwell is a graduate of Arizona State University with a degree in Sociology.
Carol McDermott, Community Resource Coordinator
Prior to retirement in 2005 Carol worked as a Research Nutritionist with the University of Arizona on the nationwide Women’s Health Initiative. She holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Nutrition and Statistics from Rutgers University and the University of Maryland . Carol previously served as a commissioned officer in the US Public Health Service at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, MD and later did contract work for the US Indian Health Service at Keams Canyon Hospital on the Hopi Reservation in northern Arizona.
Carol and her husband have four adult children, two of whom have received behavioral health services through Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care and one grandson who receives services through the Children’s System. She has been an advocate for family members for more than 20 years. Carol served on the NAMI Phoenix Board of Directors for 5 years, the last two as President. She presently serves on the Boards of Directors of Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care, the Family Involvement Center, and the Arizona Peer and Family Coalition. Carol is a State Trainer and Teacher of the NAMI Basics education course and a strong advocate of early identification and early intervention in the treatment of mental illnesses to decrease the degree of impairment. She has great admiration for those working to continually improve systems of care.
Anika Robinson, Foster Care Community Liaison
Anika Robinson serves as our Foster Care Community Liaison. She is entering her 10th year as a licensed foster parent. Her previous fostering experience includes Kinship, Licensed Therapeutic Foster Care/HCTC, Licensed Community and she currently holds a Medically Fragile License. She has 8 children ages 3-19, four of whom were adopted out of the foster care system. She is also the mother to one son with behavioral health needs and another that is DD and has medical needs. Anika graduated Suma Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts from Ottowa University with an emphasis on Advance Spanish Studies. She is passionate about advocating for the foster and adoptive community as well as for behavioral health services and is known around the State Capitol as one of the three foster moms that introduced and authored House Bill 2442 , better known as Jacob’s Law. She is both a founding member and the President of ASA Now which is a Nonprofit Organization Advocating, Supporting and Assisting children and families whose lives have been impacted by foster care. She is actively involved in the foster and adoptive community and brings personal knowledge gained through lived experience of the issues and concerns regarding foster care and the behavioral needs of foster children/youth, families of origin, adoptive and foster family members. She feels privileged to have the opportunity to work collaboratively with stakeholders in bringing joint solutions in shaping and improving the delivery of health care services for children adopted from or currently in foster care.
Get involved! Would you like to receive more information?
Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org or call us toll free at 1-800-654-8713
National and Local Behavioral Health Organizations
- AZ Center for Disability Law
- AZ Suicide Prevention Coalition
- MedlinePlus (health information clearing house)
- Mental Health American (MHA) AZ
- National Alliance on Mental Illness
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) AZ
- National DBSA
- National Institute on Aging
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
- National Institute on Drug Abuse
- National Institute of Mental Health
- National Mental Health Consumer’s Self-Help Clearinghouse
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
For Children & Families