Our programs nurture and strengthen resiliency through evidence-based approaches such as the "7 Cs for resilience", which focus on:
coping, confidence, connection, character, contribution, control and competence.
We've even added a few C's of our own, including creativity and culture!
CHARM also provides free online resources for promoting health and strengthening resiliency.
We host a fun summer camp as well as provide basic needs, resources, and follow-up supports for children and adults grieving a death or separation from a close family member. We also provide personalized, transformative sessions which offer first-hand experiences that awaken joy, empower healing, and strengthen resilience for participants. All at no-cost to families.
We train students, parents, and school personnel (preschool - university) to enhance their social and emotional skills and resiliency through the Choose Love Movement, Nurtured Heart Approach®, and more. We also work with Pima and Santa Cruz County organizations and schools to support their community service and service learning efforts in meaningful ways.
Dr. Heidi Lee Pottinger, DrPH, MPH, MA is the Founder & Executive Director of CHARM. Over her career, she has focused extensively on advocacy, education, research, and service efforts. She has a doctorate in Maternal & Child Health, dual Master's degrees in Biomedical & Health Ethics (Focused on Nonprofit Management) and Global Family & Child Health, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Plant Biochemistry & Molecular Biology.
A native of Nogales, Arizona, she has been recognized by the American Public Health Association for her work evaluating an integrative wellness program in a Tucson pediatric hospital setting, by the University of Arizona for her research in service to society, and by the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce as a "Top 40 Under 40". Aside from her peer-reviewed research publications, she was also a 2018-2019 Fellow of The OpEd Project, publishing her work in The Health Care Blog, The Hill, The Washington Post, Latino Rebels and more. She has also been featured in stories for BBC World, CBS Radio, NBC US News, PBS, and local news.
Dr. Pottinger previously served as a Director of Clinical Investigations at the University of Arizona College of Public Health in the department of health promotion sciences and as Director of Clinical Research for the Muscular Dystrophy Association national headquarters in Tucson, Arizona.
As a proud mother of two and propelled by her lived experiences and training, she has a great passion for strengthening resilience in children and families. Dr. Pottinger is a certified trainer in the Nurtured Heart Approach® and a certified Reiki practitioner. Her direct experiences with love, healing, and interconnectedness – through nature and all of the waves of the electromagnetic spectrum – were the inspiration for Camp Druzy and her children’s book “My Best Friend is a Giraffe”. The book, in both English and Spanish, is about a young boy and his adventures with his best friend Druzy - a giraffe who only he can see.
Dr. Gary E. Schwartz, PhD is the Founding Chair/Immediate Past Chair of CHARM's Board of Directors. He is a world-renowned author and researcher and a Professor of Psychology, Medicine, Neurology, Psychiatry, and Surgery at the University of Arizona (UA). In addition to teaching courses on health and spiritual psychology, he is also the Director of the Laboratory for Advances in Consciousness and Health. His research broadly encompasses the overlapping areas of energy psychology and spiritual psychology for the purpose of increasing health and wellness.
Dr. Schwartz founded the Academy for Advances in Postmaterial Sciences and was the founding president of the Forever Family Foundation. In 2002 he received a $1.8 million dollar award from the National Center on Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health to create a Center for Frontier Medicine in Biofield Science at the UA, which he directed for four years. He collaborated with Canyon Ranch on biofield science and energy healing research and serves as the Corporate Director of Development of Energy Healing. He also served as Chairman of Eternea, an organization whose mission is to foster the integration of science and spirituality for personal and global transformation.
Dr. Schwartz earned his Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard University in 1971 and was an assistant professor there for five years. He later served as a professor of psychology and psychiatry at Yale University, as director of the Yale Psychophysiology Center, and as co-director of the Yale Behavioral Medicine Clinic before moving to Arizona in 1988. Dr. Schwartz has published more than four hundred and fifty scientific papers, including six papers in the journal Science. He also co-edited eleven academic books, is the author of The Energy Healing Experiments (2007), The G.O.D. Experiments (2006), The Afterlife Experiments (2002), The Truth about Medium (2005), The Living Energy Universe (1999), The Sacred Promise (2011), and more. The Energy Healing Experiments (2007) received the Gold Medal from the Nautilus Book Awards.
Dr. Audrey "Amparo" Russell-Kibble, DNP, RN, FNP-C, FAANP is the Chair of CHARM's Board of Directors. She grew up on the U.S.-Mexico Border. Retired from the University of Arizona (UA) College of Nursing, currently Adjunct Faculty, Dr. Russell-Kibble continues to inspire student involvement in the care of the migrant community. Recognizing a gap in the care of migrant children and wanting to help the children integrate into their sponsoring communities, she, together with a student of hers, innovated a unique model of caring for migrant children to include Trauma Informed Care.
Her research accomplished an ethnography focusing on Mexican American parents’ perceptions of cultural influences on grieving the death of their child. That study arose from her personal and clinical observations of the need for those providing care to learn the importance of knowing the cultural concepts underpinning grief in this population. Dr. Russell Kibble has provided numerous lectures at UA College of Nursing and Department of Family & Community Medicine on the topics of Loss, Grief, Bereavement, Death and Dying, End-of-Life Care, and Spirituality. She emphasizes the importance of caring and acceptance of the hard-won blessings that accompany grief.
Dr. Russell-Kibble earned a Doctorate in Nursing Practice from The University of Arizona in 2011 and was an assistant clinical professor there for almost 9 years. In 2008 she was recognized as one of Tucson Nurses Week’s Fabulous 50 Nurses, and in 2016 was inducted as a Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.
Marla Hodes, MA is the Vice-Chair of CHARM's Board of Directors. She is a mother, spiritual seeker, author, and the Founder and Host of the podcast "Interviews with Innocence: Consciousness, Spirituality, and Honoring the Wisdom of Children".
She is also the Founder and Executive Director of the Ethiopian Family Fund, helping children and women in Ethiopia. Her passion is children. She has a Master's degree in exercise physiology and has worked with children in many different capacities. She worked in the pediatric and adult transplant units at the University of California - San Francisco, teaching about exercise, nutrition, and stress reduction. She also worked at Dr. Gerald Jampolsky's Center For Attitudinal Healing, working with children who had cancer, helping them process their emotions through art therapy and other healing modalities.
Marla is a certified reiki practitioner and has studied shamanism, mediumship, near-death experiences, and other healing modalities. She is also a children’s yoga/meditation teacher. She recently finished her first book, “Love Magic”, a book about eternal love, teaching the young that even though someone may be far away or passed to the other side, he/she is always available to connect through love.
Mrs. Megan Romo, CPA is the Treasurer
of CHARM's Board of Directors. She is also a Partner at Quick & Associates, PC. A native of Nogales, Arizona, Mrs. Romo has degrees in Accounting and Spanish from the College of Business Administration at Northern Arizona University. She lives in Tucson, Arizona with her husband and two young children.
Elisa Yi, Esq. is the Secretary of CHARM's Board of Directors. Mrs. Yi earned her Juris Doctor and Master's in Business Administration degrees from Howard University, as well as degrees in Government and Asian Middle Eastern Studies from Dartmouth College. She has extensive experience as an attorney and previously worked at the U.S. House of Representatives. Raised in Nogales, Arizona herself, she recently moved back to Santa Cruz County with her family.
Certified Birth Doula, Certified Breastfeeding Counselor, and Certified Infant Massage Instructor; Co-Founder of the Fund for Civility, Respect and Understanding
University of Arizona Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics & Public Health, Retired Pediatrician, and ARSOBO Co-Founder
Retired National Park Service
Supervisory Business Manager and
Santa Cruz County Philanthropist
Child Psychiatrist and Medical Director, Intermountain Health Center; Heart Rhythm Meditation Teacher and Mentor; Advanced Trainer for Nurtured Heart Approach
Santa Cruz County
Treasurer & Philanthropist
Retired Santa Cruz County Middle School Principal and Educator with over 40 years experience with Nogales Public Schools
Executive Director of the University of Arizona Center for Compassion Studies & Cognitively Based Compassion Training (CBCT®) Teacher
Retired Justice of the Peace with 21 years of experience with the Santa Cruz County Justice Court; Co-Founder and Treasurer of the Circles of Peace Board of Directors.
University of Arizona Assistant Professor of Family & Community Medicine and Program Director for Family Medicine Residency at South Campus
Mariposa Community Health Center Community Health Services Senior Director
Former Commander & Chief of Surgery
for the United States Public Health Service Hospital and Retired General Surgeon; Santa Cruz County Business Owner and Philanthropist
University of Arizona College of Nursing Senior Lecturer and Border
Health/Maternal & Child Health/Vulnerable Populations Expert
Santa Cruz County Regional Director for First Things First and Santa Cruz County native
Superintendent of Nogales Unified School District #1 with three decades of experience with Nogales public schools; Santa Cruz County native
Mariposa Community Health Center Integrated Services Manager
Child Trends Consultant with expertise in program evaluation, maternal & child health, and research for empowering Latino youth populations
Healthy Student and Professional Development Coordinator for Santa Cruz County School Superintendent, Alfredo I. Velásquez with 30 years of experience as an elementary school teacher for NUSD # 1
Assistant Professor of Social Work at The College of St. Scholastica and Santa Cruz County native
University of Arizona Professor of Adolescent Medicine & General Pediatrics
Licensed psychologist in Arizona, retired attorney in New York and Massachusetts, with expertise in family law, family evaluations, and family and individual counseling
Associate Broker at EMS Realty, Experienced Special Event Professional, Santa Cruz County native, and Camp Druzy Co-Director