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 even focus on a few C's of our own, throughout everything we do, like 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 local organizations and universities to support their community service and border/rural service learning efforts in meaningful ways.
Dr. Heidi Lee Pottinger, DrPH, MPH, MA (she/her/ella) 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 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". CHARM was also a recipient of the "Frances McClelland Spirit Organizational Award" from the Frances McClelland Institute for Children, Youth, and Families!
Dr. Pottinger is a Research Assistant Professor at ASU's Office of Community Health, Engagement, & Resiliency (OCHER) in Tucson as well as an adjunct lecturer at University of Arizona (UA). She previously served as a Director of Clinical Investigations at the UA 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 with loved ones who passed away were the inspiration for Camp Druzy.
Dr. Audrey "Amparo" Russell-Kibble, DNP, RN, FNP-C, FAANP (she/her/ella) is the Chair of CHARM's Board of Directors. She grew up on the U.S.-Mexico Border in Nogales. 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.
Debbie Gonzales, RN, MA, CRC (she/her/ella) is the Vice-Chair of CHARM's Board of Directors. She is a long-time Santa Cruz County (SCC) resident with extensive experience working in community schools across Nogales, Patagonia, and Rio Rico and in service to the community through her capacity as a nurse, parent, elected leader for the Patagonia Parent Teacher Club,
as a substitute teacher, and more.
A former frontline nurse during the early HIV-AIDS pandemic, she has hard-earned experience caring for patients and their grieving families. Debbie earned a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling from UA's Department of Disability and Psychoeducational studies and is a certified rehabilitation counselor.
Mrs. Gonzales also has over 45 years of community service experience working to forward the work of organizations like the SCC 4-H Youth Development Program, the SCC Juvenile Court, Community Youth Corps, Team Anonymous, Southern Arizona Veteran's Admin Health Care System, Susan G. Komen, and many other local causes including as a volunteer for
CHARM's Camp Druzy 2022.
She is trained in Character Counts, domestic violence community response training, infant adoption, learning disabilities and social skills, healthy workplace environments, and more.
A proud grandmother of 10, Debbie looks forward to continuing to serve families in the community in her new role with CHARM’s board of directors.
Stéphanie Renée Bermúdez (she/her/ella) is the Treasurer of CHARM's Board of Directors. She is also the Founder and CEO of Startup Unidos. Stéphanie is a transformative force in creating binational business opportunities and promoting cultural inclusion. With over 15 years of experience, she has gained a deep understanding of the local culture, grounded meaningful relationships, and earned respect and loyalty across various levels of the community. She focuses on building entrepreneurial communities and networks through events, training, consulting, and research that extend beyond Southern Arizona. Stéphanie is an expert in the region's binational business ecosystem, providing tailored services and support, particularly for Spanish-speaking individuals and organizations. She is recognized as a servant dedicated to achieving radical inclusion and cultural competence in program execution. Passionate about addressing systemic barriers, Stéphanie has a proven track record of supporting diverse small businesses in their entrepreneurial and financial growth. With expertise in bicultural and binational program delivery, she is a sought-after collaborator, offering guidance on executing transformative cultural inclusion initiatives. Stéphanie's commitment to radical inclusion is evident in her strategies to engage "hard-to-reach" participants and develop culturally relevant outreach approaches. Startup Unidos and Still Good, each showcase her exceptional ability to bridge cultures and foster collaboration, driving transformative change across communities. She has been and continues to be an ally and volunteer for CHARM since the nonprofit was founded.
Megan Wingfield (she/her/ella) is the Secretary of CHARM's Board of Directors. A native of Nogales, Arizona, Ms. Wingfield has a degree in Communications from the University of Arizona. She is a Founding Co-Director of Camp Druzy with extensive experience in event planning. From 2018-2022 she served as an advisory board member for CHARM and was a former Board Chair for the Tucson Association of Realtors. She is very passionate about CHARM and our work in the community.
Lazslo Kantor (him/his/él) is a director for CHARM's Board of Directors. Since 2019 he has served as a volunteer for CHARM and Camp Druzy. Mr. Kantor is a native resident of Nogales, Arizona and is very involved in art and youth-focused, community-led efforts in the U.S.-MX border region. He is also the Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors for La Línea, a cooperative art and event space that aims to enrich the cultural environment of Ambos Nogales by connecting artists with their community.
Elisa Yi, Esq. (she/her/ella) is a director for 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 and her husband moved back to Santa Cruz County to raise their children.
Founding Chair/Immediate Past Chair of CHARM's Board of Directors. Dr. Schwartz is a world-renowned author and researcher and a Professor of Psychology, Medicine, Neurology, Psychiatry, and Surgery at the University of Arizona (UA). He is also the Director of the UA Laboratory for Advances in Consciousness and Health. His research broadly encompasses the areas of energy psychology and spiritual psychology for the purpose of increasing health and wellness.
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
Child Psychiatrist and Medical Director, Intermountain Health Center; Heart Rhythm Meditation Teacher and Mentor; Advanced Trainer for Nurtured Heart Approach
Retired National Park Service
Supervisory Business Manager and
Santa Cruz County Philanthropist
Santa Cruz County
Treasurer & Philanthropist
Retired Santa Cruz County Middle School Principal and Educator with over 40 years experience with Nogales Public Schools
Director of the Santa Cruz County Arts for Learning Program at the Santa Cruz County School Superintendent's Office
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
Board certified Licensed Professional Counselor at Real Talk Therapy in Nogales, AZ; member of the National Board of Certified Counselors and the American Counseling Association
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
Former 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 and ASU Office of Community Health, Engagement, & Resiliency (OCHER) Consultant with expertise in program evaluation, maternal & child health, and research for empowering Latino youth
Highly experienced educator, certified Kids Life Coach®, and Founder of Strive to Thrive; Santa Cruz County native.
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