News & Events

Dr. Richard Carmona: “The Challenge of Brain Health in War and Peace”

Posted & filed under Events.

JFCS and the Mel Sherman Institute on Mental Health are proud to present a free public lecture featuring Dr. Richard Carmona, who will discuss the responsibility of caring for the physical and psychological well-being of our veterans and seniors. Dr. Carmona is the 17th Surgeon General of the United States, Chief of Health Innovations at Canyon Ranch, and Distinguished Professor at the University of Arizona.

Date: Thursday, November 16, 2017 at 1:30pm

Place: Jewish Community Center,  3800 E. River Road., Tucson, 85718

Speaker: Richard Carmona, MD, 17th Surgeon General of the United States; Chief of Health Innovations, Canyon Ranch; and Distinguished Professor, The University of Arizona

Registration is required. CLICK HERE to register online or contact Kate: or (520) 209-2435

Seating is limited. Light refreshments will be served.

Dr. Carmona, an authentic hero and public health advocate, will discuss the responsibility of caring for our military service members with war related physical and psychological brain injuries as well as the challenges of dementia in an aging population. Born to a poor Hispanic family in New York City, Dr. Carmona experienced homelessness, hunger and health disparities during his youth. These experiences greatly sensitized him to the relationships among culture, health, education and economic status, and shaped his future. A combat-decorated U.S. Army Special Forces Vietnam veteran, Dr. Carmona trained in general and vascular surgery at the University of California, San Francisco where he was awarded the prestigious gold-headed cane as the top graduate.

Dr. Carmona’s service to Tucson is legendary, beginning with his joint recruitment by Tucson Medical Center and the University of Arizona to start and direct Arizona’s first regional trauma care system. In addition to serving as chairman of the State of Arizona Regional Emergency Medical System, professor of medicine at the University of Arizona, and the Pima County Sheriff’s Department surgeon and deputy sheriff, Dr. Carmona is one of the most highly decorated police officers in Arizona, and a recognized SWAT expert. Dr. Carmona’s extraordinary leadership and service here in Arizona led to his nomination and unanimous confirmation as the 17th Surgeon General of the United States. In 2006, after successfully completing his four-year term, Vice Admiral Carmona was named Vice Chairman for Canyon Ranch where he is now Chief of Health Innovations.

The Mel Sherman Institute on Mental Health lecture series is made possible by the generosity of Irving Silverman who established a fund at the Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona to honor his friend of blessed memory, Mel Sherman. Irving Silverman co-authored “Aging Wisely … Wisdom of Our Elders,” with his daughter, Ellen Beth Siegel, JD, PsyD, a treasured resource that provides a unique perspective on the physical, emotional, and social aspects of growing old from those who have made the journey.

JFCS is a non-profit, non-sectarian agency offering person-centered psychotherapeutic and community services to people from all walks of life. We strive to strengthen our community, and believe there is a path for healing and self-sufficiency for everyone who comes seeking help.

Shalom in Every Home: Let it Begin with Me

Posted & filed under Events.

Please join JFCS & the LEAH program

Shalom in Every Home 2-part Family Lecture Series

Speaker: Adena Bank Lees

Let It Begin With Me: Building & Strengthening Meaningful Connections with Those You Love

Free and Open to the Public. Join us for one or both talks.

Where: The Library at the Tucson Jewish Community Center, 3800 E. River Rd., Tucson, Arizona 85718

RSVP to Andrea Siemens via email or call 520-795-0300 ext. 2365

Part 1: Sunday, October 22, 2017  |  11am to 12:30pm

Taking responsibility for our part in clear and healthy communication is a necessary component of loving connection. Role-modeling this accountability for our children creates a safe and secure home for all. Being aware of our own feelings and reactions is a great first step. Come have fun and practice ways to achieve this awareness. You will be able to use your skills with your family as soon as you get home!

Part 2: Sunday, October 29, 2017  |  11am to 12:30pm

Take your self-awareness to the next level by practicing how to share your feelings and reactions in a way that is safe and respectful. Successful families employ the language of feelings. This IS what makes connections meaningful. Come have fun while applying what you have learned. Your family will thank you!

Speaker: Adena Bank Lees

Adena’s presence with audiences is transformative. Her authenticity and use of good humor create a unique mix that instills learning, and inspires hope. With a mission to teach, guide, and inspire individuals and organizations, she provides tools for change and growth in the most ethical and professional manner possible. Adena is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Licensed and Internationally Certified Substance Abuse Counselor, Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress, Certified Imago Relationship Therapist, and Certified Psychodramatist. She has presented keynote lectures, workshops, and seminars to thousands of professionals and lay audiences across the country since 1992.

LEAH is funded by the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona.

Project Safe Place: Making a Difference in Pima County

Posted & filed under JFCS News, Healing Lives.

JFCS was one of six agencies recognized in the Pima County Community Development Annual Impact Report for delivering outstanding services to underserved and disadvantaged people in our community. Our Project Safe Place program was highlighted for achieving positive outcomes in trauma-informed therapy for children ages 3 to 18 who are victims of crime or abuse. JFCS is thankful for our highly-skilled, licensed Master’s level therapists.
To read an abbreviated version of the report, click here.

Carlos A. Hernández Receives 1st Place Influential Health & Medical Leader Award

Posted & filed under JFCS News, Healing Lives.

JFCS President and CEO Carlos A. Hernández, MA, LCSW, CPHQ

Carlos A. Hernández, MA, LCSW, CPHQ

Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Southern Arizona (JFCS) is proud to announce that CEO & President, Carlos A. Hernández is the first place winner of the 2017 Influential Health and Medical Leader Award in the category of Mental Health & Psychiatric Services.

Every year, Tucson Local Media honors local medical and healthcare professionals who have made significant contributions and demonstrated outstanding dedication to their work.

At age 47, Hernández is considered a young CEO, and is the first Latino to serve as President and CEO of JFCS of Southern Arizona, a non-profit, non-sectarian specialty provider offering psycho-therapeutic counseling, patient-centered trauma-informed care (PCTI), and social services to thousands of vulnerable community members of all faiths, ethnicities, races, sexual orientations and economic circumstances.

“Under Carlos’ outstanding leadership, JFCS has seen program expansion, technological advancement, and improvement in the delivery of services,” said Fred Fruchthendler, JFCS Board Chair. “This is a significant and well-deserved honor.”

With a Master’s degree from the University of Chicago, Hernández’s professional experience runs the gamut from clinical work to compliance and Continuous Quality Improvement. Hernández is a licensed psychotherapist, Certified Professional for Healthcare Quality as well as Adjunct Faculty member at ASU School of Social Work, and Pima Community College, Social Services Department.

During his 25-year career, Hernández’s passion for helping the most vulnerable led him to experiences that include coordinating mental health programs for foster children, counseling for homeless teens, and promoting integrated health for migrant workers living on the border.

Previously, Hernández served as Director of Family and Community Partnerships, and successfully guided the implementation of disabilities services, mental health services, and parent engagement services for Head Start at Tucson-based Child-Parent Centers. Prior to this, he was in charge of compliance, quality management, and performance improvement for Pantano Behavioral Health Services in Tucson.

As an influential community health leader, Hernandez’s has devoted his life work to broad-based collaboration, quality improvement, de-stigmatization of mental illness, and achieving mental health parity for low-income and under-insured people. The 3rd Annual Influential Health and Medical Awards event will be held at Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at Casino del Sol Resort in Tucson.

Kelly Burroughs Named JFCS Vice President of Clinical Services

Posted & filed under JFCS News, Healing Lives.

Kelly Burroughs

Kelly Burroughs

As the Vice President of Clinical Services for Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Southern Arizona, Kelly Burroughs, MA, LAC, BHP, CCTP brings more than 20 years of experience in social services and behavioral health. She has extensive experience in the publicly funded behavioral health system and in social services for children and families.

Prior to JFCS, Kelly provided clinical and administrative supervision to advocacy and behavioral health programs serving thousands of people in Southern Arizona. She has a passion for program development, and hopes to help expand JFCS services to reach a larger segment of the Tucson community—both Jewish and non-Jewish.

“I am excited about the opportunities to influence change for people reaching out for help. JFCS offers exceptional therapeutic services, and is well-known for its work with people with histories of trauma. My hope is to be able to help JFCS grow and expand the scope of our services to reach more people,” said Kelly, who holds a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Arizona, post graduate certification in Positive Behavioral Support from Northern Arizona University, and is a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional.

Liz Hernández Named JFCS Director of Marketing & Development

Posted & filed under JFCS News, Healing Lives.

Liz Hernandez

Liz Hernandez

Prior to accepting her new Tucson-based position as Director of Marketing & Development for Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Southern Arizona, Liz Hernández served for three years as Marketing Manager, and then Director of Public Relations and Communications for Jewish Family & Children’s Service in Phoenix.

“Liz’s strong marketing and communications skills, innovative style, and dedication to the values and vision of JFCS will be a great asset to us,” said Carlos Hernández, CEO & President of JFCS of Southern Arizona. “And in case you were wondering,” he added with a smile. “We are not related.”

Liz left a long career in the arts & culture sector to transition into the nonprofit sector. “I love art and believe that artistic expression enriches our human experience,” she explains. “I also believe that it’s essential to live compassionately, care for others, and be a positive influence in our world.”

Born in New York City, and educated through high school in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Liz Hernández moved to Tucson where she received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and later completed graduate studies in Art History at The University of Arizona.

Having lived, worked and volunteered in Arizona for more than 35 years, Liz has demonstrated a strong commitment to various community and nonprofit organizations through leadership and fundraising endeavors. In Tucson, she served on the board of The Foundation for Creative Broadcasting, Girls Scouts of America, Tucson Museum of Art, and the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona (formerly called the Tucson Pima Arts Council). Liz was recently appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Arizona Theater Company.

Bank of Tucson Awards $5,000 to JFCS for First Responders Counseling Program

Posted & filed under JFCS News.

Bank of Tucson

L-r: JFCS President & CEO Carlos Hernández; Bank of Tucson President & CEO Mike Hannley; snf JFCS Director of Marketing & Communication Liz Hernández

May 15, 2017, Tucson, AZ – Bank of Tucson recently donated $5,000 to Jewish Family & Children’s Services (JFCS)for its First Responders Counseling Program that provides confidential 24-hour therapeutic counseling to our community’s firefighters, police officers, and other first-responders along with their families—at no cost to them.

In keeping with Bank of Tucson’s commitment to support quality, accessible services to the Tucson’s children and families, we are proud to partner with JFCS because their mission is to help people from all walks of life,” said Mike Hannley, President & CEO of Bank of Tucson. “We are a small bank with a big heart,” he added.

More than 700 First Responders in Tucson respond to more than 80,000 calls every year. “First Responders work long hours, face frequent danger, and witness countless traumatizing events,” said Carlos Hernández, President & CEO of JFCS. “At JFCS we recognize the urgency and need to provide confidential counseling with the goal of helping these brave men and women cope and reduce their personal and family stress.”

“We are grateful for Bank of Tucson’s generous support which will go a long way to providing free services to our community’s first responders and public safety officers and their families,” added Hernández.

“This is a really important program, and JFCS is doing an outstanding job at offering a support system to a broad spectrum of our community,” said Hannley. “In light of recent incidents involving firefighters and their families, Bank of Tucson wants to do everything we can to help and hopefully prevent these tragic events from happening.”

About JFCS:   For more than 76 years, Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Southern Arizona (JFCS), a nonprofit, non-sectarian organization, has provided responsive, quality, personalized behavioral healthcare and social services to children, families and adults without regard to race, gender, age, ethnicity, religion or income.

Contact:  Liz Hernández, JFCS Director of Marketing and Communications 

(520) 795-0300 x-2263   

Click here to email Liz.

Hi-res image available upon request.

Phoenix Suns Charities Give $8,000 Grant to JFCS

Posted & filed under JFCS News.

Phoenix Suns Charities

Left to right: Phoenix Suns Charities Manager Jennie Patel and Executive Director Sarah Krahenbuhl visited Tucson to present the grant check to JFCS President & CEO Carlos Hernández and Philanthropy Officer Alisa Shorr

JFCS couldn’t be more pleased with the grant from the Phoenix Suns Charities for the Healing Garden Project.

This project will create a more welcoming patio at the entrance to the clinic where there is now just gravel and a lonely ocotillo.The transformed space will include plants, seating, and a brick pathway and be a special place for children and families to enjoy together before and after therapy sessions.

Additionally, each of our childhood trauma therapy offices located on the ground floor has a large window that looks out onto an individual patio box neglected for too long. These patio boxes, which are very visible and run the entire length of our building, will be filled with colorful plants for children and their families to enjoy during trauma therapy sessions.

At least 400 children (ages 3-18) will benefit. Many of them have been sexually, physically, and emotionally abused and/or the victim of a crime. Without intervention, they are more vulnerable to negative outcomes such as dropping out of school, substance abuse, and delinquency. JFCS offers early intervention by highly qualified licensed therapists at no cost for as long as needed to address trauma.

Children exposed to these traumas see their world as a frightening place. A very important part of therapy is creating an environment at the clinic that is friendly and welcoming. These patios filled with plants and flowers will create a more healing environment that helps reduce anger, anxiety and stress.


Where flowers bloom, so does hope. ~ Lady Bird Johnson