Connection Spotlight — CCC&Y one of four organizations in Arizona to be selected for the Vitalyst Health Foundation’s System Change Grant

Apr 4, 2023 | CCC&Y Info & Events

By the Coconino Coalition for Children & Youth

The Coconino Coalition for Children & Youth was one of four organizations in Arizona to be selected this year for the Vitalyst Health Foundation’s System Change Grant. 

We will receive $175,000 over three years to develop, in conjunction with the City of Flagstaff and Coconino County, a mental model change ensuring trauma-informed and resilience information is understood at City and County levels and enacted as policy change. The goal is to improve patient engagement, treatment adherence, health outcomes and provider and staff wellness.

Our gratitude to our partners; The City of Flagstaff, Coconino County, Northland Family Help Center and Arizona ACEs Consortium is extensive.  They have been very involved throughout this process and will continue to be throughout the project.  Their expertise and support is tremendous.

Individuals to thank include Mayor Becky Daggett, City Manager Greg Clifton, Coconino Board of Supervisors Chair Patrice Horstman, Coconino County Director of Health and Human Services Kim Musselman, Coconino County Deputy Director HHS Michele Axlund, Northland Family Help Center Clinical Director/ CCC&Y Board Member Andrea Meronuck, Arizona ACES Consortium Executive Director Angie Burleson, and CCC&Y Board Member, Jacelyn Salabye.

We would also like to thank both Cindy Soqui (Coconino County) and Shawn Johnson (City of Flagstaff) for all your various support throughout this process.

We also recognize with deep gratitude that Kevin Campbell, Iya Affo, and Rene RedDay with Building Community were key consultants and participants on our Vitalyst Health Foundation Spark Grant.  This grant helped us collect the community voice necessary to submit for this system change grant.  We look forward to being able to continue our partnerships with these amazing individuals.  Their extensive knowledge, experience and partnership is deeply appreciated.

“The Board of Directors of the Coconino Coalition for Children & Youth would also like to recognize the hard work and dedication of CCC&Y Executive Director Virginia Watahomigie for guiding the Coalition through this challenging process of applying for the Vitalyst Health Foundation’s System Change Grant,” said Peter Van Wyck, Northeast Senior Director of First Things First and president of the Coalition’s board. “With Virginia’s leadership and this wonderful support from Vitalyst, CCC&Y is looking forward to strengthening trauma informed care and resiliency at the city and county level.”

Watahomigie notes “This has been a major undertaking to date, we know we have much work ahead, and we are looking forward to what develops due to such generous support from the Vitalyst Health Foundation!  Our gratitude is immense. We are so thankful to continue working with such an outstanding organization and all of our amazing, dedicated partners!”

Other organizations receiving the grant include the Northern Arizona University Foundation, Activate Food Arizona and the Pima County Attorney’s Office.

The Northern Arizona University Foundation will work to eliminate structural barriers of the Medicaid system to improve outcomes for youth transitioning out of foster care (YTC) to independent living.  The NAU Foundation will develop the first model of Medicaid reimbursement and implementation of occupational therapy transition services to objectively address the needs of youth transitioning out of foster care, a population with a long history of disparities and inequity, exacerbated by a history of trauma and instability.

— “Vitalyst Health Foundation is on a mission to inform, connect and support efforts to improve the health of individuals and communities in Arizona. Over its history, the foundation has invested more than $134 million and established itself as a key thought leader, convener and catalyst of key initiatives – ranging from statewide health policy and systems change to housing collaboratives. More information is available at

Coconino Coalition for Children & Youth — We are eliminating childhood trauma and inequity by building an inclusive movement of people dedicated to transforming and healing our communities. Through leadership, education and advocacy, we are reconnecting children and families to the greater community and their own potential.

Our Mission: We ignite collective action that creates better lives for children and families. 

Our Vision: We imagine a world where every person lives in peace and is supported by a thriving, resilient community.