Congratulations to the community of Winchester Heights on their new locally-run non-profit organization, Winchester Heights Health Organization! The new Board of Directors of the “Winchester Heights Health Organization, Inc. (WHHO) met for the first time on July 15th, 2020 via Zoom. The Board has elected Yazaida Esquilin as the President, Blas Perez as the Vice President and Chiricahua Community Health Centers’ Rosa Maria Mendoza Chapa as Treasurer. The Board approved their organization’s bylaws during this first meeting and has continued meeting together to discuss community issues and learn how to run meetings and manage their finances.
SEAHEC will continue supporting WHHO and the community as the Board learns how to manage their organization, which is responsible for managing the Winchester Community Center. We look forward to transferring ownership of the community center to WHHO in the near future.
Over a million residents of the US/Mexico border region live in unincorporated rural communities that lack basic infrastructure most Americans take for granted, like potable water, paved, lighted streets and access to basic health and safety services. At the same time, these communities lack the means to leverage these resources because they don’t have the basic building blocks needed to develop infrastructure.
The basic building blocks for leverage are an accessible, physical space to conduct community business and the organizational capacity to solicit and manage resources. The community also needs a mechanism for sharing skills and reliable information, and for developing partnerships with agencies who can provided much needed expertise.
SEAHEC’s partnership with Winchester Heights has illustrated how a Community Health Worker driven model for developing and managing basic health and safety infrastructure can foster growth and prosperity in the most marginalized communities. Local funding has been instrumental in helping us reach our goals of building a community center and helping residents develop the organizational skills needed to manage it. The Legacy Foundation of Southeast Arizona provided generous financial support for construction of the Winchester Heights Community Center, as well as support for recruitment and training of community members to form the governing board. The Legacy Foundation of Southeast Arizona is an Arizona charitable organization whose philanthropic mission is to promote population health and community wellness throughout Southeast Arizona.