Project AWARE Welcomes Dr. Christine Stein

Dr. Christine Stein recently joined the Arizona Project AWARE team as Co-Coordinator and Suicide Prevention Specialist with AHCCCS. Christine has a master’s degree in public health and a doctorate in social policy. She brings considerable experience planning, implementing, and evaluating health and wellness programs and services, as well as experience working with schools, tribal communities, non-profit organizations, and government agencies.

Christine is welcomed to the team by other Project AWARE staff at both the Department of Education and the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System. The AWARE grant is managed through a partnership between the two state agencies. For more information about Project AWARE,


The Role of Tribal Consultations at AHCCCS

American Indian tribes have historically been recognized as inherent sovereign nations by the federal government – a distinction that arises out of the unique political relationship between the United States and Indian tribes and is the basis for the work of Tribal Relations at state and federal agencies. While each tribe has independent governmental structures and programs serving their citizens, there are also federal and state programs that serve American Indians and require coordinated efforts between tribal, state, and federal entities.

AHCCCS recognizes our responsibility, as a state-federal Medicaid program, in upholding the sovereignty of tribes in forming our policies and programming. AHCCCS engages in quarterly tribal consultation meetings to receive feedback and guide discussion on these important topics. Our agency is entrusted with providing a space where AHCCCS leadership, tribes, Indian Health Service facilities, and Urban Indian Health Programs, engage in open, continuous, and meaningful consultation on a government-to-government basis.

Tribal consultations are an important way in which AHCCCS receives input from tribal leaders, stakeholders, and community members prior to implementing program changes or policies that impact AHCCCS-enrolled tribal members. The tribal consultation process is guided by the AHCCCS Tribal Consultation Policy and complies with Arizona Revised Statute 41-2051 Section C, which is meant to ensure that there is ongoing information exchange and mutual understanding between tribes and AHCCCS which leads to informed decision-making. Topics of discussion at each tribal consultation meeting includes any State Plan Amendments, State Waiver updates, and routine cross-division updates.  [Include with Source Article: Agency staff who wish to be included on the agenda or invite list for future tribal consultations should reach out to AHCCCS Tribal Liaison, Amanda Bahe for coordination.] AHCCCS Tribal Consultation locations are alternated between the Central AHCCCS office in Phoenix, statewide tribal nation lands, and partner IHS and Urban Indian health program locations. 

For more information on the AHCCCS Tribal Consultation Policy and Process, and 2020 dates and locations, visit the AHCCCS Tribal Consultation page.

Amanda Bahe, AHCCCS Tribal Liaison, is the point of contact for any questions related to the AHCCCS Tribal Consultation process. She can be reached at


On International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, Remind Survivors of Available Resources

International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, Saturday, November 23, is an occasion for survivors to join together for healing and support through their shared experience. Originally designated in 1999, the weekend before Thanksgiving is always recognized as Survivor Day since the holidays can be a difficult time of remembrance for those who have lost loved ones to suicide. 

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) coordinates over 300 events in the United States and worldwide, recognizing that this issue affects people from all walks of life. This year two events will be held in Arizona–in Tempe and Sierra Vista. While each event is different, all will feature a short AFSP documentary that shows families navigating the loss of a parent, child, sibling, or friend, in all different stages of grief. Regardless of one’s place in healing, Survivor Day aims to connect people to a network of communities that understand grief through shared experiences.

This year’s documentary is titled Pathways to Healing: Hope after Suicide Loss, and follows a community’s healing journey following the loss of a son, brother, and friend: Chris Taddeo. Watch the trailer here

On Survivor Day, take time to recognize your own strength and the strength of those around you. Recognize those that have been in ultimate despair and managed to carry on; recognize those that are finding their own path to their new normal. If you need help, seek it. If you want to talk about your loss, talk about it freely. 

Register to attend an event or see past documentaries