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See what’s in the news about Mercy Care and topics that affect our community’s health and wellness.

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Statewide crisis phone line vendor selected

As part of the AHCCCS Complete Care Competitive Contract expansion, the ACC-RBHA contractors, Mercy Care, Care1st and Arizona Complete Health-Complete Care Plan (AzCH-CCP), have jointly selected a single statewide crisis phone vendor to operate Arizona’s 24/7/365 behavioral health crisis phone lines effective 10/01/2022.   

Solari was selected to enter into a provider contract with each of the three RBHA contractors.  

Solari was selected after a joint Invitation to Respond process. The Invitation to Respond was issued February 18, after gathering public input in January and February 2022. Public input was provided through online surveys and virtual community listening sessions in English and Spanish.  

Work to combat sex trafficking continues in Tucson despite reduced resources

Tucson agencies no longer do proactive undercover work to find sex traffickers, and the Police Department now has only one detective reviewing and investigating suspected cases of people being forced into sex work. Much of that work is now done by federal agents with Homeland Security Investigations.

But local and federal officials say an October rescue of a 14-year-old victim — who said she was sexually exploited in four states — is among other examples showing they are still working together to target suspects and crack cases, despite a recent reduction in funding and resources. 
Executive director Marie Fordnoy of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Southern Arizona said the way investigations are conducted makes a difference in the level of trauma a person experiences.

“We use an evidence-based model that gets the story from them while minimizing their trauma,” Fordnoy said of the center’s interview process. “When you provide these services in an advocacy center, research shows the victim is more likely to get follow-up medical care and follow-up mental health services.”

Another member of the collaborative is Mercy Care, a local nonprofit, Medicaid managed-care health plan.

“Children in foster care have a higher risk of becoming trafficking victims, and through our partnership with the Department of Child Safety, we’re responsible statewide for the health and wellness of these children,” Mercy Care project manager Amber Divens, who works with the Southern Arizona Human Trafficking Collaborative, said in an email to the Star.

“We want to make sure that youth who have been trafficked have immediate access to the physical and mental health care services they need.” 

Read the full story at the Arizona Daily Star.