Office of Individual and Family Affairs

Who We Are

Susan Kennard, Bureau Chief

Susan Kennard serves as the Bureau Chief at the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) - Division of Community Advocacy & Intergovernmental Relations, Office of Individual and Family Affairs. Susan has been involved with the behavioral health community for over a decade serving as an advocate, manager of family support, human rights liaison, family psychoeducation facilitator, mother of a young man with a serious mental illness and active volunteer with NAMI (National Alliance on Mental illness) where she has helped hundreds of families who have been affected by mental illness. Susan is a past president for NAMI Southeast Valley, NAMI Family-to-Family teacher/trainer and family support group facilitator. Susan holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and paralegal certification. Susan is also co-author on a book chapter on stigma.

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Chaz Longwell, Recovery & Resiliency Programs Coordinator

Chaz Longwell is the Recovery & Resiliency Programs Coordinator for the state of Arizona. Since 2012 he has overseen the policies and procedures guiding Arizona’s Medicaid-Reimbursable peer support programs.

He had previously been employed in public relations, event coordination and program development in the non-profit sector, before coming into the behavioral health field on a dare by his therapist.

Mr. Longwell is a graduate of Arizona State University with a degree in Sociology.

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Steven Leibensperger, Foster Care Community Liaison

Steven has worked for AHCCCS since 2003 assisting members in the eligibility process, and working to grow and develop internal staff through training, facilitation, and eLearning design. He has been involved in the foster care system in Arizona since 2008 as a foster/adoptive parent and assisting local community organizations. He and his wife have fostered over 70 children and adopted four.

Steven has advocated for the rights and services of children in care. With a vast knowledge of AHCCCS programs and policy, the ability and skills to train and facilitate, and the passion for helping children in need, Steven brings a unique perspective to the OIFA team as he works to make an impact on the children and adults in Arizona.

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Jamie Green, Healthcare Advocacy Coordinator

Jamie Green serves as the Healthcare Advocacy Coordinator at the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) – Division of Community Advocacy & Intergovernmental Relations, Office of Individual and Family Affairs. Jamie is a Certified Peer Support and Family Support Specialist with advanced training in health & wellness and health coaching and has extensive experience in navigating the public behavioral health system both professionally and personally. She has past experience in program development, implementation and facilitation of a Whole Health Wellness Program focused on self-activation, efficacy and resiliency. Jamie considers herself a self-proclaimed subject matter expert in behavior change gained through her many years of lived experience in both her personal life and professional career.

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Austin Hernandez, Administrative Assistant

Austin serves as the administrative assistant for AHCCCS' Office of Individual and Family Affairs. Austin has worked for the Arizona Attorney General's Office, in the Child Welfare division and has experience serving children with developmental disabilities in a variety of previous roles.

In addition to his work experience, Austin has a brother who has special needs and who is heavily involved in the Special Olympics. Austin's lived experience has been a guiding force in his career thus far.

Austin holds an Associate of Science and will soon receive a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Photography from Arizona State University

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