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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  
April 4, 2012

For More Information, Contact:
Phil Yost (650) 688-6384 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Lisa Gardiner (916) 651-4011 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


SACRAMENTO – State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) announced today his selection of Monique Kane, Executive Director of the Community Health Awareness Council, a nonprofit mental health services agency in Mountain View, as the 11th State Senate District’s Woman of the Year.

Kane has been Executive Director of CHAC for the past 11 years, and has worked there, previously as a clinical supervisor and clinical director, since 1986. CHAC offers counseling and therapy to children, teens and families dealing with a variety of problems such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, domestic violence, truancy and gang membership. Last year, CHAC served 11,917 clients at its clinic and in outreach programs at 31 elementary, middle and high schools.

“The work that Monique and CHAC do with troubled young people and their families is an extraordinary gift to the community,” said Simitian. “Under Monique’s leadership, CHAC helps people avoid self-destructive behavior and find the way to healthy lives and rewarding family relationships.”

“I am so deeply honored to have been selected,” said Kane. “It certainly is a reflection of our excellent staff.  I started out years ago as a therapist, so I was always in this kind of work, but when I came to CHAC I was amazed at how many lives of children and teens that we touched and how we helped them grow emotionally and build good skills.”

During Kane’s years as director, the number of people served by CHAC has tripled. Recently, Sunnyvale schools were added to the counseling program. A new teen substance abuse treatment and prevention program called “Well Within” is an intensive 12-week program of therapy, support, and education. CHAC also runs a Restorative Justice Program working with youth who have committed misdemeanors, to get them back on track. At a Family Resource Center, CHAC works with First 5 families who have children ages 0-5. Its Blossom Program has a pregnancy prevention component as well as a program to help teen parents.

“Monique Kane has been the steadfast leader to ensure that we’ve had uninterrupted counseling service for over two decades in our community,” said Dr. Barry Groves, superintendent of the Mountain View Los Altos High School District. “She and CHAC have provided mental health and counseling services free of charge to students throughout our community who would otherwise not be able to afford them.”

“Over the last decades,” said Groves, “our students are experiencing a great deal of stress in the classroom and at home. It’s more important than ever that we provide these counseling services to our kids and their families.”

CHAC is a leading training clinic for future therapists. Interns seeking their therapy licenses or doctoral degrees, which require thousands of hours of training, do most of the counseling. CHAC is currently working at 31 school sites, with two to five counselors at a site, in Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Sunnyvale. Counselors also see families, children and teens at its clinic in Mountain View.

CHAC was founded in 1973. It operates under a Joint Powers Agreement that includes the cities of Mountain View, Los Altos, and Los Altos Hills and the Mountain View Whisman School District, the Los Altos School District, and the Mountain View Los Altos High School District.

Kane is a graduate of Salve Regina College and holds a master’s degree from Goddard College. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

A member of the Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs of Mountain View, Kane is active in community affairs. She also serves on several local boards and advisory committees. Her interests outside of work include hiking with her husband, Bill Heinz, time with family and grandchildren, reading, theater, symphony, volunteering and travel.

Kane will be honored by Simitian at an event in May.

The Woman of the Year award is given annually by members of the California State Legislature to honor outstanding women in their districts. Simitian chose Kane from among his 931,349 constituents in the thirteen cities and towns from the three counties of the 11th State Senate district.


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