Motivated by her desire to make a difference for underserved populations at a statewide level, Maria-Elena Ochoa has spent nearly four decades in the field of public service and outreach. She is currently utilizing her expertise at MEO & Associates, LLC, which is a nonprofit behavioral health service agency that provides mental health and substance abuse services. As the company’s chief executive officer, Ms. Ochoa is responsible for a variety of tasks, including coordinating and staffing the governor’s commission to prevent violence against women, facilitating collaboration among state agencies and communities, negotiating contracts, and integrating primary care into behavioral mental health substance abuse services.
Prior to joining MEO & Associates, LLC, Ms. Ochoa started her journey as a program administrator at Marc Behavioral Health Services and as the chief operating officer at Valle Del Sol. In her role with the former, she obtained funding for, developed, licensed, accredited and managed $8 million of new business for critical services in areas such as general mental health, serious mental illness, and co-occurring disorders. Then, with the latter, she spearheaded an organizational assessment and corporate cultural change initiative, and worked with a team of directors to develop the first annual outcome evaluation.
Ms. Ochoa prepared for her endeavors by earning an MBA with an emphasis on health care administration from the University of Phoenix in 2000 and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Arizona State University in 1993. She also became affiliated with prominent professional organizations like the Phoenix Chapter of the National Society of Hispanic MBAs. As a woman in today’s world, Ms. Ochoa attributes her success to her education, work ethic, resilience, and ability to establish strong and authentic relationships, as well as her strengths in business development, project management, conflict resolution, strategic planning, and public speaking.
When Ms. Ochoa isn’t working, she lends her services to causes like the Arizona Women’s Heritage trail and the Mountain Park Health Center. As a testament to her achievements thus far, she was honored with the Gamma Alpha Omega Latina Excellence Award for Science and Medicine from Arizona State University in 2006.
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