REDUCING BLIGHT: When Globe lost a big real estate development opportunity due to blight, Dr. Wilshire asked if she could help create solutions to the challenge. She participated in community clean-up efforts, pushed for federal Community Block Development Grant money to be used for blight reduction, and worked with Sharon Winters to create unique recycling opportunities to keep reusable items out of the landfill. When told curbside recycling was not a possibility, she wrote an 80-page recycling and resource guide which was made available to residents for free. She helped to organize a “Free-cycle” day where people could put things they no longer wanted in front of their homes on a scheduled day and other people who needed an item could take it for free. Dr. Wilshire worked on numerous historic building restoration projects and downtown beautification efforts. She worked with the building inspector to push for blight ordinances to be added to the city code. When some residents stated they did not have the resources to fix and beautify their homes, Dr. Wilshire suggested creating a free tool lending library. Though told repeatedly this could not work, she pressed on and made the idea into an award-winning reality as Harvard University’s Ash School of Governance recognized the Globe Tool Lending Library as a “Bright Idea in America.”
CREATING TRIBAL BEHAVIORAL HEALTH RESOURCES: When all other team members left the San Carlos Apache behavioral health department, Dr. Wilshire remained to advance the vision of creating a world-class clinic that offered a wide-variety of resources to Tribal members of all ages. Under her leadership, she helped the clinic expand from 1 to 118 staff members, added new clinical programs and resources, and empowered team members to pursue their passions. The Wellness Center went on to lead the nation in innovative programming; win regional, state, and national awards; and also earned international accreditation.
PROMOTING REGIONAL MINING HISTORY: For 40 years, community members asked for a park at the site of the historic Old Dominion Mine. Dr. Wilshire took the lead and worked alongside a dedicated group of volunteers to create public-private partnerships, get funding, address legal issues, plan park features, and organize volunteer work days to build park amenities. Now the Old Dominion Historic Mine Park is a beloved community resource that encourages play and fitness among residents and draws tourists to the area to learn about mining, geology, and regional history through hundreds of educational signs and historic artifacts. The park was recognized by the governor as an Arizona Centennial Legacy Project and was the focus of an Arizona Rural Policy Forum session to help other communities similarly embrace and develop their unique regional resources.
ADVANCING NATIVE AMERICAN HEALTH THROUGHOUT INDIAN COUNTRY: When given a challenge, Dr. Wilshire enjoys finding creative solutions. She helped at the state level to draw attention to the lack of resources for deaf and hard-of-hearing tribal members, as well as to streamline and encourage better collaboration between state and tribal legal systems when involuntary commitment is necessary for tribal members. She worked with an inter-tribal task force to look for solutions to improve correctional healthcare options within tribal jails and to seek changes in federal Medicare legislation. She has worked with numerous tribes to help create new programming (like day treatment programs for Seriously Mentally Ill clients and telepsychiatry clinics), to write policy and procedure, and to seek program accreditation. For her efforts, Dr. Wilshire was awarded both the Arizona American Indian Integrated Care’s “Al Long Behavioral Health Memorial Award” for positively impacting the mental health of American Indians in Arizona and given “Honorable Mention” recognition from the American Psychological Association’s Committee on Rural Health for the first ever “APA Excellence in Rural Psychology Award.”