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Orange County Register

Most Influential 2014: Maricela Rios-Faust

Dec. 18 2014

Age: 43

Job: Chief operations officer for Human Options, one of the county’s oldest providers of services to victims of domestic violence.

Bio: As a psychology major at Cal State Fullerton 20 years ago, she landed an internship with a gang prevention program in Huntington Beach, launching her career in nonprofits. She joined Human Options eight years ago. She lives in Huntington Beach.

Why she’s an influencer: Domestic abuse is a pervasive, widely underreported, crime. In 2014, Rios-Faust led the development of a training program that teaches health workers how to ask questions that can help identify domestic abuse victims. Nurses, physicians and others at Kaiser Permanente medical centers in Orange County, and at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach, have taken the training. Human Options provides referrals to available services, or immediate help if requested.

Biggest challenge:  “As a young therapist, I can remember feeling completely hopeless when a 13-year-old girl I was working with was beaten for trying to stop her father from hurting her mom.” Continue  reading .


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