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Who We Are

Our vision is to build productive citizens to society one strategy at a time. 

IV-CHARIS (Compassionate Hearts Assisting Restoring Instructing and Serving) was founded in 1999 by Mamie E. Harris.  It is the only minority, a faith-based organization in Cincinnati that is state qualified to do HIV/Hepatitis C counseling, testing, and referral services.   IV-CHARIS is highly regarded on a local and state level for its’ system of quality, state-of-the-art, culturally competent trauma educational curriculum, and services.  

While IV-CHARIS is an acronym for Compassionate Hearts Assisting Rebuilding Instructing and Serving, it is also the Greek word for “Grace.”  The strategic usage of this word reminds us to view individuals challenged with traumatic life situations and health diagnoses with grace and compassion.  Our goal is to develop continuous prevention/intervention strategies for the community of Cincinnati and beyond.  

IV-CHARIS’ niche:

  • Prides itself on keeping the organization’s “finger” to the pulse of the community and developing programs that apply to the current opportunities that have been identified

  • Effective community mobilizer and trailblazer within the communities of color

  • Bridges the programming gap between the faith sector and the local community

  • Implementation of solution-based, evidence-based community programming

  • A subsidiary that focuses solely on spiritual cultivation and trauma healing through artistic expression

Who We Serve
Why Trauma-Informed Care

We serve: 

  • Incarcerated individuals

  • Those who have identified as having experienced one or more traumatic life experience(s)

  • Church communities

  • Schools

  • Parents of children who have experienced traumatic life experiences

  • Professionals (i.e., Social Workers)

Why Trauma-Informed Care?

After MANY HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C risk assessments and risk reduction plans completed by our clients, the major takeaway was there was something more profound than the behavior itself.  A root cause analysis allowed our Founder and Board to recognize that at the core of the behaviors exhibited by our clients was trauma.  

Did you know?

•       In the US, 61% of men and 51% of women report exposure to at least one-lifetime traumatic event 

•       Unaddressed trauma leads to poor health outcomes and hindered recovery 

•       The CDC report found that suicide rates among women have risen at an even higher rate than the overall suicide rate, with significant increases in the suicide rate among women in 43 states 

•       The CDC researchers found that more than half of Americans who died by suicide had not been diagnosed with a mental health condition. The report says that substance abuse, financial stress, and relationship problems or loss all contribute to suicide risk 

•       "Suicide is a leading cause of death for Americans, and it’s a tragedy for families and communities across the country,” - CDC Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat 

•       SAMHSA reports, “Providing care in a trauma-informed manner promotes positive health outcomes.  A trauma-informed approach is a program that realizes the widespread of trauma, recognizes the signs and symptoms of trauma and seeks to resist re-traumatization actively.”

Who We Are : About


  • Shaped Federal AIDS Policy 

  • Lobbying on Capitol Hill for funding towards AIDS prevention programming

  • Co-author of an International Research-Based published Journal 

  • Principal Investigator on a 1-year research grant with the University of Cincinnati that focused on engaging black churches in the fight against HIV stigma

  • Lead on 1-year statewide mobilization initiative to have 10,000 blacks screened for HIV in Ohio

  • Conducted risk avoidance programming to over 15,000 youth in greater Cincinnati

  • Member of the Response to the Opioid Epidemic Steering Committee 

  • Partner on 5-year federal grant addressing childhood trauma

  • Cumulative programming has touched the lives of over 40,000 individuals

  • Led HIV city-wide marketing campaigns

  • Hosted HIV Spoken Word Event sponsored by Cincinnati NAACP

  • Subsidiary implemented a successful community-wide day crusade that served over 1,200 individuals 

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