MiraVia Achieves National Accreditation
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (December 11, 2017) – MiraVia, Inc. is proud to announce that, after two years of self-study and preparation, it has achieved the important milestone of national accreditation through the New York-based Council on Accreditation (COA).
MiraVia, a Catholic non-profit maternity and after-care program serving the greater Charlotte, N.C., region, has provided material and emotional support to more than 7,980 mothers and their children since the organization admitted its first mother in 1994. MiraVia’s services include two unique programs to help pregnant women in need. The first is an innovative residential facility and program designed just for young women in college who are facing an unplanned pregnancy. The on-campus residence provides all the support and services pregnant college students need to achieve both their academic and parenting goals. Second is MiraVia’s Outreach Program that provides material assistance, peer support, and educational programs for pregnant women who are struggling to make ends meet. No other regional programs provide such extensive care.
Organizations such as MiraVia pursue accreditation to demonstrate the implementation of best practice standards in the field of human services. COA evaluated all aspects of MiraVia’s programs, services, management, and administration and voted that the organization had successfully met the criteria for accreditation.
“We are committed to compassionate, professional care that puts our faith into action,” said Debbie Capen, executive director of MiraVia. “The accreditation process ensures that every aspect of our organization has been studied, evaluated and measured against the best practices of top non-profits around the world; and we are proud to stand among them.
“MiraVia is unique in its approach to serving pregnant women who lack support. Our programs were developed as the result of getting to know our clients and listening to their needs. By eliminating many of the barriers to higher education and a better quality of life, we are empowering pregnant women to create bright, healthy futures for themselves and their children.”
COA accreditation is an objective, independent, and reliable validation of an agency’s performance. The COA accreditation process involves a detailed review and analysis of an organization’s administration, management, and service delivery functions against international standards of best practice. The standards driving accreditation ensure that services are well-coordinated, culturally competent, evidence-based, outcomes-oriented, and provided by a skilled and supported workforce.
MiraVia’s college-based program is specifically designed to meet the needs of pregnant college women, integrating both prenatal and postnatal services. The residence in Belmont, N.C. is equipped to house young mothers during their maternity and after their baby is born for a total of 24 months. Housing, meals, professional counseling, professional case management, infant clothing and supplies, and extensive life-skills training in parenting, personal finance, nutrition, infant care, adoption options, and employment basics are all included free of charge.
Focusing on pregnant women in need, MiraVia’s Outreach Program provides meaningful material, emotional, and programmatic support in both English and Spanish. By attending biweekly program sessions for up to a year, these mothers learn about health, parenting, nutrition, relationship building, ESL and a variety of other topics and community resources. Each mother builds a support community to rely on as she moves beyond this program. Both teen and adult mothers qualify for this free program.
For more information, contact Debbie Capen at 704-525-4673 ext. 14 or visit www.miravia.org.
MiraVia, Inc. is a Catholic, 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation based in Charlotte, N.C. and was incorporated by the Secretary of State in March 1994 as Room At The Inn. MiraVia is listed in the Official Catholic Directory, P.J. Kenedy and Sons. Respecting and affirming life from the moment of conception, MiraVia is a safe haven and source of hope for single pregnant mothers and their children. Invoking a Christ-centered approach inspired by the examples of Mary and Joseph, MiraVia helps young families move toward a new life of hopeful, independent and healthy living and educates the broader community on the importance of fostering a culture of life. MiraVia serves pregnant women of all economic, social, racial and ethnic backgrounds. MiraVia’s residential facility at the campus of Belmont Abbey College is fully licensed by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services as a Maternity Residence per North Carolina General Statute 131 D-10.3. For more information, please visit www.miravia.org.
Founded in 1977, COA is an independent, not-for-profit accreditor of the full continuum of community-based behavioral health care and social service organizations in the United States and Canada. Over 2,000 organizations — voluntary, public, and proprietary; local and statewide; large and small — have either successfully achieved COA accreditation or are currently engaged in the process. Presently, COA has a total of 47 service standards that are applicable to over 125 different types of programs. To learn more about COA, please visit www.COAnet.org.
Board of Directors President Announces New Executive Director at MiraVia
To my fellow supporters of MiraVia:
I have some exciting news to share with you! As you may have read in the December edition of the Catholic News & Herald, our beloved Executive Director, Jeannie Wray, retired from her position on March 31. Jeannie has been a tremendous asset to our organization over the past decade and leaves some enormous shoes to fill. Those of you who know Jeannie don’t need to hear from me what a special person she is. She is a saintly person, a great leader and a tireless advocate for our organization. I have been blessed to know her and call her a friend during my 8 years on the MiraVia board and I will truly miss her wit, wisdom and passion in our board meetings.
When Jeannie originally told me about her wish to retire, I tried to look at it more as an opportunity to build on the outstanding progress we have made during Jeannie’s tenure rather than something to be worried about. To find the absolute best candidate, the board created a special committee made up of current board members, past presidents of the organization and one active supporter of MiraVia who performs executive searches for a living. We all made sure to say extra prayers as our committee went through the search and hiring process. The committee first formulated a list of the key attributes that we were looking for in our new Executive Director and then solicited resumes both online and in various Catholic publications around our region, with the goal of casting the widest net possible. We received numerous inquiries and resumes and ultimately selected four candidates to interview. The candidates all came from diverse backgrounds with unique skill sets but shared a passion for our mission on both a personal and professional level, and the committee felt fortunate to have such good choices.
Ultimately, there was one candidate who rose above the others with her knowledge of the organization, her poise, her strength, her humility and her abundantly evident passion for our mission. I am proud to announce, on behalf of the board of directors of MiraVia, that our new Executive Director is Debbie Capen.
Debbie has served as the Assistant Director of MiraVia since 2008 and has been running the residential program at Belmont Abbey College since 2013. Prior to joining MiraVia, Debbie worked in the private sector with Honeywell, rising through the ranks from a receptionist to her final role as a Senior Human Resources Consultant. Debbie has been intimately involved in the pro-life movement in Charlotte for the past 15 years. Debbie’s experiences as the former chairperson of Charlotte Right to Life, and time spent partnering with organizations like North Carolina Right to Life, Silent No More and 40 Days for Life, as well as her 9 years of experience at MiraVia make her uniquely suited to lead our organization.
Debbie and her husband, Jon, have been tireless supporters of MiraVia over the years and have gone above and beyond to serve our clients, even while raising a large family of their own. As Debbie described it to our committee, the Capen Family views MiraVia as their mission … not just a job. I could not be more delighted and excited for the future of our organization to have Debbie at the helm.
Please join me in congratulating Debbie on this well-deserved recognition of her talent and please say a prayer for Debbie and our staff as we make this leadership transition over the next month. And, as always, I ask that you keep our clients and their children in your prayers at all times. This organization is a daily fountain of blessings for those of us who have the honor to be part of it, and that includes all of you. Please know that the board and the staff keep all of you in our prayers as well and wish you and your families all the best.