Staff Members

  • Adon Vazquez

    Sacred Bundle Project Program Assistant

  • Aimee Cisler, LMSW, IMH-E®

    Healthy Start MIHP Program Coordinator

  • April Slaven

    Medical Accounting Clerk

  • Arwa Almuraisi, BS

    Laboratory and Vaccine Medical Assistant

  • Ashley Fairbanks, BA

    Zero Suicide Program Assistant

  • Carrie Garcia, MSA

    Human Resource Specialist

  • Chloe Beard

    Certified Medical Billing Coordinator

  • Dustin Sample

    Systems Administrator

  • Irianna Peraza

    Office Coordinator

  • James H. Taylor, Jr.

    Facilities Associate/Driver

  • Jermaine Miller, BS

    Project Coordinator

  • Jessica Boyd, BA

    Youth Program Coordinator

  • John Marcus

    Communications Specialist

  • Jordan Blechert, MA

    Zero Suicide Program Manager

  • Josette French, MD

    Physician

  • Kimberly Kleinhans, PhD, MPA, CFRE

    Development Director

  • Latrese Windham

    Lead Medical Assistant

  • Lawrence G. Caldwell, BSBM, MS

    Youth Program Manager

  • Lesley Burnham, AA

    Accounting Specialist

  • Monica Noyola

    Office Coordinator

  • Nechelle Laferriere, BS

    Youth Program Assistant

  • Roberta Hirshon, LMSW

    Consultant

  • Shelly Nimocks-Hinshaw

    Office Coordinator

  • Stephanie Boyd

    Office Manager

  • Steve Ware, LMSW, CAADC, CCS

    Behavioral Health Clinical Supervisor

  • Taylor Puckett, BA

    Outreach and Training Coordinator

  • Tina James

    Executive Administrator

  • Todd Boike

    Facilities, Safety and Transportation Supervisor

  • Violeta Donawa, LMSW, MA

    Behavioral Health Therapist

  • Wefaq Aljahim

    Medical Assistant

  • William F. Dial

    Facilities Associate/Driver

Adon Vazquez

Sacred Bundle Project Program Assistant

Adon Vazquez (Cherokee/Mexican/Macedonian) is an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians from Cherokee, North Carolina. He is currently attending Wayne State University for his bachelor’s degree. He has been a part of the Native community his whole life and was a member of the Dreamseekers youth group here at AIHFS.
His main focus with his work is to make not only this community, but every community that he visits a suicide safe community. He has started doing this by becoming an inaugural member of the National Council of Urban Indian Health’s Youth Council in Washington DC as well as one of the ambassadors for We R Native from Michigan. In his free time, he likes to travel to powwows and round dances as well as listening to music and spending time around the fire.

Aimee Cisler, LMSW, IMH-E®

Healthy Start MIHP Program Coordinator

Aimee has been a social worker for the Healthy Start program since 2015. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology (2010) and Master’s Degree in Social Work (2012) at the University of Michigan. She is also endorsed as an Infant Family Specialist through the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health. Aimee has a passion for educating and empowering families to make the best choices for their health and wellness and for supporting the mental health of individuals in times of transition, especially pregnancy and parenthood. In her free time, Aimee enjoys hiking, running, and gardening with her family.

April Slaven

Medical Accounting Clerk

April has earned her Associate Degree in Health Information Technology and is a few credits away from a Bachelor in Healthcare Administration. She has over 15 years of billing and A/R experience and is very excited to be brought on board at AIHFS.
In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with her 2 adult children. April also plays the violin, likes to crochet, and loves trying new food. She grew up in Southwest Detroit and still continues to live close.
“Detroit inspires me to see how far parts of the city have come through the last few years. My hero is, and always will be, my mom. A little fun fact is that I used to attend Sunday school in the church next door.”

Arwa Almuraisi, BS

Laboratory and Vaccine Medical Assistant

Arwa is from Yemen. She has three children and likes to spend time with her family. She has been in the medical field for eight years and the reason why she likes the field is to help patients in need. She considers her husband to be her hero.

Ashley Fairbanks, BA

Zero Suicide Program Assistant

Ashley Fairbanks has a duel B.A. in Psychology and Women’s & Gender Studies from The University of Michigan – Dearborn. She is extremely passionate about mental health advocacy and suicide prevention. For several years she has worked and volunteered in the non-profit sector with an aim to foster collaborations between organizations. Ashley is excited to work with the community that AIHFS supports, and to assist in getting services to as many community members as possible. In her spare time she enjoys film and media analysis, and as an undergraduate presented her research on ‘Masculinity, Mental Health, and Stand-up Comedy’ at the National Women’s and Gender Studies Conference.

Carrie Garcia, MSA

Human Resource Specialist

Carrie is an enrolled member of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe. Born and raised in Elmore, Ohio Carrie moved to Mt. Pleasant, MI in 2008 to attend Central Michigan University. She graduated in 2011 with her Bachelor of Science degree in News Editorial Journalism with a minor in Psychology. After moving to the surrounding Detroit area in 2013, she wanted to pursue her education further by going back to Central Michigan University and graduating in 2016 with her Master of Science degree in Human Resource Administration.
Carrie likes to visit her friends and family back in Ohio and Mt. Pleasant as well as spending time with her cats Monopoly and Priscilla. With her photojournalism background, she likes to take photos as much as she can and also enjoys going to comic book conventions.

Chloe Beard

Certified Medical Billing Coordinator

Chloe Beard started working at AIHFS in January 2014 handling and maintaining the billing department. She loves traveling, concerts, watching movies, good food, taking care of her two amazing dogs ( August & Apollo), learning and experiencing different cultures, reading, shopping, and spending quality time with family and friends. She has been working in the medical field as Certified Medical Biller since 2011. She enjoys her job and the challenges that comes with it, which allows learning and stimulating growth. She has a true love and passion, animals. “I believe in loving and enjoying life and just being Happy!”

Dustin Sample

Systems Administrator

Dustin has been the Systems Administrator since 2013 and has been in the computer industry most of his life. He’s been playing video games since the Atari 7800 and he built his first computer when he was 18. Shortly thereafter, he set up his own home network with remote access over the internet. He’s been actively participating in the digital revolution since he was a kid.

With such an intense interest in technology, it should come as no surprise that Dustin is proudly neurodivergent. He was diagnosed with ADHD as a young teen and was called a highly sensitive person until his more recent adult years.

Dustin has lived off the beaten path his whole life and had to make a life for himself during a time when resources were scarce for people like him. When Dustin isn’t intensely researching information about technology and other scientific things, he’s spending time with his family playing video games and watching Japanese anime together. Dustin is not Native American, but he’s enjoyed all the wisdom that the Indigenous community shares with him and relates to many of their stories through his own unique journey through life.

Irianna Peraza

Office Coordinator

“Hi, my name is Irianna Peraza.” Irianna is the office coordinator here at AIHFS. She is also bilingual, she speaks Spanish and English. She was born in San Diego California but moved here to southwest Detroit when she was 9 and has never moved ever since. She is a proud mother of 3 beautiful girls. She really looks forward to working for AIHFS. She really enjoys being here. She loves to learn new things every day and this is definitely the place where she can.

James H. Taylor, Jr.

Facilities Associate/Driver

James attended and completed Atterbury Job Corps Center in Edinburgh, Indiana. James was elected student governor of the campus for 2 terms. He was also elected Chairman of the Disciplinary Board. For 7 years James was the custodian for the United States Coast Guard and Homeland Security Detroit sector.
James is married and enjoys attending his grandson’s sporting events. His hobbies are playing chess, basketball, and cooking.

Jermaine Miller, BS

Project Coordinator

Jermaine received his Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Michigan University in Construction Management. He has been working in the construction management field for 18 years in various roles.
Jermaine loves working with people. He’s a people person who loves to interact with people from different backgrounds. Working in non-profit is rewarding and allows him the opportunity to give a helping hand to underserved populations.
He likes to spend most of his free time connecting with family and coaching his kids with their extra-curricular activities.

Jessica Boyd, BA

Youth Program Coordinator

Jessica Boyd is an enrolled member of the Oneida Nation of the Thames. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor with a double major in Sociology and American Culture. She enjoys reading, watching movies, doing puzzles, arts and crafts, game night with her family, dancing when the mood strikes her and is working on her knitting skills. She strives to be a positive role model for her daughter. She also has one unfriendly yet adorable cat named Lizzy. She is excited to be working at AIHFS and looks forward to working with the community.

John Marcus

Communications Specialist

John Marcus has family roots in Six Nations, Ontario; Taos Pueblo, N.M. and the Sault Ste Marie Band of Chippewa Indians.
He contributes to our agencywide and program specific community outreach efforts using print, video, digital and web-based mediums. He also administrates our website, our social media accounts and our Mailchimp account.

“I am grateful for this opportunity to work with Community, especially in a capacity where communication, education, and how this information is exchanged, are crucial elements: these elements can be the seeds of a healthy community.”

Jordan Blechert, MA

Zero Suicide Program Manager

Jordan is from the Metropolitan Detroit area but attended her undergraduate education at the University of South Alabama. There she received her B.A. in Philosophy while studying Pre-Occupational Therapy as well as Psychology. After further studies in Occupational Therapy she realized her passion for mental and behavioral health, at which point she earned her M.A. in Psychology and Addictions Counseling through Aspen University after an internship focusing on substance use disorders. She continued in the behavioral health field then discovered AIHFS through her appreciation for Native ceremonies and traditions. In her free time she harnesses her spiritual wellbeing with nature hikes and fire walks. She is happy to be a part of the AIHFS team!

Josette French, MD

Physician

Josette French, MD is a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians in Michigan. Her tribal roots are tied to Sugar Island on her grandmother’s side and Saint Ignace on her grandfather’s side.

She is a board-certified family physician and earned her ten-year recertification in 2015. Dr. French received her Bachelor of Science degree from Yale University in New Haven, CT in 1991 and her Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Florida, College of Medicine in Gainesville, FL in 1995. Dr. French completed her family medicine residency at Oakwood Hospital in Dearborn, MI in 1998. She has worked at AIHFS since 1998 and is dedicated to trying to lessen the health disparities seen in the Native community.
In her leisure time, she enjoys spending lots of time with her family, getting outside to walk and bike as much as possible, relaxing on Michigan’s beautiful beaches, and staying centered with daily meditation and yoga.

Kimberly Kleinhans, PhD, MPA, CFRE

Development Director

Kimberly Kleinhans has been a member of the AIHFS community since 2012. She is inspired by mission-driven work and has over ten years of experience in fundraising for Detroit-area non-profit organizations including Hospice of Michigan, Detroit Parent Network, and the Detroit Institute of Arts. Kimberly holds a PhD in Education Evaluation and Research and a Master of Public Administration (MPA), both from Wayne State University, as well as a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential. In her free time, she enjoys participating in the Ogichida Kwe Singers, a Native American women’s singing group comprised of women and girls from many nations. She also can be found taking dance classes, reading, and playing the accordion.

Latrese Windham

Lead Medical Assistant

Latrese’s grandfather is a hero of hers. He made a way for her family, he showed them hard work and dedication to it pays off. She is inspired by giving back and making sure people around her are happy. In her spare time, she likes to read books, ride her bike and kick back with her family.

Lawrence G. Caldwell, BSBM, MS

Youth Program Manager

Lawrence is a father of one adult son and has worked in the field of Criminal Justice for over thirty years. He is a proud member of the National Society Of Leadership And Success Honor Society. He is a United States Navy Veteran and also a Life Member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
Lawrence loves listening to good music and freshwater fishing. His son is his hero due to adversities he has endured and overcome.
Lawrence is currently a Ph.D. candidate (ABD).

Lesley Burnham, AA

Accounting Specialist

Lesley started working at AIHFS in September 2014 as an Accounting Assistant. Lesley has her Associates in Accounting Management from Baker College. Her hobbies include traveling, shooting on a dart league, camping, cooking, attending concerts, playing with her two dogs, and spending time with family and friends.

Monica Noyola

Office Coordinator

Monica joined the AIHFS team in 2018. She is bilingual in Spanish and English. She has worked in the southwest community for many years. She is a student at WSU matriculating towards a BA in sociology and minor in psychology. In her spare time she enjoys listening to music, traveling, and making memories with loved ones. “Live life to the fullest.”

Nechelle Laferriere, BS

Youth Program Assistant

Nechelle Laferriere attended Eastern Michigan University where she received her Bachelors of Science degree in Theatre Arts, Media Arts, and Communications. During her college years she was heavily involved in performance art such as standup comedy, acting, poetry, dance, and storytelling. After college Nechelle found her love in the field of human services; that she obtained through her missionary work with Chi Alpha campus ministries and The New York Dream Center. Nechelle has been involved in many missional service trips overseas where she has worked with orphanages and other organizations to help bring relief, restoration, and love. Through those experiences she developed her passion for the youth and wanting to be able to be a positive role model in their lives. A saying that she tells herself often is “In order to change the world we have to change communities, in order to change communities we have to first be willing to change lives.” Nechelle is grateful to be a part of AIHFS to do just that; change lives. Nechelle currently resides in Belleville, Michigan with her husband Jacob and 2 kids Oliva and Zechariah. In her spare time, she enjoys writing, painting, and spending time with family and friends.

Roberta Hirshon, LMSW

Consultant

Roberta graduated from the University of Michigan with an undergraduate degree in psychology and a master’s degree in community mental health counseling. She received her MSW from the University of Connecticut. Roberta moved from Maine to Michigan 8 years ago. While living in Maine, she was in private practice. Roberta worked at the Family Assessment Clinic and the University Center For The Child and The Family before joining the AIHFS family. She loves to work with students and support the AIHFS staff as a consultant. Her passion is horses and she is a certified therapeutic riding instructor and an equine facilitated psychotherapist.

Shelly Nimocks-Hinshaw

Office Coordinator

Ya’at e’ e’ h! Shelly is dine and African American. Shelly has been actively involved in the community thru various cultural events offered at AIHFS. Go red wings! Along with hockey, she enjoys jewelry making, powwows, reading and making people laugh! Shelly is proud to part of the AIHFS family! Ahe’hee’

Stephanie Boyd

Office Manager

Stephanie Boyd has been part of the AIHFS team since June 2007 and has an Associate’s Degree in Science. She is an enrolled member of the Oneida Nation of the Thames tribe, and a descendant of the Chippewa Nation of the Thames. Stephanie enjoys beading, reading books, hanging out with family, going to the movies and to concerts. She enjoys working with the community!

Steve Ware, LMSW, CAADC, CCS

Behavioral Health Clinical Supervisor

Steve (he/him) specializes in treating trauma and addiction. He uses techniques such as mindfulness skills training, motivational interviewing, behavioral activation, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) to support personal growth and recovery. Steve earned his Master’s in Social Work (MSW) from the University of Michigan. He is originally from Michigan, but he has also lived in Chicago, New York, and Nicaragua where he worked in the Film and Television industry. He uses daily meditation to center his personal and professional wellness practices. He is an educator and a lifelong learner.

Taylor Puckett, BA

Outreach and Training Coordinator

Taylor Puckett attended the University of Alabama where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, with a minor in Social Work, and a specialization in North American Archaeology. She worked in various human-centered and archaeological research labs, as well as working alongside the native community of Moundville, AL throughout her collegiate career. One of her passions includes collaboration within communities for anthropological and archaeological projects as well as the ethical treatment and execution of repatriation for all native communities. She previously worked with the Alzheimer’s Association as a part of their outreach and fundraising team. She is excited to be returning back to her home state of Michigan to further expand the scope and reach of AIHFS’s Sacred Bundle and Native Connections programs. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her blue heeler Lou, traveling to any U.S state she hasn’t been, baking new recipes, and boating on any and all Michigan lakes.

Tina James

Executive Administrator

Tina (Cherokee/Macedonian) is an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians from Cherokee, North Carolina. She has been a part of the native community her whole life and was one of the first members of the youth group Dreamseekers here at AIHFS. She is a proud mother of two handsome boy’s Adon and Adrian. In her spare time she likes spending time with her family and friends and traveling to pow wows as much as she can.

Todd Boike

Facilities, Safety and Transportation Supervisor

Todd Boike graduated from Siena Heights University with a degree in Psychology Masters classes in Counseling and a minor in Sociology. He was put into his college Hall of Fame for Baseball in 2015 and played Professional Baseball for the Montreal Expos. He has worked in the Supply Chain/Logistics field for over 18 years, Ford, Penske, Livingston, and FX Coughlin. Todd has a 10 yr old son who inspires him. He keeps Todd busy with his AAA Hockey for Belle Tire and Travel Baseball for the Michigan Storm. Todd’s Father is his Hero: He was a Wayne County Commissioner and was always there for him, from being a father and a coach. Todd loves to Golf, Coach and play Hockey.

Violeta Donawa, LMSW, MA

Behavioral Health Therapist

Violeta Donawa LMSW, MA, is a fully-licensed clinical social worker inspired by the teachers in her life who keep her accountable to personal growth, collective care, and joy. She is a longtime co-organizer of community healing spaces which also informs her approach to therapeutic care with individuals and families. She specializes in holistically treating clients whose mental health has been impacted by various forms of systemic harm or discrimination, and its relationship to patterns of addiction and other forms of trauma. She uses techniques such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Somatics to support client care.

 

Violeta earned an MSW from the University of Michigan School of Social Work (’19) where she specialized in African-centered social work and integrative behavioral health focused on substance use and related disorders, an MA in Sociology with a specialization in Afro-Latin American Studies from Michigan State University (’14), and a BA in Sociology with a specialization in Chicano-Boricua Studies from Wayne State University (’08). Her professional work has led to guest lectures and board service focused on capacity-building and equity within higher education and in the field.

Wefaq Aljahim

Medical Assistant

Wefaq received her Medical Assistant certification from Schoolcraft College. She is from Yemen. She has four children. Her favorite hobby is sewing. In her spare time she likes to read her favorite book, Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T Kiyosaki. Her hero is her mom.

William F. Dial

Facilities Associate/Driver

William is a Lumbee Indian from Pembroke, North Carolina. He retired from Chrysler’s in 2008 after over 44 years of employment there. He is a father of 4 and a grandfather of 8. He has been married for 32 years. His hobbies are fishing and NASCAR racing. Around the agency here he is also appreciated for cooking real southern bar-b-q!

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