Staff Members

  • Adon Vazquez

    Sacred Bundle Project Program Assistant

  • Alicia Steele, MD

    Family Medicine Physician

  • April Slaven

    Medical Accounting Clerk

  • Arwa Almuraisi, BS

    Laboratory and Vaccine Medical Assistant

  • Ashley Fairbanks, BA

    Sacred Bundle Program Manager

  • Audria Mixon

    Practice Manager

  • Candice Meeks, MSA

    Healthy Start Program Coordinator

  • Don James

    Facilities Associate/Driver

  • Dustin Sample

    Systems Administrator

  • Irianna Peraza

    Office Coordinator

  • James H. Taylor, Jr.

    Facilities Associate/Driver

  • Jazmine Worth

    Medical Biller/Coder

  • Jermaine Miller, BS

    Project Coordinator

  • Jessica Boyd, BA

    Youth Program Coordinator

  • John Marcus

    Communications Specialist

  • Jordan Wells, MA

    Zero Suicide Program Manager

  • Josette French, MD

    Physician

  • Kimberly Kleinhans, PhD, MPA, CFRE

    Development Director

  • Lesley Burnham, AA

    Accounting Specialist

  • Marcela Martinez

    Medical Assistant

  • Nechelle Laferriere, BS

    Youth Program Manager

  • Ricardo Trevino, BS

    Human Resources Specialist

  • Roberta Hirshon, LMSW

    Consultant

  • Shelly Nimocks-Hinshaw

    Office Coordinator

  • Stefani Garcia

    Office Coordinator

  • Steve Ware, LMSW, CAADC, CCS

    Behavioral Health Clinical Supervisor

  • Taylor Maxwell, BA

    Outreach and Training Coordinator

  • Tenisha Taylor, BS, MA

    Development Administrative 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.

Alicia Steele, MD

Family Medicine Physician

Doctor Alicia Steele, born and raised in Michigan, is grateful for the opportunity to serve at American Indian Health and Family Services in Detroit. Alicia has been deeply inspired by her family, a Zapatista indigenous community, an indigenous community in Pembroke, NC and the community of Detroit, Michigan. Her passion for community health justice led her to study medicine in a universal healthcare model in Cuba, at the Latin American School of Medicine. In Havana, Cuba, Alicia honed an ability to weave biological, emotional, cultural, and social needs into medical care. Following medical school in Cuba, Alicia returned home to complete her 3 year medical residency in Detroit. Alicia deeply believes in loving kindness, joy, justice, wellness and that clean water, cultural respect and understanding and healthcare are human rights. She can be found in her Southwest Detroit community enjoying delicious local food, art, music, dancing, playing sports, laughing, and smiling with her family, friends, and mother nature. Alicia is also a mother to two kittens, Vaquito (little cow) and Koalito (little koala) and many plants.

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

Sacred Bundle Program Manager

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.

Audria Mixon

Practice Manager

Audria Mixon has worked within the healthcare field for 20 years in a variety of different roles. She has several years’ experience with direct patient care, administrative, clinical, and medical assisting/nursing teaching and training.

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, with a passion for working within the healthcare field. She has two children, a 19-year-old son and a 10-year-old daughter. Her children inspire her and keep her motivated daily!

In her free time, she enjoys traveling (mainly to warm climate places) especially where there is a beach involved, spending time with her children, family and friends, listening to music, along with trying to guide her children in the right direction to this thing called “life.” She enjoys the continuous learning within healthcare and strives to provide great patient care. She is very compassionate and continues to provide empathy to every individual.  She loves to have fun and loves to be surrounded with positive individuals and energy.

Her hero is her mother who continues to display a strong work ethic and always has a positive attitude and nurturing spirit. “To know her is to love her.”

She looks forward to working in the community and providing tools, resources, and a helping hand where needed to make a difference in somebody’s life or just contributing to someone having a better day!

Candice Meeks, MSA

Healthy Start Program Coordinator

Candice Meeks received her Bachelors of Integrated Studies, specializing in Human Resources, Business, and Communication from Oakland University. She then went on to Central Michigan University, where she received her Masters of Science Administration in Human Resources. Candice has a passion for helping people and making a difference in those in need. She worked for the Wayne County Mental Health Court, where she assisted those recently released from jail in getting jobs, housing, healthcare, food assistance, and referred them to whatever programs they may be in need of. She also owns The Craft Café Detroit, where she hosts paint parties for children and adults. Her passion for helping others attracted her to AIHFS and she looks forward in helping mothers and children in getting a Healthy Start in life.

Don James

Facilities Associate/Driver

Don (Cherokee/Macedonian) is an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians from Cherokee, North Carolina. In his spare time, he likes hanging out with his friends, whether it’s sharing food or taking in a ballgame. He is inspired by positive people who work hard for what they want in life: good heart and soul people. Don is a caring person who wants to contribute in any small way to see someone do well. His heroes are the men and women who protect the freedom we have in this great country we live in.

Dustin Sample

Systems Administrator

Dustin is a pleasant, young-minded, autistic-brained gentleman who has been the Systems Administrator for AIHFS since 2013. He has a natural ability to understand complex systems, a willingness to be supportive, and a strong desire to fix the root cause of problems.

In his personal life, Dustin didn’t do well in school or college because of challenges he had with doing things a traditional way. Instead, he became an active member of the local geek/nerd culture where he learned most of his technical knowledge. During the pandemic, Dustin enjoyed a quieter, more introverted life with his wife and teenage kids by playing video games, watching TV, and studying various subjects.

Today, Dustin and his family plan on getting the updated covalent covid-19 booster and the flu shot for Fall 2022 then returning to the local geek/nerd culture by attending local events. They will still be wearing masks during risky situations, but they look forward to returning to what’s normal for them.

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.

Jazmine Worth

Medical Biller/Coder

Jazmine joined us because she would like a chance to use her work, and what she does on a daily basis, to give back to her community. She had been in corporate America for 4 years and wanted a chance to work somewhere that makes a difference.

If you asked her, “who is a hero of yours?”  She would say, “my dad is definitely one of my heroes. He always went above and beyond to provide for his family.”

In her spare time, she likes true crime and social podcasts.

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 Wells, 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.

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.

Marcela Martinez

Medical Assistant

Marcela Martinez is a Medical Assistant with nine years of experience working in the medical field for nonprofit organizations. Nonprofit organizations play a big role in her community since it gives the opportunity for uninsured patients to get the medical care that they need at a low cost.

Marcela is inspired daily by her parents, brothers, daughter and two sons. In her free time, Marcela likes to play with her baby Chihuahua Luna, and go to local sport games with her kids.

Nechelle Laferriere, BS

Youth Program Manager

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.

Ricardo Trevino, BS

Human Resources Specialist

Ricardo Treviño earned a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Development and a minor in management from Oakland University in Oakland county, where he lives.  Ricardo brings over 12 years of HR experience to AIHFS, and has served a diverse workforce at local minority owned businesses in Southeast Michigan.  For over 15 years, he has delivered a variety of youth leadership and skills training programs for area non-profit agencies including The Boys and Girls Clubs, Covent House Michigan, and Youth-Build Detroit.

Ricardo is of Mexican American and Indigenous Mexican heritage.  His mother’s family draws their roots from the Chicimeca people in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico.  He has been walking the Red Road for nearly 30 years, and practices native spiritual traditions of the Lakota, the Native American Church of Mexico, and the N.A.C. of the Morning Star here in Michigan.  He is a Sun Dancer and Pipe Carrier and can be found traveling most weekends participating in ceremonies throughout the Great Lakes region, where he enjoys tending fire.  He is most proud of being a father of two daughters and has one granddaughter.

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’

Stefani Garcia

Office Coordinator

Stefani believes her number one principle in life is to give more than she takes. She strives to help others without having any sort of agenda. Working for a nonprofit gives her the opportunity to make a positive impact to people’s lives by helping the organization run as efficiently as possible. Stefani is very grateful for the opportunity to serve at AIHFS.

In her spare time, she likes to spend her day reading books, watching her husband play soccer on the weekends and spending quality time with her friends and family. She also is a plant mom and loves gardening during the summer months.

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 Maxwell, BA

Outreach and Training Coordinator

Taylor Maxwell 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.

Tenisha Taylor, BS, MA

Development Administrative Coordinator

Tenisha Taylor has been working in the nonprofit sector for over 7 years. She received her bachelor of science degree in family community services, with a specialization in health and wellness. She also received her Master of arts degree in family community service, both degrees were received at Michigan State University. Her favorite color is purple. Tenisha has a natural passion for helping her community, and is a certified grant writer. In her leisure time she enjoys reading, coloring, and spending time with friends and family. Tenisha is currently a doctoral candidate with hopes to graduate in 2023.

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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