Jennifer Ruiz, MBA
Jennifer was born and raised in Fresno/Clovis, California and is an enrolled member of the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians of Coarsegold, California. Jennifer has over ten years progressive experience working in Indian Health and nonprofit programs. She earned bachelor’s degrees in cultural anthropology and history, and then a Master’s in Business Administration at California State University, Fresno.
Nancy Pierce, RN,BSN,MPH
Public Health Nurse
As the Public Health Nurse here at Fresno American Indian Health Project, I can’t ask for a more rewarding position. I have been working in the public health field for over 12 years, and have been a nurse for more than 20 years. Public health is definitely my love and my calling. When I was attending California State University Fresno, where I completed my nursing degree, I worked with Central Valley Indian Health and the Native Americans up in our hills near Auberry and Friant, never knowing that I would return someday to work with Native Americans again. I enjoy the people and the challenges and hope to help them, and touch a few lives along the way.
On a personal note, I have been married for 14 years, have twin daughters ( you will hear many stories about them) who are 7 and a step son, 4 cats, and a dog. Our family spends most of our fun time camping and fishing, four wheel driving and playing on the beach. We go as often as we can. I love gardening and outdoors in general, I feel most alive in spirit and body when I am in the outdoors, especially the mountains.
I truly believe that I was guided to this position by a higher power, and every day brings a new adventure in life. Thank you for this opportunity.
Nicole is currently at Fresno State with a major in Public Health and an emphasis in Community Health. Nicole is also working on completing her Drugs and Alcohol Studies certificate from Fresno State. She earns her Bachelor of Science degree in May of 2016. She is a member of the Karuk tribe and has been an active member her entire life. She is passionate about preventative health care and helping her community live healthy and happy lifestyles.
In her free time Nicole enjoys going to her hometown of Visalia and spending time with her family. She also enjoys going to San Francisco where she loves to spend time at the Golden Gate Bridge and going to 49ers and Giants games whenever she can.
Nicole is so thankful to be involved in the Fresno American Indian community and helping with efforts to maintain the well-being of the community.
As our transporter Ramona gets to help clients everyday. Ramona has also worked with children of all ages for 20 years in child care. She wants to continue her education in counseling, psychology and sociology. Ramona has a natural ability to work with adolescents and young adults in the quest to better themselves.
She enjoys roadtrips, the beach, Disneyland, 49ers and Dodgers, spending time with friends and family. Ramona has a Bachelors degree from California Christian College.
Joyce Burel, MA
Joyce received a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology and a Masters in Counseling from Sonoma State University. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 25 years of experience. In addition to her years of service as a therapist working with individuals, couples and families, a job she considers both a privilege and an honor, she is also trained and certified as a Mediator.
She has taught intercultural communication, negotiation and mediation to federal, state and local agencies and Indian tribes throughout the United States. She is a member of the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians and lives on trust land that has been in her family for over 100 years. Joyce also serves on the Native American Advisory Council to the Phoebe Hearst Museum at University of California, Berkeley.
CBANS Peer Support Specilaist
Band of Pomo Indians
Ruben is a member of the Manchester-Point Arena Band of Pomo Indians. He spent the first half of his life living on the Point Arena Rancheria, and for the other half he has resided in Fresno. He joined the FAIHP team under the CBANS program.
The CBANS program is a culturally based peer support navigation program. As a Peer Support Specialist he is here to provide prevention and early intervention,connecting the Native American community to the right resources that they need to live a less stressful and healthier life. CBANS focus is to improve the knowledge of mental health and the availability of services in the community. Not only to inform, also to connect our community with the proper services through peer support and navigation.
“As a member of the FAIHP team and as a community member I enjoy nothing more than serving the Native Community.”
Valerie has over 15 years of on-the-job experience in the Business Field especially in Bookkeeping and Accounting. She was born in Fresno California and has remained in the Fresno/Clovis area all of her life. She has two brothers and one sister, and many nephews, nieces, great-nephews, and great nieces. “My greatest enjoyment is spending time with them.”
She is very involved with her Church “The Church at the Southgate” which reaches out to the Southeast Community of Fresno.
“I love working with the Native American community and being part of a positive change that allows for me to assist the urban community with health access in a culturally sensitive way.”
Having three years’ experience with FAIHP, Anthony has found his place and is dedicated in moving forward while continuing to learn more about the client’s we serve.
Mike Colvard, BA, GD
Social Marketing Coordinator
As Social Marketing Coordinator Mike is responsible for getting out information about what’s going on at FAIHP and our Community via traditional and social media like; Newsletters and flyers, brochures and signs, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Website and others. He also enjoys teaching the youth about design, social media, photography and computers.
Mike graduated from California State University, Fresno and is a member of the Eastern Shawnee tribe of Oklahoma. His Great Grandfather, Bluejacket was a Chief. Mike has worked in every facet of the advertising design & web industry and enjoys working as a team to help others. “Every organization can benefit from Good Design.”
He is married to Kandra and has three wonderful children;Alexandra, Hayley & Luke, 2 dogs, 2 tortoises, enjoys the outdoors, cycling, fishing, painting, skateboarding, surfing, playing and watching volleyball and being a self-proclaimed computer geek.
Paula Davila joined FAIHP in July 2011 doing work experience through the Tribal TANF WEX Program (Work Experience Training Program) and was then hired in December 2011 as the Peer Support Specialist part-time. Through the WEX Program, she worked at the FAIHP Clubhouse, planning events, tutoring the youth and assisting them in craft-making. As the Peer Support Specialist for the Circles of Care Project, she served as an advisor for which the team can vet ideas, methodology, and reports prior to presenting it to the Community Advisory Committee and the Youth Council. She is well connected to the community and really enjoys working with the community in promoting their well-being.
She enjoys spending time with her family and is an avid fan of football.
Amber Huhndorf, BS, CHES
She earned her bachelor’s degree from Oregon State University in Public Health and is currently working towards a Master’s of Public Health at Fresno State. Her previous experience was with her tribal clinic as a Wellness Educator developing, implementing, and evaluating health programs.
Amber enjoys family gatherings, beach walking, and subsistence fishing for Sockeye Salmon in Alaska. She believes in her tribal traditional values: Self-sufficiency and Hard Work, Care and Provision for the Family, Family Relations and Unity, Love for Children, Village Cooperation and Responsibility to Village, Humor, Honesty and Fairness Sharing and Caring, Respect for Elders and Others.
David is the transporter for Clubhouse and the Health Project and each year for summer camp. He enjoys driving, fishing and helping people in our community. David retired from a 30 year law enforcement career. He is our “GO-TO” guy whenever we need anything from food to supplies. His lovely wife Elena volunteers at FAIHP as well.
Nikki is the Office Manager at FAIHP. She began working here in 2009 through the CIMC Work Express Program. Shei has worked as the Transporter for the Clubhouse and the Main Office.
Nikki is the mother to five beautiful children and is a tribal member of the Northfork Rancheria Band of Mono Indians.
She enjoys spending time with her family and giving back to her community.
Rachel Ramirez, BSW
Rachel is a member of the Wukchumni Tribe and resides in Fresno, California where she grew up. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work in 2012 from California State University, Fresno. Her education emphasized on Cultural Competency as well as Drug and Alcohol Studies.
Rachel enjoys spending time with her friends and family. She also enjoys learning new skills and attempting new things including skateboarding, rock-climbing, and playing the guitar. She truly enjoys assisting and being a member of the Native community.
Director of Behavioral Health
Renee Ingalls, RD
Substance Abuse Counselor
My name is Anna-Marie Hinojosa and I am Cachil Dehe Band of Wintun from Colusa Rancheria. I am married with 3 children and have 9 grandchildren. I have worked with the Native American community for 14 years. I’m certified as Substance Abuse Counselor since 2006 and have a prevention and social work background. I have recently joined Fresno American Indian Health Project as the Substance Abuse Counselor and am grateful to be part of the team. I look forward to working with the individuals, families and community in providing services to enhance wellness for mind, body and spirit.
Amber Molina, ASW
Amber received a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from California State University, Fresno and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from California State University, Bakersfield. She is currently in the process of becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She is originally from Kern County and moved to Fresno County in 2004 for college. She loved and connected with the area so much she stayed.
She has experience in working with diverse populations, the mental health field, non-profit organizations, foster care, community outreach, and providing counseling/therapeutic services to individuals and families. She enjoys meeting new people, trying different restaurants, traveling, and spending time with family.
She enjoys learning about new cultures, connecting with others in the community, and has a strong social services background. She is also a quarter Navajo Indian and anticipates learning more about her culture while embracing and implementing FAIHP services. Amber is grateful to be a part of the FAIHP team and to be able to provide services in hopes of promoting the well-being of others.
Billing Manager – Program Deve
Denise was born in Coarsegold, California and is an enrolled member of the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians of Coarsegold, California. Denise has many years of experience working in the human services field and brings a wealth of knowledge in this area.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology/Criminal Justice from a Texas State University. She is currently working towards her Masters of Science degree in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program with specializations in Trauma/Crises and Addiction Counseling.
Denise believes education and positive environments for our youth is the key to successful adulthood.
She is very excited to be a part of FAIHP and working with the Native community. Denise and her family have recently relocated to Coarsegold, California from Odessa, Texas. She looks forward to raising her children where she grew up as a child. Denise enjoys traveling on her spare time and is currently enjoying exploring the destinations of California with her family.