Native Wellness Staff

Ruben Garcia

Director of Native Wellness – 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.
“As a member of the FAIHP team and as a community member I enjoy nothing more than serving the Native Community.”

Delaine Bill

Cultural Support Specialist – Mono/Yokut
Delaine was born and raised in Dunlap, CA. He is the son of Lawrence and Barbara Bill. His father was a logger and his mother was a well-known basket maker. Delaine attended Dunlap schools and graduated from Reedley High School. Delaine also went to Kicking Horse Career Program in Montana, later in life he became a logger. Throughout the years, he always remembered how his parents would take groceries/wood to the people, especially the elderly.
Delaine would make different crafts alongside his grandmothers or his mom. He remembers them always working on something, from sun up to sun down, they were always busy.
“I remember my mother was always beading, making baskets, or shelling acorns. Everything was a process, she would gather, clean, and prepare them to make something. When I’m working on a drum or getting materials for clapper sticks, I think about my people and remember that they lived a much simpler time and life. I don’t want to forget who I am and where I come from.”
-Nume (people)

Michael Jimenez

Peer Support Specialist 
I am from the Pascua Yaqui tribe or the Yoeme Nation. I have walked the red road for the past three years, which has complimented my six years clean. My hobbies include but are not limited to nature hikes, playing and creating music, playing the bass guitar, ceremony, wellness, and serving my community. I am very excited for the journey ahead. 

 

Deborah L. Gilleran CADC

Substance Use Disorder Counselor 

As a Substance Use Disorder Counselor, I am active in the Native Community. I provide group, one-on-one education and community outreach to reduce the stigma towards substance use disorders and provide linkage to services in the Native Community. I multitask and interact with a variety of individuals and organizations. My experience having a substance use counseling background and working with diverse populations and the Native American Community have given me experience in my field. I am also a White Bison Facilitator for Medicine Wheel 12 Step and a Warrior Down Recovery Coach. I have a CADC-I from CCAPP and am grateful to provide my services to all Tribes from the Native American Community in the Central Valley.

Teela Kipp

Domestic Violence Prevention Coordinator – Mono 

Munahoo,
My name is Teela Kipp and I am very excited to be part of the Fresno American Indian Health Project team. I was born in Fresno and moved to North Fork in 2011. I am a tribal citizen of the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians. I’ve worked for the NFR Tribal Government office for 3 ½ years. My job title was Administrative Assistant II. I assisted with our tribal citizens along with our Tribal Council. I participated in the Elder/youth meeting with mono language and heritage. It was a privilege to work for our tribal council and tribal citizens and an honor to work for the FAIHP and to continue to serve my native people and community.

Michelle Pipkin

Community Garden Coordinator

Raised in the foothills of Fresno county, I have spent the last decade learning and growing California Native plants. I am an avid seed collector and go seed gathering during the summer time. I am also an active steward of the land, it is vital we maintain our part of the circle of life.  I have a deep passion for growing plants, there is nothing better than bringing life into this world through plants! The Earth provides us with all that we need, you just have to know what to look for. It is my goal to pass down the plant knowledge and wisdom I have acquired to my beautiful daughter to keep traditions alive. 

Jenny Garcia

 Family Advocate

Jose Murillo

Transportation

Hello my name is Jose Murillo, and I am one of the transporters/case managers here at Fresno American Indian Health Project. I’ve been a participant of FAIHP and the services provided for many years. I am extremely happy to have the opportunity to be an employee of the organization that continues to help community.

Larry Heredia

Supportive Social Manger-

Boozhoo means hello in Anishinaabe (Ojibwe), and it’s with great honor that I introduce myself as Larry Heredia, the newest member of the FAIHP family and Team, taking on the role of Supportive Service Manager. I am thrilled about this opportunity to contribute to the progress and success of the Supportive Service department and FAIHP as a whole. The challenges that come with this role are seen as opportunities for personal growth, and I am eager to learn and evolve with each experience. In the realm of Social Services, I bring a wealth of knowledge and hands-on experience, having provided case management for Child Protective and Adult Protective Agencies. My professional journey extends to roles as a Mental Health clinician, a Medical Social Worker for a dialysis clinic, and a Social Work Consultant for home health agencies throughout the Central Valley. Currently, I am a facilitator, educator, and singer for the Whitebison/Wellbriety movement, aligning my vision with integrating Native American traditional values into the Supportive Service department.

Beyond my professional endeavors, I am a family-oriented individual with a spouse, four adult children, and my elderly mother, all of whom I cherish and care for deeply. As the owner of a Martial Arts school, I provide a safe environment for students to transform into high-level competitive athletes. As the leader of the powwow group Spirit Ground Singers, I am committed to bringing a high-spirited singing style to uplift dancers and spectators. Since 1996, we have hosted multiple powwow events and participated in drum competitions throughout the western region.

Miigwech (Thank you),