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                                                               Meet CARE

CARE is comprised of talented staff, generous donors, committed volunteers, and a board of directors with a broad range of experience and expertise.

Dr. Kimia Ghassemy, Psy.D., CARE Co-Founder

Dr. Ghassemy is a clinical psychologist licensed by the state of California. She works with the Los Angeles County’s Department of Mental Health Specialized Foster Care Program in Pomona, CA serving children and adolescents in the foster care system. Dr. Ghassemy serves as an adjunct faculty member at Argosy University, Orange County and The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles, CA. Dr. Ghassemy is also the owner and founder of Vibrant Start, her private practice specializing in behavioral health services for adolescents and young adults. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology and her master’s in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology, Alliant International University. She also received a master’s degree in psychology from Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology. She received bachelor’s degrees in psychology and sociology from University of California, Irvine. She completed her predoctoral clinical internship at Children, Family, and Youth Services Consortium in Alhambra, CA and postdoctoral Internship at Monsour Counseling Center in Claremont, CA. Her clinical experience also includes work with: BHC Alhambra Psychiatric Hospital, Children’s Institute Inc. as a mental health therapist; Santa Anita Family Services as a domestic violence facilitator; and Abundant Life and Adolescent Growth working with adolescents in a residential group home setting. Dr. Ghassemy’s doctoral dissertation entitled Attachment Theory: Cultural Implications in the Persian American Community, focused on Attachment Theory and specific cultural considerations in collectivistic cultures.

Dr. Niaz Khani, Psy.D., Co-Founder

Dr. Khani is a clinical psychologist licensed by the state of California. She sees clients in private practice in Santa Monica and at Los Angeles Pierce College. She also serves as an adjunct professor at California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP), Pepperdine University, and Argosy University. She received both her master’s degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from CSPP at Alliant International University. She received two bachelor’s of art degrees in psychology and child development and a minor in biology from California State University, Northridge. Dr. Khani completed her predoctoral and postdoctoral internship at the Saturday Center for Psychotherapy. She also completed predoctoral training at the Children, Family, and Youth Services Consortium in Alhambra, CA and at Hillview Mental Health Center in Pacoima, CA. Her diverse clinical background has provided her with knowledge and expertise in working with various ethnic populations, age groups, and mental health issues. She currently works with adolescents, adults and couples. Her work with clients focuses on the relationship between the therapist and client and explores and treats symptoms and difficulties they may be experiencing to help strengthen their sense of self-confidence, self-acceptance, and to create a greater capacity for intimacy. Dr. Khani’s doctoral project entitled Pressures & Expectations on First-Born Children in Collectivistic Cultures studied the role and experience of the first-born child in a family system and the impact of cultural values on his/her development.

Dr. Erin Kuntze, Psy.D., Co-Founder

Erin Kuntze, Psy.D. is a Co-Founder of CARE and a clinical psychologist in private practice where she provides psychotherapy to adults, couples, and groups. Dr. Kuntze's interest in clinical work developed at the University of Michigan where she worked on a sexual assault crisis line and outreach team (SAPAC). After graduating from U of M with high honors with a bachelor of arts (B.A.) degree in psychology, she received both a master's degree (M.A.) and a doctorate (Psy.D.) in clinical psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco. Dr. Kuntze completed her pre and postdoctoral training at the Saturday Center for Psychotherapy in Santa Monica. She also completed predoctoral training at Mission Mental Health Services, Pacific Institute, and Zen Hospice in San Francisco. Dr. Kuntze's doctoral dissertation explored the impact of stigma at the intersection of gender, sexual orientation, class, race, religion, ethnicity, and ability in the lives of female exotic dancers.

Tommy Kuntze, Former Creative Director

Tommy Kuntze is the former Creative Director of CARE. He has his Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Michigan; his thesis project, Qualia, worked to describe the relationship we have between our conscious and unconscious minds. Since then, he has lived in Boulder, CO, to snowboard and work as a Designer for a white-label design firm specializing in financial websites, tools, and applications. Most recently, he moved to San Francisco to refine his design skills and to specialize in User Experience. Tommy has been described as a data geek, he feels good design can save the world, and his favorite movie is National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

Medhanie Habte, MPA, Consulting Development Coordinator

Medhanie comes to CARE with over five years of experience in nonprofit and small business development, providing strategic outreach, capacity building and communication consultation. After graduating from California State University, Northridge with a bachelor's degree in journalism, Medhanie embarked on a career of social impact, creating research, marketing and fundraising and volunteer management strategies with various nonprofits and startups in areas such as inner-city empowerment, global relief and nonprofit technology. Along the way, Medhanie graduated with a master's of public administration degree from California State University, Long Beach with a concentration in nonprofit development and urban policymaking. A native Los Angeleno and son of Eritrean immigrants, Medhanie enjoys volunteering with charities, traveling, sports and the occasional chili cook-off.

Sahar Dorani, M.A., Blogger

Sahar is a graduate student in clinical psychology currently working towards her Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degree at The Wright Institute in Berkeley. She has been working clinically for several years with children, adolescents, adults, the elderly, and the incarcerated population. As the daughter of Iranian immigrants growing up in Southern California, she experienced conflict in her cultural identity development, which led her to realize that culture greatly impacts many facets of daily life -- including conflicts that arise when native cultural expectations differ from American societal expectations. As she works to finish her academic program, she continues to work with clients of various multicultural backgrounds. She has most recently been working within the San Francisco County Jail system, providing individual, couples’, and group therapy for recently incarcerated individuals reintegrating back into society after being released from custody. Upon earning her degree and becoming licensed as a Psychologist, she would ultimately like to work within the juvenile justice system with adolescents. She enjoys working with clients of various cultural backgrounds, as she finds it rewarding to provide support and services to populations that may not otherwise receive resources. She believes that the hope that can be instilled in incarcerated youth is not only incredibly rewarding to witness -- but can entirely change the trajectory of the youth’s life -- which benefits the young members of our community, as well as society as a whole. She is also continuing to complete dissertation research on the acculturation process of Iranian-Americans.

Tina Altomeh, Pharm.D, CARE Board of Directors

Dr. Altomeh is a licensed pharmacist in the state of California. She earned her doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in microbiology from California State University Northridge. She currently works as a pharmacy team leader at CVS pharmacy providing quality care to all her patients. She is also a young women's division leader for SGI-USA, where she supports other young women in their journey to promote world peace. Dr. Altomeh is very eager to grow with the healthcare field, working closely with other practitioners of medicine and pioneers of mental health to provide the best possible care for those in need. She is truly honored to be part of this amazing organization (CARE Multicultural Healing) whose ultimate goal is to create a place where quality counseling services can be provided for children and adolescents regardless of social and economic status.

Michael Asatourian, Esq, CARE Board of Directors

Michael Asatourian joined the Board of Directors for CARE in 2013. Michael is an attorney and specializes in real estate law. He graduate cum laude from California State University, Fullerton with a B.A. in Business Finance, and received his J.D. from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. Michael is excited to help CARE in its goals to help and educate others.

Deanna Fry, Public Relations Consultant

Deanna Fry has over a decade of experience in media. She has worked in newspapers, radio and is currently a TV news producer. In her career she has been on the front lines of some of the biggest stories, including Presidential elections, natural disasters and most recently the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT. Covering these events has helped shaped Deanna’s desire to help people through some of their lowest moments. Reared in multicultural family, Deanna is passionate about racial and social equality. She enjoys volunteering through her sorority, Zeta Phi Beta, Sorority, Inc., but she is most passionate about mentoring youth. Deanna is a native Hoosier. She grew up in Gary, IN and attended Indiana University where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism. She went on to attend the University of Maryland University College where she worked on a Master’s degree in Public Relations. Deanna enjoys music, reading a good book and writing. She is also an avid sports fan, cheering for the Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago Bulls.

Sameria Zavala, Blogger and Social Media Volunteer

Sameria Zavala is a public affairs chief with the Department of the Defense in the state ofVirginia. Her passion is helping people. She holds a Bachelors Degree in EnglishLanguage and Literature from Fayetteville State University. She went on to gain her PAqualification at Defense Information School in Fort Meade, MD. In her profession, sheestablishes effective media relations programs that create mutual acceptance, respect,and cooperation between the military and the surrounding communities, neighboringmilitary installations and print and electronic news media representatives at the local,regional and national media level. She also assists in maintaining an effective communityrelations program which promotes positive relationships with the local community. Shehas a social media, planning, command information photography and video productionbackground. She is also a wife and the mother of two AWESOME kids. In her spare time,she likes to read, write poetry, visit museums, research her genealogy and listen to livemusical entertainment.

Folarin Kasumu, Volunteer Researcher

Folarin Kasumu is currently a graduate student in a marriage and family therapy program in New York. She has a master’s degree in Organizational Behavior from the Polytechnic Institute of NYU. She also has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Long Island University. Her professional background includes work in a variety of healthcare settings ranging from hospitals to home care. Her ultimate career goal is to obtain a Psy.D.in marriage and family therapy or clinical psychology. In addition to her work with CARE, she is currently an outreach volunteer with New York Asian Women’s Center, a domestic violence agency and a case management volunteer and regional director at New VisionsOrganization, an organization that provides services to incarcerated men, women and youth.

Avgi Chatzimpalioti

Avgi Chatzimpalioti is a new CARE member from Greece. She is a recent graduate from Dickinson College, PA with a BA in Psychology and Health Studies. Avgi’s main interests and experience lie in international education, teaching, multiculturalism, and differences in psychological and counseling approaches that one sees across different cultures. She has previously worked with children in summer language camps, and college students in academic settings including teaching, peer tutoring, team supervising and academic advising. She has completed an internship with an educational non-profit organization in New York City, ClassWish, by being part of the research, recruiting and blogging team. She has also completed a four-month long internship in Social Therapy for young people and adults at the New York East Side Institute for Group and Short-term Psychotherapy.  Avgi is interested in exploring various ways of holistic healing through social and interactional activities, and health education addressed to people of all ages and cultures. 

Alyson Gould, Blogger

Alyson is a graduate student at Phillips Graduate Institute, earning a master’s degree in psychology for marriage & family therapy. She is currently a trainee at the Phillips Graduate Institute Counseling Center, working in the Latino Family Therapy Program. In 2009, Alyson graduated from San Francisco State University with a B.A. in Liberal Studies and Spanish. She was a volunteer with International Student Volunteers, traveling to the Dominican Republic, to help improve living conditions within a rural community. Over the past 5 years, Alyson has gained experience working with children, adolescents, and young adults in various environments, including treatment facilities, schools, and community settings. She is passionate about working in community settings, to make mental health care more readily accessible for all members of a community. Alyson has experience working with a variety of multicultural populations, and would like to continue to work with families from various cultural backgrounds to understand and acknowledge each and every individual’s relationship with their own cultural identity.

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