Nurse Practitioners / Physician Assistants
Alejandro Alva, M.D.
Psychiatrist and PNS FounderDr. Alva received his education at the California State University of Fullerton and the Autonomous University of Guadalajara Medical School. After he completed his education and training in Guadalajara, Mexico, he returned to California to finish his residency at the University of California Irvine.
Prior to Dr. Alva's formation of PNS, he was involved in multiple endeavors including inpatient and outpatient work as well as clinical research in both Los Angeles and Orange counties. Dr Alva's focus is on the latest treatments available for psychiatric disorders, chemical/alcohol dependence as well as aspects of ethnicity and their correlation within pathological states. Dr. Alva has many years of experience in serving the medical community in various capacities; as a patient advocate, clinician, researcher and medical director. Dr. Alva's expertise in adolescent, adult and geriatric psychiatry as well as chemical/alcohol dependence and his treatments in psychiatric disorders make him one of the nation's most prominent psychiatrists.
Dr. Alva is a member of multiple professional organizations, including the American Medical Association, the Orange County Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the California Psychiatric Association, the American Board of Forensic Medicine, the American College of Forensic Examiners, the American Board of Psychopharmacology, the California Hispanic American Medical Association, the New York Academy of Science, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American association of Hispanic professionals.
Lastly, Dr. Alva understands the critical need for more bicultural/bilingual mental health care professionals. PNS has a mandate to reach out not only to the general community, but also to the Latino community by having bilingual and bicultural staff in clinical, administrative and medical positions. Dr. Alva and associates understand the attitudes and barriers facing the different ethnic populations in need of mental health services and have a mandate to implement educational awareness and programs to address the identified barriers. PNS physicians are bilingual and bicultural, which are critical attributes in ensuring access to and providing quality mental health services to all of our community.
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Yvette Elpidio, MSN, FNP-C
Nurse PractitionerYvette Elpidio received her Master's degree in nursing with an emphasis on family practice from the California State University at Long Beach. She is Board Certified through the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.
Yvette has been working in the psychiatric field for many years with PNS after completing her MSN degree. Prior to this she worked as a registered nurse for five years before going back to school. She has worked in a varied number of specialized settings which include: telemetry, oncology, medical-surgical, home health and hospice. Yvette has also been instrumental in clinical research having worked for three years as an infusion nurse for ATP Clinical Research.
Valuing education, Yvette teaches nursing students as a clinical instructor for the Cerritos College nursing program.
Yvette's focus is on clinical care looking to provide patients a wealth of expertise, knowledge and a personal warmth in a very real humanistic and holistic approach.
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Sheena Patel, PA-C
Physician AssistantSheena Patel, PA-C completed her undergraduate studies at University of California Irvine, earning a Bachelor's Degree in Biological Sciences. She concurrently performed 4 years of academic research at a UCI laboratory related to Addiction, Drug Abuse, and Associated Effects on the Brain. Sheena Patel subsequently attained a Master's degree in Biological Sciences from New York University. She then completed her Physician Assistant training at Long Island University Brooklyn Campus. She has been a nationally board certified PA-C since 2010.
Her clinical experience is vast and includes work in Internal Medicine, Subspecialty Surgery (Urology, Vascular, ENT, and Plastic Surgery), Pain Management, and Psychiatry. She has particular interest in Psychosocial Medicine and Addiction Disorders.
She is knowledgeable, thorough, compassionate and cares deeply about the well-being of her patients.
Sheena Patel PA-C is a National Certified Speaker for pharmaceutical medications.
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Jennifer Sebastian, PA-C
Physician AssistantJennifer Sebastian, PA-C received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Irvine. Knowing she wanted to pursue a career in medicine, she began in nuclear imaging. After attending Loma Linda University, she started her profession in nuclear medicine. In 2013 she completed her Physician Assistant training program at Riverside Community College and received her Masters Degree in Medical Science from St. Francis University.
She has been a nationally board certified PA-C since 2013. She is an active member of both the California and American Association of Physician Assistants. She has clinical experience in Orthopedics, Urgent Care, Addiction and Psychiatry.
Jen is passionate about Addiction Medicine and Psychiatry. This field requires a certain appreciation and a special type of heart. Jen strives toward personalized care and her goal is to give each patient a better understanding and a greater peace of mind.
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Esperanza Hernandez-Maldonado, LMFT
TherapistEsperanza graduated from the California State University at Fullerton in 1998 with a B.A. in Psychology. She obtained an MS with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from the California State University at Long Beach in 2002.
Licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist in California, Ms. Maldonado is fluent in both Spanish and English. She has worked in a variety of settings, including inpatient and outpatient Drug and Alcohol recovery programs, psychiatric Day Treatment programs, Schools, traditional office/private practice, and university counseling centers. In addition to individual therapy, she is skilled in facilitating group and couples therapy. She is certified in Play Therapy by the University of California, San Diego.
Ms. Maldonado has had many varied and challenging experiences which have contributed to her ability to provide therapy with compassion, multicultural sensitivity and openness. She served as a trained, certified counselor for the Orange County Trauma Intervention Program (TIP) and functioned as a liaison between law enforcement, hospital personnel and traumatized victims and their families.
While working in elementary schools, Ms Maldonado developed the skills necessary to evaluate, assess and aid both disabled students and students who needed bilingual assistance. She administered standardized tests to students with limited English and became familiar with all aspects of assessment, placement and remediation. She has had intensive clinical training at Kaiser Permanente in their Chemical Dependency unit, and worked at College Hospital with a diverse population of psychiatric patients.
Her therapeutic orientation can be described as cognitive-behavioral with emphasis on family dynamics and existential issues. Her approach to psychotherapy reflects an emphasis on humanistic and existential principles while integrating developmental process and Family Systems Theory in a cultural context. Her practice includes work with adults, children, couples, and families experiencing various personal and relational problems. Ms. Maldonado's broad experience working with people from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds in a variety of settings has made her sensitive to the personal needs of others. She is able to balance the need for appropriate boundary setting with the compassion and approachability necessary to do therapy with a wide variety of clinical issues. Ms. Maldonado is committed to using her comprehensive clinical skills and training to help improve the quality of life for her clients.
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Justin Goldman, LMFT
TherapistJustin Goldman, M.A., is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist working with individuals, families and couples dealing with issues of wellness. He received his Bachelor of Arts, with Cum Laude honors, in Psychology from UCLA. While at UCLA, Justin began working with children with autism utilizing principles of Applied Behavioral Analysis.
Upon graduation, Justin continued working with children and adolescents with autism. In 1996, he shifted occupations and began working in the entertainment industry. Over 14 years he held several management positions in that industry, most recently at Sony Pictures Entertainment. In 2010, Justin decided to return to his passion of working in the field of psychology. In 2012, he received his Masters of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy. Justin also completed a year and a half of post graduate training in Applied Behavior Analysis at Florida Institute of Technology.
During his studies and following graduation, Justin has held several counseling internships. He has worked with those suffering from addiction, anxiety, depression, impulse control issues, and various other mood/personality disorders. Justin is currently providing counseling services at Pacific Neuropsychiatric Specialists, in Costa Mesa, California. He has a passion and commitment to the field and it shows in his passion for his work. Justin brings a client-centered approach to counseling, utilizing CBT and Solution Focused Therapy, while incorporating his behavioral health background as needed to help guide treatment. Justin hopes to continue providing empathic and effective counseling services to individuals, children and families in need.
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