Andre Basmadzhyan, DO, Family Practice, Chief Medical Officer
California native Dr. Andre Basmadzhyan returned to his roots in 2020, following his residency in Ohio, and joined the San Fernando Community Health Center’s (SFCHC) dedicated team of healthcare professionals as a board-eligible Family Medicine Physician.
As a resident doctor, Dr. Basmadzhyan worked for four years for Adena Health System. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of California, Irvine; a master’s degree in medical clinical science from the Boston University School of Medicine; and his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York.
Dr. Basmadzhyan’s experience includes conducting research in dental tumor proliferation and spinal cord compression. An avid sports fan, he also volunteered in high school sports medicine in the Midwest. In his free time, he enjoys biking and jogging.
Anastasia Williams, MD, FAAP, Medical Director, Pediatric Services
Dr. Anastasia Williams, MD, FAAP, is recognized as one of the top pediatricians in her field, with honors from the Guide to America’s Top Pediatricians, the Washingtonian Magazine and the Northern Virginian Magazine. Most importantly, she has been consistently recognized by her patients for her compassion and bedside manner.
Dr. Williams is a board-certified member of the American Academy of Pediatrics with over 20 years of experience. She completed her pediatric residency training at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD and her medical training at the University of Virginia. A native New Yorker, she is an alumnus of Cornell University, where she earned a degree in Chemistry on the Dean’s List.
Dr. Williams is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society, an alumnus member of the Raven Society and a member of the University of Virginia School of Medicine Alumni Board. She has served as Chairman of the Pediatric Council at UVA-Novant Hospital, an Assistant Professor for George Washington University and a Clinical Instructor for George Mason University. Dr. Williams was honored by the City of Manassas for her service to the community and has served on multiple community boards.
Dr. Williams relocated with her husband to Southern California, to be closer to two of their three adult children. She enjoys singing, volunteering and traveling with her family. Dr. Williams has been fortunate to participate in mission trips to Rwanda, Ghana, Uganda and Haiti, and is fluent in Spanish and Creole.
“I love what I do, and look forward to practicing personalized medicine that will serve the individual needs of my patients. Health care should be personal, and easily available when needed. This is a new chapter of my career, and I look forward to building many more lasting relationships with families.”
Vishaal Buch, MD, Family Practice, Medical Director, Adult Medicine
Dr. Vishaal Buch, the San Fernando Community Health Center’s (SFCHC) Medical Director, Adult Medicine, is an American Board of Family Medicine-certified physician who has practiced in military facilities in the U.S. and abroad, as well as with underserved populations.
Through the lens of seeing medicine in its totality, he understands the importance of compassion, collaboration and empathy on both patient satisfaction and staff morale. He brings this vital perspective to SFCHC in its role as a welcoming healthcare home for the community, with an emphasis on the most vulnerable and underserved.
Dr. Buch treats patients of all ages – from newborns to centenarians – across the family care spectrum, including common childhood disease ailments, chronic adult disease management, women’s health, and geriatric and senior health. He also is experienced in other areas of medical practice, ranging from emergency medicine to hospital administration.
After earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, San Diego, Dr. Buch received his Doctor of Medicine from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md. During his subsequent doctor-in-training work at St. Louis University Family Medicine Residency, he became Chief Resident.
Dr. Michael Eshaghian, MD, ABOG - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Michael Eshaghian, an advocate of providing patient-centered care, is a leading obstetrician and gynecologist serving the San Fernando Valley region. Board-certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, he offers a broad array of treatment options for women of all ages.
With extensive experience in all areas of obstetrics and gynecology, Dr. Eshaghian offers each patient the individualized attention necessary to provide treatment that is focused on her unique needs. He is positioned to offer care and medical guidance for women from across the world, and speaks English, Farsi and Spanish.
After earning his bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Los Angeles, Dr. Eshaghian completed his medical degree at Ross University School of Medicine. He then completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Nassau University Medical Center in New York, an affiliate of Stony Brook Medical School, where he served as Chief Resident. During his residency, he also trained at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.
Armen Okunyan, RN, MSN-FNP - Nurse Practioner
Armen Okunyan is a licensed nurse practitioner in California, and also with the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. In addition, he has official certification from the American Heart Association covering various cardiovascular disciplines.
For several years prior to joining San Fernando Community Health Center, Okunyan was a registered nurse for the cardiopulmonary unit of Providence Holy Cross Hospital in Mission Hills and the intensive care unit for East Los Angeles Promise Hospital. Previously, he also conducted medical research at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical Center and West Los Angeles Veterans’ Administration Hospital where he co-authored peer-reviewed publications and designed experiments to ensure cellular compatibility with medications, among other duties.
Okunyan earned a Master of Science in nursing and family nurse practitioner from Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles. He also holds a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Arizona State University and a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry from UCLA. He is fluent in English, Russian and Armenian.
Aura Veliz, MSN-FNP - Nurse Practioner
Registered Nurse Practitioner Aura Veliz joined the San Fernando Community Health Center (SFCHC) in 2018. She brings more than two decades of experience in women’s and reproductive health, cancer prevention screenings, and all aspects of family planning to serving patients with the highest-quality care in a trusted and caring environment.
Veliz works closely with SFCHC’s obstetric and pediatric physicians, and is developing the Center’s Comprehensive Perinatal Services Program to provide the full spectrum of support for pregnant women through and after delivery, including vital resources and education services.
Prior to joining SFCHC, Veliz worked as a registered nurse specializing in women’s health at Providence Health & Services, Aurora Medical Center of San Fernando, Inc. and Valley Presbyterian Hospital. She also spent several years as a registered nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Antelope Valley Hospital.
Veliz earned a Bachelor of Applied Science degree and Master of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Phoenix. In addition, she completed the Harbor-UCLA Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner Program, the Family Nurse Practitioner Program at Graceland University, and the Duke University-Johnson & Johnson Nurse Leadership Fellowship.
Jenifer Sullivan, MSN, FNP-C, RNC-OB
Jenifer Sullivan, MSN, FNP-C, RNC-OB, joined the San Fernando Community Health Center (SFCHC) in 2020, bringing her compassionate and caring approach to this patient-centered healthcare home for the community.
Sullivan previously worked in the UCLA Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology for more than eight years, and has been practicing family medicine since then. Before becoming part of SFCHC’s provider team, she also worked as a Family Nurse Practitioner for the Joshua Medical Group.
After receiving a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from California State University, Northridge, Sullivan earned a Master of Science in Nursing degree from Walden University (based in Minneapolis), graduating with honors from both programs.
A native of Brazil, Sullivan speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese. She enjoys spending time with her family, including her two children, as well as hiking, kayaking and traveling.
Elizabeth Garcia, MSN, FNP-C - Nurse Practitioner
Elizabeth Garcia is a California-licensed nurse practitioner and is certified with the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. She also has official certification from the American Heart Association covering various cardiovascular disciplines, as well as special training in oncology and chemotherapy administration.
For several years prior to joining San Fernando Community Health Center, Garcia was a registered nurse for the oncology division of Providence Cedars Sinai Tarzana Medical Center. Prior to that position, she was a registered nurse for Olympia Medical Center in Los Angeles and the Pasadena Surgery Center.
Garcia’s primary care training is extensive and includes care of adults and the aged at Fatima Medical Clinic in Los Angeles. She also provided care for women’s health and children, along with general primary care, at Tri-City Medical Group in Vista, California.
Garcia holds a Master of Science in nursing and family nurse practitioner from Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in nursing from California State University, San Marcos, and an Associate Degree in nursing from Los Angeles Valley College. Garcia is fluent in English and Spanish.
Antonio Alfonso, Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) - Chief Dental Officer
Dr. Antonio Alfonso, DMD, joined San Fernando Community Health Center (SFCHC) in 2020 to touch the lives and hearts of his patients through gentle, kind dental care and to create healthy, happier smiles.
He was first introduced to dentistry in 1995 while working as a dental assistant and officer manager for his sister, Dr. Catherine Alfonso, DMD, until she passed away from cancer in 2008. Her caring work inspired Dr. Alfonso to also become a dentist, graduating from Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine in Pomona, California.
Dr. Alfonso is a member of the American Dental Association, California Dental Association, Christian Medical and Dental Association, and Tri-County Dental Association. He enjoys traveling, hiking, camping, cycling, youth ministry, listening to music, playing the drums, and spending time with his wife Beth, who is a nurse. Their favorite travel destination is Boracay Island in the Philippines.
Tiffany Chang, DDS
Dr. Tiffany Chang is a California-licensed dentist with a comprehensive background in general dentistry, oral care advocacy and special patient care. Her experience includes restorative dentistry, pediatric dentistry, treatment planning, oral sedation, molar extractions, specialty care and more.
Prior to joining San Fernando Community Health Center, Dr. Chang gained considerable experience in dentistry-related public service. From 2019 to 2020, she was the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) volunteer coordinator for Special Olympics Special Smiles, an organization providing oral hygiene screening and instruction to athletes in the greater Los Angeles area. Previously for three years, she was also a volunteer coordinator for Care Harbor Los Angeles, a facility that provides dental, medical and vision care to Los Angeles area underserved communities.
Additionally, from 2018 to 2020, Dr. Chang volunteered for three organizations dedicated to providing oral healthcare to underserved community patients: CDA Cares, a foundation of the California Dental Association; the Meet Each Need with Dignity (MEND) clinic, a non-profit poverty organization in the San Fernando Valley; and Homeless not Toothless, a service focusing on the homeless community, veterans and children within the foster care system.
Dr. Chang holds a Doctor of Dental Surgery from the UCLA School of Dentistry, where she also conducted her general practice residency, and a Bachelor of Arts in biological sciences from the University of Southern California. She is fluent in both English and Mandarin.
Maria Arciniega, DDS
Dr. Maria Arciniega is a California-licensed dentist with a personal commitment to providing quality care to underserved communities. Her extensive background includes general dentistry, public health, oral surgery, research and analysis, molecular biology, oral surgery, pediatric dentistry and more.
Prior to joining San Fernando Community Health Center (SFCHC), she practiced general and hospital dentistry at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Hospital where she performed a broad range of dental services in hospital and operating room settings. These services included specialty care for medically compromised patients to address cancer, organ transplants, bleeding and immune disorders, infectious diseases and various types of oral surgery, among others.
Giving back to the community has been a substantial facet of Dr. Arciniega’s professional experience. For over two years, she was co-president of the UCLA Hispanic Student Dental Association. She is also the co-founder of Health Bridges, a nonprofit organization that seeks to provide translation services for patients with limited English proficiency at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center. At the Venice Family Clinic, she also volunteered to set up dental equipment and materials, organize appointments and provide translating assistance.
For over eight years, Dr. Arciniega has been involved in conducting research, most recently at the UCLA School of Dentistry. She also provided research assistance at the Pomona College Department of Molecular Biology and Tufts University of Boston Massachusetts.
As a member of the California Dental Association and American Student Dental Association, Dr. Arciniega holds a Doctor of Dental Surgery from the UCLA School of Dentistry, where she also conducted her general practice residency, and a Bachelor of Arts in molecular biology from Pomona College. She is fluent in both English and Spanish.
Norma Villalobos, Licensed Clinical Social Worker - Director Behavioral Health
Norma Villalobos, a licensed clinical social worker, was raised in the Northeast San Fernando Valley and has been with San Fernando Community Health Center (SFCHC) since 2018. She approaches her work through a bicultural, trauma-informed lens, providing patients and staff with tools to understand behaviors for effective treatment in a safe environment.
Villalobos uses a multidimensional approach in her clinical practice and is skilled in cognitive behavioral therapy, strength-based therapy, narrative therapy and behavioral therapy. She is also particularly accomplished in providing clinical supervision, team building and program development.
For several years prior to her position at SFCHC, Villalobos worked for Providence Health System’s Senior Outreach Program. Her duties included supervision and training of Master of Social Work interns, volunteers and staff; individual therapy to older adults; managing a school counseling program; working with community partners; and conducting home visits. Her extensive experience led to her achieving a program manager position with Providence Holy Cross Medical Center.
Villalobos also has experience with HIV-positive youth between the ages of 12 to 24 through her work at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), both as a case manager and member of the Risk Reduction team, and as the coordinator for the HIV counseling and testing grant program. She provided comprehensive case management services to HIV-positive youth, and developed new program protocols and a quality assurance plan, among other contributions.
Villalobos holds a Master of Social Work from California State University, Los Angeles and a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University of California, Riverside. She is fluent in English and Spanish. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as going on road trips, cooking, and playing board games.
Jim Hwang, MD, Psychiatrist
Dr. Jim Hwang is a California licensed doctor of osteopathy at San Fernando Community Health Center (SFCHC) with a broad spectrum of medical care experience. His professional background emphasizes psychiatry and mental health.
Before joining the SFCHC team, he was a staff psychiatrist at the Veterans’ Affairs Loma Linda Healthcare System. During this same period, he was also a member of the psychiatric faculty for Loma Linda University.
Throughout Dr. Hwang’s training, he acquired a wide range of experience in various fields, including acute in-patient hospitalization for adult, geriatric and child units; outpatient medication management, psychotherapy and integrated treatment; outpatient forensic medication management; and treatment for drug- and alcohol-related conditions.
Dr. Hwang spent his general psychiatry residence at Millcreek Community Hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania. He earned a Doctor of Osteopathy from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg, West Virginia, and a Master of Medical Education from the Lake Erie School of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie, Pennsylvania. Dr. Hwang is also certified in the use of Suboxone, a medication used to treat opiate drug addiction.
Ani Balabegian, PMHNP-bc, GNP-bc, CNS - Nurse Practitioner
Ani Balabegian is a dual board-certified nurse practitioner in California with over 15 years of experience specializing in both psychiatric mental health and gerontology.
Prior to joining the San Fernando Community Health Center behavioral health team, Balabegian provided psychotropic medication management for participants in Turning Point, an intensive outpatient mental health treatment day program at Mission Community Hospital in Panorama City.
Balabegian started her nursing career as a registered nurse at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. The breadth of her experience comes from working in multiple long-term care facilities in the greater Los Angeles area, where she managed mental health problems and psychiatric disorders for the geriatric population. During this time, she developed a passion to improve the quality of life at the end of life for patients with dementia.
She has also enjoyed the privilege of returning to her original alma mater, Glendale Community College (GCC), to serve as both a theory and clinical mental health instructor for registered nursing students.
Balabegian holds both a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in nursing from University of California, Los Angeles, earning her nurse practitioner and clinical nurse specialist titles. She also completed an associate degree in nursing from GCC and a post-graduate psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner certificate program through National University.
She is fluent in English and Armenian, and enjoys watching mixed martial arts fights, playing tennis, and hiking with her family and two dogs in her spare time.
Brenda Sanchez, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Brenda Sanchez is a licensed clinical social worker with an extensive background in psychiatric social work in both the private and public sectors.
Prior to her position at San Fernando Community Health Center, Sanchez was a psychiatric emergency team clinician at the University of Southern California (USC) Verdugo Hills Hospital in Glendale where she worked in the emergency room to provide evaluations for mental conditions, crisis intervention and referrals for psychiatric placement when needed.
She previously served as a psychiatric and medical social worker at Mission Community Hospital in Panorama City. In this position, she performed high-risk screening for patients when appropriate, and assessed and reported cases of suspected child abuse to the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and Adult Protective Services. During that time, Sanchez was also a psychiatric social worker at the USC Keck Medical Center where she was responsible for mental health assessment, preparation of referrals and discharge planning, provision of on-call coverage for all units at the medical center and many other duties.
Sanchez also worked for the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health Emergency Outreach Bureau in Granada Hills where she performed psychiatric field evaluations and other related duties that included referrals for substance abuse and the presentation of high-risk cases for appropriate follow-up and treatment.
Sanchez holds a Master of Social Work from Stony Brook University in New York, and a Bachelor of Science in sociology and criminology from California State University, Northridge. She is fluent in English and Spanish.
Yesenia De Anda, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Yesenia De Anda is a licensed clinical social worker who has a passion for working with underserved and underrepresented populations. She joined San Fernando Community Health Center (SFCHC) in 2022.
Prior to her position at SFCHC, Yesenia worked in a variety of settings with non-profit organizations, including Los Angeles County Children’s Bureau in the area of foster care/adoption and Child and Family Center as a clinician.
Yesenia fulfilled a variety of roles in those organizations including crisis intervention, child abuse assessment, suicide assessments, safety planning, diagnosing and treatment of a variety of mental health disorders. While at Child and Family Center, Yesenia was certified in Managing and Adapting Practice (MAP) through Penny Lane Centers.
Yesenia has experience working with individuals, families and groups treating a variety of difficulties including depression, anxiety, grief and loss, interpersonal conflict, relationship issues, low self-esteem, communication difficulties and family conflict. She uses a variety of evidence-based practices to help those in her care improve daily functioning and meet established goals.
Yesenia earned a Master of Social Work from California State University, Los Angeles and a Bachelor of Science in sociology from Mount St. Mary’s University. In her spare time Yesenia enjoys spending time with family and friends. Her favorite activities are hiking and traveling.