Behavioral Health Providers
Natalie Vargas, M.S., Registered MFT Intern, Behavioral Health Therapist
Natalie is Paiute and Yokut, born and raised on the Bishop Paiute reservation. She received her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology and Bachelors Degree in Behavioral of Science and Social Work, both from the California Baptist University in Riverside, California. After completing her education, Natalie took the first opportunity to move back to the reservation and work with her native community. She has worked for seven years as a Behavioral Health Therapist for Toiyabe at both the Bishop and Lone Pine Clinics. Natalie is a registered Marriage and Family Therapist intern in the state of California, and has 10 years of clinical experience with specialized training in working with children and families, Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy, Suicidal Risk Assessments, Trauma Informed Care, SafeTALK (suicide alertness), and A-CRA (Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach + Aftercare).
Pat Nelson, CADC II, Counselor
Pat Nelson started with Toiyabe in 1996 working with the Youth Residential Treatment Center for six years. Pat joined Family Services in 2008. He received his Alcohol & Drug Counselor certificate from the D-Q University. Pat is a Tribal Elder, participating in Traditional Healing.
Michelle Saenz, MFT, Behavioral Health Therapist
Michelle received her Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University in 2008. Michelle began with Toiyabe in 2013 as a Behavioral Health Therapist in the Family Services Department. Prior, she worked with Inyo County Health and Human Services Wraparound Program providing individual and family therapy for adolescents. Michelle enjoys spending time with her family and getting outside to enjoy the beautiful Eastern Sierra.
Savannah Cole, Behavioral Health Therapist
Savannah is a registered associate marriage and family therapist who has worked with individuals, couples and families from varying backgrounds and ages by providing them with psychotherapy and other counseling related services. She takes a more positive approach in her practice as she believes that each individual, couple or family already possess abilities, strengths, resources and potential needed to create positive change. Savannah first began her educational endeavor by obtaining a Master of Art in Business Administration with an emphasis in Healthcare from AIU. Once she began working in the field of genetic counseling as an office administrative assistant, she discovered a new passion, counseling/therapy. Savannah’s husband is a medically retired marine which also played part in her inspiration to learn more about the impact war may have on the mental health of our military, veterans and their families. She then set off on her new journey to obtain a Master of Science in Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy from Capella University. Savannah completed her practicum at Inyo County Office of Education, North Star Counseling Center where she was able to provide individual, group and family counseling/therapy services to the children and families of Inyo County. In this position, she collaborated with local schools, physicians, and other mental health providers to offer students and their families the best counseling/therapy approach possible. During her time away from the office, Savannah enjoys hiking and traveling with her family, indulging in local cuisine, and adventuring on off-road expeditions.
Robert Kittle, LCSW, Behavioral Health Therapist
Robert Kittle has been providing services with Toiyabe Family Services since 1984. He received his Master of Social Work from the University of Georgia. Bob loves to hike, travel and play with his grandkids.
Paul Ohnopee Chavez, MSWI, Behavioral Health Therapist
Nuumu Bishop Paiute Tribal Member. Manahuu, I am honored to come to work as a contractor for Toiyabe Indian Health Project as a Mental/Behavioral Health Intern in the Family Services department for the last three weeks. After working and attending school full time for the last six years I worked hard to obtain a bachelors and master’s degree in the field of social work from New Mexico Highlands University. In addition, I have ten years of experience in the human service industry working as a program counselor and advocate for members of our communities with intellectual disabilities. My personal interest include: hunting, fishing, hiking, outdoors recreation, music, guitar, lifting weights and playing basketball.