Board of Directors – Foundation
Stephen Abouaf – President
Anthony Alastra, MD
Edmund Ayoub, Jr., MD
Mary Mix Livingston
Allan H. Jensen, MPA – Executive Director
Program Director – CBAS
Program Director – Desert Memory Club
Allan H. Jensen joined the Neuro Vitality Center as the new Executive Director in May 2021. Allan brought with him over twenty-five years of healthcare and research administration. Allan began his journey in Chicago working for Advocate Health Care as a Manager over their call center for eight hospitals. He then moved to Ravenswood Hospital, part of the Advocate system, where he assisted in opening one of the first Alternative Healthcare Center, an alternative medical center focusing on alternative healthcare for its patients. This is also where Allan became a certified massage therapist. Allan then transferred to Evanston Healthcare System in Evanston, Illinois, where he became a manager of a Family Practice center.
In 2002, Allan relocated to Los Angeles, CA where he started working at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. In his roles as Executive Assistant and Administrator Coordinator in the Research Administration and Academic Affairs offices, he reported directly to the Vice President of Research and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs. Over the eleven years at Cedars, Allan had the privilege working directly with some of the leading researchers in Regenerative Medicine, stroke & blood diseases, cancer, and Alzheimer’s research. During this time Allan also worked with the Volunteer Department at Cedars to create a Music for Healing program. In 2013, Allan moved to the University of Southern California to work directly with Dr. Terrance Town and his lab as the Lab Administrator, focusing on Alzheimer therapy.
In 2015 Allan relocated to the Palm Springs area where he became a Grant Manager for the Annenberg Center at Eisenhower Medical Center, working directly on CME grants for Faculty and nursing. In 2018 he transferred the Desert Reginal Medical Center, working with Dr. Javad Siddiqi in the department of Neurosurgery, working with the Residency Program. In 2019 he fulfilled a lifelong dream of moving to New York City, but do to Covid in March 2020, his dream came to an end and has moved back to the Palm Springs area.
Allan obtained his BA in Religious Studies in 2013 and his MPA in Public Administration in 2015 for California State University, Northridge. Allan is also known for his theatrical and vocal appearances around the Coachella Valley.
Allan is thrilled to be part of the Neuro Vitality Center team and looks forward to this new adventure.
Gavin Patel, MD – Medical Director
Dr. Patel completed his residency at Wright State University in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics where he was selected as Chief Resident. His experience as an Internal Medicine physician has included hospitalist medicine, senior care, and chronic care management. Dr. Patel is chair of the department of Medicine at Riverside Community Hospital, one of the largest full-service acute care facilities in the Inland Empire and surrounding communities. He also co-founded hospitalist group in Riverside County, and serves as core faculty for the family medicine residency program at Riverside Community Hospital.
Dr. Patel holds membership in several local and state-wide medical organizations, including serving as a Delegate for the California Medical Association. He remains active in the medical and local communities through his involvement on various Boards, including serving on the Medical Executive Committee for both Riverside and Parkview Community Hospitals.
Regarding his work, Dr. Patel says, “Every patient and their family are different, with their own unique needs. To be the best doctor for my patients, I must first know the person, before I can treat the body.”
In his spare time, Dr. Patel enjoys basketball, cooking, maps, learning about new cultures, and spending time with his wife and kids.
Beverly Greer, MBA – Administrator
Bev has had the privilege of working with clients at Center since 2005 first supporting Stroke and Traumatic Brain injured survivors at the Stroke Recovery Center, next expanding services to aid those with other neurological disorders as the Neuro Vitality Center, and now expanding to medical and social services for all those disabled and/or chronically ill. Her continued devotion to making sure these populations in need are not left behind has resulted in many thousands of people receiving services that have made their lives better and allowed them to overcome the challenges and thrive.
Bev has not only written extensively on treatment of these clients so often ignored but she has expanded her influence by working with the Office on Aging, Riverside for 15 years, by spending 9 years on the program committee for the Desert Healthcare District, by working for a number of years on the western regional task force with the American Stroke Assoc. as well as being and active speaker throughout the region to promote long term care. Her passion for caring forms a truly remarkable model that will continue bring joy to future generations.
Sarah Sutton – Operations Manager
Sarah is a native of the Coachella Valley and has worked for the Neuro Vitality Center for the past 9 years in many different capacities. She started at the Centers Administrative Assistant. At the expansion of services, she then became Executive Assistant at Neuro Vitality Center, assisting the Chief Executive Officer. She then took a break when the Center was forced to close because of Covid, and now serves as our Operations Manager.
Sarah has a passion for the Clients and working with people with disabilities is second nature to her as she has a brother who has had a lifelong disability and has served as his guardian for over 35 years.
Sarah especially appreciates how the Center continually evolves to meet the needs of our growing community. She finds working here is rewarding each and every day.
Sarah enjoys Volunteerism, hiking, and spending time with those she loves.
Jesus Solis – Finance Manager
Jesus brings 15 plus years’ experience as a Business Office Manager. He has dedicated his entire working years helping and educating residents, patients and their families members in their time of need. Not only does he love what he does in the financial/bookkeeping side but also loves helping others getting the care they deserve.
Most people don’t realized how important it is to have the proper health insurance coverage and that’s where Jesus comes in with his knowledge. His years of experience working with all mayor types of insurances has given him the ability to see what is the best choice for every individual according to their circumstances. Making sure loved one’s are not stuck with huge medical bills but at the same time making sure that providers are reimbursed for their services. Jesus has helped many people apply for their Medi-cal, disability and any other benefits they are entitle too. He wants his experience and knowledge to make a difference in someone’s else life.
As much as Jesus loves what he does, he also loves spending every minute with his son who love’s to swim, sing and cook just like his father does.
Patricia Genel, RN – Clinical Manager
Patricia Genel joins the Neuro Vitality Center as an RN Care Manager. Patricia brings with her over thirty years of experience in healthcare that includes both administrative and clinical duties. Patricia began her career in a small community-based hospital working with oncology patients eventually transitioning to a managed care setting where she began to work as a care manager focused on coordinating all aspects of patient care. Patricia subsequently moved into management positions where she remained for the next 20 years. In 2018 Patricia started her own consulting business with a primary focus on supporting organizations in the development of health care policy to ensure compliance with state and federal regulatory requirements. In 2020 Patricia desired to return to a more clinical setting and began working once again as a Care Manager for Clinicas De Salud Del Pueblo in Coachella, CA.
Patricia’s primary goal is to perform empathic and culturally appropriate health coaching, medication reconciliation and care plan development for all Neuro Vitality Center Clients.
Rudy Breilein, BA, MA – Case Manager
Rudy is a nataive Californian who has lived here all of his life, except for two years when he was in Prep School in Vermont. He found this a totally different world for a California Boy. He survived to go on to study at three institutions of higher learning. He attended M.S.A.C. in Walnut, CA where he earned his AA and studied in a program to become a Licensed Psychiatric Technician. He attended Cal Poly Pomona where he earned his BA in Behavioral Science and finally attended UCLA where he earned his MS in Physiological Psychology.
His experience in education has afforded him vast experiences at the least. He worked at the Lanterman Developmental Center for 9 years. He ran Methadone clinics throughout Southern and Northern California, worked in community mental health clinics, and worked at homeless shelters. He was a Special Education Teacher for several handicapped 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. Was an administrator for a level 14 group home for boys and as was the Director of Social Services in S.N.F.s.
Rudy feels lucky and grateful to have landed here at the Neuro Vitality Center, where he knows that he will learn things from the participants.
His favorite place in his home is his kitchen, he loves cooking and sharing food with the people he loves and cares about. The kitchen is his happy place, his thinking space and his stress relieve space. He says when he is slicing, chopping, and dicing ingredients for dishes such as Spinach Lasagna, Albondigas Soup, Chicken Tikka Masala or Matza Ball Soup, nothing can bother him. He says the kitchen is his Xanax, Prozac, and his feel better medication without taking anything at all. I have also traveled throughout California, Mexico, Europe, Australia and Greece. That’s our Rudy in a nutshell!
Sylvia Martinez, CNA – Activities Director
Sylvia is currently the Activities Director at Neuro Vitality Center. Her job is to provide activities for clients within the facility on a daily basis. This is a challenging role as the Center has a variety of clients with numerous diagnosis all within the same facility. Sylvia is also bilingual, and Neuro Vitality Center is thrilled to have her provide a multi-cultural experience to all that she provides.
Sylvia has numerous years of experience in the customer service field and has worked at many of the big box retailers. Her passion for working with diverse populations and assisting others is evident in her career paths. Sylvia comes to us after working in a skilled nursing facility as their program director. Within the facility she provided numerous activities that were person-centered and truly engaged the participants to live a rich and full life. At the Neuro Vitality Center, we consider ourselves fortunate to have the assorted talents and experience that Sylvia brings to the table.
Brenda Crawford – Director of Exercise Therapy
Brenda “Bootsie” Crawford has been aiding clients in maximizing their full physical potential at the Neuro Vitality Center for the past ten years building on her passion for exercise and nutrition as the pillars of good health for all people, young and old, infirm or healthy.
As a young child in Louisville, KY, Brenda or Bootsie as her Dad fondly called her, was challenged by digestive issues and was early to realize with the help of her Mom and Aunt, the benefits of good eating habits and exercise. Together they encouraged walking, playing in the park, and steered away from fried foods and the attraction of the local fast foods. Not an easy thing to do in Kentucky. As Bootsie grew up she volunteered in a local nursing home and it was there that the genesis of her life-time passion for helping those in need to move and be independent was born. She was quick to understand that the ability to be active and independent was the key to good health for elderly frail individuals. She also realized that an individual’s home is the place that everyone needs to be afforded the comfort of for an improved quality of life.
Brenda pursued a career while always keeping her passion alive working part time in a health food store demonstrating the benefits of good nutrition and keeping fit herself. In the late ’80’s after a move to California, she left her job of almost 20 years and ventured out to the desert to fulfill her passion. She became a certified personal trainer in 1999 and put out her brand as “Bodies by Bootsie,” working one-on-one with individuals to keep moving, building their strength, and enjoying the benefits of good health. She was recruited by World Gym and worked for a number of years leading groups, doing water aerobics, strength training, and Pilates.
During that time one of her clients was Marilyn Hirshliefer, widow of the founder of the Stroke Recovery Center. Marilyn introduced Bootsie to the work taking place with Stroke and Traumatic Brain Injured (TBI) Clients and all of Bootsie’s passions were realized.
Over the last ten years at Neuro Vitality Center, Bootsie has grown and expanded with the center working with Stroke and TBI survivors, and offering Parkinson’s sufferers classes and now expanding services to CBAS clients. Along the way she saw the value of Yoga and became a registered Yoga instructor in 2013. Bootsie’s gentle but firm hand always assists, never enables, always encourages. She is pillar of our programs and embodies all the spirit of community and help that the Center offers.
Mike Kuldanek – Speech Therapist
Mike Kuldanek our Speech and Language Pathologist at the Neuro Vitality Center. Mike began his time at Neuro Vitality Center as a volunteer and then became a member of the staff in 2019. Previously, Mike works at Ensemble Therapy.
Mike is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and holds a Master’s Degree in Communication Science and Disorders. Mike also brings a past of extensive work in the public schools, working with children and adolescents with a variety of communication impairments. His passion is to assist all individuals find their voice.
Celina Jimenez – Program Coordinator
Desert Memory Club
Celina is 21 years old. She grew up in the Coachella Valley. She has 4 wonderful Nieces, a Nephew and an amazing pup named Blue. She loves to read books and spend her summer days in the pool. Her parents are her biggest inspiration, they have taught her with their loving example how to treat others and care for them. Family is very important to her, which is why she is so grateful to be working along with this company that sincerely cherishes people and their families.
She worked at Ensemble Therapy clinic for 2 years and at the Palm Springs Unified School District as a paraprofessional. She completed an Early Childhood Education Course at College of the Desert prior to my jobs. She has also been babysitting for more than 4 years. Working with children and adults has really taught her skills to help each person/individual overcome challenges that are within their capacities and limits.
Celio Jimenez – Chef
Celio has been working in the food industry for over 20 years. The passion and dedication that he has in creating the perfect dish makes him different from the rest. Celia has worked in fast-paced kitchens as a line cook. His dedication and commitment to his work really set him apart. He has worked in a healthcare kitchen prepping meals for residents in nursing homes. The love, passion, and attention to detail in preparing the food for his residents has earned the love of everyone that eats the meals he prepares. We are happy to bring years of hard work, dedication, and commitment to the Neuro Vitality Team.
Alfredo Cortez – Head Maintenance and Facilities
Alfredo has been with Neuro Vitality Center for 14 years. He is a well known face for those who used to shop at Jackie Lee’s Thrift Shop, and he is now working diligently with our homebound clients making sure they receive their lunches. Alfredo’s smile and willingness to help has made him an important member of the team here at Neuro Vitality Center. Devoted family man both at home and here at the center. The word “No” is not in his vocabulary.