Psychiatrists and Prescribers

CARLOS BENJAMIN-VARGAS, M.D.
Adult, Child & Adolescent Double Board Certified Psychiatrist

CEO and Medical Director of Benjamin’s Behavioral Health
Psychiatry
Accepts New Patients
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CARLOS BENJAMIN-VARGAS, M.D.

Primary Specialty

Psychiatry
Accepts New Patients

EDUCATION • TRAINING • CERTIFICATES

Fellowship, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, July 2009-June 2011
Residency, Adult Psychiatry, The University of Kansas Medical Center; Kansas City, Kansas, July 2006-June 2009
Doctor of Medicine, Ross University School of Medicine; North Brunswick, New Jersey; September 2003-April 2006

Honors Awarded

Medical Science Studies, Autonomous University of Guadalajara School of Medicine; Guadalajara, Mexico, August 2001-
September 2003
B.S. in Social Psychology, Park University (Military Campus; Corpus Christi, Texas, NAS); Parkville, Missouri, April 1998-
June 2001

Magna CUM Laude

Associates in Biology, Del Mar College; Corpus Christi, Texas, February 1998- June 2000 Minor in Chemistry, Texas A&M University; Corpus Christi, Texas, March 1999-April 2001
Naval Hospital Corpsman Diploma, Naval School of Health Science, Balboa Naval Hospital; San Diego, California,
February 1995-May 1995 • Paramedic & ALS Certificate • Search and Rescue (SARS) Certificate Graduate, Military Basic Training, US Navy; Great Lakes, Illinois, November 1994-February 1995 Triplet Threat • Honors • Hall of Fame Company

LICENSES • CERTIFICATION

Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Inc; Board Certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist,
2013Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Inc; Board Certified General Adult Psychiatrist, 2011
Licensed to practice medicine in the State of Texas, Texas Medical Board, 2011
Licensed to practice medicine in the State of Kansas, Kansas Board of Healing Arts, 2011

HONORS • AWARDS

Assistant Professor, Baylor College of Medicine and The Menninger Clinic; Houston, Texas, 2011 Elected to the position after Fellowship graduation
Medical Student Teaching Award, 2008
Awarded by the University of Kansas Medical School and The Medical Student Association (MSAKC) of Kansas City for
taking the initiative for teaching medical students rotating through general psychiatry
Recruitment of Disabled Veterans Excellence Award, 2003
Awarded by the Department of South Texas Veterans for helping bring Military benefits to more than 100 homeless veterans
Commemorated US Navy Sailor of the Quarter Deck, Naval Air Station; Corpus Christi, Texas, 2001 Letter of recognition by the US Naval Hospital Commanding Officer for promoting fitness to the military enlisted personnel
Naval Base Guantanamo Bay Cuba, Good Samaritan Award, 2001
Awarded by the Commanding Officer at Guantanamo Bay Cuba for vaccinating 400 Cuban and Haitian refugees
The Hispanic Forum of South Texas Democratic Leadership Scholarship Award, 1999 Recognized for superior academic achievement in the field of health science
The National Defense Ribbon Medal, 1996
Awarded by the US Department of Defense for active duty military service during Desert Storm and the Kuwait invasion
Veterans of US Foreign Wars Ribbon Medal, 1996
Award for deployment to Kuwait during Desert Storm

AFFILIATIONS

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric, 2011-Present
American Medical Association • American Psychiatric Association, 2006-Present American Medical Student Association for Minorities, 2001-2005
Promoted career opportunities for under-represented minorities in medicine
Community Medicine and Doctors without Borders, 2001-2003
Collaborated in bringing healthcare access to remote villages in Mexico in affiliation with the
Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara School of Medicine
Various Services Activities, 1994-2000
Participated in the Naval Annual Regatta to collect funds for children with Leukemia; volunteered on Operation Paint Brush to help low income families improve their homes; continue to be a volunteer for the Big Brothers and Big Sisters and Annual Texas Health Fair

PROFESSIONAL RESEARCH EXPERIENCE

Southwest Biomed Research Center, LLC January 2016-Present Owner, Principal Investigator and Sub Investigator
El Campo Clinical Trials, March 2014-Present
Principal Investigator and Sub Investigator
BioBehavioral Research of Austin March 2013-2014
Principal Investigator /CEO and co-founder of BioBehavioral Reseach of Austin and Sub Investigator
Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, July 2009-June 2011
Sub Investigator

Research Experience Overview
Principal and Sub Investigator, and Rater with more than 5 years of clinical trial experience. Participated in over 20 trials. Therapeutic areas: ADHD, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Insomnia, General Anxiety, etc. Training/certification for the following psychiatric evaluations: MINI, SKID, SIGHA, C-SSRS, PANSS, K-SADS, CGI, MADRAS, HAMD, HAMA, ADHD-RS, BECK, etc.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE AND CONTRIBUTIONS

Benjamin’s Behavioral Health Service, PLLC January 2011-Present
Current President/CEO and Solo Founder of Private Outpatient Clinic
• Health care provider of specialty care for children, adolescents, and adults suffering from a variety of mental illnesses
• Direct and oversee daily operations, including managing the annual budget with full P&L accountability; develop and maintain systems and processes, which assist in forecasting revenue and monitoring expenses.

Harris County, Texas Sheriff Office Correctional Facility Houston, Texas March 2015-Present
• Part-time staff psychiatrist responsible for overseeing the mental health needs of Adult and Juvenile inmates in diverse clinical settings including: Crises intervention, outpatient settings, and inpatient settings within the prison.

Private Practice In Partnership January 2012-2014
Adult, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry private group outpatient practice/CFO and co-founder of Specialty Clinic of Austin, PLLC with 1/3 part ownership, as well as, solo founder and 100% ownership for Benjamin’s Behavioral Health, PLLC

Director of Behavioral Health Outpatient Clinic
• Developed a Child Psychiatry Department and act as main point of referral for mental illness from six pediatric clinics
• Direct and oversee daily operations, including managing the annual budget with full P&L accountability; develop and maintain systems and processes, which assist in forecasting revenue and monitoring expenses
• Interview, hire, manage and train a Nurse Practitioners and a Professional Counselors while educating a team of primary care Physicians; delegate responsibilities, evaluate performance, set schedules and mediate conflicts
• Developed forms intake and implemented policies and procedures, including 24-hour cancellation and discharge policies, which were non-existent
• Increased reimbursement for the client by adopting the correct billing code as a specialty rather than under medical
• Directed facility in providing a full scope of billing functions, including payment arrangements for low income families according to established procedures as well as ensuring timely billing and collections for anticipated revenue
• Monitored contract compliance with vendors, provider groups and affiliated entities while preparing for Joint Commission and DOH state surveys
• Implemented and managed standards by establishing benchmark measurements, initiating process improvement for areas that are below compliance level and leveraging operational efficiencies to reduce overtime and unnecessary expenditures
• Streamlined the referral process enhancing primary care provider and specialist communication Locums Tenens at Fort Hood Army Base; Killeen, Texas 2011

Adult Psychiatrist, Contracted Position
• Treated returning soldiers from the Middle East as well as provided on-call support for Licensed Clinical Social Workers covering the emergency room for Darnall Army Medical Center after hours
• Covered the inpatient psychiatric unit and functioned as the Consultation Psychiatric Liaison for Darnall Army Medical Center during weekend call as well as consulted for post-partum depression for Labor & Delivery The Mental Health and Mental Retardation Authority (MHMRA) of Harris County; Houston, Texas 2011

Fellowship
• While under Physician’s supervision, consulted patients with mental retardation, including Asperger’s Syndrome and psychiatric disorders
• Taught other providers, physicians and fellows coming in about mental disorders, clinical implications, underlying patho-physiology and management of obstructive and central sleep apnea in the context of individuals with cognitive developmental disabilities Ben Taub General Hospital, Texas Children’s Hospital 2009-2010 Baylor College of Medicine/Menninger Clinic; Houston, Texas

Resident Physician
• Taught pediatric residents rotating at Ben Taub Hospital and incoming Baylor Medical students at Baylor Medical at Texas Children’s Hospital
• Classes focused on the prevention, identification and intervention of suicide in teenagers; how to properly screen for potential suicide in the pediatric population
• Lectures encompassed the diagnosis of Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder-proposed neurophysiology, clinical assessment and pharmacological management
• Taught peer fellows on the prevention, identification and psychosocial interventions available to help children who are victims of bullying and Cyber-bullying
Kansas University Medical Center; Kansas City, Kansas 2006-2009

Resident Physician in General Psychiatry
• Supervised medical students and junior resident physicians
• Provided mental health coverage to the Kansas City Veteran’s Medical Center inpatient mental health ward and the ER
• Directed and led provider outpatient and inpatient psychiatric care to the Eastern Kansas VA health care network- Colmery-O’Neil VA Medical Center (Topeka, KS) and Leavenworth VA Medical Center (Leavenworth, KS)
The US Naval Hospital, Naval Air Station; Corpus Christi, Texas 1997-2000

Hospital Corpsman • EMT
• Under supervision by a Physiatrist and a Physical Therapist, treated sports, physical and occupational injuries
• Conducted ACLS and BLS certification training
• Acted as Emergency Medical Technician, handling medical emergencies after hours USS Carl Vinson; San Diego, California 1995-1997

Hospital Corpsman • Paramedic On-Call • EMT
• Handled medical emergencies for the entire military base and air landing field
• Assisted military emergency physician on basic medical emergencies
• Transported medical and psychiatric patients via ambulance to the military bases in San Antonio, Texas for continuity of care
• Directed morning sick call triage in the ER
• Updated and filed military medical records for 1,500 enlisted military men and women
• Trained First Responders and pilots on what to do if a plane crashed, how to handle the situation and what to do first

Ciara Jackson, NP-C
Board Certified Nurse Practitioner

Medical Provider at Benjamin’s Behavioral Health
Psychiatry
Accepts New Patients
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Ciara Jackson, NP-C

Primary Specialty

Psychiatry
Accepts New Patients

Professional Summary

· With great passion to heal, I am seeking a position as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse where I may utilize my knowledge and skills to prevent, manage, and treat health conditions while promoting quality of life in hopes of attaining continued knowledge to improve care as a healthcare clinician while becoming a professional and reliable asset to your healthcare team.

Education and Training

MASTER’S OF SCIENCE IN NURSING | DECEMBER 12. 2015 | UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH ALABAMA MOBILE, ALABAMA
· Major: Family Nurse Practitioner
· 600 hours of clinical experience in outpatient clinics including Family Practice, OB-GYN, Pediatrics, Urgent Care, and Internal Medicine
BACHELOR’S OF SCIENCE IN NURSING | DECEMBER 10, 2010 | UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI HATTIESBURG, MISSISSIPPI
· Major: Nursing

Professional Experience

NURSE PRACTITIONER | BENJAMINS BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES: HOUSTON, TEXAS| JUNE 2016-PRESENT
· Effectively diagnose and treat a multitude of psychiatric illnesses
· Provide efficient and quality care to patients
· Practice safe and effective medicine to include both conventional and holistic therapy regimen
· Promote healthy lifestyle to improve overall health maintenance for each patient

REGISTERED NURSE | EAST JEFFERSON GENERAL HOSPITAL: METAIRIE, LOUISIANA| JANUARY 2014-PRESENT
· Critical Care registered nurse
· Provide efficient and quality care to patients in critical condition
· Safely administer medication and other interventions to improve patient’s condition
· Develop and maintain quality care systems and standards, including but not limited to, creating and improving medical protocols/guidelines

REGISTERED NURSE | OCHSNER MEDICAL CENTER: GRETNA, LOUISIANA| JUNE 2012- JANUARY 2014
· Telemetry staff nurse/ Trained charge nurse
· Conduct thorough assessment on patients through accurate cardiac monitoring
· Safely administer medications to patients through the use of EPIC computer system
· Proper and efficient medication administration, assessment skills, and education to patients with various cardiac diseases

REGISTERED NURSE | WYNHOVEN HEALTHCARE CENTER: MARRERO, LOUISIANA| MARCH 2011- MAY 2012
· Supervising role to LPNs and CNAs in a long term care facility
· Provide in- service presentations to address concerns with the geriatric population residing in long term care in order to promote better patient care as well as employee satisfaction
· Provide quality palliative care during end of life experiences to both patient and families

NURSE TECHNICIAN | OCHSNER MEDICAL CENTER: GRETNA, LOUISIANA| JUNE 2010- JULY 2010
· Summer Internship for future Registered Nurses
· Coordinate and perform patient care along with preceptor
· Implement and improve nursing skills learned in the clinical setting
· Provide optimal and safe care for patients on Telemetry, Labor & Delivery, and Postpartum units

Certification/Licenses

. Advance Practice Registered Nurse License- State of Texas
. Registered Nurse- State of Louisiana- License Number- RN131990
. Registered Nurse- State of Texas- License Number-182931
. Basic Life Support (BLS) Certification
. Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) Certification

Professional Memberships

. Member of American Association of Nurse Practitioners since 2015
. Member of American Nursing Association since 2011
. Member of National Student Nurses’ Association since 2008
. Member of Gamma Lambda Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau since 2010

Skill Highlights

. Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certification
. Experience in Critical Care (2 years)
. Providing quality care at end of life
. Long term care experience with geriatric population
. Exceptional typing skills
. Speaks and understands some Spanish
. Proficient in Word/Excel documents

References

. Available upon request

Ciara is dedicated to diagnosing and treating patients with various psychiatric diagnoses to include but not limited to anxiety, depression, ADHD, and mood disorders. Under the direct supervision of two board certified psychiatrists, Dr. Carlos B. Vargas and Dr. Jennifer Yen, Ciara effectively develops individualized treatment plans that fit the specific needs of her patients. Her nursing background has prepared her to be empathetic when needed the most but also knowledgeable in human response to various life stressors. Ciara’s practices are guided by the famous quote, “People will forget what you said, People will forget what you did, But people will never forget how you made them feel. – Maya Angelou”

Adriana Isaza, NP-C
Board Certified Nurse Practitioner

Medical Provider at Benjamin’s Behavioral Health
Psychiatry
Accepts New Patients
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Adriana Isaza, NP-C

Primary Specialty

Psychiatry
Accepts New Patients
Ebony Meremikwu, NP-C
Board Certified Nurse Practitioner

Medical Provider at Benjamin’s Behavioral Health
Psychiatry
Accepts New Patients
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Ebony Meremikwu, NP-C

Primary Specialty

Psychiatry
Accepts New Patients

Counselors and Psychotherapists

Amanda Huffman LCSW-S
Clinical Director of Counseling & Behavioral Services
Counseling Department
Accepts New Patients
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Amanda Huffman LCSW-S

Primary Specialty

Counseling Department
Accepts New Patients
Holistic, Integrative, Evidence-Based, & Cutting Edge.  My two passions in life are learning & helping others.  I rigorously seek out the most effective trainings in my field to stay on top of the best treatments for a multitude of life’s challenges.  Mental health is not something that can be treated by talk alone, although it can be very helpful!  My style integrates body approaches that help regulate nervous system function to help you live from a place of ease and flow in your body.  It also includes a year long study in nutrition and how food can play a major role in ailments like depression and anxiety.  Combining nearly two decades of training and experience, I have cultivated  an eclectic treatment that can be tailored to your specific needs and desires.

Some of my trainings and experience includes:

08/2019- Concussion & PTSD, BASE Training Assistant
08/2018- Concussions and PTSD, BASE specialty training
03/2018- Neuroaffective Relational Model for Developmental Trauma
03/2018-Eye of the Needle, Somatic Experiencing for near death, surgical, and anesthesia trauma
03/2018- Nutrition Health Coach Certification, Integrative Institute for Nutrition
09/2017- Body & Somatic Education (BASE) certification and BASE international assistant
10/2016- Somatic Experiencing, SEP certification and SE assistant
4/2015- Depression, Aggression, Triumph & Breath: SE Master Class,  Peter Levine, PhD
1/2015- Attachment Styles & Relationship Trauma Training, Diane Poole Heller, PhD
3/2014- Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE), Edna Foa, PhD
5/2013- Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) Externship & Cores Skills
5/2013- Gottman Method Level I, II, & III
1/2015- Transforming Difficult Moments in Therapy
9/2013- Radically Open DBT Introduction
8/2013- Dialectical Behavior Therapy Intensive
6/2011- DBT Updated to Emotion Regulation & Crisis Survival Skills
10/2010- Dialectical Behavior Therapy Foundational
Brittany R. Saldivar LMFT, LPC, LCDCI
Assistant Clinical Director of Counseling & Behavioral Services
Counseling Department
Accepts New Patients
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Brittany R. Saldivar LMFT, LPC, LCDCI

Primary Specialty

Counseling Department
Accepts New Patients

“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.”
– Carl Jung

I have a passion for helping others discover their strengths and become closer to their authentic self. While I have experience working with clients of all ages, I am especially drawn to my work with children and families.

I specialize in the treatment of ADHD, ASD, behavioral challenges, depression, and anxiety in children ages two and up. I strongly believe the family system is a vital aspect of the counseling process and offer parent support sessions as an extension of treatment.

I enjoy working from a Strengths Based perspective while also incorporating appropriate behavioral techniques. Therapy is not one size fits all. I strive to meet my clients where they’re at to find the best fit for their needs.

I have experience working in psychiatric facilities, public and private school systems, ABA clinics and outpatient practices.

I am a member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, The Houston Associate for Marriage and Family Therapy and The Association for Play Therapy.

Alvaro Interiano M.Ed, LPC Intern
Psychotherapist
Counseling Department
Accepts New Patients
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Alvaro Interiano M.Ed, LPC Intern

Primary Specialty

Counseling Department
Accepts New Patients

When we have our values clear, it makes our path more accessible. I specialize in Christian counseling & have a special love for those that suffer with anxiety, depression, & addictions. Together we can help find what gives you the inner strength that you are seeking.
– Alvaro Interiano M.Ed, LPC Intern
Intern Supervised by Marcel Gamboa, LPC-S

Emilie Kestner, MMFT, LMFT Associate
Psychotherapist
Counseling Department
Accepts New Patients
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Emilie Kestner, MMFT, LMFT Associate

Primary Specialty

Counseling Department
Accepts New Patients

My goal is to connect with my clients and offer a safe space to process through whatever obstacles are holding them back in life. My role is to understand, validate, and challenge you as necessary. I specialize in helping people with sexual difficulties, the LGBT+, and members of the BDSM/kink community.
– Emilie Kestner, MMFT, LMFT
Associate Supervised by Dr. Sally Miller LCSW-S, LMFT-S

Alberto VIllegas, LMFT Associate
Psychotherapist
Counseling Department
Accepts New Patients
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Alberto VIllegas, LMFT Associate

Primary Specialty

Counseling Department
Accepts New Patients