COO & Co-founder, LMFT
Melissa Legere, LMFT graduated cum laude from California State University, Fullerton with her master’s degree in Counseling. Melissa has 12 plus years of experience as a License Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) working in many different settings from hospital inpatient and outpatient programs, residential detox and treatment facilities, to utilization review departments. She has extensive experience in developing programs and is always challenging the status quo when it comes to treating individuals. She has specific training and experience in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Melissa excels at supervising intern therapists and ensures their development. Melissa founded and created the Program at California Behavioral Health which provides truly individual care based on each person’s own experience and desire. She is a co-founder, Chief Operating Officer and Clinical Director for California Behavioral Health.
Paul Del Vacchio
CEO & Co-founder
Paul has over 30 years’ experience in finance, human resources, administration, and operations with the hospitality and healthcare industries. He has spent the past 12 years in the healthcare industry working with American Addiction Center, Las Vegas Recovery Center, Delphi Behavioral Health and now has founded California Behavioral Health. He has a track record for operational, financial and clinical success in the healthcare substance abuse treatment industry. He has founded CBH on the principles of a safe environment, dignified treatment and exhibiting the utmost respect toward everyone while provider the very best opportunity toward long term recovery.
Amber is a Licensed Vocational Nurse born and raised in Coachella Valley. She graduated from California Nurses Educational Institute in 2015. She has worked in the medical field for over 18 years with extensive experience in case management and mental health. Amber’s strong sense of duty, dedication to serve, and willingness to provide care to all residents is what drives her toward medical excellence.
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Cheryl is a Nurse Practitioner, who received her undergraduate education from Azusa Pacific University and completed her Master’s in Nurse Practitioner at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Sciences with a certification in Family Nurse Practitioner. Aside from having her NP she also has a certification in Public Health Nursing. In her nursing career, Cheryl has 16 years in psychiatric experience, and experience in other nursing disciplines, such as Medical-Surgical, intensive care unit, and forensic nursing. She is dedicated to addiction medicine and is passionate about holistic medicine and clean beauty.
Christian Small, MD
Psychiatry and Family Medicine
Christian Small, MD is board certified in addiction psychiatry, general psychiatry, and family medicine. He is one of a handful of doctors in the US who have the experience and training to treat full spectrum medical and psychiatric illness. Dr. Small has become a leader in delivering evidenced based addiction practices, medical and psychiatric care to addiction treatment programs. He is the founder of Headlands Addiction Treatment Services, an innovative company bringing the highest level of patient care to substance treatment and mental health programs. Dr. Small was previously employed by the Veterans Administration in La Jolla as an addiction psychiatrist and at the University of California San Diego. He is a graduate of the University of Hawaii John A Burns School of Medicine and completed a residency in Psychiatry and Family Medicine at UCSD.
Christine has been a licensed Vocational Nurse since graduating from California Nurses Educational Institute in 2015. She has been in the medical field for 9 years with experience from geriatric to substance abuse. Christine’s duty is to provide direct patient care to individuals struggling with substance abuse and addiction is a calm and compassionate way. Christine thrives within her career by witnessing the growth of her patients from a day-to-day basis.
Adam retired from Military Service in 2013. Adam earned his master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health from the University of Redlands and recently became a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP). Adam brings a wide variety of knowledge and experience to his work and connects with his clients on multiple levels. He has experience working with substance use and co-occurring disorders. Adam understands humans are unique, and highlights this to empower his clients to explore, grow, and be healthier in their lives.
Martin Silva Therapist Intern earned his Bachelor’s degree in Education Studies with a focus on Child & Human Development from Brown University in 2010. His work experience thereafter includes clinical research, non-profit fundraising and development, and teaching. These experiences are all unified by his passion for advocacy and self-empowerment, leading to the pursuit of his Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. His personal, professional, and academic experiences inform how he connects with his clients. Martin works to create therapeutic spaces that foster vulnerability and connection with the hopes of facilitating healing and growth.
William earned his Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Redlands. Shortly after graduating, William began working with individuals on the autism spectrum as a Behavior Therapist in the Inland Empire. After three years in the field, William returned to the University of Redlands to pursue a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with hopes to better serve stigmatized and marginalized populations in his community. He has experience working with individuals from a variety of diverse backgrounds, cultures, and age groups. Specifically, he strives to create collaborative, therapeutic relationships that foster an accepting and empathic environment.
Therapist earned his master’s degree in clinical psychology from Antioch University and in his drive to continue making a substantive difference in the mental health community by collaborating on the therapeutic alliance with clients through an affirmative and evidence-based practice. Specialties include couples in crisis; individuals adapting to aging, grief, and trauma; and all stages of recovery and co-occurring disorders. His unique perspective brings together his lived experience, empathy, wisdom, and clinical training for the potential benefit of his clients.
Leslie Penaloza Group Facilitator earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Cal Poly Pomona and has dedicated four years of her career in the mental health field. Her passion for understanding and helping individuals navigate their mental well-being has been a driving force in her professional journey. Leslie’s ability to empathize and communicate with clients has allowed her to work effectively with diverse populations. Leslie is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) at Northcentral University, allowing her to further specialize in a field she is deeply passionate about. For Leslie, becoming a Marriage and Family Therapist means being equipped with the skills and knowledge to make a lasting impact on the lives of individuals.
Chef Ivan has more than 12 years’ experience in behavioral health. He strongly believes just as food absorbs the flavor of spices, it also absorbs the attitudes of those that cook and serve it. That is why, chef Ivan creates each dish with love, passion, and respect. Chef Ivan is a firm believer that, the second heart is in our belly. He puts great effort in creating the best food experience with his skills and experience in fusion cuisine. Chef Ivan loves traveling and learning about different cultures since this inspires him to create recipes and bring them to CBH.
Patrick Visgilio, Driver. Patrick was born in Vicenza, Italy. He grew up overseas in such places as Germany, Spain, and Japan. He traveled extensively throughout Europe, Africa and the Far East exposing him to many different nationalities and cultures. He attended the University of Maryland in Munich, Germany and Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa, California where he earned an Associate’s Degree. Patrick was a small business owner for ten years prior to becoming a team member at California Behavior Health. He enjoys interacting with people and loves to see them meet their full potential.
Hedley joined CBH having previously worked in operations at two other treatment centers here in Southern California. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position having been the CEO at a medical device company and the EVP of business development at a full-service marketing agency exclusive to the mental, behavioral and substance abuse industry. He has an extensive background in banking, finance, administration and operations and hold degrees in Finance and consumer and business law earned during his time in the UK. As Marketing Director at CBH, Hedley handles the marketing and the HR administrative duties at the facility while maintaining a supportive presence among our residents.
Director of Business Development
Emiliano Valenzuela is one of the most positive, up people you will ever meet. He is the quintessential people person. Which, among other things, makes him perfect as our new Director of Business Development. He is the first in his family to graduate from high school and college. He spent the earlier part of his career in Silicon Valley startups, doing everything and anything that needed doing, and eventually cashed out. As someone who is sober himself, when he started to look for more fulfilling work, he turned to the treatment industry. For having been in it for four years, he’s already worn many different hats. But he is exceptionally gifted at meeting and connecting with people. And people really like him. When he’s not working, you’ll find Emiliano and his husband, Todd, walking their two rescue dogs around Palm Springs, where they live.
Heather joined California Behavioral Health as Care Manager when it first opened having worked in the healthcare field and specifically addiction for the last 4 years. During this time, she has developed a passion for supporting our residents and helping in the transition from treatment to outpatient and sober living. The journey began for Heather after completing a medical assistant and family medicine at Loma Linda Hospital where she learned the value of working collaboratively within a team medical professionals and support staff. As Care Manager Heather is responsible for the CBH aftercare program, State compliance, admissions, and alumni follow up. In this role she works daily with the residents and supporting the Clinical team. Heather enjoys spending her free time with family!
My name is Matthew and I was a resident here at CBH from 6/22/2020 through 7/23/2020.. I just Graduated the program in 32 days and I am writing this because I am truly Thankful to them All.. I would like to Give CBH 7 Stars but it will only like me give 5.
I didn’t notice any weaknesses during my stay. They have an amazing team here at CBH. I never feel judged, I’m able to be open and vulnerable. I trust the whole treatment staff care about my sobriety. I truly feel the care from all staff members. They truly show that they care about me and my sobriety. I never feel pressured or rushed. Everyone on staff gives me respect. All staff members are always friendly, hear me out and are very professional.
I came to California Behavioral Health when I was finally at the point where I thought life was no longer worth living. Once I got to CBH my whole life changed as I have never met more caring people in my whole life.
The kitchen staff not only makes delicious food, but they take care of my dietary requests also. They go above and beyond to not only provide what I need but also what I want. The nursing staff here always know where I’m at and how I’m feeling. It’s not just a job for them. They show me that they care about my recovery. The doctors here care about my health not just for recovery, but also for when I leave here. The therapists here have been a major part of one of the biggest and best changes I’ve ever made in my life, for my life. My experience here has not only helped me to recover but also provided me with tools to remain so when I return home. Thank you for helping me find myself and for helping me to realize that I like myself and am excited about being myself, strong and with no slavery to addiction. This is an amazing place! I don’t know how you found such awesome employees. I never once heard a negative word come out of their mouths. Always happy and outgoing, even when some of the guests were being d-bags. This place is awesome, great staff, good activities and the food is so good.
Let me start by saying that this place has saved my life as I had been struggling with alcoholism since getting out of college. I had tried numerous 12 step programs and always experienced somewhere that I always struggled to relate with. Once I arrived at California Behavioral Health, they welcomed me with open arms.
I personally feel I was given the best treatment possible not just for my alcoholism but my underlying concerns as well. I am very grateful for the chance I was given The atmosphere has always been positive and up lifting and for the most part the participants have kept me laughing to the point my jaws hurt. I’m grateful to be a part of a great group of people and as my time here will expire soon I will carry all of you in my thoughts and ❤️. From the first day I got here I felt comfortable and safe.
I’m very great full to be here….Therapy & EMDR sessions have been amazing. I see a bright light at the end of this tunnel. The staff are incredibly caring, kind and it’s apparent it’s GENUINE.
Thank you so much for everything you have done for me. I feel I have found Alissa again! Without CBH I wouldn’t be where i am today! <3
One on one sessions with my therapists were fitted to my needs. Comfortable living quarters and the chef’s made wonderful meals. Program allows me to have down time when I need it. I am treated like an adult.
Licensed by the California Department of Health Care Services, License # 330053AP