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Alicia Devine, LMFT

Clinical Director of Behavioral Health Services

Alicia Devine is the Clinical Director for DCS’s Behavioral Health Program. She oversees the Behavioral Health department, Signs of Life program, and the Clubhouse.

Alicia Devine obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from California State University, Northridge. She went on to obtain her Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy from San Diego State University. Alicia also attended University of Redlands and received her PPS (school counseling) credential. She received her license in Marriage and Family Therapy in 2010.

She has worked at National Center on Deaf Advocacy, Center for Community Solutions and their shelters, Deaf Community Services as an intern, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and as a school counselor at California School for the Deaf, Riverside. She has experience in working with families, children, and adults. She has seen clients in a variety of settings and situations. Her experience includes clients with a wide range of disabilities, cultural, religious, and ethnical backgrounds.

Her special interests are in the field of behavioral health for the Deaf/HH community, healthy relationships and families, and attempts at happy living for one and for all.


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Trisha Patel

Lead Behavioral Health Therapist/Program Manager

Trisha Patel graduated from University of California, San Diego with a BA in Psychology and from University of San Diego with a Master’s degree in Marital and Family Therapy. She has worked with different populations and settings including San Diego Hospice, National Center of Deaf Advocacy, Union of Pan Asian Communities working with all ages from children to adults and older adults.

Trisha is a San Diego native and in her spare time, she enjoys the sun, spending time with her family and travels the world as much as possible.


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Stefanie Everton-Lovell

Behavioral Health Therapist

Stefanie Everton-Lovell graduated from California State University, Northridge with a BA in Deaf Studies with an emphasis in interpreting. She then moved to the East Coast to continue her education at Gallaudet University where she received her Masters degree in mental health counseling.

Stefanie is happy to be back on the West Coast and in sunny San Diego. In her spare time she loves to read a good book, take beautiful pictures, and travel to new (and old) places.


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Noel King

Behavioral Health Therapist

Noel King is from Little Rock, Arkansas, also the home state of Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States. When she was five months old, she was adopted from South Korea by Deaf parents, and became U.S. citizen with the help of her grandfather who was a federal judge. She graduated from Gallaudet University with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Studio Art. She moved to the Windy City as known as Chicago for two years where she graduated from School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a Master’s degree in Art Therapy. She had worked at a wide range of settings with clients from all walks of life, including diverse backgrounds, experiences, and lifestyles. Noel has a deep passion to work with Deaf and Hard of Hearing community to expanding their access to mental health services and providing various therapy approaches, including art therapy. Her goal is to return to school and obtain a doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology in the near future.

On personal side, Noel loves attending art museums or galleries, rooting for her favorite baseball team, the Nationals from Washington, D.C., riding her bike, exploring new art mediums, and traveling.


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Art Mac Whinnie

Substance Abuse Counselor

Arthur MacWhinnie has two substance abuse certifications from San Diego College and the California Association of Addiction Recovery Resources (CAARR). Art worked as a substance abuse counselor for nine years at McAlister Institute Education and Treatment, Inc. where he earned Employee of the Year in 2007.

Art also enjoys traveling around the United States.


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Jesse Wilson

Recovery Support Specialist

Jesse Wilson graduated with a Alcohol and Other Drug Studies (AODS) certification from San Diego City College. Jesse is also a CATC-I certified Substance Abuse Counselor by the California Association for Alcohol/Drug Educators (CAADE). Jesse interned as a Substance Abuse Counselor for Signs of Life under Arthur Mac Whinnie at DCS for a year (2014) before becoming a full-time Recovery Support Specialist in 2015.

Jesse grew up in Rochester, New York and has lived in San Diego for thirteen years. In his spare time, he loves to travel, go camping, and spend time with his family.


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Stacey Bradford

Information & Referral Specialist

Stacey Bradford moved to San Diego in 2005 from Northern California to attend SDSU. In 2008, she began volunteering at the DCS front desk, and fell in love with the organization. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2010, completed the Interpreter Training Program at Palomar College in 2012 and is working towards interpreting certification.

In her spare time, Stacey enjoys painting, biking and traveling wherever she can.


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Eric Gonzalez

Clubhouse Program Manager

Eric Gonzalez has a Bachelor’s Degree in Rehabilitation Services from California State University of Los Angeles. In 2013, Eric completed the Substance Abuse Counselor and Mental Health Worker Certificate Program from San Diego City College. He has more than 7 years’ experience working in social services in the Los Angeles and San Diego area. He loves working with people and empowering Deaf individuals to pursue their dreams.

Eric has been with DCS since October of 2012 as a Peer Support Specialist. In his spare time he enjoys reading, hiking, and traveling.


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Tarek Abuneil

Peer Support Specialist

Tarek Abuneil graduated from the Holy Land Institute for the deaf in Salt , Jordan with a high school degree. Tarek then moved to Los Angeles from Amman, Jordan in 1997 to pursue education. He went to Imperial Valley College and Los Angeles Pierce College for Professional Development. So far, he knows the following languages: Arabic, Jordanian Sign Language and American Sign Language. Tarek became a U.S. Citizen in 2015. He had hardships after relocating but overcame his obstacles and reached his goals of having a stable life. Tarek has a happy family: his wife and two sons. Walking and dining out are his favorite hobbies. Tarek is happy to be part of DCS the Family!


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Alwayne Grim

Peer Support Specialist

Alwayne Grim has taught American Sign Language (ASL) levels 1 and 2 over the last 20 years in both San Diego, Vermont and in Swaziland, South Africa. In doing so, she taught parents of deaf children and provided them with resources as needed. She also taught at The Deaf Parenting.

While in Swaziland, South Africa for 27 months, Alwayne was in the Peace Corps and taught Swaziland Sign Language to the parents of deaf children as well.

She is thrilled to have the opportunity to teach ASL to the families of deaf children at Deaf Community Services of San Diego. She loves to see the parents using ASL with their children. It is a great way to communicate with them, increases bonding and helps them learn ASL.


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Gianna Heaviland

Peer Support Specialist

Gianna Heaviland was born and raised in Carlsbad/Encinitas area in North County San Diego. When she was 15, she learned American Sign Language at her high school. She was denied interpreting services her junior and senior year, thus developing a passion for advocacy of Deaf and Hard of Hearing and human rights in general.

She attended National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology starting in 2013, pursuing an Associate’s degree in Applied Liberal Arts. In November 2016 in the process of obtaining a Bachelor’s of Science in Sociology, Gianna’s lifelong struggle with anxiety and depression became extremely difficult to manage. She decided to come back home to receive intensive cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Her experience in an outpatient/inpatient program and a mix of therapy methods opened her mind to another area of interest; advocacy of mental health services.

After recovery, Gianna traveled to Jamaica to volunteer for deaf education and cared for a deaf baby boy. She is now currently a Peer Support Specialist at DCS’ clubhouse in National City. She is looking to continue her education in Sociology at a university in San Diego.

She enjoys playing tennis, putting on makeup, learning signed languages, and being involved in social change to ensure equal rights for oppressed communities.