The staff consists of both paid and volunteer personnel ranging from psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists, psychiatrists, interns from graduate programs and office support personnel.
Eden Garcia- Balis, M.S. LMFT
After an extensive search, Eden Garcia-Balis, LMFT was appointed Chief Executive Officer for AMCS in 2014. Eden’s has been in the mental health field for over 19 years with experience in leadership and management of service programs, business operations and fundraising. Eden was the Executive Director of the Pasadena Mental Health Center. Eden has a passion for working with the underprivileged and underserved and believes all people regardless of their socioeconomic status deserve quality mental health services they can afford. Eden is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and brings a strong clinical background to her position at AMCS.
Diana Hoffman- Ph.D
Diana Hoffman, Ph.D., Clinical Director, graduated from the California School of Professional Psychology, San Diego, following her undergraduate studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. For the first 12 years of her career she worked with the homeless and mentally ill, during which time she not only provided direct services, but she operated short-term residential facilities and supervised training therapists. Her contributions to the mental health community include the construction of a training program for staff and interns for an agency operating 28 facilities. Dr. Hoffman has been continuing her contributions to the community through her work with Airport Marina Counseling Service since June 2009.
Ronald A. Markman, M.D., J.D. Medical Director
has been at AMCS since 1968. He is also affiliated with UCLA (Associates Clinical Professor) and Cedars Sinai Medical Center as an attending physician. Dr. Markman is also a consultant to the Los Angeles Superior Courts, furthering his efforts evaluating mental health concerns related to family law, Tort law, Criminal law, and juvenile law.
Martha O’Donnell, LMFT
opened her private practice in Westchester over 20 years ago, offering assistance to parents and children, as well as to adults wishing to address personal issues. She specializes in assisting with the management of Attention Deficit/ hyperactivity disorder in children and adults, and in promoting the healing of depression, anxiety, grief, loss and trauma. Since 2004 Martha Has been privileged to serve as an AMCS clinical supervisor, helping to support and guide our hard-working, pre-licensed therapists as they hone their skills and become confident, caring bearers of hope to the many members of our community seeking AMCS’ help.
laura halpin, M.D., PH.D. Psychiatrist
is very excited to have joined the AMCS staff in 2018. Laura is originally from Ohio, where she completed her medical and graduate degrees. She is currently training as a psychiatry resident at UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior in the program’s research track. In addition to being passionate about clinical work and patient care, Laura researches substance use disorders and is involved in organized medicine, working as an advocate for her patients and profession.
Tejal Yarmand, LMFT
began working with Airport Marina Counseling Service in 2008 as an offsite volunteer clinical supervisor. In 2009 she began coordinating the off-site program at the Boys and Girls Club of Venice, specializing in working with children and youth ages 5-18 and overseeing the court approved parenting classes and group offerings. In addition, Tejal supervises the therapists at Orville Wright Middle School. Tejal has a private practice in Marina Del Rey where she works with individuals, couples and families.
Claire Hyman, LMFT
is a psychotherapist in private practice for 28 years. She has been a clinical supervisor for AMCS for 9 years (and still loves it)! For three years she has also worked as a Clinical Director at Dione K. Sommers Center (part of Women’s Westside Health Center).
Elena Bell, LCSW
has been providing oversight at Penny Lane, as well as supervision as a clinical supervisor since 2009 at Airport Marina Counseling Service. Elena graduated with her MSW from Atlanta University and comes to AMCS with a wealth of experience, including a stint at DCFS.
Robert Northcutt, LMFT
AMCS's Associate Clinical Director, began working as the intern recruitment and training coordinator in 2008 as he was completing his internship at Airport Marina Counseling Service. In 2014, he assumed additional responsibilities as a clinical supervisor and is currently working towards becoming an American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Approved Supervisor. He is a graduate of Antioch University and has a private practice in Westchester focusing on relationship issues and the treatment of anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder.
Andrew Benkendorf, LCSW
received his graduate training in clinical social work at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. He completed a five year post-graduate training program in Family Systems therapy with an emphasis on working with children and adolescents in a community mental health context. In addition, Andrew has trained in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (SP), Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT),and the Psycho-biological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT). Andrew is currently in private practice, supervises the couples therapy program at Airport Marina Counseling Service as a clinical supervisor, serves as a consultant for local schools and summer camps, and teaches couples and family therapy throughout the Los Angeles area.
Dr. Rachel Marks, PHD
Dr. Rachel Marks is a licensed clinical psychologist with over a decade of clinical and administrative experience. Dr. Marks recently worked in community mental health as a Program Director where she developed programs and supervised and trained staff using the recovery model of mental health which focuses on reducing mental health stigma. Dr. Marks has a special history with AMCS as she was a former psychology intern in 2004-2005. Later, Dr. Marks worked at AMCS as a clinical supervisor and training coordinator. Dr. Marks brings an enthusiasm, passion, and expertise to the field of LGBTQ affirmative therapy and is thrilled to be a part of starting a new group track that will help serve such an underserved population.