About us:

Our Staff

The professional staff have years of experience in teaching, training, consulting and provision of clinical services to youth and families. 

Our biggest accomplishment is by far our commitment in creating a caring compassionate work environment that strives to serve families with the utmost respect and regard while maintaining our own wholeheartedness.

Apryl Miller, LCSW

Executive Director

Apryl was hired by the New Mexico Suicide Intervention Project’s Board of Directors in October 1996 and was instrumental in the creation of the Sky Family Therapy Training Center as well as the many programs that have developed since the center opened in January 1998. She currently serves as Executive Director.  Her background includes working on various national research projects focusing on mood disorders, suicidal behavior in youth and the development of protective factors for youth at risk. She has had a special interest in removing barriers that limit access to treatment and promoting systemic family treatment models that build connections between family members. Promoting wellness and deep sustainable self-care among the center’s staff is a core value of hers.  

Additionally, she served on faculty for nearly a decade at the College of Santa Fe and has taught as adjunct for various graduate departments in New Mexico.  She also has a small private practice and strives to maintain a wholehearted approach in her personal life as well as in her leadership role and clinical practice.

Cynthia Gonzales

Grants and Contracts Director

Cynthia has spent a career lifetime in New Mexico nonprofit leadership.  She is passionate about her deep roots and connection to The Sky Center/NM Suicide Intervention Project (19 years and counting) having served proudly as its Executive Director for over twelve years. In 2012, she relocated to the Dallas area to assist aging parents and continued pursuing funding and contract opportunities that uphold the organization’s vision.  Cynthia received her B.A. Degree from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.  She was selected in 1992 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to serve as a Federal Peer Reviewer of their community-based programs for at-risk youth; In 2004 she served on Governor Bill Richardson’s Task Force for Youth Suicide Prevention in New Mexico, working with constituents across the state to establish funding for youth suicide prevention. Cynthia enjoys horseback riding and is a volunteer for a nearby therapeutic horsemanship nonprofit.

Erin Sibley Doerwald, LCSW, CMT-P

Program Director

Erin has been a member of the Sky Center team since 2013, entering the program as a graduate intern and now serving as Program Director and Clinical Supervisor. Erin offers an experiential and research informed perspective on the connection between trauma-sensitivity, resilience, and suicide. In an effort to provide comprehensive services to enhance the safety and well-being in our community, she co-founded The Sky Center’s Mindful Education Santa Fe Program in 2014, providing support for mindful awareness practices in New Mexico school communities. She received her training in mindfulness facilitation from UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC), a department of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. She is an Adjunct Professor at the Facundo Valdez School of Social Work for New Mexico Highlands University. 

Erin also has a private practice offering psychotherapy and teaching mindful awareness practices. In her spare time, you will find her wrangling her two spirited, school-age children and Sky Center Assistance Dog, Otis.

Robert Kristy (Bob), MA, LCSW

Adolescent HUGS Coordinator

Bob began his career at The Sky Center as a therapist-intern in 2011.  Upon ending his two-year internship, Bob was hired in 2013 as Coordinator of the Adolescent HUGS program, a joint venture between The Sky Center and Christus St. Vincent Hospital that offers wraparound, therapeutic, and non-traditional services to at-risk individuals under the age of 22.  In 2015, Bob and Katrina Koehler, Executive Director of Gerard’s House, started Semicolon, a peer teen support group for those met with the challenge of transforming suicidal ideation.

Bob received his BA in political science at UCLA and a MA in political theory at the University of Maryland.  Applying his knowledge of social psychology that links individual and social liberation, Bob received his masters in social work (MSW) at New Mexico Highlands University.  When not serving the needs of young people and their families, Bob devotes time and energy to baseball, rock n roll, and community activism.

Marisol Peña, BSW  

Office Manager

Before Marisol began her journey with The Sky Center, she was born and raised in the heart of the valley in Española, NM and graduated from Española Valley High School. She furthered her education at New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, NM. Upon graduating with a Bachelors in Social Work, she began as Spanish interpreter for The Sky Center’s free family counseling. She quickly moved into her essential role as Office Manager and supervises a team of interpreters while overseeing and coordinating The Sky Center/NMSIP’s day-to-day office procedures and systems and serves as the principal source of information to student trainees and staff on policies, procedures, programs, and office activities. 

She is pursuing her Master’s in Clinical Social Work to soon provide mental/behavioral health counseling for families and fill in the gap of Bilingual therapists in New Mexico while using her experience at The Sky Center to reduce the risk of youth suicide in the community. When she is not at Sky or in her graduate school course work, she spends most of her time with her partner Christian and their two border collies Po and Ghost, reading books, playing with her niece and nephew and having laughs with her sisters and mother.

Flor Chavez

Office Assistant/Spanish Interpreter

Flor Chavez, raised in Santa Fe, NM, graduate of Santa Fe High School and student at Santa Fe Community College, has been working for the Sky Center since 2019. She started as an interpreter and has just begun her new position as the office assistant. Her Spanish Interpreter role helps eliminate any language gap between therapist and families and in her office assistant role, she provides assistance to the office manager and program support in the development, implementation, and promotion of The Sky Center/NMSIP’s youth suicide prevention services. Outside Sky duties, she is a full-time mother to her beautiful son, enjoys hikes on sunny days, spending time with family and her two dogs Rex and Kobe.

Annai Burrola, LMSW

Development Coordinator

Annai Burrola was born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico by her parents who are both from Chihuahua, Mexico. Annai is fully bilingual in Spanish and English and has worked with the Santa Fe community in a variety of settings for almost ten year. Annai graduated from the Facundo Valdez School of Social Work at New Mexico Highlands University in May of 2020 with a Master’s in Clinical Social Work. She is the Bridges to Opportunity Coordinator and Social Worker with United Way of Santa Fe County and was previously a First Born Home Visitor with United Way.

In the spring of 2020 Annai finished her practicum as a bilingual intern therapist with the Sky Center and was then hired as the Development Coordinator. Outside of work commitments Annai loves spending time with her dogs and her family.

Holly Davis Borrero, LMHC, LAMFT

Natural Helpers Coordinator

Holly fell in love with the Sky Center model and mission as a graduate intern (2017-2018) and post-graduate studies therapist (2018-2019). Most recently, Holly has stepped into the roles of clinician and educational trainer (Natural Helpers, suicide prevention, intervention & resiliency) at the Sky Center. Her admiration of the Natural Helpers program began in 1986 when she was identified in high school by her peers and teachers as a Natural Helper. In addition to working at the Sky Center, Holly enjoys a small private practice and expanding her extensive volunteer experience in end-of-life-care. In her free time, Holly enjoys exploring the edges of awareness through her long-standing meditation practice. An avid outdoors person, she hikes to hot springs with her husband and dogs, runs half-marathons on trails, and walks across countries, like England, Scotland, Jordan, and Lebanon. Holly is a lifetime learner who reads voraciously, travels, consciously deepens friendships, and enjoys the meditative and creative practice of kintsugi

Rita Caputo Hemmig, M.Ed, NCC, NCSC

Postvention Team  Coordinator

Rita first began working with the Sky Center as a member of the Postvention Team in 2016.  She stepped into the role of Postvention Team Coordinator in 2019 and considers her work on the PV team as the most meaningful and important  service she can provide to her community. Rita earned a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education from Towson University in 1984 and her Masters in Education in School Counseling from Virginia Tech in 1989.  She has been a school counselor for 31 years, with the last 5 years in Santa Fe Public Schools. In 2017, Rita worked extensively to train her dog Aspen to become a certified therapy dog and has enjoyed watching the difference Aspen has made in her school.  In her free time, Rita loves to travel, hike and bike in the wonders of nature New Mexico has to offer.

Otis

Official Sky Center Facility Dog and Good Boy

Otis is a certified Crisis Response and Facility Dog who received his training via the Owner-Trainer program with Jill Felice (and his mom Erin Doerwald) at Assistance Dogs of the West .  Otis spends his time at the center loving on interns to help them mitigate the effects of vicarious trauma. He also cuddles with families upon request in family counseling sessions when his mom Erin offers live supervision behind the two-way mirror. He is a member of The New Mexico Postvention Crisis Services team, showing up for support in the aftermath of the incomprehensible loss of a youth suicide or other traumatic event in a school community. When Otis is not working, he loves chasing the tennis ball, hiking in the New Mexico wilderness, and enjoying the present moment, just like his mom.

The Sky Center Clinical Supervisors

Dennis Bumgarner, LCSW, ACSW 

Clinical Supervisor

Dennis has been a clinical supervisor at The Sky Center since 2014.  Additionally, he is the Clinical Director at Susan’s Legacy, a nonprofit in Albuquerque.  He also maintains a private practice in Placitas, New Mexico.  He received his M.S.W. from Indiana University in 1977. In addition to his clinical work, he has taught social work and psychotherapy at Ball State University and Christian Theological Seminary.  He is the past president of Habitat for Humanity and Freewheelin’ Community Bikes in Indianapolis. His spare time is spent cycling, mountain biking, and hiking throughout the southwest along with song-writing and playing the guitar.

Claire Pfister, LCSW

Clinical Supervisor

Claire joined the Sky team in 2017 as a clinical supervisor in our family counseling and graduate training program.. She obtained an MSW from the University of Denver in 1991 concentrating in family therapy, child protection, and drug dependency. She then moved to Australia for thirty years. She furthered her family therapy studies there, completing an intensive two year Milan family therapy course through Relationships Australia and then obtaining a two year Graduate diploma in couple and family therapy through the university of New South Wales. For the past twenty-five years she has worked with families and individuals in a variety of settings both urban and rural and with both voluntary and involuntary clients. In her spare time she has been concentrating on her new project of food production at her farm on the outskirts of Santa Fe while also studying Jungian therapy and Kabbalah.

Carlotta Saiz, LPCC

Clinical Supervisors for the Graduate Program and Group Program

Carlotta was born and raised in Santa Fe, NM and is a graduate of Capital High School. She received her Master’s in Counseling from Southwestern College in 2006 and went on to begin her counseling career in community mental health on the west side of Chicago. Her work in Chicago included crisis intervention and stabilization with at-risk youth and their families and teaching Mental Health First Aid to community members. Carlotta returned to Santa Fe in 2013 where she continued working in community mental health as a therapist and Clinical Supervisor; her clinical lens is steeped in family systems and trauma-informed care. In addition to her role as a Clinical Supervisor at the Sky Center, Carlotta is an Adjunct Professor at the Facundo Valdez School of Social Work for New Mexico Highlands University and is in Private Practice where she works with families, couples and individuals. In her spare time, Carlotta enjoys Muay Thai boxing, exploring the green thumb she never knew she had in her garden at home, and spending time with family, her dog, Cashew, and her cat, Ralphie.

Spanish Interpreters

Interpreters’ roles at the Sky Center are essential to our free family counseling services. 

They interpret for our families to make them feel comfortable expressing themselves in their native language without barriers . Our interpreters want to build bridges and are very passionate working with the Latino community, graduate students and staff.

Vicky Avina

Flor Chavez

Marina Piña

Melissa Matheus-Crane

If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

You can also text HELP to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line.

En Español »