FLAS Staff

Elia Chinó

Executive Director and Founder

After losing so many close friends to HIV/AIDS, in 1994 Elia Chinó decided to take action. The result of her desire to help end the devastation brought by this disease in the Latino community was the founding of Fundación Latino Americana Contra El SIDA, Inc. (FLAS), Now Fundación Latinoamericana De Acción Social, Inc. Since then FLAS provides free social services to the community such HIV/AIDS education, substance abuse prevention and treatment, HIV testing and referrals for other services. A Michoacán-born immigrant, Chino has called Houston home for over 30 years. During that time she has forged a reputation as a determined health and wellness advocate who works tirelessly to educate people about preventable diseases. “The key to the success of FLAS,” says Chinó, “Is working closely with other non-profit organizations, as well as with local, state and federal governments and the private sector.” The persistence of Ms. Chino’s passion and commitment is to help our community for a better future.

    Aamir Mamdani


    Aamir brings more than 12 years of experience in accounting and management and performs accounting and tax services for corporate and individual clients. He assists in setting up new business operations and reorganizing current operations if needed, including preparation of financial statements and tax returns and monitorscompliance with federal and state tax laws. Aamir fulfills the duties of the controller, advising management on financial matters and supervising office personnel toensure proper processing of accounting records with maximum efficiency.

    • University of Houston-Downtown, 2009
    • Bachelors of Business Administration
    • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
    • Canadian School of Finance & Management

      Dr Ralph Casazza

      Clinical Director

      Dr. Ralph Casazza is the Clinical Director for the substance use programs. He is a passionate psychologist in the field of clinical psychology who divides his time between clinical practice and consulting. In his clinical practice, he delivers cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and other evidence-based treatments to adults and elderly clients with a wide range of emotional, behavioral, and adjustment problems, such as anxiety, stress, depression, and relationship problems. In his consulting work, he has provided intensive supervision to over 100 clinicians as they acquired skills to deliver CBT on their own.Dr. Casazza received his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of North Dakota. He completed his clinical psychology internship at the University of Miami School of Medecine/Jackson Memorial Medical Center. During his leisure time he enjoys Épée Fencing and learning new languages.

        Xochitl Calderon


        Mrs. Calderon became a member of the FLAS clinical team in 2015. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Springfield College. Mrs. Calderon is currently a LCDC-I for the substance use program Project PRIDE, SOL Latino and Mother Moon. She works with the clinical team in ensuring the well-being of the clients and monitors their progress through the FLAS programs. On her spare time, she loves to go on hiking trips with her family, gardening, meditation, reading, dancing, and learning new approaches to advance her career to help others.

          Kimberly Palacios

          Program Coordinator

          Kimberly  joined FLAS in September 2011 as program coordinator, supporting the founder/executive director in coordinating and supervising our health educators. She assists in planning the organization’s charity events and various projects. Kimberly monitors and updates the organization’s website and social media content. She graduated from the University of Houston-Clear Lake with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication on May 2010.

            Monica Palacios

            LCDC - Substance Abuse Counselor

            Monica became a member of the FLAS team in March 2013 as a family crisis intervention specialist for UNA and is currently serving as a substance use counselor for Project PRIDE, SOL and Mother Moon.  She works with the clinical team in ensuring the well-being of the clients and monitors their progress. Earning a Masters of Human Science degree from Prairie View A&M University in December 2011, Monica is currently pursuing a Masters Health Care Administration degree from Texas Woman’s University.

              Jorje Lopez

              Public Health Educator/Data Manager

              Jorje joined FLAS as a volunteer in May 2009 and became a member of our staff in September of that year. He assists with job preparation duties for interventions, health fairs, fundraising efforts, and HIV testing and outreach activities. Jorje oversees all the HIV patient files and telephone referrals and is a health educator for SER Latino, an HIV and substance abuse prevention project in which we advise young adult’s ages 18 to 24 on how to avoid high-risk situations and provide skills, which lead to a quality life.

                Elizabeth Barberena, LMSW

                Substance Use Counselor

                Elizabeth joined FLAS in May 2014 as a substance abuse counselor. Elizabeth is a graduated of the University of Kansas and has a master’s in Social Welfare. Elizabeth’s experience in substance abuse counseling and psychotherapy provides well rounded mental health and substance abuse services for FLAS, Inc. clientele.

                  Linda L. Rasbury

                  Administrative Secretary

                  Our Administrative Secretary oversees a variety of secretarial assignments and a wide range of organizational duties. She began her association with FLAS in 1994 as a volunteer and became a staff member of the organization in 2001.




                      FLAS INC
                      Mon-Fri: 9AM-5PM
                      Sat-Sun: Closed
                      6666 Harwin Dr., Suite 370
                      Houston, Tx 77036
                      Tel. (713) 772-2366



                      May 2018
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