Meet Our Psychiatrists

Iyengar Malini, M.D., F.A.P.A

Addiction Psychiatrist & Geriatric Psychiatrist located in Bakersfield, CA

Dr. Malini has dedicated 30 plus years to the mental health field. She is involved at Good Samaritan Hospital, as well as our outpatient practices. She is board certified in general psychiatry and treats adolescents as well as adults. Dr. Malini is certified in administering Suboxone treatments for the purpose of treating opiate addiction, as well as operating the TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) machine for the purpose of treating depression. Dr. Malini is extremely well versed in the sub-specialties of Geriatric and Addiction treatment.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Services Available.

Medical School:

  • Bangalore Medical College, Bangalore, India

Residency Training Program:

  • Psychiatry Residency Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, VA

Board Certifications:

  • Board Certified in Psychiatry; Previously Board Certified in sub-specialties of Addiction & Geriatric Psychiatry

Languages:

  • English, Kannada, Tamil

Franco Song, M.D., F.A.P.A.

General Psychiatrist located in Bakersfield, CA

Dr. Song is a board certified psychiatrist with residency training from a UCLA program. He obtained a Masters in Clinical Research in North Carolina and managed research studies funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIEHS). During residency, Dr. Song was appointed chief resident, completed a clerkship at the Korea University hospital and received awards from American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training, Central California Psychiatric Society and the Korean Neuropsychiatric Association. He worked in underserved areas of Kern County prior to joining Good Samaritan Hospital and Psychiatric Wellness Center.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Services Available.

Medical School:

  • Universidad del Zulia, Maracaibo, Venezuela

Residency Training Program:

  • UCLA-Kern Psychiatry Residency Program, Kern Medical Center, Bakersfield, CA

Board Certifications:

  • Board Certified in Psychiatry

Languages:

  • English, Spanish, Korean, French

Gerard Iru Fernando, M.D.

General Psychiatrist & Director of Addiction Services 

Dr. Fernando is a board-certified psychiatrist who specializes in addiction psychiatry. After completing medical school, he finished his residency at Harvard South Shore and his addiction psychiatry fellowship at Boston University.

He has recently joined Psychiatric Wellness Center as the Medical Director of Addiction Services. He has experience in political advocacy regarding harm reduction practices and quality improvement projects involving substance use disorders, in particular, opioid use disorder.

Dr. Fernando can help by prescribing non-addictive medications that can treat the underlying disorder. Often times, an individual may be trying to self-medicate an underlying psychiatric disorder with substances. Dr. Fernando can also specifically prescribe medications to individuals with addiction and/or physical dependence to opioids, such as hydrocodone (Norco or Vicodin), oxycodone (Percocet), heroin or fentanyl; alcohol, and benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin) or lorazepam (Ativan). For opioids, he has experience in prescribing buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) and intramuscular naltrexone (Vivitrol) He can also assist with weaning off of opioids at the patient’s own pace before beginning the medication-assisted treatment. For alcohol, Dr.Fernando has experience in prescribing naltrexone orally or intramuscularly (Vivitrol), acamprosate (Campral), and disulfiram (Antabuse).
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Services Available.

 

Board Certifications:

    • General Psychiatry & Addiction Psychiatry

Languages:

    • English

Ashhar Bhurgri, M.D.

General Psychiatrist located in Bakersfield, CA

Dr. Bhurgri completed his psychiatry residency training at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio (UTHSCSA). He was awarded the best resident of the year for the PGY-4 training year. Dr. Bhurgri believes in an empathetic patient-centered approach when working with patients. His strengths include working with patients for medication management for mental health conditions. He specializes in medication management of anxiety disorders, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, opioid use disorder, and adolescent as well as adult ADHD. When not practicing, Dr. Bhurgri enjoys traveling, sightseeing as well spending time with his family.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Services Available.

 

Board Certifications:

    • General Psychiatry

Languages:

    • English

Ansar Malik, M.D.

General Psychiatrist located in Bakersfield, CA

Dr. Malik graduated from the UCLA Kern Medical Psychiatry Residency Training Program and has worked at different clinics with underserved and SPMI (severe and persistently mentally ill) populations.
He specializes in treating patients ages 18-65 who have a diagnosis of Depressive disorders, Bipolar disorders, Anxiety and Panic disorder, OCD, PTSD, ADHD, Psychotic disorders (schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder) and neuro-cognitive disorders.

In his free time, he loves traveling, sightseeing, exploring different cultures, watching movies and TV shows and spending time with his kids and family.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Services Available.

Languages:

  • English, Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi

Veena Doddakashi, M.D., D.F.A.P.A.

Child Psychiatrist & General Psychiatrist located in Bakersfield, CA

Dr. Doddakashi was an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA Kern Psychiatry Residency Program. She completed her Psychiatry Residency and Child and Adolescent Residency Fellowship at UT South-Western Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. For seven years, Dr. Doddakashi was the Chief of the Developmentally Delayed Program at Kern County Mental Health, worked in the Child & Adolescent Program, and mentored and supervised residents and fellows. Her passion is Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, as well as the developmentally delayed and children on the Autism Spectrum.

Medical School:

  • University of Mysore, J.J.M Medical School, Davangere, India

Residency Training Program:

  • Austin State Hospital, Austin, TX

Board Certifications:

  • Board Certified in Psychiatry Sub-specialty: Board Certified in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

Languages:

  • English, Hindi, Kannada

Suzanne Keller, FNP

Nurse Practitioner located in Bakersfield, CA

Suzanne Keller started out as an LVN at Mercy Hospital from 1986 to 1991 while attending night school at Bakersfield College and obtained her AA and requirements for the RN program. Upon completing her AS in nursing, she worked as a clinical manager for Community Health Projects Medical Group, an outpatient methadone program. She was soon promoted to Director of Clinical and Medical Services and was responsible for 25 Aegis Clinics from the Los Angeles area, High Desert, Central Valley and Northern California. During this time, she completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Cal State University, Bakersfield. Suzanne worked in a number of nurse capacities from staff nurse, charge nurse and nurse manager before completing the Family Nurse Practitioner program at Holy Names University, Oakland in 2013. She has also taught psychiatric nursing at both Bakersfield and Porterville College, as well as the LVN Program at Santa Barbara Business College.

Graduate School:

  • Master of Science in Nursing/Family Nurse Practitioner, Holy Names University, Oakland, CA

Certifications:

  • Registered Addiction Specialist (RAS), Breining Institute, Orangevale, CA

Languages:

  • English

Joan Cerro-Canton, FNP

Nurse Practitioner located in Bakersfield, CA

Joan Cerro-Canton started as a Telemetry Registered Nurse at Mercy Hospital and as an ER Registered Nurse at San Joaquin Community Hospital from 2004-2013. She attained her Master’s  Degree in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner Program at Charles R. Drew University in Los Angeles in 2014. Prior to joining our group, she worked at San Diego Veteran Hospital as a Hospitalist Nurse Practitioner for the Geriatric Psychiatric Unit.

Graduate School:

  • Charles Drew University in Los Angeles CA

Languages:

  • English 

 

Sara Stark, NP

Nurse Practitioner located in Bakersfield, CA

Sara Stark is a nationally certified Family Nurse Practitioner. She graduated from the University of Oregon in 2003 with a Bachelors of Science in Spanish. She earned her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from California State University, Bakersfield in 2009 and her Masters of Science in Nursing and Family Nurse Practitioner from California State University, Bakersfield in 2020. She worked as a primary care provider in outpatient Internal Medicine from 2020 to 2021 before joining Psychiatric Wellness Center. She has 15 years of experience working in mental health in both the inpatient and outpatient settings and has been a psychiatric nursing clinical instructor for California State University, Bakersfield. She is passionate about mental health and wellness and takes a whole-person approach to caring for patients and their families. She has also worked as both an ER, OR, and moderate sedation nurse for endoscopic procedures and is very familiar with patient sedation and safety. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her daughter, reading, and hiking. She is bilingual in Spanish and English.

Graduate School:

  • California State University, Bakersfield, CA

Languages:

  • English, Spanish

Contact Us

Address

8329 Brimhall Rd. Building 800 Suite 804,  Bakersfield, CA 93312
Phone: (661) 431-1555

Address

6313 Schirra Ct. Suite 1, Bakersfield, CA 93313
Phone: (661) 323-6410

© Copyright 2022 Psychiatric Wellness Center

Powered & Designed by Citryn, LLC

7 + 10 =