• Welcome to the VFWC!

    WELCOME

    The Veteran Family Wellness Center (VFWC) provides a warm and welcoming atmosphere for Veterans and their families, including parents, couples, and children.  

  • Happy Group of People

    WELCOME

    The Veteran Family Wellness Center (VFWC) provides a warm and welcoming atmosphere for Veterans and their families, including parents, couples, and children.  

  • Joyful Group of Women

    WELCOME

    The Veteran Family Wellness Center (VFWC) provides a warm and welcoming atmosphere for Veterans and their families, including parents, couples, and children.  

  • Joyful Couple

    WELCOME

    The Veteran Family Wellness Center (VFWC) provides a warm and welcoming atmosphere for Veterans and their families, including parents, couples, and children.  

Connect with the VFWC!

Join our mailing list and contact our team.

Man and Wife caressing one another

OUR TEAM

Candice Kent, Resilience Trainer
Candice Kent, Candice Kent, MSW, APSW Candice is a Resiliency Trainer at the UCLA/VA Veteran Family Wellness Center. She served 8 years in the United States Army Reserves. Candice has dedicated her career to addressing the unique mental health needs of female Veterans' and their families to include but not limited to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and related  psychological difficulties, marital and family issues, substance abuse, employment, military sexual trauma, homelessness, domestic violence, and bereavement. Candice is a Licensed Social Worker and holds the Bachelor of Social Work degree from Alabama A&M University and a Master of Social Work from the University of Alabama.
Erryn Shine
Erryn Shine, Erryn Shine, MS, is a Resilience Trainer at the UCLA/VA Veteran Family Wellness Center (VFWC).  She was a USMC spouse of 13 years, and during those years she served as a Key Volunteer.  Erryn obtained a Master’s of Science degree in Clinical Psychology from Capella University.  She had the privilege to work with soldiers from Fort Bragg providing therapy and assessment services at a private mental health provider in Fayetteville, North Carolina.  Erryn worked for the Los Angeles County’s Department of Mental Health (LACDMH) for the last 5 1/2 years.  She gained experience working with Transitional Aged Youth (TAY) with extensive trauma histories and severe mental illness in the Full-Service Partnership (FSP) program.  Erryn provided case management services, taught rehab skills (individually and group) to youth and their families, and provided crisis intervention.  She also served as the acting Housing Specialist for the FSP-TAY team in which she connected clients to temporary and/or permanent housing.  Erryn is looking forward to applying her knowledge, skill set, and experience accumulated over the years to help Veterans and their loved ones who come to the VFWC to achieve the health and wellness they deserve. 
Tess Banko
Tess Banko, MSW/MPA, CPSS, serves as the executive director of the VFWC. A Marine Corps Veteran, she has held leadership roles in the military, Veteran, and wider civilian communities for over 15 years. Her background includes social work and public administration, as well as mental health and wellness, community development, organizational leadership, and management. Tess is a strong supporter of collaborative, consensus-based initiatives and believes in accessible, preventive, strength-based approaches that span the continuum of Veteran and family-member needs.
Tom Babayan
Tom Babayan, MS, LMFT, serves as a Director of Veteran and Family Services for the VFWC. He has delivered prevention services to active-duty military families and Veterans for over 9 years. He currently acts as Model Supervisor for staff delivering the FOCUS suite of services at military installations in the United States and abroad. Mr. Babayan pioneered the teledelivery model, an innovative platform that uses video teleconferencing technology to deliver psychoeducation and training to Veterans and their families  
Melissa Lee
Melissa Lee, serves as the Family Resource Coordinator for the VFWC. She served as a ground supply officer in the USMC from 2000 to 2004. She was stationed at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Camp Lejeune, and Camp Hansen, Okinawa. She did Veteran outreach for Habitat for Humanity in the San Fernando/Santa Clarita valleys, and since 2015 she has volunteered with and been a Boardmember for 22 Until None, a nonprofit dedicated to ending Veteran suicide. She is married to a former Marine Corps infantry officer and was stationed with him at Marine Corps bases Camp Pendleton and Twentynine Palms.