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New Director Finds a Role Health Counseling

Born and raised in Chicago, Ill., Patrick Savaiano landed a role back in 2019 at Palomar College as the Assistant Director of Behavioral and Counseling Services.

During a Zoom call, Patrick Savaino talks about his life in Chicago, his educational background, the importance of working with a healthy mentality using a strategy called PERMA and future events that the Behavioral Health Department will be hosting.

He has a passion for playing instruments since he was a young boy. During high school, Savaiano was in a band and he had the opportunity to get his song played on Chicago’s radio station.

Savaiano spent most of his education in the Midwest and attended the University of Norte Dame where he earned his bachelor’s degree in History and Spanish. Later on, Savaiano attended Harold Washington College to study psychology and eventually transferred to Adler University where he earned his master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and a doctoral degree in clinical psychology.

“I am overseeing Behavioral Health Counseling Services, still, but also the student health centers, which provide medical support to our students,” said Savaiano.

Savaiano has been Palomar Collage’s Interim Director of Health Services since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m overseeing both areas [Student health center and Behavioral Health Counseling Services], we have a lot of students that are seeking support, particularly on the Behavioral Health Counseling side and then on the medical side, our team is triaging any COVID-19 cases that are reported to Palomar and providing support and quarantine guidance, and we’re providing education to the campus community around the vaccines that are available and looking into ways of making those more available for our students, staff, and faculty,” he said.

All the health services that are offered have been moved to virtual appointments due to the pandemic in order to keep people safe and avoid any unnecessary exposure, mentioned Savaiano.

Positive Emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishments (PERMA), is being used at Palomar College and it helps determine how individuals are happy or feel satisfied.

“[PERMA] this has been important well before COVID and will remain important far after the pandemic, that we pay attention to our mental health”, he said, “It takes a lot of effort, It’s simple stuff, but it takes our conscious effort to maintain a healthy mind, and a healthy mindset and to take care of our mental health, I would say, as much as we can go outside and spend some time in nature, that’s always really helpful and whatever we need to do to be active, you know, whatever that looks like.”

There will be a workshop coming up on Friday, Apr 30 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


Palomar students can reach out to Health Services at 760-891-7530 and Behavioral Health Services students can call 760-891-7531.


Business hours are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

“We’re answering the phones during regular business hours. If for some reason a student missed us, they can just leave a voicemail and our front desk staff would call them right back,” said Savaiano.




Image Sources

  • PSavaiano.jpg: Photo Courtesy of Patrick Savaiano | Used With Permission
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