Dedi Ramba, Health Access Assister/Outreach Coordinator
In April 2010, Dedi was instrumental in mobilizing refugee communities in Utah to participate in the twenty-third United States Census. In 2013, the University of Utah awarded Dedi a master’s degree in Health Promotion and Education with an emphasis on International Health. In 2017, Dedi enrolled as a trainee/fellow with Utah Regional Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (URLEND).
Dedi is the recipient of the Outstanding Community Builder Award in 2009 from the Refugee Services Office, the Department of Workforce Services.
In his free time, Dedi likes to play scrabble, or any of the word search indoor games. He also likes to edit photos and video clips and makes short family and friends videos on his laptop. Most importantly, Dedi enjoys being the pseudo martial arts instructor of his daughter after she returns from her dojo.
Dajhana Sudbury, Health Access Assister
Dajhana was born in Peru, and she has resided in Utah for the last 18 years. In 2014, she worked as a case manager at HAP, a nonprofit organization through Americorps, where she discovered her passion to work for a cause helping people to improve our communities. In 2017, she worked as a Spanish interpreter, providing language services to health care patients with limited English proficiency. She joined UHPP in 2019 and she is very excited to make a difference in her community. In her free time, Dajhana likes to do puzzles and play with her children.
Jonathan Contreras, Health Access Assister
Jonathan Contreras is a Utah native, he graduated from Horizonte Training & Education Center in 2017. After high school, he left for Colorado to seek new opportunities for employment and education. In 2018 he decided to come back to Utah, where he worked at People Ready and FedEx for a year and 2 months. Some of his hobbies are playing video games and painting murals, anything from custom walls to company logos. Jonathan started volunteering at UHPP by doing outreach and joined UHPP in early June 2019 as a Health Access Assistor. He is also looking forward to going back to school in the fall semester.
Sadhum Portillo, Health Access Assister
Sadhum was born in Peru and came to Utah in 2014. He attended Salt Lake Community College studying English and he worked for a wireless company as a manager from 2015 to 2019. As a manager and salesperson, he built up his customer service expertise.
Rene Gifillan, Operations Coordinator
Rene is the Operations Coordinator for UHPP. She graduated from the University of Utah with degrees in Health, Society, & Policy, and Psychology with a certificate in Quantitative Analysis in 2019. Her background includes a heavy emphasis on research, including studies on social factors of management for Type 1 diabetes, breast cancer research at Huntsman Cancer Institute, and global health research on hypertension in rural Ghana. She has been involved in community outreach and advocacy regarding gun violence prevention and reproductive rights, and she is passionate about universal accessibility, especially regarding health care. As a Type 1 diabetic of more than two decades, community health and affordable health care are central aspects to her work, volunteer, and personal life. Outside of work, you can find Rene hiking, decorating for Halloween all year round, or camping in her 1998 van.
Sandrine Ingabire, Health Access Assister
Sandrine was born and raised in the refugee camp of Tanzania, but her parents are originally from Rwanda and Burundi. Ever since she got to America, almost 8 years ago, she knew her life would be meaningful only if she works with underserved population. While in college, she worked at Turn Community Services; an organization that serves people with developmental disabilities. Working at Turn was rewarding especially being an individual with a moral obligation to assist people in need. She was raised by her grandmother who had fewer means to take care of older sister and her, therefore they received a lot of help and love from different people that she feels like it is a must to give back to any community when she can. She volunteers with Days For Girls organization (DFG). DFG makes sustainable and reusable feminine hygiene kits, and it distributes them all over the world to the girls who are in need. In October 2018, Sandrine had an opportunity to go back to her hometown (Burundi) where she distributed 100 kits to school girls and thought them about women’s Health and Hygiene. She also worked as an interpreter for new refugees at the International Rescue Committee and Asian Association of Utah. Sandrine Graduated from Utah Valley University with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health/ Community Health Education with CHES Certification. Sandrine believes the talk “Access to Health Services for all”. She agrees that everyone should be free of medical expenses fear. Sandrine is proud to be part of an organization like UHPP that cares about underserved populations. If not working, Sandrine enjoys spending quality time with her dog (Nova), gardening, and social dining with friends and family.
Teresa Sanchez has extensive experience in the healthcare realm under various roles. After receiving a BS in sociology and political science, she went on to work in mental health with adolescent female clients. Teresa also has experience working directly in the hospital setting as a Registrar with Intermountain Healthcare. She enrolled qualifying adults in Medicare plans while working for an insurance company. Teresa’s passion for helping the Latinx population in Utah to obtain better access to higher education, increase worker’s rights awareness, and access to quality healthcare, led her to complete the Master of Arts in Community Leadership degree at Westminster. This graduate program further propelled Teresa to pursuit working in the nonprofit sector, helping the Latinx population in Utah obtain access to quality healthcare. Teresa is excited to continue learning about healthcare issues in her new role as a Health Access Assister and plans to continue her education in the future. In her spare time, Teresa enjoys long hikes and traveling with her partner.
Jude was born in New York City and has made her home in Utah for the past 30 years. She has a B.A. from the State University of New York at Binghamton and a Masters in Business from the University of Utah. She has worked with underserved and vulnerable populations throughout her career and retired from Salt Lake County government in 2015. Since that time, she has been working with refugees at the Refugee and Immigrant Center – Asian Association of Utah. While there she worked in several capacities as a work readiness ESL coordinator, a neighborhood center assistant and also helped facilitate emergency rental assistance to the refugee population in the community. She joined UHPP in November 2017 as a Navigator. When not at work, she enjoys camping, hiking, running and cats.
Jade Hill joined UHPP in September 2020 as a Health Policy Fellow. Her education includes a Master of Public Health and a Bachelor’s degree in Health Promotion. Jade’s passion for Public Health is rooted in achieving health equity, particularly in the area of maternal health and reproductive justice. She has experience in healthcare from a patient care, administrative, and research capacity. Jade became interested in health policy during the completion of her Master’s thesis on the maternal mortality crisis in the United States. She is excited to contribute to the health policy work in Utah and learn from the team at UHPP! In her spare time, Jade enjoys reading, playing tennis, and spending time with family.
Tamara joined Utah Health Policy Project and Take Care Utah in November 2019. Originally from California, Tamara has lived in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Arizona and landed in Utah in 2006. She worked many years in the healthcare industry (Non-clinical) on the business side. She is our Weber County representative. In December 2016, Tamara graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Weber State University and in May 2020 obtained a master’s degree in Social Work focusing on Substance Abuse Treatment and the Criminal Justice System from Walden University. Her passion lies in helping underserved populations that have been involved in the Criminal Justice system and have mental health and substance abuse disorders. She has two grown children and recently became a Grandmother. In her free time, she loves to attend concerts and spend time with family and friends.
Fernando was born and raised in Logan Utah. His passion for interaction and helping others started at a very young age in the food service industry. He then continued that passion onto college earning a degree in Health Education and Promotion in 2019. He started gaining more experience through his internship at Bear River Health Department. In early 2020 he joined our team at UHPP as a Health Access Assister. In Fernando’s free time he enjoys going on adventures with his husky, and making delicious cocktails for friends and family. He also enjoys traveling to new places on his motorcycle.
Fatima was born in Syria to her ethnically Kurdish parents. She has lived in Salt Lake City ever since 2000 when her family immigrated to the United States as refugees. She attended the University of Utah, where she acquired a degree in Political Science and Gender Studies. She has prior experience working in the healthcare industry as a Licensed Health Insurance Agent. Her goal is to help increase access to health insurance for Utahns and be a resource to her community. She also fluently speaks Kurdish. In her free time, Fatima enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her cat.
Mona joined UHPP in July 2020 as a Health Access Assister. She is from Sudan, and lived in Egypt for two years before coming to the United States. She is fluent in Arabic and English. Mona studied Health Society and Policy, and Psychology at the University of Utah, and graduated in 2020. In her last year at the University of Utah she interned with Sorenson Impact Center, where I helped organize data and the annual Winter Innovation Summit. She is planning to pursue a Master’s degree in health care administration, since health care is a problem in the United States for many people, although it is the most important to all of us. Mona’s plan is to help those who are underserved. She works with Turn Community Services as a direct support staff, and helps people with disabilities in their daily lives. She has worked with high school students as a mentor and tutor for over a year, and she loved seeing students succeeding through their educational journey. She is a member and a cofounder of the Nile Association organization, which started shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic with the main goal of helping refugee communities with what they need, as well as providing mentoring and tutoring services for students. In her role at UHPP, Mona looks forward to learning more skills to help people in different ways to support them with more resources.