Dajhana Sudbury, Health Access Assister and Volunteer Coordinator
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.
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.
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.
Shawnica is a Health Access Assister who recently joined our team. She grew up in Utah her entire life and has dedicated most of her time to health care. When she is not in a clinical setting, she is typically volunteering or working within the community. Since a very young age, Shawnica has been involved. As an activist/ advocate for underprivileged communities, you can trust that she will have your best interest. Shawnica has worked with non-profit organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters, Children of Hope, the Marshall White Center, and the Lantern House. She has also been very active on campus while finishing her B.S. degree in psychology. Her Leadership in clubs/ organizations like Black Scholar United as well as the NAACP have allowed her to make a major impact on the community, development of policy, and implementation of regulations. She is excited to be a part of the UHPP team, making a difference where it truly matters.
Peyton recently joined the UHPP team as a Health Access Assister. She was born in California and raised in Maui, Hawaii. She moved to Salt Lake City in 2017 to attend the University of Utah where she recently graduated with a BS in Health, Society, & Policy and a minor in Sociology. Prior to starting her role at UHPP, she worked at Utah’s State Botanical Garden and Arboretum, Red Butte Garden, for over three years. During the Spring of 2021, she also interned at the United Way of Salt Lake with the Collective Impact team on their Stay Safe, Stay Connected project which sought to reengage students in schools during COVID-19. Both organizations’ involvement in the community inspired her to seek out a job that would help her stay connected with the community of Salt Lake and, hopefully, make a difference. In her free time, she enjoys cooking at home and spending time in local parks and gardens.
Natalie joined UHPP in May 2021 as a Health Access Assister. She was born and raised in Houston, TX, and just moved to Utah in May. Natalie graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2021 with a degree in Health and Society and a certificate in Public Policy. At UT, she was a research assistant in the Gender Health Equity Lab and primarily worked on research focusing on the health effects of housing on Black/African American women. Her experiences range from volunteering at hospitals and clinics to interning with Representative Ryan Guillen at the Texas Capitol and with the Travis County District Attorney’s Office. In addition, she was a leader of the UT chapter of the International Justice Mission, an anti-human trafficking organization, the college ministry at the Austin Stone, and Ignite Texas. Natalie is eager to further UHPP’s mission of advancing sustainable health care solutions for underserved Utahns.
Mariam joined UHPP in July 2021 as a Health Access Assister. She was born in Armenia and raised in Spain. Growing up in Spain she had the chance to work at an orphanage helping children. She felt the need to give back at an early age. In 2015 she moved to Utah and she immediately got involved with a no-profit and found ways to serve the community. During the weekends she joined a Christian church to feed the homeless. She studied English and she graduated with her Associate’s degree from LDS Business College. Her passion lies in helping the underserved and providing resources for those in need. She was a community health worker before joining UHPP where she had the chance to meet a lot of Utahns who were struggling to meet their needs and provide solutions for those who were financially affected by COVID-19. She is eager to help those in need and find ways to improve the system to better serve her community.
Ciara recognizes the challenges and struggles of underserved populations firsthand. Her parents are refugees from Cambodia who raised her in Michigan. She attended the University of Utah, where she obtained a BS in Health, Society & Policy, and a minor in Sociology. Previously, Ciara worked with the American Heart Association, researching chronic illnesses, and raising awareness about prevention/disease management. She also worked alongside the American Red Cross to develop and implement strategies for preparedness programs during response and recovery operations. Ciara is dedicated to addressing any healthcare concern to enhance and facilitate healthier community outcomes for all. In her free time, she enjoys skiing, backpacking, and sandy beaches.
Jen Maddix, Health Access Assister
Jen joined Utah Health Policy Project in April 2022 as a Health Access Assister. She was born and raised in Utah. Jen has worked as a Residential Manager for adults with
disabilities, a Patient Care Technician, and most recently worked providing
Behavioral Therapy for children with disabilities as an RBT.
Jen has seen the difference access to healthcare can make and is passionate about trying to help as much as possible to provide acc
ess for underserved Utahns, as well as be a resource for her community. In her spare time, Jen enjoys Art, cooking, caring for her plants and animals, as well as enjoying nature.
Kaylene joined UHPP in May of 2022. Kaylene was born in Salt Lake City and completed her bachelor’s degree in 2021 at the University of Utah in Kinesiology and a minor in Nutrition. Before UHPP Kaylene worked at a natural healing store as a Wellness Counselor.
Kaylene has also worked with youth in need at treatment centers in Salt Lake Valley.
She loves to participate in her community and has loved teaching workout classes at local senior centers and volunteering. Kaylene has a holistic and preventative care focus on health. She practices in open minded approach with everyone she meets and her main goal with clients is to understand their situation without judgement. Kaylene is passionate about health for the public and she firmly believes fair health access should be available for everyone.
Kaylene loves to be active in her free time. She loves to be outside canyoneering, whitewater rafting, and is always up for an adventure. She loves to travel and has been to areas such as: Mexico, Thailand, Singapore, Myanmar, Vietnam, Denmark, Costa Rica, and countless areas in the USA.
She values meeting the people new communities and learn more about their culture. Kaylene has border collie, she enjoys teaching him new skills and tricks, and they spend a lot of their time together on walks in parks or hikes.
Danika started as a Health Access Assistor in June of 2022. Before working as a Health Access Assistor, she worked at Utah Health Policy Project as a Policy Intern, where she helped UHPP advocate for legislative bills that helped to support underserved communities. Danika graduated from the University of Utah with a double major in Health, Society & Policy and Sociology. During her college education she worked as a preschool teacher at the Jeanné Wagner Jewish Community Center and as a Nanny. Before getting her degree, she went on a four-month humanitarian trip in Thailand, teaching English to children. Working with families and children has given her the patience and understanding of how to help underprivileged communities. Outside of work she likes to go backpacking, rock climb and dance.
Elim DB Schmidt, Health Access Assister
Elim (He/Him/His) recently joined UHPP as a Health Access Assister
. He was raised in rural Bluffdale where the sprawling fields and all the little lives they contained spurred his love for biology. Witnessing the struggles that his family and communities faced, this interest turned into a drive to help his loved ones explore all aspects of their health and where they could find appropriate help and support.
As a youth, Elim spent 5 years involved with the Utah Pride Center. When he joined, the group was named the Queer Youth Activist Coalition but eventually evolved into the Youth Planning Committee. Elim Spent his time there learning how to successfully collaborate with peers while planning large scale community events, where his favorite task was to create and design educational materials about numerous public health issues targeted for youth. During that time, he also volunteered with The Youth of Utah Advocacy Coalition. Now at UHPP Elim is continuing his purpose to help Utahns gain access to the best healthcare they deserve.
When Elim isn’t watching old Sci-Fi’s, you will find him scribbling in his sketchbook, playing D&D, or enjoying a long quiet walk.