New Employees at UNHS

Derek Dempsey and Shaundeen Filfred

Derek Dempsey and Shaundeen Filfred both joined the UNHS Behavioral Health team as Peer Support Specialists with the UNHS Behavioral Health department and will extend their peer support services to participants enrolled in the Iina Bihoo’aah program.

This is a program intended to help Native Americans, ages 16-25, who have experienced trauma, or are at risk for mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety and addiction. Dempsey and Filfred will play key roles in the program, as coaches with lived experience working with individuals by modeling hope and resiliency through treatment and recovery.

Derek Dempsey grew up in Piñon, Arizona and graduated from Piñon High School in 2006. After graduation, Derek joined the United States Marines Corps and served four years as an Infantry Mortorman, with the 1st Battlion 5th Marines and served two seven-month tours overseas including a combat deployment to Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He later attended college and received an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice. He learned about the position with UNHS online, applied and was hired in April.

Derek said he’s excited about his new job and looks forward to working with individuals receiving mental health treatment and helping them adjust to challenges they might face in transitioning to adult life. When not working, Derek enjoys woodworking and making custom wooden rug hangers. He also enjoys spending time with his family and hanging out with his two sons, Ian – age 10, and Mateo – age 4.

Shaundeen Filfred is a native of Aneth, Utah and a 2012 graduate of Whitehorse High School, where she played basketball and volleyball. She started working with UNHS on April 29 and is anxious to begin working with high school students and others in the 16-25 age group as a Peer Support Specialist.

After high school, Shaundeen attended Utah State University Eastern-Blanding Campus for a year, before moving to Denver, Colorado, where she worked for two years. She’s also lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Roosevelt, Utah. Since moving back to Aneth, Shaundeen has worked as a substitute teacher and track coach at Whitehorse High School. She said this has helped her create a good relationship with some of the high school students she will be working with in her new position at UNHS. She said she will eventually work out of the UNHS Community Health Center, in Monument Valley.

Shaundeen is glad for the opportunity to work with UNHS and be close to her mom and her siblings. Her mother works at Whitehorse High School. Shaundeen enjoys spending time with her family when not working. She is the second oldest of seven children and has one brother and five sisters. She also enjoys riding horses and playing basketball and volleyball in her spare time.

We’re glad to welcome Derek Dempsey and Shaundeen Filfred to the UNHS family. We wish them all the best in their new positions. When you see them around, please say hello and make them feel at home.

Calandra Hollie

Calandra Hollie is the newest member of the UNHS Behavioral Health team, having assumed the position as Behavioral Health Clerk/Receptionist on April 8.

Calandra is no newcomer to UNHS. She worked as a Patient Transport Driver for two years and after that she was the Title X Manager at the Blanding Family Practice Clinic for eight months. She is also an Advanced EMT with UNHS. Calandra actually began working with UNHS when the organization first started in 2000. She was an Americore worker for two years, and worked as a Screener and a Nurses Aid, during that time. She also certified as an EMT with San Juan County in 2001.

Growing up, Calandra spent time in Farmington and Kirtland, New Mexico, Red Mesa and in 1991 her family moved to the Montezuma Creek area, where her father was raised. Her mother was raised in Red Mesa, Arizona. She graduated from Whitehorse High School in 1994. After high school she was busy raising a family and living near her mother in Red Mesa.

Later, she went to work for the Navajo Nation in Aneth, working as a Community Health Representative. She then worked as a Health Education Technician with the Navajo Health Education & HIV Prevention Program in Red Mesa, Arizona She also became a Child Passenger Safety Technician.

“I liked health education,” she explained. “It opened a lot of doors.”

When Calandra decided to pursue a college degree, she majored in Health Education and Promotion and minored in Sociology. She recently received her Bachelor’s Degree from Utah State University-Eastern Blanding Campus. She said it was hard work, but it was worth it. When the UNHS Title X grant ran out in March, Calandra landed the job with Behavioral Health and she’s learning a lot. Her experience with the Navajo Nation and her previous jobs with UNHS have given her a vast array of experience that she can eventually use, such as coordinating conferences and health fairs for the Navajo Nation and organizing a teen girls’ conference.

She also plans to return to school sometime soon and study for her Master’s Degree in Public Health. But she said she’ll take a little break from school before she does. For now she’s happy learning the ropes of her new position and gaining more experience with the Behavioral Health team at UNHS.

Calandra has two grown sons and one daughter, age 14, who attends Albert R. Lyman Middle School, in Blanding. We are glad to have Calandra as part of the UNHS family and we wish her all the best in her new position, and with her future studies.

Categories: Blog, News, Newsletters, UNHS

Originally posted in Medically Speaking: News from Blue Mountain Hospital and UNHS, Volume Six, Number Eleven. Published May 16, 2019