Keldon Brown is new Emergency Manager at UNHS

Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life,” and one UNHS employee is living with that wisdom every day.

“I totally and completely love what I do,” Keldon Brown said recently. “It’s more like a hobby. It’s fun, and I love it.”

Brown was named the Emergency Manager for Utah Navajo Health System, Inc. in September, after several years serving in various areas of the medical field for UNHS. He’s been a Medical Screener, Medical Assistant, EMT, Advanced EMT and EMS Instructor.

“I miss being a Medical Assistant and the interaction with patients,” Brown notes. “But with this new job, it’s knowing I’m the person that has to be there for my co-workers. I’m here to do my best to keep them safe and prepare them for future emergencies, and I’m just a phone call away.”

Keldon Brown grew up in Bluff and graduated from San Juan High School in 2006. After high school he attended college at the College of Eastern Utah – Blanding Campus and also worked at the old Montezuma Creek Swimming Pool with Pool Manager Delbert Dickson. After the pool closed, Brown was approached by Sylvia Lopez, who was working at the Montezuma Creek Clinic. She asked Brown if he’d consider becoming a Medical Screener in the clinic and so he went to work as a Medical Screener.

“That was my introduction to the medical field and it was great. I feel like I grew up at the Montezuma Creek Clinic,” Brown explained.

He continued with school, while working as a Screener, and received his Associates Degree from CEU-Blanding, along with his Certificate of Completion in Medical Assistant.

“I was nervous about emergency care situations,” he continued. “I wanted to be better and help more, so when Mt. Nebo did an EMT course in Monument Valley, I took the course and became an EMT. Later I took the Advanced EMT course from Grand County EMS and in 2013 I was certified as an Advanced EMT.”

Brown continued working full time as a Medical Assistant and worked as an AEMT when not at the clinic. In 2013, when UNHS began its own EMS Service, Brown was one of the original AEMT’s for UNHS, along with two other Advanced level EMS staff. Between the three of them, they covered the Montezuma Creek area 24 hours a day, 7 days a week until more EMTs certified as Advanced EMTs. He said it was a pretty rough first year, but he learned a lot and received valuable experience.

“It was a fun time and it solidified my love for the community and my co-workers. It’s been a great ride,” Brown recalled.

He has now immersed himself in learning the ropes of his new job and he also recently recertified as an AEMT and EMS Instructor. He said he’s trying hard to understand the in’s and out’s of being an Emergency Manager, understanding the policies and revising policies for all four UNHS clinics. Brown said he’s had a lot of help and encouragement from UNHS management and leaders like; current CEO Michael Jensen, COO Byron Clarke, Montezuma Creek Clinical Manager Yikanee Sampson, UNHS Patient Care Medical Home Director Sylvia Lopez, UNHS Human Resources Director Herb Clah, Jr., UNHS Environment of Care Director Trent Herring, Blue Mountain Hospital’s Emergency Manager Cari Spillman and many more.

“I’ve had a lot of support from UNHS leaders and Cari Spillman, and especially my spouse (Heather Brown, who is Assistant Patient Transport Director for UNHS, as well as an Advanced EMT and EMS Instructor. She’s also a Child Passenger Safety Technician for the State). She knows and understands my commitment level,” he said.

Keldon said he and his wife support each other in their various work commitments and that makes life a lot easier. He and Heather now have three young daughters and are expecting another child, a son, in November. As he devotes his time to his family and his new position, Keldon is determined to make UNHS and his fellow workers safer and more prepared to deal with any emergency.

“My ultimate goal is to make sure everyone (within our organization) has a better understanding of their roles in an emergency situation, and work together as an organization. So that everyone is confident and understands their position,” Keldon stressed.

He has worked hard over the past several years, studying, working, learning and improving, while balancing work with his family life. Now he’s in a position where he will never have to work a day in his life. Confucius must have had Keldon in mind when he said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” If not, he should have.