School of Medicine

Utah END Institute

Program Administration

Program Advisory Committee

Chris Halford, REEGT, EPT, CNIM

Chris Halford, REEGT, EPT, CNIM

Program Director

Chris grew up in Star Valley, Wyoming and originally attended college at Utah State University. After meeting his amazing wife, he moved to the Wasatch Front and completed school at the University of Utah in a social sciences major. He originally worked in finance after completing two Bachelor’s degrees, but has been in the field of Neurodiagnostics for almost ten years now and loves what he does. He has worked in Intraoperative Neurophysiological Monitoring (IOM) the entire ten years, did EEG and LTM for approximately a year and a half, and is registered/certified in all three fields through ABRET.

He continues to work as a technologist in IOM as well as being the Comprehensive Epilepsy/Neuromonitoring Department Educator and Program Director for the Utah END Institute. He has been working at the University of Utah Hospital since 2010. His interests include being outdoors, woodworking and carpentry, watching collegiate and professional football, and spending time with his wonderful wife and four children.

James Neider, MBA, BSN-RN

James Neider, MBA, BSN-RN

Administrative Director

James Neider is a native Utahn and currently resides in South Jordan. He holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from Brigham Young University. As a registered nurse, James specialized in various cardiovascular specialties, including: cardiac diagnostics, preventive cardiology, heart failure, and heart transplant. He is the manager of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program and the Neurodiagnostic Program at the University of Utah Hospital. James’s pride and joy are his wife and four kids. He is an avid long distance runner. He enjoys playing the piano, reading, camping, cycling, hiking, cooking, and in-line skating.

Karen Martinez, REEGT, CLTM

Karen Martinez, REEGT, CLTM

Clinical Director

Karen Martinez was born in Honduras and moved to Salt Lake City at ten years old. She holds an Associate of Science and is currently working on her bachelor's in integrated studies. She has worked in the field of Neurodiagnostics since 2007 and holds active registrations in EEG and CLTM. Before becoming an EEG tech, she worked as a medical assistant. She has been working as the EEG lab supervisor and Clinical Director of the Utah END Institute at the University of Utah. Karen is a proud mother of a seven-year-old daughter and two labradoodles. She enjoys running, hiking, rollerblading, going to the gym, and spending time with family and friends.

Mike Ball

Mike Ball

Advisory Board Member

Mike Ball is a native of southern Idaho and currently resides in Dallas, Texas.  He holds dual Bachelors of Sciences degrees in Health Promotion and Education as well as Social Science from the University of Utah, and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Phoenix.  Mike is the Manager of the Neurodiagnostics and Epilepsy Monitoring departments at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.  Mike has worked in the field of Neurodiagnotics and Epilepsy since 2008 and holds active registrations in EEG and CLTM disciplines.  He specializes in epilepsy monitoring, intracranial monitoring, program development, training & education, brain mapping and accreditation.  Mike is a proud husband and Father of four kids.  He enjoys cross-training, sporting events, riding his motorcycle, gardening, construction and home renovation projects, and believe it or not, reading EEGs.

Samuel S. Pead

Samuel S. Pead

Advisory Board Member

Sam Pead was born and raised in both Utah and Wyoming. He is happily married and loves (most of the time) his four children. Sam is employed as a prosecuting attorney at the Utah County Attorney's Office. During his ten years as a prosecutor, Sam has handled every kind of criminal case imaginable, and conducted numerous trials both in State and Federal all in an effort to protect our communities and State. As a public servant and citizen, Sam approaches this world with the hope of making is a better, safer, and healthier place.

April Eskelson

April Eskelson

Administrative Assistant

April is a native Utahn who has worked at the University of Utah since 2016. Before becoming an administrative assistant for the EEG lab, she started as a patient relations specialist in the neurosurgery outpatient clinic. She is passionate about her work in office management and is thrilled to be a part of the Utah END Institute team. April is a proud wife and mother of two children. She enjoys going on outdoor adventures, attending sporting events, spending quality time with family and friends, and practicing yoga.

Medical Director

Blake J. Newman, MD

Dr. Blake Newman is an assistant professor of neurology and an epileptologist who focuses on treating medically refractory epilepsy. He has been on faculty in the epilepsy division since 2016. He currently sees patients at the University of Utah in the Clinical Neurosciences Center. He serves as the fellowship director of the clinical neurophysiolo... Read More

Specialties: Epilepsy

Fellowship: University of Utah

Residency: Barnes-Jewish Hospital

Medical School: Washington University in St. Louis

Curriculum Director

Sindhu V. Richards, MD

Dr. Sindhu Richards is an assistant professor of neurology and an epileptologist who focuses on treating medically refractory epilepsy. She has been on faculty in the epilepsy division since July 2019. She currently sees patients at the University of Utah in the Clinical Neurosciences Center. Dr. Richards attended the University of Dayton as ... Read More

Specialties: Epilepsy

Fellowship: University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center

Residency: University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center

Medical School: University of Cincinnati College of Medicine

Physician Instructor

Amir M. Arain, MD, MPH

Division Chief, Epilepsy

Dr. Amir M. Arain is a professor and an epileptologist that focuses on treatment of refractory epilepsy. He graduated from Dow Medical College, Karachi and did his Neurology residency and Epilepsy fellowship at Vanderbilt University. There he served on the faculty of Department of Neurology as an epileptologist from 2000-2018. He joined University ... Read More

Specialties: Epilepsy

Fellowship: Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Residency: Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Medical School: Dow Medical College of the University of Karachi

Academic Affiliates

Les Chatelain

Les Chatelain

Chair, Department of Health Promotion & Education

Les Chatelain has worked at the University of Utah for over 45 years. Half of that time has been in leadership roles. He has served for over 20 years as department chair and interim department chair for the Department of Health Promotion and Education. He is currently the director of Emergency Programs which provides EMS classes from First Aid and CPR through Advanced EMT and Paramedic.

Travis Price, PhD

Travis Price, PhD

Chair, Department of Health Sciences, Weber State University

Travis Price has always had an interest in science and the way things worked. He tried to run from the nerdy stereotype, but as an undergraduate student at Weber State University, he finally accepted his destiny, earning a BS in medical laboratory sciences. He went on to earn a MS in laboratory medicine and biomedical sciences through the Department of Pathology at the University of Utah, studying cellular immunology and hypereosinophilc syndrome with Gerald Gleich. He received a PhD in Education, Curriculum and Instruction, from Utah State University. His doctoral dissertation explored emotional intelligence among medical laboratory scientists. Dr. Price has clinical experience as a behavioral health specialist as well as experience as a medical laboratory scientist. He has taught at Weber State since 2003 and is currently the chair of the Health Sciences Department. His interests include health science education, emotional intelligence, undergraduate research, and outdoor adventures that he can convince his wife and four kids to have with him.

Jim Hutchins, PhD

Jim Hutchins, PhD

Professor, Department of Health Sciences, Weber State University

Jim Hutchins has been interested in neuroscience since his 6th grade classmates started calling him "Brains," a nickname he hated at the time but now embraces. He grew up in Golden, Colorado, and received his BA in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology at the University of Colorado Boulder. While he was there, he attached himself to a mentor, Mark Dubin, who guided his career path toward research and teaching. Jim received an MA in neurobiology at the University of California, Berkeley, and his PhD in neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine. His PhD dissertation was entitled Evidence for Acetylcholine as a Neurotransmitter in the Human Retina, and he helped collect and process 101 human eye donations for his dissertation research. He asked to change the name of his doctoral dissertation to 101 Donations, convinced it would be a best seller, but his committee would not let him. Jim did his postdoctoral fellowship with Vivien Casagrande at Vanderbilt University and took a faculty position in the Department of Anatomy at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, where he moved up the career ladder. By 2005 he was assistant vice chancellor for faculty development and was named teacher of the year by both medical and dental students. In 2005 Jim moved to Weber State University where he still teaches in the Department of Health Sciences and Neuroscience Program. Jim loves developing curriculum, running, and writing—especially autobiographical statements.

Student Development and Support Counselors

Alise Payne, REEGT

Alise Payne, REEGT

Alise Payne grew up in Eastern Idaho and moved to Utah in August of 2015. She started as a Long Term monitoring tech and after 6 months transitioned to the EEG Lab where she worked as an EEG technologist. In the spring of 2017 she began working as a lead technologist in the Long Term Monitoring Unit and became the LTM Supervisor in 2019. She finished the Utah Electroneurodiagnostic Institue program in March of 2018 and obtained her R. EEG T. in May 2018. She is currently working on obtaining her CLTM registry. In her spare time, Alise enjoys hiking, concerts, reading, playing the piano, and spending time with family and friends.

Gabriela Anderson, REEGT

Gabriela Anderson, REEGT

Graduate Board Member

Gabriela Anderson is a graduate board member currently residing in North Ogden, Utah. Gabriela graduated from the University of Utah’s END Institute. As a student advocate at the END Institute, she offered students the opportunity to have a peer to confide in and empathize with during the program. Gabriela’s goal was to make students be heard and to continually shape the Institute’s curriculum to offer the best education possible to future students pursuing their EEG registry. Gabriela passed her EEG registry in June 2020 and is currently employed by Intermountain Healthcare as an EEG tech. In addition, Gabriela is a full- time student at Weber State University continuing her BIS in neuroscience, health science, and electroneurodiagnostics.

Gabriela has a passion for people and is a master yoga instructor, licensed cosmetologist, and Thai massage bodywork practitioner. She gives all the praise and credit for her achievements to her loving husband and amazing family that pushes her to achieve her dreams, to laugh, to relax, and to have faith in all things.

Jenessa Crowton

Jenessa Crowton

Student Board Member

Jenessa has worked at the University of Utah since the beginning of 2017 in Neurosurgery research as a Lab tech. She currently works as a Medical Assistant in Neurology. She is thrilled to be enrolled in Utah END Institute working on obtaining her ABRET certification. In her free time she enjoys cooking, reading, and spending quality time with her family.

Cathy Konold, REEGT

Cathy Konold, REEGT

Instructor

Cathy was born and raised in Salt Lake City. She completed a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience at Westminster College in 2018. While there, she worked as a research assistant in the Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Lab where she used EEG for research on task-switching and visual attention. It was also during college that she worked as a teaching assistant in data science. She worked in pharmaceutical research after graduating but missed working with EEG, so she decided to continue her education at the Utah END Institute. She started working as an EEG tech at the University of Utah in December of 2019 and earned her R. EEG. T. shortly after. She greatly enjoys using her scientific background to collect accurate data for patients and develop content for the Utah END Institute. In her spare time, she enjoys camping, cooking, and visiting geologic attractions.