What you need to know
Sandia’s Employee Health Services providers go beyond treating your illness or injury. Because they understand Sandia’s environment and the demands of your job, they can connect you with health programs that improve your overall well-being.
Providers in New Mexico
Dr. Rick Sauerman, MD, Site Occupational Medical Director for Sandia Medical Clinic
Dr. Rick Sauerman has been the site occupational medical director (SOMD) for Sandia’s clinics since 2009 and has been a physician with Sandia since 1995. He is a graduate of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, and he has a master’s degree in Public Health from the Medical College of Wisconsin. He completed a residency for board certification in Occupational Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Melissa Garcia, MD
Dr. Melissa Garcia is a Family Medicine Physician with 16 years of experience in preventative health and management of acute and chronic medical conditions. She is a physician in Sandia’s Health Management Clinic. Prior to coming to Sandia, she was the Medical Director for the New Heart Cardiac Rehabilitation Facility. Dr. Garcia is board certified in Family Medicine. Dr. Garcia obtained her MD degree from UNM in 1996 and completed a Family Medicine Residency at UNM in 1999.
Frederick Graydon Thorne, MD, Occupational Medicine Physician
Dr. Thorne has worked as an ER doctor for 35 years in both Canada and the US, most recently for the past 20 years in Houston. His specialties include Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Sports Medicine. He attended University of Waterloo, Caltech, University of Ottawa, University of Toronto.
Naomi Moraga, Nurse Practitioner
Naomi Moraga is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner (BC-FNP) with 19 years in the medical field, including emergency, urgent care, and internal medicine. She is a Nurse Practitioner at the Sandia Medical Clinic, seeing patients with urgent care issues. Prior to Naomi’s employment at Sandia, she worked for Presbyterian Health Services in their urgent care setting and as a hospitalist. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from the University of New Mexico and a master’s degree in Family Nurse Practitioner from the University of St. Francis.
Johanna Grassham, CNP, Certified Diabetes Educator
Johanna Grassham is a certified nurse practitioner and coordinator of the HR Health Management Clinic. She has over 10 years of experience in adult healthcare and chronic disease management. Before coming to Sandia, Johanna worked on a medical surgical unit at Presbyterian Hospital. Johanna holds a master’s degree in Nursing Education and is board certified in Advanced Diabetes Management.
Amanda Thompson, FNP-C, Certified Family Nurse Practitioner
Amanda Thompson is a certified nurse practitioner in the Sandia Medical Clinic. Prior to coming to Sandia she worked as a Family Nurse Practitioner in the primary care field in North Carolina for 7 years. Amanda holds a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Lewis Clark State College and a master’s degree in Nursing from the University of South Alabama.
Lesley Rico, FNP-BC, Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner
Lesley Rico is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP-BC) with 20 years of emergency medicine experience. Her years of experience include a combination of paramedicine/firefighter, nursing, and post-secondary instructional education. Prior to coming to Sandia, she worked for Presbyterian Medical Services in the emergency room, adult intensive care units, and home health care. She holds two bachelor degree’s, one in Health Education from the University of New Mexico and another in Nursing from Chamberlain University. She also holds a Masters degree in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner from the University of Chamberlain.
Shannon Candelaria, RN, BSN
Shannon Candelaria is a Registered Nurse at Sandia’s Employee Health Clinic, and she has worked in the Sandia Medical Clinic, Occupational Health Clinic, and International Travel Clinic since 2013. Shannon has been working as a Registered Nurse since 2010 with a variety of experiences, including long-term geriatric and correctional nursing. Shannon received her BSN from Eastern New Mexico University, and her professional affiliations include Honor Society and The Society for Collegiate Leadership and Achievement.
Amy Cincotta, Exercise Physiologist
Amy Cincotta is the coordinator of the Employee Health Services, Preventive Health fitness program. She is an exercise physiologist and fitness specialist with over 30 years of experience in the areas of anatomy, fitness, and dance. She has over 2,500 hours of teaching yoga. Prior to coming to Sandia, Amy taught at the University of New Mexico and the Albuquerque Technical Vocational Institute (TVI). Amy holds a master’s degree in Sports Administration and numerous certifications specializing in yoga, pilates, resistance training, and flexibility training. She is a certified exercise physiologist with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and consults to a national fitness company to “train the trainers.”
Angelique Crandall, RD, Certified Diabetes Educator
Angelique Crandall is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator at Sandia’s Health Management Clinic where she sees patients with nutrition-related health concerns. She has a diverse background in health and wellness, having worked as a personal trainer, fitness and yoga instructor, and in pediatrics, instructing in both nutrition and fitness. Before coming to Sandia, Angelique worked at Bridges In Medicine, a holistic doctor’s office, where she used functional medicine and nutrition training to help patients with disease prevention and to get to the root cause of their symptoms. Angelique earned a bachelor’s in Nutrition Science and completed her internship through the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). She received an award from UNLV for recognition as a future leader in dietetics. Angelique has a master’s in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine from the University of Western States.
Ryan Crandall, PTA
Ryan Crandall is a Physical Therapist Assistant at Sandia. Ryan uses manual therapy mixed with movement and strengthening activities to promote decreased pain and improved function. Ryan has worked in numerous settings since 1998, including Home Health, rural outpatient, inpatient rehabilitation, yoga, and personal training. Ryan earned his undergrad in Psychology/Biology at Minnesota State University and his PTA degree at College of St. Catherine. Ryan loves using humor with his patients and works at the level where their needs are met.
Pierre “Pete” DelMarcelle, Health Educator
Pierre DelMarcelle is a health educator for Sandia’s Health Management Clinic and Preventive Health program with over 13 years of experience in health education and 20 years of experience in clinical care. Pete is experienced as a clinical exercise physiologist working in head and spinal cord rehab, cardiac rehab, pulmonary rehab, and occupational medicine. He has counseled high-risk patients in hospital, clinical, and telehealth settings. Pete holds a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education with an emphasis in kinesiology from Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania and a master’s in Exercise Physiology from the University of New Mexico. He is a certified personal trainer by the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America. Pete has been trained as a health fitness instructor by the American College of Sports Medicine, an ergonomist by the University of Oklahoma, a functional capacity evaluator, and a healthcare motivational interviewer.
Melisa Martinez, Radiology Technician
Melisa Martinez is a Radiologic Technologist and the coordinator of Sandia’s HR Radiology Department.
Dr. Blas Herrera, Physical Therapist
Blas Herrera serves as a physical therapist in the Employee Health Services, Physical Therapy Clinic. As an athletic trainer and physical therapist, he has 16 years of combined experience in the areas of athletic training, sports medicine, and physical therapy. Before coming to Sandia, Blas worked in a variety of outpatient physical therapy clinics, as well as professional sports settings. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Sports Medicine and Athletic Training from New Mexico State University, a master’s of science degree in Physical Therapy from the University of New Mexico, and a doctorate in Physical Therapy from Arizona School of Health Sciences. He is board certified as an athletic trainer through the National Athletic Trainers Association and as a certified strength and conditioning specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
Ben Klein, PhD
Dr. Klein is a clinical psychologist with more than 30 years of experience in direct patient care in various healthcare settings in New Mexico. He is interested in integrating behavioral health with medical and preventive services so our employees develop their best whole selves. Other areas of interest include population health promotion and improving motivation for behavior change by clarifying and reinforcing personal values.
Rae Lewis, MS, MPH
Rae Lewis is Medical Case Manager in Employee Health Services, assisting employees with serious health events and coordinating their return to work. She holds a master’s degree in Public Health from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, a master’s in Women’s Studies from Minnesota State University, and a bachelor’s in Sociology from Kutztown State University in Pennsylvania. Rae has called Albuquerque, New Mexico her home for over 20 years and has spent much of that time dedicated to public health promotion and disease prevention in both academic medicine and community settings. Prior to Sandia, Rae worked as a medical case manager with a private corporation. Whether as an administrator, health advocate, or scholar, her commitment to understanding complex social issues around illness and the promotion of health has persisted.
Heather Morgan, Health Educator, Exercise Physiologist
Heather Morgan is an exercise physiologist for the Employee Health Services, Preventive Health program. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and is a certified personal trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Prior to joining Sandia, Heather spent 20 years in the health club industry in the Albuquerque area, starting as a student intern and working her way up into regional management. Heather has worked with people of all ages, fitness levels, and abilities. She is an avid fitness enthusiast, having competed in triathlons and various running events throughout the years.
Dr. Olivia Olivas, Physical Therapist
Dr. Olivia Olivas is a physical therapist and the coordinator of the Employee Health Services, Physical Therapy Clinic. She has 10 years of experience in orthopedic, occupational health, and sports medicine physical therapy. Prior to her physical therapy career, Olivia was a research biologist working and publishing in the fields of malaria and genetic coding. Olivia holds a Master of Science degree in Physical Therapy from the University of New Mexico and a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from A.T. Still University in Phoenix, Arizona. Olivia is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association, has advanced training in various manual therapy techniques, and is certified in dry needling.
Marena Pacheco, Registered Dietitian
Marena Pacheco is a Registered Dietitian with the Employee Health Services, Preventive Health program, where she sees patients for weight management and health concerns related to nutrition. She has seven years of experience in the field of nutrition support. In addition to working at Sandia, she also is a clinical dietitian at Lovelace Women’s Hospital. Prior to coming to Sandia and the Women’s Hospital, she worked for the Department of Health, focusing on maternal health and infant/child nutrition. Marena earned both her bachelor’s and master’s of science at New Mexico State University.
Jennifer Perea, Health Educator
Jennifer Perea is a health educator with over 16 years of experience for Employee Health Services, Preventive Health program. She works within the organizational health, stress management, executive coaching programs and coordinates the CPR/First Aid program. Jennifer holds two bachelor’s degrees, one in Psychology, the other in Communications/Journalism, and a master’s in Health Education from the University of New Mexico. Jennifer is a certified lifestyle counselor, AFAA personal trainer, and group fitness instructor. She has a proven track record in helping organizations, and she coaches Sandia’s executives in personally adopting health and wellness strategies. Jennifer is an American Heart Association, ECC Regional Committee Member.
Jon C. Pier, Health Educator, Exercise Physiologist
Jon C. Pier is a health educator with the Employee Health Services, Preventive Health program. Jon started at Sandia as a student and holds a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and a Master of Science in Human Performance and Injury Prevention. He is also a certified medical exercise specialist and a certified strength and conditioning specialist. Jon managed many well-known fitness facilities in the Albuquerque area and contributed to numerous boards and committees in the healthcare industry. Jon works with employees, corporate work groups, busy executives, professional athletes, and overwhelmed parents.
Dr. Liz Quintana, Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator
Dr. Liz Quintana joined Sandia in 2015 to work for Sandia’s Health Management Clinic. She has over 25 years as a Registered Dietitian, including 18 years as a Certified Diabetes Educator. For 15 years prior to coming to Sandia, Liz was on the faculty at West Virginia University School of Medicine where she worked as a nutrition program coordinator, on the Dr. Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease, in the endocrinology clinic, and wellness program. Liz holds a doctorate in Education and graduate certificate in Gerontology from WVU. She was awarded the WV Outstanding Dietitian of the Year in 2014. She represents the Diabetes Care and Education Practice Group in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics House of Delegates.
Tammy Sanchez is the Sandia Human Resources job accommodation specialist.
Lisa Teves, RD, CDE
Lisa Teves is a registered dietitian and NCBDE certified diabetes educator who has more than 25 years of experience in health care. She works primarily with people on nutrition and sleep issues and has developed an onsite preventive health sleep program. Lisa received her bachelor’s degree in Clinical Nutrition from the University of Vermont and her master’s degree in Nutrition with a minor in Exercise Science from the University of New Mexico. In addition, she is an AFAA certified group fitness and 200 hour Hatha Yoga instructor and has studied traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda.
Matt Thomas, Exercise Physiologist
Matt Thomas is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist at the Employee Health Services, Preventive Health program. With over 10 years of experience, he joined the Sandia team in 2015. Matt earned both his Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and his Master of Science in Physical Education, with emphasis in Exercise Science and Sports Administration, from the University of New Mexico. Matt holds certifications as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist from the National Strength and Conditioning Association and a USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach from USA Weightlifting. Matt has experience working with a wide variety of populations ranging from general population clientele to professional athletes.
Valerie Vieira, RD, LD
Valerie Vieira is an exercise specialist and Registered Dietitian in Preventive Health. She has her Group Fitness certification as well as an exercise science degree. She enjoys teaching high-intensity intervals.
Dean Klassy, Sr., Drug Testing Program Administrator
Dean Klassy, Sr. oversees the HR clinical laboratory and is the Administrator of the Sandia drug testing program. He has over 25 years of experience in the drug testing industry and with DOT compliance. Before coming to Sandia in 2012, Dean and his wife managed and operated a drug testing administration program with over 300 clients in 27 states. Dean is a Certified Regional Certified Professional Collector Trainer, Certified Medical Review Officer Assistant, and a Certified Designated Employer Representative. Most of Dean’s certifications are from the Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association where he was the chairman of the board for eight years and where he currently serves on several committees and is a national instructor. Dean is sought after as an industry expert and speaker on drug testing issues.
Brad Lackey, Occupational Medicine and Industrial Hygiene
Brad Lackey is a Certified Industrial Hygienist with 30 years of experience in occupational exposure assessment, program management, and hazard assessment. He currently serves as the Occupational Medicine and Industrial Hygiene Specialist for Sandia’s Employee and Health Services where he manages and administers mission-essential, regulation-based fitness-for-duty programs and hazard-based medical monitoring and surveillance programs. Brad holds an MSPH in Environmental Science and Engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a BSHS in Occupational Safety and Health from the University of Arizona.
Craig Nimmo, Human Studies Board Administrator
Craig Nimmo is the Human Studies Board Administrator for EHS. He is a Principal Member of Sandia’s technical staff with over 20 years of experience in the occupational health and industrial hygiene disciplines. Prior to Sandia, Craig worked for the Department of Defense as an ES&H/Security consultant. Additionally, Craig is a Marine Corps Gulf War veteran. Craig holds a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in Environmental Science/Toxicology and a Master of Science in National Security and Public Safety. He also has a certification in safety management from the American Society of Safety Engineers.
Bridget Priddy, Privacy Officer and Medical Records
Bridget Priddy is the documentation and records administrator for the Sandia Medical Clinic (SMC) with 15 years of experience. She is also the SMC customer service team leader and the electronic medical records (EMR) administrator. Before coming to Sandia, Bridget worked as a deputy county clerk, personal injury legal assistant, and an administrative assistant at a rehabilitation hospital. She holds a BSOE degree and a master’s in Human Resources. Bridget is also a Certified HIPAA Privacy Expert (CHPE). Her professional memberships include the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and Health Information Management Systems (HIMS).
Providers in California
Dan Azar, MD, MPH
Dr. Dan Azar joined the Sandia California medical clinic in April 2017. He has over 25 years of experience as a physician providing occupational medical services, including injury treatment and surveillance services. Dr. Azar was a Regional Managing Physician at Lockheed Martin Corporation and has been the Medical Director for several private occupational medicine clinics in Silicon Valley. Dr. Azar started his training in Internal Medicine at Kaiser San Francisco and completed a residency in Occupational Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He holds a Master’s in Public Health from the Medical College of Wisconsin and is board certified in Occupational Medicine by the American Board of Preventive Medicine.
Michelle Tamaru, Occupational Registered Nurse
Michelle Tamaru is the Occupational Registered Nurse who oversees occupational surveillance programs such as the Hearing Conservation Program, Respirator Program, ARG/NEST Program, International Travel Clinic, Health Management Clinic, and Laser Eye Exams. Michelle has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a minor in Sociology; Basic Life Support (BLS) certification, Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support certification; California Board of Registered Nursing; Department of Transportation Urine Drug Screen Collector; Breath Alcohol Technician; NIOSH Approved Spirometry Training; Certified Occupational Hearing Conservationist.
Joy MacPherson, Health Educator
Joy MacPherson, MS, MA, is the Preventive Health Coordinator with the HR Preventive Health Program. She holds master’s degrees in Exercise Physiology and Mental Health Counseling and provides health education and stress and sleep management programs. Along with the fitness specialist and registered dietitian, Joy teams with the clinicians in the Health Management Clinic to design onsite preventive health and disease management initiatives in order to improve the health and productivity of employees.
Bonnie Breznik-Young, Medical Case Manager
Bonnie Breznik-Young is the administrator for the HR Absence Management program at Sandia California. Bonnie holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. She has over 20 years of experience in human resources and management, specializing in workers’ compensation, leave of absence, and employee relations, as well as experience as a therapist working with at-risk youth and families. Bonnie assists employees who need time off work by utilizing benefits such as the Family and Medical Leave Act, paid family leave, California state disability, workers’ compensation, leaves of absence, and the expectant parent program.
Gina Madison, Registered Dietitian
Gina Madison is a registered dietitian for HR Preventative Health in California. With over eight years of experience in the health and wellness industry, she worked for Gundersen Health System of La Crosse, managing their community nutrition program, the 500 Club, and creating healthy menu items for local and corporate food services. She also managed a smoothie bar and onsite nutrition program for Purple Plant in San Francisco. Gina has a Bachelor of Science in Community Medical Dietetics. She is a group exercise instructor certified through the American Council on Exercise.
Emily Rada, Fitness Specialist
Emily Rada holds her Bachelors in Physical Education, with a concentration in Health and Wellness, from CSU Stanislaus. She is a Certified Personal Trainer and Exercise Physiologist with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). She provides employees with one-on-one fitness consultations, fitness assessments, coordinates the group exercise program, and plans fitness events such as 5K Fun Runs. She enjoys working with people one-on-one to help them become more confident at the gym and finding creative ways to work fitness into their daily lives.
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