- BA Degree, Theology/Psychology, Creighton University
- M.S.W., Macro/Micro Social Work, Uinversity of Nebraska
- PhD, Medical Informatics, University of Utah. Project: Patient Safety Across the Continuum of Care
Iona joined the University of Utah in June of 2019 as Director of Patient Safety. Iona has an interest in engaging students into the journey of patient safety, quality improvement and management, and program evaluation. Iona has over 30 years of post MSW experience mostly in the health/mental health sectors. She obtained her MSW at the age of 30 after working in the fields of social services as a residential aid, psychiatric aid, and as a case manager for adults with cognitive delays. After completing her MSW, she worked as a school social worker, psychiatric social worker, medical social worker, community organizer, long term care Social Work consultant, program developer/administrator and Patient Safety Director for the Utah Department of Health. Iona returned to academic pursuits at the University of Utah in a combined program of Social Work and Medical Informatics. Dr. Thraen completed 60 hoursof Socal Work graduate training and obtained her PhD in Medical Informatics from the Univeristy of Utah, School of Medicine in 2011. She worked full time for the Utah Department of Health as Director of Patient Safety and Chair of the IRB until 2019. Dr. Thraen teaches part-time.