Deanna Lee Kepka, PhD, MPH

Curriculum Vitae

Deanna Lee Kepka, PhD, MPH portrait
  • Assistant Professor, College Of Nursing
  • Investigator, Huntsman Cancer Institute

Biography

Education

  • PhD 2010, Health Services, University of Washington . Project: Preventing cervical cancer among US Latinas: HPV infection, HPV vaccine education, and HPV vaccine knowledge
  • MPH 2006, Health Behavior and Health Education, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Project: Factors related to adherence to antiretroviral therapy for low-income HIV-positive individuals in North Carolina
  • MA 2000, Political Science, Illinois State University . Project: Jamaican women's NGOs combating harsh economic climates

Honors & Awards

  • Geographic Management of Cancer Health Disparities Program (GMaP) Region 4 Early Career Cancer Health Disparities Research Scholarship Award 2014. Institute for Health Promotion Research / San Antonio, TX, 12/2014
  • GMaP Region 4 Early Career Cancer Health Disparities Research Travel Award 2014. Institute for Health Promotion Research / San Antonio, TX, 12/2014
  • Health Disparities Loan Repayment Program Award 2014. National Institutes of Health, 08/2014
  • Vice President’s Clinical and Translational Research Scholar. University of Utah , 07/2014
  • Featured cancer prevention and population sciences investigator in 2013 Top Science Report. Huntsman Cancer Institute, 12/2013
  • KL2 Career Development Award. University of Utah Center for Clinical and Translational Science, 09/2013
  • Pediatric Clinical and Translational (PCAT) Research Fellow. University of Utah School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, 07/2013
  • ASPO Meeting Top Abstract. American Society of Preventive Oncology, 03/2013

Biography

Deanna Kepka, PhD, MPH, is a Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) investigator and an assistant professor in the College of Nursing at the University of Utah. She is a member of the Cancer Control and Population Sciences (CCPS) research group

Kepka’s main research interests are the gaps in health care access and quality for vulnerable populations. She focuses specifically on preventing cervical cancer among US Latinas, who have higher rates of cervical cancer than most other racial and ethnic groups. Utah has one of the lowest rates of completion of the HPV vaccination series in the country, and Kepka’s work with CCPS and the College of Nursing intends to develop more effective patient-provider interventions that will help increase this rate. She is also dedicated to improving health care services for cancer prevention and control among minority and underserved populations.

Kepka has worked with teams in at-risk communities, promoting positive health behaviors in Jamaica, Chicago, North Carolina, and Washington. Since 2007, she has worked with Hispanic and Latino communities in Mexico, Peru, Chicago, North Carolina, and Washington. She has also developed a radionovela (a Spanish short story broadcast) that successfully improved knowledge and sparked interest in the HPV vaccine among rural Latino parents in the United States.

Kepka was most recently a posdoctoral fellow in the Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, where she received the Cancer Prevention Fellowship Merit Award. She received her PhD in health services from the University of Washington School of Public Health and her MPH from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health.

In the Media

  • Check Your Health: The HPV Vaccine. KUTV 2 News. 01/25/2017. http://kutv.com/features/health/check-your-health-...
  • Utah's youth still have trouble accessing, completing HPV vaccine. St. George Daily Spectrum. 01/23/2017. http://www.thespectrum.com/story/news/2017/01/23/u...
  • CDC updates HPV vaccine recommendation; Utah remains among least-vaccinated states. Fox13 now. 01/12/2017. http://fox13now.com/2017/01/11/cdc-updates-hpv-vac...
  • "Someone you love: The HPV epidemic" screened at DSU. Dixie Sun Times. 11/21/2016. http://www.dixiesunnews.com/news/articles/2016/11/...
  • A vaccine prevents cancer, yet few use it. KOMO News. 09/19/2016. http://komonews.com/sponsored/huntsman/a-vaccine-p...
  • What you don't know about the HPV vaccine may hurt you. Deseret News Utah. 01/15/2016. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865645597/What-...
  • HPV vaccine uptake is highest among girls in high poverty, majority Hispanic communities. Science Daily. 01/14/2016. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/1601...
  • Utah Has the Lowest Vaccination Rate of This Cancer-Reducing Vaccine. UUHC Health Field. 02/18/2015. http://healthcare.utah.edu/the-scope/shows.php?sho...
  • Pap Smears in Perpetuity. The New Old Age: Caring and Coping. The New York Times. 02/24/2014. http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/24/pap-...
  • Cervical cancer screening overused in women at low risk. HemOnc today. 12/31/2013.
  • Many Women Receive Unnecessary Pap Tests. Qatar Tribune. 12/03/2013.
  • Pap Tests Not Necessary For Seniors and Hysterectomy Patients. Health & Wellness. 11/29/2013.
  • Muchos Papanicolaou son innecesarios. UnivisionSalud. 11/29/2013.
  • Pap Tests Not Necessary For Seniors and Hysterectomy Patients. Wellsphere. 11/29/2013.
  • Cervical cancer screening overused in some groups of women. ReadMedicalNews. 11/29/2013.
  • US doctors overusing Pap tests. health24. 11/28/2013.
  • Older women still getting Pap smears despite guidelines. The Doctor's Channel. 11/27/2013.
  • Older women still getting Pap smears despite guidelines. Reuters News. 11/27/2013.
  • Many Women Receive Unnecessary Pap Tests, Study Finds. HealthDay. U.S. News & World Report. 11/27/2013.
  • Older women still getting Pap smears despite guidelines. Yahoo!Health. 11/27/2013.
  • Older women still getting Pap smears despite guidelines. 92.1 Big Country. 11/27/2013.
  • Utah study: Unnecessary Pap tests still common. The Salt Lake Tribune. 11/25/2013.
  • Pap Tests: Cervical Cancer Screenings Overused? Guardian Liberty Voice. 11/25/2013.
  • Cervical Cancer Screening Overused in Some Groups of Women. ScienceNewsline. 11/25/2013.
  • Cervical Cancer Screenings Overused in Some Groups of Women. ScienceDaily. 11/25/2013.
  • Older Women Still Getting Pap Smears Despite Guidelines. Health e Galaxy. 11/25/2013.
  • Millions of Unnecessary Pap Tests. DailyRX News and DailyRX TV. 11/25/2013.
  • Utah study: Unnecessary Pap tests still common. TopNewsToday.org. 11/25/2013.
  • Utah study: Unnecessary Pap tests still common. ALLVOICES. 11/25/2013.
  • Cervical Cancer Screenings Overused in Some Groups of Women. Newswise. 11/22/2013.
  • Older women still getting Pap smears despite guidelines. NewsDaily. 11/19/2013.
  • HPV and Cervical Cancer Program. La Jefa Radio. Salt Lake City. AM 1490 & 1550. 10/12/2013.
  • Use of HPV vaccine for youths in Utah is low. Salt Lake Tribune. 10/01/2013.
  • Cervical Cancer Prevention. Community Affairs Program. Univision TV. Salt Lake City. 05/04/2013.

Languages

  • Spanish, functional.