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2023 Faculty Recognition

    Marlana Li, MDNovember

    Marlana Li faculty highlight

    Dr. Marlana Li has been part of the department since 2014, when she joined the Division of Family Medicine as an assistant professor, advancing to the rank of associate professor in 2022. A graduate of the Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University in Chicago where she earned Honors in Bioethics, Dr. Li completed her Residency at the St. Anthony North Hospital in Westminster, Colorado. From her earliest training experiences, Dr. Li received many academic awards, including the John R. Tobin Outstanding Leadership Award in 2008, the Scott Spaeth Award in 2010, and the Johnson Short Terms Medical Missions Fund in 2011.

    Dr. Li’s excellence in academics has translated into excellence in leadership in her many roles in the department. She is the Family Medicine Interest Group advisor as well as being the CMDA advisor. In addition to her impressive slate of course lectures, she was also the Lead Physician for the OB/Gyn service at the department from 2019-2021, not only managing the complex scheduling and hospital credentialing for the group, but also navigating the challenging landscape of care during the COVID-19 pandemic. She acts as a faculty instructor and career coach for first-year medical students and has been an individual mentor for over 25 residents and medical students. Further, she was appointed the Family Medicine Core Content Lead this year, ensuring that new MD curriculum includes Family Medicine content. She also is the Clerkship Director for the U’s School of Medicine and the Course Director for Fourth-year Family Medicine Electives for the department.

    In addition to these activities, Dr. Li participates in a wide range of university and professional community activities. From 2018-2022, she served as the Medical Director of the Pregnancy Resource Center of Salt Lake City and has stood on their board of directors. Currently, she stands on the Board of Directors and serves as committee member of the Utah Academy of Family Physicians in their Membership Engagement committee. She also acts as an advisor to the Christian Medical and Dental Associations. Amid this busy schedule, she has still found time for scholarly work, acting as co-investigator for a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grant in 2017.

    We are grateful for Dr. Li’s many contributions to our department and are glad to highlight her as an exceptional faculty member in the month of November.

    Joseph A. Allen joined the department in 2019 as a professor in the Division of Occupational and Environmental Health.


    A PhD graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Dr. Allen is an expert in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. His research focuses on three major areas of inquiry including the study of workplace meetings, organizational community engagement, and occupational safety and health. A prolific publisher, he has over 200 publications in academic outlets and acts as an Editorial Board Member for the Journal of Business and Psychology, European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, Small Group Research, Journal of Community Psychology, and Organizational Psychology Review. He also sits on the Advisory board of several start-up companies, including MeetingScience and H2HI (Human to Human Interaction). His publications and editorial work have won several awards, including the Slavi-Patti Award the Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership, & Governance journal in 2022 and the 2021 Journal of Business and Psychology Reviewer of the Year Award.

    Dr. Allen directs the Center for Meeting Effectiveness housed in the Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health. As part of his work in advancing the science of meetings, he has consulted for more than 400 non-profit and for-profit organizations including animal welfare organizations, government entities, and intelligence agencies, among many others. His research has attracted internal and external grant funding of more than $10 million since 2010.

    We are grateful for Dr. Allen’s extensive body of work and the distinction he brings to our department and its mission. We are glad to highlight him as an exemplary faculty of the department in the month of August.

    Professor Ivette López has been a part of the department since 2018 when she joined the Division of Public Health as a Professor.

    Dr. López has had a remarkable career at the department, helping to advance our mission in many important leadership roles focused on community engagement and health. From 2019, she has served on the department’s Community Engagement committee, as well as acting as a Core Educator and Community Engaged Learning Domain Expert at the Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine. Most recently, she was appointed director of Utah Area Health Centers (AHEC) in 2020, which works to expand healthcare options for underserved and rural populations across the state.

    Ivette Lopez highlight

    Dr. López has worked as a tireless advocate for AHEC’s mission, regularly securing funding for the program through the legislature despite significant challenges and budget cuts. As AHEC Director, she works on a COVID 19 CARES grant that focuses on the engagement of Community Health Workers of disadvantaged populations in UT (Pacific Islander, Latino, Black, Refugee, and Native American). Through Tele-Education, this innovative workforce will the teach UT AHEC Scholars the socio-cultural and cultural humility aspects of COVID 19. This focus reflects Dr. López’s own research focus on health outcomes disproportionally affecting Latino and other minority or disadvantaged populations. Her work with AHEC has won her the recognition of many organizations throughout Utah, winning her the 2020 Healthcare Hero award from Utah Business Magazine and the 2021 Inclusion Excellence Award for Faculty from the U’s Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

    In addition to her work in the community, Dr. López is an energetic and powerful educator in the department. During her time in the department, she has advised and directed the master’s and doctoral theses preparation of over 55 students and chaired and labored with committees resulting in 30 doctoral degrees in 14 years.

    We are grateful for Dr. López’s many contributions to our department and are glad to highlight her as an exceptional faculty member in the month of April.

    Professor Joanne Rolls has been a part of the department since 2010, first as a MPAS student in the Utah Physician Assistant Program, and later joining the Physician Assistant Studies program as faculty in 2013 She currently serves the division as an associate professor in the clinical track and as a Family Medicine PA.

    In her time in the department, Jo has advanced DFPM’s missions and brought distinction to the department through a multitude of high-profile activities. She is regularly recognized by the learners she instructs for her excellence in pedagogy, winning the Faculty Teacher of the Year from the PA Program in 2016 and 2021 and being nominated for the Outstanding Educator of Health Sciences Professional Students Award by the Academy of Health Science Educators in 2023. Her educational excellence extends to curricular development, and she leads the education component of the University of Utah Transgender Health Program, which--largely thanks to her efforts—was selected as a co-recipient of the 2023 Interprofessional Education Team Award in 2023.

    We are grateful for Jo’s many contributions to our department and are glad to highlight her as an exceptional faculty member in the month of April.

    Dr. Sarang K. Yoon has been a part of the department since 2018, when she joined Division of Occupational and Environmental Health as a Clinical Instructor, quickly advancing to the rank of Assistant Professor in 2019. A graduate of the Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine and the University of Utah School of Medicine’s Occupational Medicine Residency program, Dr. Yoon distinguished herself during her academic career, serving as Chief Resident and earning prestigious grants and scholarships such as the Rossnick Humanitarian Grant, Western Occupational Health Conference Resident Scholarship, and Dr. Paul Richards Safe Workplace Scholarship.

    Sarang K. Yoon

    By the 3rd year as faculty at DFPM, Dr. Yoon has developed a reputation as a prominent researcher in some of the most important challenges in epidemiology and vaccinology. She is the site PI for CDC studies on vaccine effectiveness in preventing and attenuating COVID-19 illness and disease among frontline workers and children. The study results are published in prestigious journals such as Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), and the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). In addition to the COVID-19 studies, she also is the site PI for a CDC influenza vaccine trial comparing the efficacy of two influenza vaccines, helping to vastly expand knowledge of influenza protection strategies.

    In addition to her distinction in research, Dr. Yoon provides administrative support to DFPM’s missions, serving as Associate Residency Program Director for the Occupational Medicine Residency Program. Outside of the department, she served as the conference chair for the Rocky Mountain Academy of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, sits as Medical Director of Westinghouse Electric Corporation and OMC Surveillance Program, and serves as a Reviewing Medical Officer for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Federal Occupational Health program.

    We are grateful for Dr. Yoon’s many contributions to our department, and are glad to highlight her as an exceptional faculty member in the month of March.

    Professor Mia Hashibe has distinguished herself as a researcher and mentor in the department since she joined the Division of Public Health in 2009. A prolific researcher, Professor Hashibe is a first or contributing author in hundreds of journal articles and book chapters focused on a wide range of subjects related to cancer risk factors, prevention, and mitigation, as well as long-term health impacts on cancer survivors. Her commitment to research excellence and her prolific publication record is well respected among Professor Hashibe’s colleagues and led to the University of Utah naming her the Distinguished Researcher Award during the University’s 2021 Commencement Exercises.

    Mia Hashibe, PhD

    As part of her research, Professor Hashibe serves as PI for grant projects focused on cancer survival outcomes, risk factors, and recurrence. She also works with Dr. Okuyemi on a grant developing state-of-the-art training for NCI grantees to enhance their skills and provide career development. At the colleague level, Professor serves as Director of Research and Practice for the Division of Public Health and Director of Research Facilitation and Integration for the Utah Cancer Registry, and recently served as Interim Vice Chair for Research for the department. She has also greatly contributed to institutional growth and learning, lecturing in places as far away as Sweden and showed leadership in organizing large meetings for specialist groups such as INHANCE, ARCAGE, and InterCHANGE.

    We are truly grateful to the contributions Professor Hashibe has made to our mission and the strength and distinction she brings to our department, and are grateful to have Michael Good, CEO here to present her with the Distinguished Researcher Award.

    Dr. Erika Sullivan has been a member of the department since 2014, and she has contributed significantly over the years to DFPM’s mission. A graduate of the University of Chicago Medical School, with additional master’s degrees in Pathology and a master of science in microbiology from the University of Hawaii, Dr. Sullivan began her career in Utah when she joined the Family Medicine Residency program in 2011, becoming an assistant professor in the clinical track three years later.

    Erika Sullivan, MD

    Dr. Sullivan has a clinical practice that is praised for its humanity and medical competence. “Dr. Sullivan is such an excellent provider,” says a patient seen by Dr. Sullivan at the Sugar House Clinic. “She's attentive, knowledgeable, kind, smart, and present. She collaborated on health struggles, offers options, and empowers patients. What a great doctor!” Accolades such as these and Dr. Sullivan’s reputation as a caring, knowledgeable doctor helped her earn the Utah Academy of Family Physicians’ Physician of the Year Award in 2022.

    In addition to these distinctions, Dr. Sullivan demonstrates leadership across multiple programs in the University of Utah health system. She currently serves as the Medical Co-Director for the University’s Transgender Health Program, and as a partner of the University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics’ Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Learning Collaborative. She is active in the training and mentorship of family medicine residents, serving as an instructor, faculty member, and attending/preceptor for providers in Transgender Medicine and Gender-affirming primary care. She is also an instructor for the Family Medicine Clerkship, where she is responsible for the diabetes, wellness, upper respiratory tract, and general dermatology lectures. Her excellence in mentorship and instruction earned her the Family Medicine Teacher of the Year award from the University in 2015.

    We are truly grateful to the contributions Dr. Sullivan has made to our mission and the strength and distinction she brings to our department.