Community Engagement Committee Members

Lisa Gren

Dr. Lisa Gren is an Associate Professor in the Division of Public Health. As Director for the Center for Research on Migration & Refugee Integration, she works with communities who have refugee and immigration backgrounds.

Ivette Lopez

Ivette Amelia López, PhD, MPH is a Professor of Public Health at University of Utah Department of Family and Preventive Medicine. She is also the Director of the Utah Area Health Education Centers. Dr. López was born and raised in Caguas, Puerto Rico, and came to the United States mainland to pursue an advanced education. She is, and has been for decades, a dedicated professional in pursuit of health equity for Latinos and other disadvantaged populations in the United States. From AIDS (the epidemic that drew her to public health) to diabetes, obesity causal explanations among minority women, to health assessments of Latino populations, her research and service are dedicated to engage minority communities in finding solutions to their health burdens. 

She has focused on social disparities, which have resulted in adverse health outcomes disproportionally affecting Latino and other minority or disadvantaged populations: Type 2 diabetes, weight issues, heart disease, hypertension, sexually transmitted infections, breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and environmental contexts of health. Her research interests also include mitigating factors that align with those health disparities: physical activity, food security, neighborhood, reproductive health, community-based mixed research and pedagogy, cultural humility, health literacy, and racial and ethnic disparities in higher education and health academic faculty/administration. 

Further, Dr. Lopez advised and directed the masters and doctoral theses preparation of over 55 students; chaired and labored with committees resulting in 25 doctoral degrees in 14 years. 

Oreta Tupola

Oreta Mapu-Tupola is a Community Health Worker. Her purpose is to serve as a voice with and for diverse communities in Utah bringing to the table expertise, experience, knowledge and awareness of any barriers, strengths and other cultural aspects of community that may enhance the work, mission and goals of the University in serving community. Oreta says, "As a Samoan Woman born and raised 2nd generation in the United States, it is still hard to navigate systems, especially University Systems. I think it is important to always be mindful of how different systems work and to best do this community engagement is important in building the infrastructure of Education, Opportunity and Success!"

Kimberley Shoaf

Dr. Kimberley Shoaf is Professor of Public Health. She is a practice-based public health researcher with a focus on workforce development and emergency public health. She participates in the Community Engagement Committee as a practice-based academic to link with practice partners and the communities they serve.

Saffel-Shrier

Susan Saffel-Shrier, MS, RDN, Cert. Gerontologist is a Professor (clinical) in the family medicine division of the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine. Her career spans 3 decades that has focused on the health and wellbeing of older adults with an emphasis on those residing in the community. She currently is the PI of a USDHHS, Administration on Aging grant investigating the potential reduction of hospital re-admissions among malnourished older adults through high value malnutrition care in the home setting. Project community partners include home health agencies and area agencies on aging.