Investigators and Scholars

There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.

- Margaret J. Wheatley

Research is empowered by its impact on the communities we serve: the greater understanding and support our research has in the community, the more likely it is to be successful in achieving our goals of advancing the possibilities of health.

The Community Outreach Committee exists to help you maximize the impact of your research on our local and global communities. Contact us to discuss how your research can have greater integration with the community or how you can join the committee.

Investigator Highlight

Joanne Rolls

Joanne Rolls, MPAS, PA-C, MEHP

Charles Rogers

Charles R. Rogers, PhD, MPH, MS

As a behavioral scientist and master certified health education specialist (MCHES) Dr. Charles R. Rogers currently serves as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Department of Family & Preventive Medicine at the University of Utah’s School of Medicine. In addition to serving as Founding Director of his Men’s Health Inequities Research Lab, Dr. Rogers is also an Associate Member of Huntsman Cancer Institute. He joined the Utah community in June 2018 after 4.5 years at the University of Minnesota Medical School, where he was an Assistant Professor (Division of Health Disparities), Masonic Cancer Center member, and National Cancer Institute-funded postdoctoral fellow (focused on cancer-related health disparities and community-based participatory research).

Since racial inequalities in health are extensive in the U.S., Dr. Rogers is committed to serving medically underserved and minority populations. His transdisciplinary training in applied mathematics and statistics, health education, and public health administration & policy, provide a unique perspective for translating research findings into prevention methods among government agencies, policy makers, private health care organizations, and communities. As an emerging leader of the cancer health disparities workforce, Dr. Rogers has shared his knowledge across North America, Jamaica, East Africa, Japan, and also via a number of venues including newspapers, radio stations, national conferences, minority health fairs, and television. [Read More]

Hailey Haffey

Hailey Haffey, PhD

Hailey received her doctorate in English at the University of Utah in 2018 and has also studied at the University of Calgary and Montana State University, Bozeman. Her past and present work actively engages literature, gender theory, and religious studies—as well as medical humanities and narrative medicine. In 2019, she was a postdoctoral research associate in Family Medicine at the University of Utah and part of the Family Medicine Research Core. She is currently a Research Associate at the University of Utah College of Nursing in the Emma Eccles Jones Nursing Research Center. Haffey is passionate about research on a broad scale, and she has received numerous scholarships, fellowships, and awards for her research and writing including the 2016 University of Utah College of Humanities Graduate Research Award for her peer-reviewed publications. Courses she has designed and taught at the college level range from introductory writing to cultural theory to queer studies, including a special topics course in Gender Studies, “Bodies, Traditions, and Technologies,” which emphasized the intersections of cultural traditions and medicine in discussions of gender and sexuality.

Haffey is equally committed to both the theory and practice of Narrative Medicine. Dr. Rita Charon, the founder of Narrative Medicine, defines the field as “Clinical practice fortified by the knowledge of what to do with stories.” In Honoring the Stories of Illness, she writes “I use the term Narrative Medicine to mean medicine practiced with these narrative skills of recognizing, absorbing, interpreting, and being moved by the stories of illness.” Charon also calls these skills “narrative competencies” and sees them as “compassion’s prerequisites.” Realizing the vital need for patients and providers to have full, clear, and compassionate communication, Haffey aspires to contribute to the field by employing her background in literary studies and teaching. She is engaged in the discipline as a student, teacher, researcher, and practitioner; she participates in Narrative Medicine groups and workshops locally, nationally, and internationally. During 2020 Fall Semester, Haffey facilitated a series of Narrative Medicine workshops for cross-disciplinary healthcare students as a “Narrative Medicine Week” for Utah AHEC. She has also attended trainings and workshops, including those through Columbia’s Narrative Medicine program. Further, Haffey is actively involved in service work in the field and is assisting non-profit organizations to use Narrative-Medicine-based strategies in a response to the pandemic for interventions including global literacy and public health education, as well as storytelling/logic modeling that preserves indigenous voices. In terms of research, Haffey’s current book project deals with children, gender, and religion and seeks to understand how children create the stories of their bodies and identities from fragments of stories they collect from the world around them—as opposed to the cohesive narratives adults often expect to shape gender and sexual orientation. This project’s theories are rooted in the same close-reading strategies employed by Narrative Medicine.

Haffey aims to bring awareness to Narrative Medicine, support its practice, and research best practices for using its strategies sensitively in an increasingly global context. Haffey believes the best way to do the most good in healthcare is to hone the close-reading skills and narrative competencies that are necessary for compassion, and to practice empathy by listening well to the stories that direct patients’ lives.