Deanna Kepka, MPH, PhD


  • English
  • Spanish

Academic Information

  • Departments: Nursing - Assistant Professor, Population Health Sciences - Adjunct Assistant Professor
  • Divisions: Acute and Chronic Care
  • Cancer Center Programs: Cancer Control & Population Sciences

Academic Office Information

  • Huntsman Cancer Institute
    2000 Circle of Hope, Room: 4144
    Salt Lake City, UT 84112

Academic Bio

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.

Education History

Type School Degree
Fellowship National Cancer Institute
Cancer Prevention & Control
Doctoral Training University of Washington
Health Services, Maternal & Child Health
Graduate Training University of North Carolina
Health Behavior and Health Education
Graduate Training Illinois State University
Political Science
Undergraduate Northwestern University
Psychology & Philosophy