Deanna Kepka, MPH, PhD

Academic Information

  • 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.

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  1. Kepka D, Warner EL, Kinney AY, Spigarelli MG, Mooney K (2015 Feb). Low human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine knowledge among Latino parents in Utah. J Immigr Minor Health, 17(1), 125-31.
  2. Breslau ES, Weiss ES, Williams A, Burness A, Kepka D (2015 Jan). The implementation road: engaging community partnerships in evidence-based cancer control interventions. Health Promotion Practice, 16(1), 46-54.
  3. Kepka D, Breen N, King JB, Benard VB, Saraiya M (2014 Feb 1). Overuse of papanicolaou testing among older women and among women without a cervix. JAMA Intern Med, 174(2), 293-6.
  4. Kepka D, Smith A, Zeruto C, Yabroff KR (2014). Is provider type associated with cancer screening and prevention: advanced practice registered nurses, physician assistants, and physicians. BMC Cancer, 14, 233.
  5. Simonsen SE, Kepka D, Thompson J, Warner EL, Snyder M, Ries KM (2014). Preventive health care among HIV positive women in a Utah HIV/AIDS clinic: a retrospective cohort study. BMC Womens Health, 14(1), 37.
  6. Smith AA, Kepka D, Yabroff KR (2014). Advanced practice registered nurses, physician assistants and cancer prevention and screening: a systematic review. BMC Health Serv Res, 14, 68.
  7. Chawla N, Kepka DL, Heckman-Stoddard BM, Horne HN, Felix AS, Luhn P, Pelser C, Barkley J, Faupel-Badger JM (2013 Nov). Health disparities around the world: perspectives from the 2012 Principles and Practice of Cancer Prevention and Control course at the National Cancer Institute. J Oncol Pract, 9(6), e284-9.
  8. Williams WW, Lu PJ, Saraiya M, Yankey D, Dorell C, Rodriguez JL, Kepka D, Markowitz LE (2013 Jun 19). Factors associated with human papillomavirus vaccination among young adult women in the United States. Vaccine, 31(28), 2937-46.
  9. Lu PJ, Williams WW, Li J, Dorell C, Yankey D, Kepka D, Dunne EF (2013 Apr). Human papillomavirus vaccine initiation and awareness: U.S. young men in the 2010 National Health Interview Survey. Am J Prev Med, 44(4), 330-8.
  10. Roland KB, Benard VB, Soman A, Breen N, Kepka D, Saraiya M (2013 Apr). Cervical cancer screening among young adult women in the United States. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 22(4), 580-8.
  11. Kepka D, Berkowitz Z, Yabroff KR, Roland K, Saraiya M (2012 Oct). Human papillomavirus vaccine practices in the USA: do primary care providers use sexual history and cervical cancer screening results to make HPV vaccine recommendations? Sex Transm Infect, 88(6), 433-5.
  12. Kepka DL, Ulrich AK, Coronado GD (2012 May). Low knowledge of the three-dose HPV vaccine series among mothers of rural Hispanic adolescents. J Health Care Poor Underserved, 23(2), 626-35.
  13. Kepka DL, Coronado GD, Rodriguez HP, Thompson B (2012 Jan-Feb). Development of a radionovela to promote HPV vaccine awareness and knowledge among Latino parents. Public Health Rep, 127(1), 130-8.
  14. Kepka D, Coronado GD, Rodriguez HP, Thompson B (2011 Dec). Evaluation of a radionovela to promote HPV vaccine awareness and knowledge among Hispanic parents. J Community Health, 36(6), 957-65.
  15. Yabroff KR, Lund J, Kepka D, Mariotto A (2011 Oct). Economic burden of cancer in the United States: estimates, projections, and future research. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 20(10), 2006-14.
  16. Kepka D, Coronado G, Rodriguez H, Thompson B (2010 Aug). Acculturation and HPV infection among Latinas in the United States. Prev Med, 51(2), 182-4.
  17. Curioso WH, Kepka D, Cabello R, Segura P, Kurth AE (2010). Understanding the facilitators and barriers of antiretroviral adherence in Peru: a qualitative study. BMC Public Health, 10, 13.
  18. Kepka D, Ayala GX, Cherrington A (2007 Sep-Oct). Do Latino immigrants link self-rated health with BMI and health behaviors? Am J Health Behav, 31(5), 535-44.