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Team Members

Anthony Banks

Anthony Banks

Data Manager/Analyst

Tony Banks joined the Center for Hope in 2022 as a research data manager. He has an MS in Information from the University of Arizona and a BS in environmental geology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Tony is proficient in R and Python programming. He enjoys working on complex datasets, implementing automation for reproducibility, and collaborating with the team to make improvements for everyone. He previously worked as an environmental geologist, where he planned and implemented remediation projects and analyzed soil, groundwater, and soil vapor data. His favorite things to do are disc golfing, snowboarding, rock climbing, and camping.

Anthony.Banks@hci.utah.edu

Sophia Copley

Sophia Copley

Research Assistant

Sophia is an undergraduate at the University of Utah majoring in biology with a minor in chemistry. She is on the pre-med track with interests in pediatrics, neurology, and psychiatry. In her free time, she enjoys baking, crocheting, and being outdoors.

Sophia.Copley@hci.utah.edu

Kane Dodson

Kane Dodson

Clinical Research Coordinator

Kane graduated from Westminster College with a BS in psychology with an emphasis in cognitive science and a minor in applied mathematics. He plans to pursue a career in the field of health psychology or cognitive sciences. Kane spends most of his free time rock climbing, mountain biking, and running.

kane.dodson@hci.utah.edu

Maria Guadarrama

Maria Guadarrama

Administrative Program Coordinator

María is from Mexico and grew up in Logan, Utah. She graduated from Utah State University with a degree in global communications where she found a passion for the nonprofit sector. In 2015, after graduating, she moved to Salt Lake City to begin her career. She has 7 years of experience in community engagement and advocacy and previously worked at Utah Health Policy Project (UHPP) and Association of Utah Community Health (AUCH) as a Community Health Worker. Additionally, she was part of the team with Molina Healthcare as a Community Outreach Coordinator, where she created trusting relationships with organizations and community leaders. Because of her experience and passion for nonprofit organizations, María enrolled at Westminster College to pursue a Master of Arts in Community Leadership (MACL). Since graduating, she hopes to create a co-op with community members. She is passionate about learning more of grassroots projects and is committed to creating place and space for Spanish-speaking community.

maria.guadarrama@hci.utah.edu

Heather Haley

Heather Haley

Post-Award Grants & Contracts Officer IV

Heather Haley has lived too many places to have a single “home”. She has worked mostly for nonprofits in various roles since 1998, moving to Utah in 2007. When not at HCI, Heather loves being outside with her dog, cooking with her two kids, traveling, and reading books

heather.haley@hci.utah.edu

Melissa Yack Hall

Melissa Yack Hall, PhD, MPA

Senior Community Engagement Researcher

Dr. Hall holds a PhD in educational leadership and policy and a master of public administration degree from the University of Utah. She leads the community engagement efforts for the Center for HOPE. Her teaching and research focus on community engagement, asset mapping, program evaluation, policy analysis, and nonprofit organizations. Dr. Hall has an extensive background working with projects and programs centered on social impact. Her career includes stints at nonprofits, higher education institutions, and private media companies. Away from the office, Dr. Hall enjoys watching sports and theatrical productions and enjoys spending as much time in the mountains as she can.

melissa.hall@hci.utah.edu

Shanna Jaggers joined the Center for HOPE in 2021 as a Programs Manager. She holds a Master's in Public Administration, Graduate Certificate in Organization Leadership, and a Bachelors in Sociology with a minor in Social Work from Western Kentucky University. She also has a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification from Purdue University. In 2018 Shanna and her family moved from Indiana to Utah, where she started as a Research Analyst for the Social Research Institute in the College of Social Work. She worked with multiple state agencies on program improvement and implementation and assessments related to youth substance use treatment and delinquency.

Shanna's research interests are related to behavioral and mental health outcomes for underserved populations, child welfare evaluation, and program implementation. She has worked for the Indiana Supreme Court and Indiana Department of Children's Services on program evaluation and data analysis. She was also a certified Child & Family Services Review (CFSR) evaluator for the Children's Bureau.

When she is not doing research (which she loves doing), she spends time outside taking pictures. She hates being indoors and would rather climb a mountain or get the truck stuck in the mud. She has three dogs, (Great Dane, Mini Schnauzer, and English Bulldog). Her husband and daughter have a snake, which she tolerates.

Shanna.Jaggers@hci.utah.edu

Dusti Jones

Dusti Jones

Research Scientist

Dr. Jones, PhD, MS, is a Research Scientist at the Center for Health Outcomes and Population Equity (HOPE) at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Her research examines the processes by which positive emotions may protect against the development of chronic diseases. Critically, all theorized mechanistic pathways by which positive emotions are thought to lead to resilience against chronic disease (e.g., stress-buffering, engagement in adaptive health behaviors, resources building) occurs in moments and build over time, yet few studies examine these processes in natural contexts (e.g., via ecological momentary assessment/ daily diary studies/ mobile sensing). Dr. Jones' work addresses this gab by examining momentary processes in everyday life, focusing on two primary pathways: health behaviors (e.g., smoking, alcohol use, sleep) and physiological stress-processes via biomarkers (e.g., inflammation, cortisol). Through this focus on momentary processes in everyday life, her research advances the field by elucidating when, under what conditions, and what types/patterns of positive emotions are most likely to facilitate long-term resilience against chronic health conditions. Given her focus on understanding biopsychosocial processes in natural contexts, Dr. Jones has developed expertise in the use of innovative methodical and statistical techniques. Her contributions in this area inform how we can better assess intensive longitudinal data and how advanced multilevel statistical techniques can be used to examine mechanistic processes in everyday life.

Prior to joining the Center for HOPE, she earned a PhD in biobehavioral health from Penn State University and a master's degree in experimental psychology from Western Washington University. She holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Western Washington University. Dr. Jones was raised in California and spends her free time laughing at the antics of her husband, three children, and three cats.

Dusti.Jones@hci.utah.edu

Kara Kikuchi

Kara Kikuchi, ND

Community Practice Programs Manager

Dr. Kikuchi earned a Naturopathic Doctorate from Bastyr University and Bachelor of Sciences degrees in Biology and Anthropology from the University of Utah. Prior to joining the Center for HOPE in 2021, she had extensive experience developing and leading provider engagement and health systems change programs across several states. With over a decade of work in tobacco control and nicotine addiction treatment, Dr. Kikuchi came to prioritize health equity and health care quality improvement initiatives. She plans to draw from her experience both with community partnerships and as a primary care physician to develop relationships and create connections as the Community Practice Programs Manager.

kara.kikuchi@hci.utah.edu

Chandler Kotter

Chandler Kotter

Research Assistant

Chandler is an undergraduate student at the University of Utah, studying kinesiology. He is on the pre-med track with the goal of a career in emergency medicine. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife, fly fishing, hiking, and watching sports.

Chandler.Kotter@hci.utah.edu

Anna Martinez

Anna Martinez

Programs Manager

Anna Martinez, MEd, has been working at Huntsman Cancer Institute since fall 2014 and has joined the Center of HOPE in winter 2020. Anna received her master's in education from the University of Utah and has dedicated her career to health education. Her passions include reducing health disparities in communities of color, providing culturally competent health education, and increasing community engagement in clinical research. Outside of the office Anna loves spending time with her partner and their three dogs, traveling, and camping.

anna.martinez@hci.utah.edu

Ray Meads

Ray Meads, PhD

Programs Manager

Ray Meads holds a PhD in social foundation of education and writing studies from the University of Utah. As a researcher, educator, administrator, and organizer whose work seeks to support equity and inclusion in higher education institutions. They support the implementation of evidence-based HPV vaccination intervention in health systems in five Mountain West states: Idaho, Nevada, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming. Outside the office, Ray enjoys trail running, climbing, community organizing, gardening, being a street medic, and adoring a very large Muppet of a dog–Rothko.

Ray.Meads@hci.utah.edu

Jennyffer joined the Center for HOPE in 2019 as a health educator. She supports the implementation of evidence-based tobacco cessation intervention in community health centers throughout Utah. Jennyffer’s career includes working with youth in community-based settings, teaching in higher education institutions, and implementing cancer prevention interventions. Outside the office, Jennyffer maintains a small business, enjoys reading comic books, climbing and outdoor activities, and, most importantly, spending quality time with her partner and their two sons.

Jennyffer.Morales@hci.utah.edu

Brian Orleans

Brian Orleans, MS

Programmer/Analyst

Brian Orleans comes to the Center for HOPE as a data manager by way of being a biostatistician and survey statistician with a wide range of interests. In his previous position as a consulting biostatistician for the in the University of Utah's Division of Epidemiology, he played a leading role in designing, managing data, and performing analysis for a range of COVID-19 epidemiological studies across the state of Utah. Data-wise, some of his interests include R programming, survey methodology, reproducible research, and most importantly, taking a customer-centered approach to data management and statistical consulting. He is very excited to be on a team of impassioned researchers that is so focused on reducing health inequalities, especially through a behavioral and socioeconomic lens. He has an MS in biostatistics from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and a BA from the University of Vermont. Outside of work, Brian enjoys a long list of outdoor activities, reading, and hosting dinner parties.

Brian.Orleans@hci.utah.edu

Leanne Peters

Leanne Peters, MPA

Programs Manager

Leanne Peters earned both a BS in psychology and an MPA at the University of Utah. She has a background in both private sector and nonprofit organizations, with a strong interest in community health and research. She has lived on both coasts of the United States and a couple of places in between, but she has called the beautiful state of Utah home for quite some time. She loves to travel with her family and enjoys good food, drink, and conversation and is also a dog-mom to the most snuggly pibble puppy in the entire world.

leanne.peters@hci.utah.edu

Lindsey Potter

Lindsey Potter, PhD, MPH

Research Instructor

Dr. Potter, PhD, MPH, is a research instructor at the Center for Health Outcomes and Population Equity (HOPE) at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Her research extends the use of novel methodological (e.g., ecological momentary assessment [EMA]), and theoretical frameworks (e.g., intersectionality) to discover factors that influence health risk among individuals who may be marginalized due to one or more aspect of their identity. Dr. Potter's NCI K99/R00 Career Development Award focuses on using mHealth methodology and an intersectionality framework to investigate real-time, real-world factors that influence tobacco use and cancer inequities. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with her three boys.

lindsey.potter@hci.utah.edu

Tracey Siaperas

Tracey Siaperas

Community Health Center Liaison

Tracey Siaperas is the clinical support coordinator for the Association for Utah Community Health (AUCH) and serves as the Community Health Center liaison for HCI’s Center for HOPE and the Utah Department of Health’s Tobacco Prevention and Control Program. In 2016, she moved to Salt Lake City to join the Association for Utah Community Health’s team. At AUCH, she works closely with Utah’s 13 health center organizations to offer trainings and technical assistance focused on tobacco cessation, emergency preparedness, immunizations, and other performance improvement initiatives. Prior to joining AUCH, Tracey gained valuable experience working at a rural Utah Community Health Center. In her spare time, she loves to camp, lounge in the pool, and spend time with her family and border collie, Finnegan.

Tracey@auch.org

Sabrina Thompson

Sabrina Thompson, MS

Administrative Program Coordinator

Sabrina graduated from the University of Utah in 2020 with a BS in psychology and is excited to be part of the mHealth research program that applies innovative mobile health technologies to examine smoking cessation among underserved populations. She hopes to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology as well as develop her skills in research. She is a Utah-native, born and raised in West Valley City, Utah. She spends most of her free time drawing, traveling, and spending time with her friends and family.

Languages Spoken: English and Spanish

Sabrina.Reyes@hci.utah.edu

Jennifer Wirth

Jennifer Wirth, MS

Research Manager

Jennifer Wirth earned her BA in economics and French language from Seattle University and her MS in Human Ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has a background of working in nonprofit organizations that seek to improve child and family wellbeing. Her graduate research focused on the implications of parental incarceration on family systems. Jennifer enjoys many of the activities Utah has to offer including hiking, skiing, and climbing, as well as curling up with her dog and a strong cup of coffee.

jennifer.wirth@hci.utah.edu