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The Kepka group is engaged in population science research that addresses cancer health equity related to cancer risk in vulnerable populations, with the goal of driving quality improvement and increased access to primary health care services for cancer prevention and control among underserved populations.

Major areas of focus for the Kepka group are the low rates of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination in Utah, and cervical cancer prevention among rural populations. HPV can cause cervical, oral, anal, penile, and vaginal cancers and is responsible for over 20,000 cancers every year.

Despite strong evidence of the efficacy and safety of HPV vaccines, the utilization and completion rates of this vaccine among adolescents in Utah is lowest in the nation. The issue of low HPV vaccination is particularly critical for underserved groups who have the highest incidence of cervical cancer.

The Kepka group also maintains strong collaborative partnerships with various community stakeholders to identify barriers to and facilitators of population-based cancer prevention behavioral change in the community, develop strategic interventions, and assess the feasibility and sustainability of provider and system level changes.

Deanna Kepka, PhD, MPH, MA

Principal Investigator

2000 Circle of Hope, Rm 4144
Salt Lake City, UT 84112

Phone: 801-587-4565