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About Us

program photoThe Utah Arthritis Program, in the Utah Department of Health, was created in 1999 to improve the quality of life for people affected by arthritis. The program receives money from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Administration on Aging (AoA) to track how many Utahns have arthritis, provide arthritis education and increase participation in programs proven to help people with arthritis.


To increase self-management skills and improve the quality of life for all Utahns affected by arthritis and other chronic conditions.

Mission Statement

We provide technical assistance and coordination to expand reach and achieve sustainability of evidence-based self-management programs for all Utahns affected by arthritis and other chronic conditions through statewide partnerships.

Nichole Shepard, MPH, EP-C

Program Manager
(801) 538-6259

Nichole Shepard received her B.S. in Exercise and Sports Science and a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Utah and her Masters of Public Health from Westminster College. She is a certified exercise physiologist and has been in the health & wellness industry for 13 years. She is a Master Trainer for multiple nationally recognized evidence-based programs. Her interests in public health include chronic disease prevention and self-management, health education, administration and policy. Nichole currently serves as the Program Manager for the Utah Asthma Program and the Utah Arthritis Program. In addition, Nichole serves as an adjunct faculty with Westminster College.

Rebecca Castleton, CHES

Program Coordinator
(801) 538-9340

Rebecca Castleton has been in the Utah Arthritis Program since November 2008. She administers arthritis self-management interventions throughout the state through program planning, implementation, and evaluation. She is involved with public outreach and building partnerships with other agencies to increase awareness of and participation in arthritis-related and chronic disease self-management programs. Rebecca received a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health from Brigham Young University and was CHES certified in 2009. She brings experience in infant mortality program services, nation-wide research on reduced tobacco use in Russia, and international micro-business and health education experience in El Salvador.

Stephanie George, MPH

(801) 538-6372

Stephanie received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition at Southern Utah University followed by a Master in Public Health degree at Brigham Young University. She started working as an epidemiologist for the Utah Arthritis, Asthma, and Disabilities programs in November 2016. Previously, she worked with the Utah Tobacco Control Program and the Utah Cancer Control Program where her responsibilities included piloting and managing a youth nicotine cessation program and evaluating the effectiveness of media campaigns and health systems change projects.She also worked as a data analyst for a Freedom from Hunger project designed to improve the well-being of women in disaster prone areas of Burkina-Faso.

Keegan McCaffrey

Program Specialist
(801) 538-9458

Keegan McCaffrey is stationed with the Utah Arthritis Program for two years through the CDC Public Health Associate Program (PHAP). He began in October 2015 and works towards the implementation and sustainability of evidence-based chronic disease self-management programs. Keegan also oversees media, public relations, and Living Well peer leader training. He has a Bachelors of Arts and Sciences from the University of Colorado and has experience in program planning and evaluation, West Nile Virus prevention, and disease ecology research.


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