We’re excited to introduce you to our new staff member, Joan Connelly! Joan is a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Public Health Associate (PHAP) and she will be working with the Utah Arthritis team for the next two years. Lucky us! The Public Health Associate Program (PHAP) is a competitive, two-year, paid training program with the CDC. PHAP associates are assigned to public health agencies and nongovernmental organizations in the United States and US territories, and work alongside other professionals across a variety of public health settings.

Throughout the two-year training program, associates gain hands-on experience that will serve as a foundation for their public health careers. After completing the program, PHAP graduates are qualified to apply for jobs with public health agencies and organizations. Let’s get to know Joan!

Who Inspires You?

Mark Ruffalo is one of the many people who deeply inspire me. As a youngster, I learned so much about the environmental public health issues that I’m strongly passionate about through his documentaries and advocacy work that shaped my personal and career interests. I’m heavily inspired by people in high-profile positions who use their platform to educate the public and advocate for the underrepresented groups who wouldn’t otherwise have an audience.

What is the Last Book You Read?

Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival by Laurence Gonzalez

What is Your Secret Talent?

Cooking appetizers and dips

What Else Should We Know About You?

Joan is a recent transplant from New Jersey who is excited to be living in such a gorgeous area. In her free time, she enjoys reading, trying new restaurants, and exploring the outdoors. She’s very interested in how environmental pollutants impact chronic disease outcomes and hopes to eventually work in environmental epidemiology.

Welcome to the team, Joan!