Cheryl Kelly, PhD, MPH, MA

Evaluation Investigator

KellyCheryl Kelly, PhD, MPH, MA, is an Evaluation Investigator at the Institute for Health Research and leads the Partners in Evaluation & Research Center (PiER). For the past 15 years, Dr. Kelly has been actively involved in several small, targeted evaluation projects as well as large, multi-site evaluation efforts. These evaluation projects have provided Dr. Kelly with a unique set of skills in evaluating a wide range of projects in diverse settings. Dr. Kelly and her team provide intensive evaluation technical assistance to a variety of organizations, representing both urban and rural settings and diverse agencies (e.g., worksites, schools, local government, and clinics). Her evaluation projects incorporate multiple methods and interdisciplinary approaches to gather qualitative and quantitative data including web-based monitoring systems to collect data, direct observation of behaviors and environments, GIS mapping, concept mapping, policy analysis, partnership surveys, population surveys, qualitative interviews, focus groups and sustainability assessments. Through all of her work, Dr. Kelly uses a collaborative approach to develop and implement evaluation plans.

Dr. Kelly earned her PhD in Public Health Sciences (emphasis in Behavioral Science) at Saint Louis University where she also completed her Master of Public Health degree. She splits her time between the IHR and the Kaiser Permanente Colorado Community Health & Engagement department. Her work with the Community Health & Engagement department centers around evaluating community health initiatives prioritized through a local community health needs assessment.

Dr. Kelly is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Behavioral Science and Health Education at the Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice, serves as a reviewer for a number of academic journals, and is an Associate Editor for the Health Behavior and Policy Review.


Selected Research & Evaluation

  • Inspire Initiative Evaluation

    The purpose of this evaluation is to assess the impact of the Inspire Initiative on youth access to the outdoors, value of the outdoors and time spent outdoors. The Inspire Initiative is deigned to Inspire children and their families to enjoy the outdoors from the backyard to the backcountry. An emphasis is placed on investments in the places people live and play, programs for youth and families to activate those places and pathways for older youth to gain leadership experience in the outdoors. The evaluation is assessing the impact of the place improvements as well as programs and pathways across all funded communities using a web-based quantitative reporting tool, key informant interviews and youth surveys. Additionally, the evaluation will use social network analysis to assess the quantity and strength of partner collaborations within community coalitions.
    Funder: Great Outdoors Colorado
    Award End Date: 9/30/2021

  • HDGP Evaluation

    The Office of Health Equity’s (OHE) Health Disparities Grant Program (HDGP) is providing support to agencies across Colorado to address upstream determinants of health (e.g., housing, education) with the goal of improving downstream health outcomes (e.g., access to care, decreased chronic disease rates). Grantees are focusing on changing systems and policies that impact the upstream determinants of health. The goal of the evaluation is to design and implement a utilization-focused evaluation to assess the impact of the initiative on systems and policies, equitable access to resources and health disparities. The main outcomes of the evaluation are documenting shifts in the availability, accessibility and acceptability of social and economic resources.
    Funder: Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, Office of Health Equity
    Award End Date: 12/31/2021

  • An Evaluation of Healthy Places: Designing an Active Colorado

    The purpose of this project is to evaluate the Colorado Health Foundation's Healthy Places: Designing an Active Colorado, an initiative designed to leverage the power of a community’s culture and creativity to develop strategies that improve the built environment and increases residents’ access to physical activity. The evaluation is measuring the extent to which communities authentically engage community residents in the decision making about the built environment and the impact of the community-drive process on the built environment.
    Funder: Colorado Health Foundation
    Award End Date: 12/31/2022

  • CCPD Evaluation Program
    The goal of this project is to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of 22 organizations or sites implementing strategies ranging from healthy eating and active living policies, clinical systems improvement and patient navigators and community health workers. The purpose of the evaluation is to document and assess changes in healthy behaviors (e.g., physical activity, healthy eating, HPV vaccination, self-measured blood pressure) and health outcomes (e.g., diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension) over a three-year period.
    Funder: Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment
    Award End Date: 12/31/2021