Cheryl Kelly, PhD, MPH, MA

Evaluation Investigator

BaylissCheryl 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 13 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 Benefit department. Her work with the Community Benefit & Relations 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 will assess 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: 9/30/2020

  • Community Health Initiatives Evaluation

    The purpose of this evaluation is to conduct a cross-site evaluation of communities across Colorado implementing healthy eating and active living strategies. The strategies focuses on policy, environmental and lifestyle changes that remove barriers and increase access to healthy behaviors. The evaluation is assessing behavior change in these communities over a 9-year time period.
    Funder: Kaiser Permanente Colorado Community Benefit
    Award End Date: 12/31/2020

  • 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, a five-year, $4.5 million initiative to inspire and support the development of healthy communities. The evaluation is expected to assess the extent to which three different communities were successful in implementing strategies to increase physical activity, and the extent to which the changes resulted in increased physical activity. The contract is for one year, but renewable for four years.
    Funder: Colorado Health Foundation
    Award End Date: 5/31/2018

  • CCPD Evaluation Program
    The goal of this project is to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of 62 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: 6/30/2018