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Health Research & Evaluation

You may need guidance to boost your project or take it in a new direction. You may wonder if you are getting the most for the dollars spent, or if your program is making a real impact.

We specialize in these data collection activities:

  • Focus groups
  • In-depth interviews
  • Media monitoring
  • Observation
  • Surveys

ORAU evaluation specialists can help move projects forward in an efficient, data-driven manner that matches the specific need and audience. They have experience in setting up projects with clear and measurable goals and objectives, identifying the best approaches to gather data for your evaluation, and utilizing cost-effective data collection methods to measure short-term, intermediate and long-term outcomes. ORAU evaluation specialists use this data to demonstrate research findings, lessons learned and best practices for clients.

Our team can tailor a plan that is right for your evaluation needs. Surveys, interviews, message testing and other data collection efforts are designed thoughtfully and conducted skillfully to obtain credible results. Our experienced team will collaborate with you to develop the evidence-based insights you need.

Small group discussing health communication materials

What we do

A research and evaluation project will follow a sequence of action steps:

  • Develop a program logic model and an evaluation plan
  • Design and conduct data collection activities
  • Conduct data analysis (qualitative and quantitative)
  • Prepare a final report with recommendations for program improvements

What we offer

  • Highly educated and experience staff with expertise in a broad range of subject areas
  • Flexible evaluation plans based on timeline, budget and needs
  • Expertise in navigating time-consuming federal research regulations, including a track record of success in obtaining Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approvals
Could immersive virtual reality provide a path to increased flu vaccination rates?

Could immersive virtual reality provide a path to increased flu vaccination rates?

Imagine you are in a restaurant enjoying a quiet dinner with friends when someone sneezes, spreading the influenza virus to the people around him. That’s the beginning of an immersive virtual reality simulation that shows how flu spreads and impacts the health of other people. Researchers at ORAU and the University of Georgia hope such simulations will encourage more people to get a flu vaccine.

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Our Experts

Julie Crumly, Ph.D.

Julie Crumly, Ph.D.

Expertise: Health and education program evaluation, research methods and data analysis, multicultural and social psychology, evaluation of health interventions and programs, and outcome evaluations for continuing medical education

Co-author: “Non-pharmaceutical interventions for pandemic influenza: An assessment of communication, training, and guidance needs of state, tribal, local, and territorial public health officials,” 2018

Certification: Master Certified Health Education Specialist

Kelli Bursey

Kelli Bursey, M.P.H.

Expertise: Formative research, health communication, formative and summative evaluation, facilitating and moderating focus groups, in-depth interviews, message testing

Bursey has more than 10 years of experience managing formative research, health communication and evaluation projects. She has extensive qualitative analytical and research skills using software such as NVivo and Atlas.ti, as well as quantitative analytical experience using SPSS. She also maintains thorough knowledge of Office of Management and Budget and Institutional Review Board policies.


Certifications: Certified Health Education Specialist; Certificate of Proficiency in Qualitative Research, Burke Institute; ThinkTank Session Leader Training Course Certification

Jennifer Reynolds

Jennifer Reynolds, M.P.H.

Expertise: Health communication, social marketing, social media, behavioral science research

Reynolds has more than 15 years of experience managing research, health communication, and social marketing projects for local, state, and federal entities and nonprofit agencies


Certification: Certified Health Education Specialist, ThinkTank Certified Facilitator, Certificate of Proficiency in Qualitative Research

Betsy Smither

Betsy Smither, M.P.H.

Expertise: Program evaluation and formative research, including designing, conducting, and analyzing projects using mixed-methods data collection. Facilitates interviews and focus groups with a variety of audience segments, including healthcare providers and public health experts; and conducts large-scale surveys to better understand target audiences.


Certification: Certified Health Education Specialist

Contact us

For information about ORAU’s health communication, preparedness and response solutions, contact Freddy Gray, director, Health Communication and Preparedness programs, at 865.576.0029 or