Meghan JaKa, PhD is a healthcare evaluator and behavioral researcher with a background in behavioral, qualitative, and epidemiologic methods. She received a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology from Rutgers University, a master’s degree in Physical Activity and Health from Oregon State University and a doctorate in Social and Behavioral Epidemiology from the University of Minnesota. Her methodologic expertise focus on intervention design and fidelity measurement using behavioral theory as well as quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods. Her content-area expertise center around perinatal and early childhood factors influencing eating, activity, and whole-child growth.
Dr. JaKa is a Senior Evaluation Scientist in HealthPartners Institute’s Center for Evaluation and Survey Research (CESR) where she leads a number of evaluation projects with partners across the health system. These projects include formative, process, and outcome evaluations in partnership with HealthPartners health plan, care group, and community relations and partnering community organizations. She also leads CESR’s qualitative service line, overseeing interview, focus group, and electronic health record chart abstraction projects.
Dr. JaKa also participates in and leads research studies related to eating, activity, and growth and is an affiliate member of the Institute’s Pregnancy and Child Health Research Center. Her research partnerships also focus on the behavioral and system-level mechanisms behind healthcare decision-making and the measurement of intervention fidelity in implementation science.
Conducting Institute research since 2009.
Education and Training:
2012-2016 PhD Social & Behavioral Epidemiology, University of Minnesota
2007-2009 MS Physical Activity & Health, Oregon State University
2004-2007 BS Exercise Physiology, Rutgers University
Dr. JaKa’s work focusing on using qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods to improve programs across the organization and answer research questions related to health system decision making. She also focuses on family and community factors related to eating, activity, and whole-child growth in the perinatal period.
Current research activities and funding:
2022-2023 Willis H, Improving Time in Range and Diet Quality by Using a Nutrition-Focused Approach to Teach Continuous Glucose Monitoring, American Diabetes Association, Co-Investigator
2022-2024 Willis H, Perspectives on Using a Nutrition-Focused Approach when Initiating Continuous Glucose Monitoring in People with Type 2 Diabetes: A Qualitative Study, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation, Co-Investigator
2021-2025 Hanson L, A Technology-Driven Intervention to Improve Early Detection and Management of Cognitive Impairment, NIA, Co-Investigator
2022-2023 Hanson L, Mindfulness-Based Dementia Care Partner Program to Reduce Depressive Symptoms, NIA, Co-Investigator
2020-2024 Martens T, Comparing Fingerstick Blood Glucose Monitoring versus Continuous Glucose Monitoring in Primary Care, PCORI, Co-Investigator
2020-2023 Solberg L, Comparing Two Approaches to Care Coordination for High-Cost/High-Need Patients in Primary Care, PCORI, Co-Investigator