Meghan M. JaKa, PhD
Senior Evaluation Scientist, Supervisor, Center for Evaluation and Survey Research (CESR)
"As scientists, healthcare professionals, and members of own communities, we must remain curious and optimistic about the world around us, seeking to understand how we can improve individual, interpersonal, and systems factors that build intergenerational well-being."

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

Research interests:
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

  • Senior Evaluation Scientist, Center for Evaluation and Survey Research 2018 -
  • Publications While At HealthPartners
    selected publications
    Journal Article
  • "I'm torn": qualitative analysis of dental practitioner-perceived barriers, facilitators, and solutions to HPV vaccine promotion
    Healthcare. 2024
  • Qualitative interviews to add patient perspectives in colorectal cancer screening: improvements in a learning health system
    Journal of Cancer Education. 2024
  • The role of care coordination: a qualitative study of care coordinator perceptions
    Journal of Nursing Care Quality. 2024
  • Care coordination in primary care: mapping the territory
    American Journal of Managed Care. 2023
  • Inequalities in communicating about nutrition information during prenatal care: the after-visit summary
    American journal of health education. 2023
  • Survey-based evaluation of a fish consumption information dissemination campaign within an integrated health system: learnings from ChooseYourFish
    Journal of Primary Care & Community Health. 2023
  • The impact of COVID-19 on patients receiving care coordination in primary care: a qualitative study
    Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. 2023
  • The most common medications dispensed to lactating persons: an electronic health record-based approach
    Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety. 2023
  • Behaviors, beliefs, and recommendations to optimize promotion of safe fish consumption before and during pregnancy: a physician survey
    Journal of Primary Care & Community Health. 2022
  • Comparing pharmacist-led telehealth care and clinic-based care for uncontrolled high blood pressure: the Hyperlink 3 pragmatic cluster-randomized trial
    Hypertension (Dallas, Tex.. 2022
  • Comparison of explanatory and pragmatic design choices in a cluster-randomized hypertension trial: effects on enrollment, participant characteristics, and adherence
    Trials. 2022
  • Reach in a pragmatic hypertension trial: a critical RE-AIM component
    Contemporary Clinical Trials. 2022
  • "I know my body better than you:" patient focus groups to inform a decision aid on oral corticosteroid use during pregnancy
    Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety. 2021
  • Applying the behavior change technique taxonomy to four multicomponent childhood obesity interventions
    Western Journal of Nursing Research. 2021
  • Impact of demographic survey questions on response rate and measurement: a randomized experiment
    Survey Practice. 2021
  • It's important to hear and learn from youth experiencing homelessness in the Twin Cities
    MinnPost. 2021
  • It’s important to hear and learn from youth experiencing homelessness in the Twin Cities
    MinnPost. 2021
  • Pragmatic evaluation of a health system-based employee weight management program
    International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021
  • Primary care physician perspectives on using team care in clinical practice
    Journal of the American Pharmacists Association. 2021
  • Promoting fish consumption messages: perspectives of hmong women of childbearing age
    American Journal of Health Behavior. 2021
  • A strategy to promote population-wide life satisfaction while advancing equity
    American Journal of Managed Care. 2020
  • Patient and care team perspectives of telemedicine in critical access hospitals
    Journal of Hospital Medicine. 2020
  • Baseline diet quality of predominantly minority children and adolescents from households characterized by low socioeconomic status in the Childhood Obesity Prevention and Treatment Research (COPTR) Consortium
    BMC nutrition. 2019
  • Quasi-experimental evaluation of LifeCourse on utilization and patient and caregiver quality of life and experience
    American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care. 2019
  • The Healthy Homes/Healthy Kids 5-10 Obesity Prevention Trial: 12 and 24-month outcomes
    Pediatric Obesity. 2019
  • The predicted impact of adopting health-promoting behaviors on disease burden in a commercially insured population
    Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2019
  • Understanding outcomes in behavior change interventions to prevent pediatric obesity: the role of dose and behavior change techniques
    Health Education and Behavior. 2019
  • Multicomponent obesity prevention intervention in low-income preschoolers: primary and subgroup analyses of the NET-Works Randomized Clinical Trial, 2012-2017
    American Journal of Public Health. 2018
  • Novel patterns of physical activity in a large sample of preschool-aged children
    BMC public health. 2018
  • Rationale for routine collection of patient reported outcomes during integrative medicine consultation visits
    Complementary Therapies in Medicine. 2018
  • Decision trees in epidemiological research
  • Feasibility of standardized methods to specify behavioral pediatric obesity prevention interventions
    Journal of Behavioral Medicine. 2017
  • Parent choice in a pediatric obesity prevention intervention
  • Parent's physical activity associated with preschooler activity in underserved populations
    American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2017
  • Predicting dietary intake among children classified as overweight or at risk for overweight: Independent and interactive effects of parenting practices and styles
    Appetite. 2017
  • Physical changes in the home environment to reduce television viewing and sugar-sweetened beverage consumption among 5- to 12-year-old children: a randomized pilot study
    Pediatric Obesity. 2016
  • Describing the relationship between occupational and non-occupational physical activity using objective measurement
    Preventive medicine reports. 2015
  • Household factors, family behavior patterns, and adherence to dietary and physical activity guidelines among children at risk for obesity
    Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 2015
  • Mediation of weight loss and weight loss maintenance through dietary disinhibition and restraint
  • Objectively coding intervention fidelity during a phone-based obesity prevention study
  • Pediatric primary care-based obesity prevention for parents of preschool children: a pilot study
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