Dr. Collie-Akers earned a B.S.W. from the University of Kansas in 2001 and continued her studies at Saint Louis University where she obtained her M.P.H. with a concentration in Behavioral Science and Health Education in 2003. In 2005, she earned her M.A. in Applied Behavioral Science from the University of Kansas.
Background and Professional Interests
Dr. Collie-Akers holds a Ph.D. in Behavioral Psychology from the University of Kansas, and a Masters of Public Health with a concentration in Behavioral Science and Health Education from Saint Louis University. Her research is primarily focused on applying a community-based participatory research orientation to working with communities to understand how collaborative partnerships and coalitions can improve social determinants of health and equity and reduce disparities in health outcomes.
Dr. Collie-Akers is the principal investigator on the CDC-funded REACH project supporting policy, systems, and environmental changes in Kansas City, Kansas, through the Latino Health for All Coalition. In addition, she has been a lead researcher for community measurement in the National Healthy Communities Study funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute since 2010. Dr. Collie-Akers played a lead role in the community measurement team of the long-term study that explored the association between community programs and policies and prevalence of childhood obesity in 130 communities. In addition, she directs several evaluation projects that support partners such as CityMatCH, who are working to promote health and health equity through their community and public health initiatives.
Since 2013, Dr. Collie-Akers has directed the Academic Health Department at the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department. She has co-led the community health assessment and planning process; designed and implemented an evaluation process examining community health plan implementation; supported the department’s successful application for accreditation; conducted several small evaluation projects; and supported staff capacity-building efforts. She continues to develop research, evaluation, and capacity-building projects in collaboration with Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department staff.
Dr. Collie-Akers has provided consultation to a number of community initiatives on topics including evaluation, logic model development, and sustainability. She also leads capacity-building training through in-person workshops and webinars for public health practitioners and grassroots community representatives.