Public Health Evaluations

Active Projects

State Opioid Response

(2019 – 2020)

Beginning in 2019 the Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) received the State Opioid Response Grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to reduce opioid misuse and overdose.  OBH is funding programming in the areas of prevention, treatment, recovery, criminal justice and harm reduction.

The Evaluation Center supports the monitoring and evaluation for the SOR project.  For monitoring, The Evaluation Center collects the mandatory federal reporting information through the GPRA (Government Performance and Results Act) Client Outcome Measures Tool.  Data are collected from individuals served through the grant at regular intervals.

The Evaluation Center is also carrying out evaluations of four separate initiatives funded under SOR, these include:

  1. Peer Recovery Coaches – a program which employs peers with lived experience to connect with and support individuals in the community with opioid use disorder, with the goal of linking those individuals with relevant support and treatment resources.
  2. Mobile Health Units – a program that will provide Medication Assisted Treatment and behavioral health support to individuals with Substance Use Disorder living in underserved rural communities.
  3. Individual Placement Support (IPS) Services – an initiative being implemented at three locations in Colorado which provides employment coaching and assistance to individuals in recovery.
  4. Jail-based MAT and Transition Services program – an initiative that aims to increase access to MAT for individuals in county jails and provide continuity of treatment for individuals as they transition back into the communities.

The Evaluation Center employs a variety of qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis approaches across the project.

Colorado DHS Office of Behavioral Health

Community Coalition Study for Strategic Prevention Framework – Partnerships for Success

(2014 – 2019)

In addition to the cross-site evaluation of the SPF – PFS grant, The Evaluation Center is currently conducting a study of the six community health coalitions that implement the primary prevention strategies. The purpose of the study is to increase understanding of the factors and processes that contribute to the successful development, functioning, and sustainability of these coalitions and ways in which any barriers were overcome. Results of the study will be shared with local communities for use in ongoing improvement of the coalitions’ effectiveness and with the larger field of community substance abuse prevention.

Colorado DHS Office of Behavioral Health

Marijuana Prevention Education Collaboration Project

(2018 – 2020)

The Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) has partnered with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), The Evaluation Center and the Rocky Mountain Public Health Training Center (RMPHTC) at the University of Colorado Anschutz to support prevention education with the end goal of reducing youth marijuana use and delaying the age that youth first use marijuana. Specifically, the project aims to reduce youth use and misuse of marijuana by providing prevention education to professionals within prioritized rural communities. The Evaluation Center’s two primary roles on the project are to 1) support the prioritization of high need rural communities and conduct a community level needs assessment of marijuana prevention education and 2) conduct an evaluation of marijuana prevention education trainings provided.

Rise Above Colorado

(2017 – 2020)

The Evaluation Center is working with Rise Above Colorado (RAC), a local nonprofit whose mission is to empower youth to a life free of drug abuse, to develop an evaluation of its current efforts.

RAC identifies community organizations who work with youth and prescription drug misuse to offer them a variety of supports, including training on using the Positive Youth Development Framework, implementing social norming campaigns, and raising awareness on safe use, storage, and disposal of prescription drugs.

RAC hopes to better understand the value and effectiveness of its partnerships, support, and training. The Evaluation Center will conduct a mixed-methods evaluation using surveys, interviews, and document reviews. Evaluators will use a participatory approach in instrument development, data interpretation, and evaluation dissemination. Annual surveys will be administered to understand changes in community partner attitudes, knowledge, skills, and intent because of their relationship with RAC. Evaluators will also interview community partners to gain a deeper understanding of how partnering with RAC has led to changes in practice and how partnerships can be strengthened. Throughout the project, The Evaluation Center will collect and review community partner documents to triangulate survey and interview data.

Colorado DHS Office of Behavioral Health

Strategic Prevention Framework – Partnerships for Success

(2014 – 2019)

The Evaluation Center is currently working with the Colorado Department of Human Services Office of Behavioral Health to evaluate the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Strategic Prevention Framework – Partnerships for Success (SPF-PFS) grant. The primary goal of the grant is to reduce the use of marijuana and alcohol among youth ages 12 – 20 and reduce the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs among youth ages 12 – 25.

The federal grant provides funding to support six Colorado counties in their efforts to implement primary prevention strategies. The grant also supports state level initiatives such as the forming of a state epidemiology outcomes workgroup.

The Evaluation Center supports the SPF-PFS program by facilitating the cross-site evaluation for all Colorado sub-grantees, providing evaluation expertise to the state level initiatives, and providing training and technical assistance to sub-grantees around the use of data and evaluation methodologies.

Past Projects

The Asia Foundation


Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver

(2016 – 2018)

State Tobacco Education and Prevention Partnership

(2015 – 2018)

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