Chris Botsko, a senior specialist in community and systems change for Altarum Institute’s Center for Healthy Child and Youth Development, has more than 20 years of experience evaluating and supporting community and systems change initiatives. He is an expert in early childhood systems and has directed a wide variety of evaluation and technical assistance projects. Mr. Botsko has conducted evaluations of and provided support in the implementation of a wide range of evidence-based practices. He led an implementation evaluation of the YMCA’s evidence-based Healthy Weight and Your Child program. Site visits, key informant interviews, and focus groups were used to develop a series of recommendations designed to strengthen the program as it is rolled out to Ys around the country. He conducted a set of evaluations of the evidence-based Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program. These included an evaluation of the training for the program including the use of simulated participant encounters to assess fidelity and an assessment of health care provider engagement.
He led an evaluation of the evidence-based Triple P parenting program implemented through partnerships between local health departments and community health centers. He also conducted a training evaluation related to the implementation of research-based healthy eating standards in child care and after school programs. In addition, he lead an evaluation of the YMCA of the USA’s Community Transformation Grant, which focuses on increasing the use of an evidence-based diabetes prevention program and implementing healthy eating and physical activity standards in child care and afterschool programs for racial and ethnic groups who are disproportionately affected by chronic health problems.
Mr. Botsko has extensive experience supporting and evaluating collaborative efforts to promote healthy living. He served as project director for technical assistance and later evaluation for the State Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems initiative which supported efforts to build comprehensive systems for young children in 49 states and 5 jurisdictions. He later led projects to evaluate and support community-level early childhood systems building in Virginia. He recently led the development of an issue brief for the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) examining collaboration between local health departments and community health centers. He also directed an evaluation of the Every Women Southeast coalition that is focused on improving women’s health and well-being in the southeastern U.S.
Mr. Botsko is an experienced evaluator and researcher who has designed more than a dozen evaluations and conducted hundreds of interviews and dozens of focus groups with diverse populations. Before coming to Altarum, he worked as a research analyst at Child Trends and as project director at the Indiana University Center for Survey Research.