Connie Baird-Thomas

Associate Director, SSRC Policy Studies Associate Director, SSRC Policy Studies and Director, Evaluation and Research Group (ERG), SSRC
Ph.D., Sociology, Mississippi State University

Email: Connie.Baird@ssrc.msstate.edu
Phone: (601) 407-2742

Dr. Baird-Thomas is the Associate Director of the Social Science Center for Policy Studies and Director of the newly established Evaluation Research Group, which offers a range of evaluation and research support services to local, state, and national organizations.

Dr. Baird-Thomas received her undergraduate degree from Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, MS. She began her graduate studies at Washington University, St. Louis in the areas of Sociology and Criminology. She received the Ph.D. in Sociology from Mississippi State University.

Dr. Baird-Thomas’s primary interests include program evaluation, health equity and STD/HIV prevention among youth at-risk for sexually transmitted infections. She is currently leading the Mississippi Data Project, which provides data and research for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and its grantees. As Co-Principal Investigator of the Mississippi Child Health Development Project (SSRC) she helps lead efforts to improve child health by building a statewide system of early childhood developmental screenings and interventions.

In the area of program evaluation, Dr. Baird-Thomas has over 15 years’ experience and has been either the lead evaluator or co-investigator for numerous program evaluations. Recent evaluation efforts include: The Fatherhood Initiative of the Healthy Families Mississippi home visiting program (Mississippi Department of Human Services); Health Help Mississippi (Mississippi Health Advocacy Program); Mississippi Delta Health Collaborative (Mississippi State Department of Health/CDC); and Mississippi TRIALS Research Center (National Institutes of Health).

She is a current member of the American Evaluation Association.

Dr. Baird-Thomas’s research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Mississippi State Department of Health, the Mississippi Department of Human Services and the Mississippi Health Advocacy program. Her work has been published in Health and Justice, Evaluation and Program Planning, the Journal of Adolescent Health, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, and Criminal Justice and Behavior.

Select Publications and Presentations

Gardner, S.K., Elkington, K.S., Knight, D. K., Huang, S. DiClemente, R.J., Spaulding, A.C., Oser, C. B., Robertson, A. A., Baird-Thomas, C. (2019). “Juvenile justice staff endorsement of HIV/STI prevention, testing, and treatment linkage.” Health and Justice 7:1.

Fisher, J.H., Becan, J.E., Harris, P.W., Nager, A., Baird-Thomas, C., Hogue, A., Bartkowski, Wiley, T. and the JJ-TRIALS Collaborative. (2018). “Using Goal Achievement Training in juvenile justice settings to improve substance use services for youth on community supervision.” Health and Justice 6:10.

Hood, K. B., Robertson, A. A., and Baird-Thomas, C. (2015). “Implementing solutions to barriers to on-site HIV testing in substance abuse treatment: a tale of three facilities.” Evaluation and Program Planning. April 49:1-9.

Robertson, A., St. Lawrence, J., Morse, D., Baird-Thomas, C., Liew, H. and Gresham, K.  (2011). “The Healthy Teen Girls Project:  Comparison of health education and STD risk reduction intervention for incarcerated adolescent females.” Health Education and Behavior. June 38(3): 241-50.

Robertson, A., D. Morse, and C. Baird-Thomas. (2009). “Hurricane Katrina’s impact on the mental health of adolescent female offenders.” Anxiety, Stress and Coping. 2009 July 22(4):433-448.

St. Lawrence, J., Snodgrass, C.E., Robertson, A., and Baird Thomas, C. (2008). “Minimizing the risk of pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and HIV among incarcerated adolescent girls: identifying potential points of intervention.” Criminal Justice and Behavior. Dec 35(12): 1500-1514.

Robertson, A., Baird-Thomas, C., St. Lawrence, J., Pack R. (2005). “Predictors of infection with chlamydia or gonorrhea in incarcerated adolescents.” Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Feb: 32(2) 115-122.

Robertson, A., Stein, J. Baird-Thomas, C.  (2006). “Gender differences in the prediction of condom use among incarcerated juvenile offenders: testing the Information-Motivation-Behavior Skills (IMB) model.” Journal of Adolescent Health. Jan: 38(1) 18-25.

Robertson, A.A., J.A. Stein, and C. Baird-Thomas. (2008). “Child victimization and parental monitoring as mediators of youth problem behaviors.” Criminal Justice Behavior. June: 35(6)755-771.

Publications and Technical Reports

Baird-Thomas, C. and Harris, C. (2016). “Birth Outcomes in Mississippi.” Issue brief prepared for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

McKee, C., Southward, L., Baird-Thomas, C., Walker, B., McCown, J., Buffington, A., Bell, L., Campbell, R., Blalock, L., Bryan, J., Long, B., & Rutland, S. (2014). “Project Fit America program evaluation final report.” Prepared for Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Mississippi.

Baird-Thomas, C. (2014). Healthy Homes Mississippi: updated state early childhood home visiting plan final report. Prepared for the Mississippi Department of Human Services, Division of Early Childhood Care and Development.

Baird-Thomas, C. (2013). “Affordable Care Act Implementation project evaluation report, year II.” Prepared for the Mississippi Health Advocacy Program.

Baird-Thomas, C. (2012). “Addressing teen pregnancy and teen births in Mississippi.” Issue brief prepared for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Baird-Thomas, C. (2012). Affordable Care Act implementation project evaluation report, Year I. Prepared for the Mississippi Health Advocacy Program.

Baird-Thomas, C. (2012).  “Infant health: infant mortality, low birth weight and preterm birth.” Issue brief prepared for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Baird-Thomas, C. “Early care and education.” (2012). Issue brief prepared for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Baird-Thomas, C. (2011). Medicaid Family Planning Waiver Program evaluation: year II final report. Submitted to e Q Health Solutions.

Baird-Thomas, C. (2010). Mississippi 2010 Home Visiting Program needs assessment. Final Report prepared for the Mississippi Department of Human Services.

Baird-Thomas, C. (2010). Medicaid Family Planning Waiver Program evaluation: year I final report. Submitted to eQ Health Solutions.

Recent Grants

2018-2023. Centers for Disease Control (subcontract of MSU Extension to SSRC). “Evaluation of Aim for Change High Obesity Project” Co-Investigator

2017-2020. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). “Early Childhood Developmental Health System: Implementation in a High Need State,” Co-Investigator at SSRC

2019- 2022. W.K. Kellogg Foundation. “Mississippi Data Project,” Principal Investigator

2016- 2019. W.K. Kellogg Foundation. “Mississippi Data Project,” Co-Principal Investigator

March 2016-December 2017. Mississippi Pediatric Clinical Trials /ISPCTN, University of Mississippi Medical Center. Independent Evaluator. Dr. Rob Annett, PI.

2016-2019. Mississippi Health Advocacy Program. “Evaluation of the Health Help Mississippi program.” Principal Investigator

2016-2017. Tougaloo College. “Evaluation of the Mississippi Action Network for Uplifting Promise (MAN-UP) project,” Principal Investigator

2015-2016. Mississippi Department of Human Services. “Fatherhood Initiative Evaluation,” Principal Investigator

2014-2016. Mississippi State Department of Health. “Evaluation of the Mississippi Delta Health Collaborative,” Co-Investigator

2013-2018. National Institutes of Health. “Mississippi TRIALS Research Center,” Co-Investigator

August 2011-September 2011. W.K. Kellogg Foundation. “Child and Community Data Project,” Co-Investigator

2011-2015. W.K. Kellogg Foundation. “Mississippi Children and Families Data Project,” Co-Principal Investigator.

2011-2014. Mississippi Health Advocacy Program. “Evaluation of the Affordable Care Act Implementation Project,” Principal Investigator

March 2011-May 2011. eQHealth Solutions. “Family Planning Waiver Program Assessment, Year II,” Principal Investigator

August 2010-July 2011. Mississippi Department of Human Services. “Home Visiting Program,” Principal Investigator

March 2010-May 2010. eQHealth Solutions. “Family Planning Waiver Program Assessment, Year I,” Principal Investigator

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