Megan Cotter, MPH

Senior Associate Scientist, Population Sciences

At ACS since 2018

As a Senior Associate Scientist, Megan M. Cotter, MPH, serves as a program evaluator and expert in qualitative data analysis and implementation science. She leads the design, implementation, and evaluation of several community-based pilot programs for cancer prevention and early detection, original research projects, and ECHO clinics.

Cotter also serves on several American Cancer Society (ACS) advisory groups and roundtables by providing evidence synthesis and evaluation guidance. As an evaluator, she aims to help stakeholders monitor and measure program progress and outcomes, examine successes and challenges to intervention implementation, and describe the implications of ACS research and pilot programs for patients, providers, communities, and policies.

Research focus and accomplishments

I use surveys, interviews, focus groups, and other program data to study program implementation, outcomes, and sustainability, and I share my findings for patients, providers, communities, and policies.

As an intern with ACS, I assisted with the evaluation of several Community Health Advocates Implementing Nationwide Grants for Empowerment and Equity (CHANGE) grants. Now as a staff member, I continue to evaluate and study new CHANGE grants to discover more about intervention implementation in order to improve care delivery for patients in low-income settings.

I helped a team from the Academy of Oncology Nurse Navigators conduct a pilot study and create the AONN+ 2020 Navigation Metrics Toolkit to help patient navigators understand and implement navigation metrics.

ACS is a hub for Project ECHO, which aims to virtually connect health professionals across the United States and internationally to share knowledge and improve patient outcomes. I help ACS ECHO programs evaluate things like participants’ satisfaction, knowledge, and practice changes.

Since 2018, I have been evaluating the Health Centers Advancing Lung Cancer Early Detection (HALE) pilot program to understand how to implement lung cancer screening programs. We are working to understand how to improve access to lung cancer screening for patients across the country. Though the pilot project has ended, we are still using the findings to inform new research projects and grant programs at the ACS.Publications

For a full list of Cotter's publications, visit her Google Scholar page.  


Work before ACS

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ORISE Evaluation Fellow

Professional organizations

  • American Evaluation Association, Member
  • American Public Health Association, Member


  • MPH: Concentration in Behavioral Science, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health
  • BS: Health Administration and Policy, Creighton University: 

Personal life 

I live in Atlanta and can probably be found reading on my porch or playing with dogs in a park.