Meet Our Team

Dr. Karissa Horton, Ph.D. and Dr. Jennifer Loyo, Ph.D., R.D.N

We believe that every person deserves the opportunity to enjoy a healthy life. We believe that your demographic characteristics and the zip code in which you live should not limit your aspirations for a healthy life. Through our research, we give voice to those who aren't normally asked their opinion and we work to help the organizations and institutions that serve them understand how to best meet their needs with understanding, respect, and dignity. From development, implementation, and evaluation of culturally relevant health-related materials, services, and trainings, to state-wide program and policy changes, we work with a diverse range of clients to improve the delivery of health-related services to all, but especially the most vulnerable among us.

 

We are health research and evaluation professionals who love what we do. We have extensive expertise and involvement with the development, implementation, analysis, and evaluation of small and large-scale quantitative and qualitative research projects at the national, state, and local level. We are known for using innovative market research techniques to determine the underlying factors and emotions that impact behavior change.

Karissa Horton, Ph.D.

Co-founder and Principal Consultant

Dr. Karissa Horton was trained at the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned a Ph.D. in Health Behavior and Health Education, an M.A. in Health Promotion, and a B.S. in Kinesiology. She is passionate about conducting research and evaluation efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of others, particularly among social groups who experience inequities in health conditions and access to health care. To this end, she has conducted research with low-income, hard-to-reach populations, including racial/ethnic minority populations and immigrant mothers, to name a few.

A member of the American Evaluation Association, Dr. Horton has a broad background in health behavior and health education, with specific training and expertise in mixed-methods research and evaluation. Dr. Horton brings a wealth of experience with the development, implementation, analysis, and evaluation of both small and large-scale mixed-methods research and evaluation projects for non-profit, university, and government health programs at the local, state and national level.

Dr. Horton has expertise conducting needs assessments and program evaluations, including helping healthcare organizations adopt and implement Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS). She evaluated the cultural competency plans and policies of all 21 Texas Medicaid health plans for CLAS implementation efforts and advised the Texas Office of Minority Health and Texas Medicaid on strategies to improve and evaluate efforts to provide culturally responsive care to all Texans.

A frequent presenter at both national and state health-related conferences, Dr. Horton is the author of 10 peer-reviewed publications and recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious Will Rogers Institute Fellowship from the American Association for Health Education.

Dr. Horton lives in her native Austin, Texas with her husband, son, two rescue dogs and three bearded dragons (oh...and her son's pet tarantula rescued from her garden). She is Past President of the University of Texas Longhorn Alumni Band and enjoys playing drums in her free time. 

Jennifer Loyo, Ph.D., R.D.N.

Co-founder and Principal Consultant

Dr. Loyo, principal investigator and co-founder of Limetree Research, earned a Ph.D. in Health Education with a specialization in Health Promotion, and her master’s degree in Kinesiology with a specialization in Exercise Science and Sports Nutrition at The University of Texas at Austin. She is Registered Dietitian Nutritionist by the American Dietetic Association, who pursued her bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Food Science at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City.  

Dr. Loyo has substantial experience creating mixed method assessments for WIC programs and other health programs nationwide. She has worked with state and local health department leaders to create statewide strategic plans such as, the New Hampshire WIC Strategic Plan, the Texas Statewide Breastfeeding Strategic Plan, and the Texas WIC Breastfeeding Strategic Plan.

Her evaluation assessments have helped many WIC programs implement research based recommendations and enhance participant services. Some of her work includes: The Texas WIC Participant Retention Study, Texas WIC Infant Formula Cost Containment Study, Inter Tribal Council of Arizona Social Media Strategic Services Project, Arizona WIC Statewide Attitudes Barriers and Belief Study, the Evaluation of the New Hampshire WIC Participant-Centered Services and Funding Strategy, and the assessment of the Western Region of WIC Enhancing Participant Services through Electronic Technologies, among others. She is also a professor for Texas WIC Dietetic Internship program.

In 2016, her team was the recipient of the Texas WIC Infant Formula Training Development and Optional Training Grant, where she collaborated closely with the Texas WIC formula team to develop “Infant Formulas: Navigating Marketing and Health Claims” training for healthcare providers. This course has been developed into a train-the-trainer, taught as a live training, webinar and most recently transformed into a self-paced lesson.

Dr. Loyo has four boys and a passion for cooking. She also enjoys running and spending time outdoors.

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