Kelly is a community-based researcher and epidemiologist working to improve health outcomes and reduce health disparities, particularly in rural and under-resourced populations.  Her research largely focuses on translating scientific evidence on health promotion into practice in real-world settings to address health disparities.  

Born and raised in Traverse City, Kelly returned in 2016 to begin her role as an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and community-based researcher at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine’s Traverse City campus.  In her time away from Northern Michigan, Kelly earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan, a Master of Public Health degree from Boston University, and a PhD in Epidemiologic Science from the University of Michigan.  She then completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Epidemiology from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.

Kelly lives in Traverse City with her husband, Brian, three children (Liam, Irene, and Alice) and dog, Clancy.