December 6, 2023
Today, the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia welcomes Denise Bellows, PhD as the new Senior Director of Insight Region®, its Center for Community Research.

Trained in community-based participatory research at the University of Maryland, School of Public Health, Denise has spent 17 years providing research and program evaluation support to clients in the federal sector (e.g., federal agencies under the Department of Health and Human Services and the supplemental nutrition programs under the Food and Nutrition Services (FNS)), the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), and academic/medical programs such as the Teen and Tot Clinic at Boston Medical Center and the University of Maryland Prevention Research Center.

Denise has spent her research career focused on elevating community voices though stakeholder engagement and a participatory approach to research. She is committed to practicing objective, non-partisan research in partnership with community members to improve individual and community outcomes. Denise’s research on resource and service supports to vulnerable populations is published in Progress in Community Health Partnerships, The Journal of American College Health, and the Journal of Community Psychology.

Recently, Denise supported the State of Maryland in their Covid-19 Contact Tracing efforts by monitoring and improving data quality to increase the reach of field interviewers and suggest IT system revisions to increase impact. For PCORI, Denise led her team to pioneer an innovative solution for research topic prioritization by linking an online data abstraction tool to a relational database and data visualization software resulting in interactive dashboards that may be customized for presentations to various stakeholder groups.
“As a resident of Northern Virginia, I am excited to bring my expertise to Insight Region®. I look forward to continuing its legacy of bringing reliable data insights to my local community. I hope that this important work will contribute to civic and social action that will allow my children, neighbors, and the entire NOVA community to thrive.”


Launched in 2020, Insight Region® is a research center at the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia that analyzes local trends, convenes civic leaders, and promotes civic and social action. It is a growing hub for reliable, well-researched, and actionable data and analyses on issues critical to Northern Virginia. Its work is focused within the Community Foundation’s four strategic priorities: promoting social and economic mobility, advancing racial justice and equity, supporting inclusive systems of economic growth, and strengthening community resilience.