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Bess Welch

Vice President
Public Health
Phone: (312) 759-4201

Bess Welch is a Vice President in the Public Health department at NORC. She manages and administers social science surveys for governmental agencies, academic institutions, and foundations.

Welch has nearly twenty years of experience leading multidisciplinary teams in the design, development, and delivery of complex survey data and analytic products used by policy makers and researchers in the public health arenas. Welch serves as the Associate Project Director (APD) for the National Immunization Survey (NIS). The NIS is the one of largest RDD surveys, with more than 25 million yearly sampled telephone lines, providing ongoing surveillance of immunization coverage for children and teenagers in the U.S. As APD, she oversees all aspects of data collection related to the NIS-Child, NIS-Teen, and NIS-Childhood Influenza Module surveys. This includes working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to refine research objectives and design options, developing cost estimates, directing the development of survey instrumentation, supervising data collection activities, managing data review and other quality checks, and ensuring that cleaned and weighted data are delivered to the CDC.

In addition to her role on the NIS, Welch also serves as the project director for the Test Predictability of Falls Screening Tools project. This is a longitudinal survey that is following over 1,900 older adults over the course of approximately 15 months to test the ability of existing falls screening tools to predict falls and fall requiring medical attention over the course of one year. This survey uses the AmeriSpeak panel and is the first AmeriSpeak survey to receive U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) clearance to conduct data collection on behalf of the federal government.

Welch has also served as Project Director of a number of projects for the University of Florida Institute for Child Health Policy, including the STAR+PLUS Behavioral Health Survey and the STAR Adult Behavioral Health Survey. These studies evaluate the experiences and satisfaction of Texas Medicaid enrollees with the behavioral health services they receive. Welch has also served as Project Director for the Connecting Health and Technology (CHAT) Study. Funded by the Legacy Foundation, this study was designed to measure the impact of a public education media campaign to discourage the uptake of tobacco use among youth and young adults. Legacy contracted with NORC to provide a recruiting effort using telephone outreach and CATI screening to supplement an existing mail recruitment of youth to a web panel. NORC built a sample using a combination of RDD landline, cellular phone, and targeted lists of youth and young adult populations to screen and identify eligible participants ages 15-21. Eligible participants were passed to the baseline web questionnaire for enrollment prior to the launch of the media campaign.

Bess Welch

Vice President
Public Health
(312) 759-4201

Bess Welch is a Vice President in the Public Health department at NORC. She manages and administers social science surveys for governmental agencies, academic institutions, and foundations.

Welch has nearly twenty years of experience leading multidisciplinary teams in the design, development, and delivery of complex survey data and analytic products used by policy makers and researchers in the public health arenas. Welch serves as the Associate Project Director (APD) for the National Immunization Survey (NIS). The NIS is the one of largest RDD surveys, with more than 25 million yearly sampled telephone lines, providing ongoing surveillance of immunization coverage for children and teenagers in the U.S. As APD, she oversees all aspects of data collection related to the NIS-Child, NIS-Teen, and NIS-Childhood Influenza Module surveys. This includes working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to refine research objectives and design options, developing cost estimates, directing the development of survey instrumentation, supervising data collection activities, managing data review and other quality checks, and ensuring that cleaned and weighted data are delivered to the CDC.

In addition to her role on the NIS, Welch also serves as the project director for the Test Predictability of Falls Screening Tools project. This is a longitudinal survey that is following over 1,900 older adults over the course of approximately 15 months to test the ability of existing falls screening tools to predict falls and fall requiring medical attention over the course of one year. This survey uses the AmeriSpeak panel and is the first AmeriSpeak survey to receive U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) clearance to conduct data collection on behalf of the federal government.

Welch has also served as Project Director of a number of projects for the University of Florida Institute for Child Health Policy, including the STAR+PLUS Behavioral Health Survey and the STAR Adult Behavioral Health Survey. These studies evaluate the experiences and satisfaction of Texas Medicaid enrollees with the behavioral health services they receive. Welch has also served as Project Director for the Connecting Health and Technology (CHAT) Study. Funded by the Legacy Foundation, this study was designed to measure the impact of a public education media campaign to discourage the uptake of tobacco use among youth and young adults. Legacy contracted with NORC to provide a recruiting effort using telephone outreach and CATI screening to supplement an existing mail recruitment of youth to a web panel. NORC built a sample using a combination of RDD landline, cellular phone, and targeted lists of youth and young adult populations to screen and identify eligible participants ages 15-21. Eligible participants were passed to the baseline web questionnaire for enrollment prior to the launch of the media campaign.

Michelle Strollo

Senior Vice President
Health Care
Phone: (301) 634-9537

Michelle Kitchman Strollo, DrPH, MHS is a senior vice president of NORC’s Health Care Programs department with two decades of experience in policymaking and analysis, program development, administration, and evaluation. She leads and advises a number of projects related to public and private insurance including the CMS Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office’s Financial Alignment Initiative – a demonstration to test new approaches to providing integrated service delivery and payment models for individuals enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid. She also co-directs the CMS Nationwide Adult Medicaid CAHPS survey – the first-of-its kind national patient experience survey of adults in both the Medicaid fee-for-service and managed care delivery systems. Strollo oversees NORC’s work on Marketplace projects for CCIIO including developing a monitoring strategy for use of federal, state, and commercial data to facilitate Marketplace and Medicaid eligibility determinations. Strollo also leads development of NORC’s Provider Network IQ, a data analytics tool powered to generate market reports comparing qualified health plans’ provider network structure by specialty and county.

Before joining NORC, Strollo was the Director of Eligibility and Enrollment Policy and Operations for CMS/CCIIO where she directed policymaking and operations governing how the Federal marketplace determines eligibility and enrolls individuals into health insurance coverage. Prior to her federal service, Strollo was Associate Director for Long-Term Care at the D.C. Department of Health Care Finance, managing operations and oversight of the District’s Medicaid long-term care services programs. Strollo spent over a decade as a Principal Policy Analyst with the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation where she conducted research and policy analysis on the Medicare program. She holds a Doctorate in Public Health degree from the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, a Masters of Health Science degree in health policy and a certificate in health care finance from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University.

Michelle Strollo

Senior Vice President
Health Care
(301) 634-9537

Michelle Kitchman Strollo, DrPH, MHS is a senior vice president of NORC’s Health Care Programs department with two decades of experience in policymaking and analysis, program development, administration, and evaluation. She leads and advises a number of projects related to public and private insurance including the CMS Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office’s Financial Alignment Initiative – a demonstration to test new approaches to providing integrated service delivery and payment models for individuals enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid. She also co-directs the CMS Nationwide Adult Medicaid CAHPS survey – the first-of-its kind national patient experience survey of adults in both the Medicaid fee-for-service and managed care delivery systems. Strollo oversees NORC’s work on Marketplace projects for CCIIO including developing a monitoring strategy for use of federal, state, and commercial data to facilitate Marketplace and Medicaid eligibility determinations. Strollo also leads development of NORC’s Provider Network IQ, a data analytics tool powered to generate market reports comparing qualified health plans’ provider network structure by specialty and county.

Before joining NORC, Strollo was the Director of Eligibility and Enrollment Policy and Operations for CMS/CCIIO where she directed policymaking and operations governing how the Federal marketplace determines eligibility and enrolls individuals into health insurance coverage. Prior to her federal service, Strollo was Associate Director for Long-Term Care at the D.C. Department of Health Care Finance, managing operations and oversight of the District’s Medicaid long-term care services programs. Strollo spent over a decade as a Principal Policy Analyst with the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation where she conducted research and policy analysis on the Medicare program. She holds a Doctorate in Public Health degree from the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, a Masters of Health Science degree in health policy and a certificate in health care finance from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University.

Stephen M. Smith

Senior Vice President
Health Sciences
Phone: (312) 759-4023

Stephen M. Smith is Senior Vice President of Health Sciences at NORC. Smith brings more than 25 years of experience in statistical methods, survey design and implementation, collection of biomarker data and health care research. He provides oversight and direction for the 60 staff and over $20 million per year of research projects housed in the Health Care Research department. Mr. Smith also serves as NORC’s corporate oversight and data collection expert for the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP), a project led by the Principal Investigator Linda Waite, Ph.D., at the University of Chicago that is breaking new ground in collection of biomarkers using field interviewers and assessing sensitive topics associated with social life among older Americans.

In his 16 years at NORC, Smith has served as Project Director on a range of health care and public health studies including the Hospital CAHPS survey of Patient Perceptions of Health Care Delivery (HCAHPS), a survey of Medicaid beneficiaries for an evaluation of Medicaid Health Insurance Flexibility Account Waivers, the Air Force Health Study, the Hanford Community Health Project, and the HIV Cost and Services Utilization Study (HCSUS) which was awarded the 2005 Policy Impact Award by the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR).

Prior to joining NORC, Smith spent several years conducting social research as a Senior Social Survey Officer in England’s Office of National Statistics (ONS). At ONS he worked on the Labor Force Survey, Census Validation Study, and a study on Electoral Registration.

Smith has co-authored papers that have appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the New England Journal of Medicine, Health Affairs, Journal of Health Promotion Practice, Health Services Research, Journal of Gerontology, Field Methods, and the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. He is a member of the American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and has been a regular presenter at AAPOR’s Annual Conference. He is also a member of AcademyHealth.

Stephen M. Smith

Senior Vice President
Health Sciences
(312) 759-4023

Stephen M. Smith is Senior Vice President of Health Sciences at NORC. Smith brings more than 25 years of experience in statistical methods, survey design and implementation, collection of biomarker data and health care research. He provides oversight and direction for the 60 staff and over $20 million per year of research projects housed in the Health Care Research department. Mr. Smith also serves as NORC’s corporate oversight and data collection expert for the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP), a project led by the Principal Investigator Linda Waite, Ph.D., at the University of Chicago that is breaking new ground in collection of biomarkers using field interviewers and assessing sensitive topics associated with social life among older Americans.

In his 16 years at NORC, Smith has served as Project Director on a range of health care and public health studies including the Hospital CAHPS survey of Patient Perceptions of Health Care Delivery (HCAHPS), a survey of Medicaid beneficiaries for an evaluation of Medicaid Health Insurance Flexibility Account Waivers, the Air Force Health Study, the Hanford Community Health Project, and the HIV Cost and Services Utilization Study (HCSUS) which was awarded the 2005 Policy Impact Award by the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR).

Prior to joining NORC, Smith spent several years conducting social research as a Senior Social Survey Officer in England’s Office of National Statistics (ONS). At ONS he worked on the Labor Force Survey, Census Validation Study, and a study on Electoral Registration.

Smith has co-authored papers that have appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the New England Journal of Medicine, Health Affairs, Journal of Health Promotion Practice, Health Services Research, Journal of Gerontology, Field Methods, and the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. He is a member of the American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and has been a regular presenter at AAPOR’s Annual Conference. He is also a member of AcademyHealth.

Micah Sjoblom

Vice President
Health Care
Phone: (312) 759-4028

Micah Sjoblom is an Associate Director in the Health Care department at NORC. He has responsibilities for collaborating with department leadership regarding administrative needs including staffing, business development and financial management. In addition to his department level administrative role, he directs and coordinates large complex data collection projects for various Federal clients. He is also a member of NORC’s Institutional Review Board.

Sjoblom has more than 19 years of experience working in research and survey management, with particular expertise in the management of large-scale cross-sectional and panel surveys utilizing multiple-mode technical solutions for data collection. Sjoblom’s responsibilities include the development and implementation of project management tools and indicators, training and oversight programs for large data collection teams (> 150 staff), and the utilization of measurement techniques pertaining to the implementation and assessment of quality controls, process improvement and deliverables.

At NORC, Sjoblom has led activities on several national surveys including data collection efforts for programs funded by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Agency for Children and Families, and the U.S. Census Bureau. He currently serves as the Associate Project Director for Field Data Collection on the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey, a continuous, multipurpose survey of a nationally representative sample of the Medicare population conducted for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Sjoblom also serves as the Associate Project Director for the 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances which collects detailed information on the assets, liabilities and demographic characteristics of U.S. households sponsored by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Sjoblom also plays a critical role in the development of effective teams and promotion of knowledge-sharing across operations management and functional teams within NORC.

Micah Sjoblom

Vice President
Health Care
(312) 759-4028

Micah Sjoblom is an Associate Director in the Health Care department at NORC. He has responsibilities for collaborating with department leadership regarding administrative needs including staffing, business development and financial management. In addition to his department level administrative role, he directs and coordinates large complex data collection projects for various Federal clients. He is also a member of NORC’s Institutional Review Board.

Sjoblom has more than 19 years of experience working in research and survey management, with particular expertise in the management of large-scale cross-sectional and panel surveys utilizing multiple-mode technical solutions for data collection. Sjoblom’s responsibilities include the development and implementation of project management tools and indicators, training and oversight programs for large data collection teams (> 150 staff), and the utilization of measurement techniques pertaining to the implementation and assessment of quality controls, process improvement and deliverables.

At NORC, Sjoblom has led activities on several national surveys including data collection efforts for programs funded by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Agency for Children and Families, and the U.S. Census Bureau. He currently serves as the Associate Project Director for Field Data Collection on the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey, a continuous, multipurpose survey of a nationally representative sample of the Medicare population conducted for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Sjoblom also serves as the Associate Project Director for the 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances which collects detailed information on the assets, liabilities and demographic characteristics of U.S. households sponsored by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Sjoblom also plays a critical role in the development of effective teams and promotion of knowledge-sharing across operations management and functional teams within NORC.

Caroline Pearson

Senior Vice President
Health Care
Phone: (312) 325-2552

Caroline Pearson is a senior vice president at NORC at the University of Chicago. In this role, she generates insights for a diverse set of stakeholders by applying NORC’s rigorous analytics and research capabilities, innovative solutions, and deep subject-matter expertise to critical topics in health care.

Before joining NORC, Pearson spent 14 years at Avalere Health, where she worked with Fortune 500 health care companies, associations, investors, and patient groups to solve complex business and policy problems. In her role as the Senior Vice President of Policy and Strategy, Pearson oversaw consulting services and syndicated products. She also led the strategic communications team, including media relations, published research, and content marketing.

Pearson, a nationally-recognized expert on public and private health insurance coverage, is regularly quoted in national and trade press and is a frequent keynote speaker for audiences seeking to understand the health policy landscape. In 2017, Pearson presented at a governors-only session for the National Governors Association on the impact of proposed federal Medicaid reforms. Her other areas of subject matter expertise include Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, prescription drugs, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, and health disparities.

She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University with a B.A. in Government.

Caroline Pearson

Senior Vice President
Health Care
(312) 325-2552

Caroline Pearson is a senior vice president at NORC at the University of Chicago. In this role, she generates insights for a diverse set of stakeholders by applying NORC’s rigorous analytics and research capabilities, innovative solutions, and deep subject-matter expertise to critical topics in health care.

Before joining NORC, Pearson spent 14 years at Avalere Health, where she worked with Fortune 500 health care companies, associations, investors, and patient groups to solve complex business and policy problems. In her role as the Senior Vice President of Policy and Strategy, Pearson oversaw consulting services and syndicated products. She also led the strategic communications team, including media relations, published research, and content marketing.

Pearson, a nationally-recognized expert on public and private health insurance coverage, is regularly quoted in national and trade press and is a frequent keynote speaker for audiences seeking to understand the health policy landscape. In 2017, Pearson presented at a governors-only session for the National Governors Association on the impact of proposed federal Medicaid reforms. Her other areas of subject matter expertise include Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, prescription drugs, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, and health disparities.

She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University with a B.A. in Government.