Bess Welch

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

Welch has over fifteen 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 5 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 has 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.