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Rachel (Kappel) Van Vleet

Pronouns: She/Her

Research Scientist

Rachel has extensive experience conducting behavioral science research, implementing health communication efforts, and evaluating public health interventions.

Rachel's research interests include mental health, substance use disorder, injury and violence prevention, and social determinants of health. To these topics, Rachel brings skills in health communications, qualitative data collection and analysis, evaluation design and implementation, and project management. 

Rachel currently leads the evaluation of the CDC Foundation’s mental health communications campaign, How Right Now, to assess the campaign’s reach, engagement, and impact with teachers and school staff. She has worked on the campaign since its inception during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and previously served as the partnership liaison and project manager for the project.

Rachel is leading an update of the Rural Mental Health Toolkit for the Rural Health Information Hub. She previously contributed to the development of other evidence-based toolkits on topics important to rural communities including Medication for Opioid Use Disorder, Chronic Disease Management, and Emergency Preparedness and Response.

She has contributed to numerous projects during her career at NORC including moderating focus groups to assess older adult perceptions of CDC’s Fall Prevention Planning tool, conducting formative research to inform the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s COVID-19 vaccine campaign, developing case studies to illustrate the impact of CDC’s Adult Immunization program, managing a nationally representative study of Head Start’s Disability Services Coordinators for the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, and evaluating Y-USA’s ForeverWell Expansion project.

Prior to joining NORC, Rachel worked as a clinical research assistant at Children’s National Medical Center where she coordinated the establishment and evaluation of a medical home for victims of trafficking and managed a randomized control trial of adolescent mental health care coordination. Additionally, she analyzed CDC’s Violence Against Children data to examine the prevalence and consequences of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) in Honduras. 

Project Contributions

Community Health Toolkits for Rural America

Evidence-based approaches for building effective rural community health programs


Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, Health Resources and Services Administration

Evaluating CDC’s Approaches to Enhancing Adult Immunization Uptake

A culturally responsive evaluation of CDC’s efforts to boost adult immunization uptake and advance equity


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Development of an Interactive Fall Prevention Planning Tool

Online comprehensive tool to increase awareness of fall risk and prevent falls among older adults


CDC Foundation

Evaluation of the YMCA ForeverWell Expansion Project

NORC evaluated a holistic health and wellness program for older adults living in rural communities


YMCA of the USA