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Sara Walsh

Pronouns: She/Her

Senior Research Director
Sara specializes in the implementation of anthropometric and biomeasure collections in surveys.

Sara is a senior research director experienced in managing survey data collection efforts across multiple modes: web, phone, and in-person using multiple recruitment methods: email, address based sampling, household screening, and intercept sampling. Sara has a specific expertise in implementing the collection of anthropometric and biospecimen measures, which includes collaborating with principal investigators and researchers to adapt protocols for in-home or self-collection, coordinating with laboratory partners, testing and researching biomedical collection devices and equipment, training non-medical field interviewer staff in collection protocols, monitoring data quality of biospecimens and anthropometrics, and creating and tailoring budgets for biospecimen and anthropometric collection.

Sara currently serves as the Biospecimen Task Lead on the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project where she oversees the implementation of a suite of anthropometric and biospecimen collection measures for both the Remote and In Person data collection efforts. She is the Project Director for the Minnesota COVID-19 Antibody Study which recruited respondents over two waves to provide blood samples for COVID-19 antibody testing as well as collected survey data. Sara served as the Biospecimen Task Lead for the Abecedarian Project at Midlife where she oversaw the implementation of anthropometric, biospecimen, and the WASI-II cognitive measure collection. As Associate Project Director for the CDC’s 2018 STD Clinic Study, Sara oversaw the recruitment of 26 publicly funded STD clinics where onsite intercept sampling of clinic patients was conducted to inform policymakers of STD clinic user needs. Sara was a lead trainer and helped lead the development of the physical measure protocols used in the Kentucky HEALTH Medicaid 1115 Waiver Evaluation. Sara was the Biospecimen Task Lead for the National Children’s Study and oversaw the implementation of biospecimen and anthropometric measure collection for the Central and East Regional Operating Centers. 

Prior to joining NORC, Sara was the project coordinator at the University of Chicago Survey Lab’s South Side Health and Vitality Studies (SSHVS) Population Health Study leading recruitment of respondents on Chicago’s South Side using household screening to participate in a health survey that included the collection of anthropometric and biospecimen data. Sara was the project coordinator at the University of Chicago Survey Lab for the South Side Health and Vitality Studies (SSHVS) Population Health Study at the University of Chicago Survey Lab which recruited respondents on Chicago’s South Side using household screening to participate in a health survey that included the collection of anthropometric and biospecimen data. Sara also oversaw the SSHVS MAPSCorps resource mapping data collection effort.

Education

MA

University of Chicago Committee on International Relations

BA

Tulane University

Appointments & Affiliations

Subcomittee Chair of Culture & Communications for Inclusion & Equity Committee | 2021 - Present

American Association for Public Opinion Research

Council | 2018 - 2021; Conference Chair | 2020

Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research

Project Contributions

Kentucky HEALTH Medicaid 1115 Waiver Evaluation

Collecting data to assess the impact of Medicaid rule changes

Client:

Commonwealth of Kentucky

The Abecedarian Project at Midlife

Following up on groundbreaking research about early childhood intervention

Client:

University of Chicago

National Social Life, Health & Aging Project

The first nationally representative study of the intersection between social and intimate relationships and healthy aging

Client:

National Institute on Aging

The Minnesota COVID-19 Antibody Study

Collecting blood samples and survey data to track the spread of coronavirus in Minnesota

Client:

University of Minnesota

Publications