Laura Arena is a program manager for RTI’s Community and Workplace Health program. She specializes in qualitative and mixed-methods program evaluations and has more than 10 years of experience evaluating chronic disease prevention and control programs. Her approach centers on multidisciplinary collaboration on evaluation planning, implementation, data collection and analysis.
At RTI, Ms. Arena leads and supports multiple program evaluations funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Since 2017, she has collaborated with CDC's Division of Cancer Prevention and Control to conduct a series of case studies that evaluate the implementation of evidence-based interventions to increase colorectal cancer screening in primary care clinics across the United States. She has also conducted formative research for the New York State Department of Health to inform strategies to increase access to CDC-recognized diabetes prevention programs and diabetes self-management education and support among underserved populations.
Before joining RTI in 2010, Ms. Arena researched cancer prevention and control at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Ms. Arena is a reviewer for the Journal of Communication in Healthcare. Her notable publications include A conceptual framework and metrics for evaluating multicomponent interventions to increase colorectal cancer screening within an organized screening program, Neighborhood and individual sociodemographic characteristics associated with disparities in adult obesity and perceptions of the home food environment, and The Rise of social media and multisector partnerships.