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Nikie Sarris Esquivel

Nikie Sarris Esquivel

Research Public Health Analyst


MPH, Health Behavior and Health Education, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
BA, Public Policy, Hamilton College


Nikie Sarris Esquivel leads and supports formative research, as well as process and outcome evaluations, for federal agencies, state health departments, national patient advocacy groups, and local nonprofits. Her expertise is in chronic disease, specifically cancer, diabetes, and tobacco control, though she has also led projects related to immunization (i.e., COVID-19, HPV) and worker health and safety (i.e., grocery workers). 

Ms. Esquivel has experience with evaluation design, including the development of logic models and evaluation planning matrixes, instrument development (e.g., interview guides, focus group guides, surveys), conducting cognitive interviews to refine instruments, qualitative data collection using NVivo qualitative coding software and Rapid Turn-Around analysis (RTA), and disseminating findings. 

In her work, Ms. Esquivel often triangulates findings from multiple data collection sources and/or subgroups of participants to gain a cohesive understanding of the program or issue being evaluated. She is passionate about stakeholder engagement and approaching all evaluations with a health equity lens. To accomplish this, Ms. Esquivel leverages strategies like 

  • Conducting readability assessments on data collection instruments to ensure individuals with lower literacy can understand content.
  • Partnering with professional translation services (for recruitment-related communication and instrument development) and analysts who are fluent Spanish speakers (for data collection) to engage participants who are Spanish-speaking.
  • Supplementing traditional recruitment efforts to achieve greater participation from historically marginalized populations (e.g., elderly, rural, ethnic).

Well-versed in disseminating results to a variety of stakeholders, Ms. Esquivel frequently presents at national conferences. As a panelist, she has presented her work with the Vermont Department of Health Comprehensive Cancer Control Program to maximize limited resources on the state-level program evaluation as well as her studies related to COVID-19 vaccine beliefs and behaviors. 

Before joining RTI in 2007, Ms. Esquivel worked for the Orange County Health Department in North Carolina and with the American Cancer Society. These experiences have given her an understanding of how other sectors in public health can serve as ideal community partners.

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