Rachel D. Stelmach, a health economics specialist in the International Development Group at RTI, specializes in the economic analysis of health programs in low- and middle-income countries. As part of the Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, Learning, and Adapting (MERLA) team, she leads a wide array of analyses, from simple costing studies to complex probabilistic predictive models.
Applying her background in public health, much of her work focuses on infectious diseases, including neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), malaria, other vector-borne diseases, and HIV/AIDS. She also works on non-communicable diseases (NCDs), with a particular interest in mental health. Her work centers on combining disparate datasets to tell cohesive stories that help project and ministry staff understand the context and effects of their work.
Among some of her current roles, she is the lead economic modeler for a 36-country adolescent mental health investment case. She is developing a complex Markov model to assess the return on investment of interventions to prevent and/or treat anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and suicide among adolescents in 36 countries.
In addition, she is the lead analyst for OpCon, a project exploring the out-of-pocket expenditures related to HIV and NCDs for people living in HIV in Côte d’Ivoire. She also provides health economics support to the Act to End NTDs | East project, for which she has recently led cost analyses of trachoma surveys and a mixed-methods evaluation of the costs of COVID-19.