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Barbara Fernandez

Pronouns: She/Her

Associate Director
Barbara has 24 years of experience in health survey research, project and contract management, and business development.

Barbara is an associate director in NORC’s Health Care Programs department. Fernandez has 24 years of experience in health survey research, project and contract management, and business development. She brings a wealth of expertise in leading and managing interdisciplinary research teams and executing complex research studies. Fernandez works with clients and study partners to define study objectives and methods; manage and monitor the performance of research projects; manage diverse teams of methodologists, statisticians, analysts, data collection staff, and subcontractors to implement projects according to contract requirements, budget, and methodological rigor; conduct quality assurance/control activities; and present results to clients and the research community. She ensures NORC completes tasks according to contract requirements, schedule, and budget, and anticipates and mitigates potential challenges. 

For the University of California, Merced, Fernandez directs the Latino Health and Rural County Policy Contexts Survey, which aims to understand connections between mental health, healthcare access, and immigration policies. This mixed-mode, dual-frame study leverages Big Data classifiers to target rural Latino households in California and Arizona. For the California Department of Aging, Fernandez directs mixed-mode program evaluations to understand the allocation, use, and impact of program funds across eight programs that serve adults with disabilities and/or older adults to decrease social isolation, decrease the digital divide, and provide supportive services. For the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Fernandez manages the Emergency Triage, Treat, and Transfer Implementation and Monitoring contract. This payment model provides flexibility to ambulance teams to address non-emergent healthcare needs of Medicare beneficiaries following a 911 call. NORC, the model team, and the measure development contractor are developing a payment methodology that rewards participants for improvement. 

Prior to joining NORC, Fernandez served as an associate at Abt Associates, and before that as a senior research manager at ORC Macro (now ICF). Fernandez led interdisciplinary projects teams for public health projects that focused on behavioral health and health insurance at the state and local level across the U.S. This included the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS) and the Adult Tobacco Survey (ATS) on behalf of 13 state departments of health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS), and state-wide health insurance surveys. Fernandez oversaw all aspects of state-level survey research, including survey design, implementation, and reporting. She worked directly with clients to develop survey methodologies and questionnaires, write final analysis reports, and present findings to key stakeholders.

Project Contributions