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Michelle Spafford

Pronouns: She/Her

Senior Research Director
Michelle has over 10 years of experience managing complex evaluation projects and conducting policy analysis and qualitative research.

Michelle is a senior research director who is well versed in qualitative methods and leads qualitative analyses for several federal and state funded projects. She also has extensive experience managing projects ranging in size from $100,000 to $30 million.

At NORC, Michelle is currently the project manager for three alternative payment model evaluations for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services—Next Generation Accountable Care Organization (NGACO) Model, ACO Realizing Equity, Access, and Community Health (REACH) Model, and Pennsylvania Rural Health Model (PARHM). As project manager, she is responsible for the management and oversight of the team, ensuring adherence to deliverable deadlines while closely monitoring resources. 

Michelle also supports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention in improving cardiovascular health through evaluations of public health strategies and policies that promote healthy lifestyles, behaviors, and communities; and access to early and affordable detection and treatment. This work has included developing implementation toolkits and guides to assist clinicians, state and local health departments, public health professionals, and other partners in the field identify and implement effective strategies to improve hypertension outcomes.

Prior to joining NORC, Michelle worked at National Council of Aging‘s (NCOA) Center for Healthy Aging, a resource center for states and local communities offering chronic disease self-management programs. At NCOA, she managed the Self-Management Alliance, a collaborative between the government, business, and nonprofit organizations to accelerate the development and implementation of self-management programs, practices, and policies.

Project Contributions

Evaluating Rhode Island’s Medicaid Section 1115 Demonstration

Evaluation of programs implemented under Rhode Island’s Medicaid section 1115 demonstration


Rhode Island Executive Office of Health and Human Services

Evaluation of the Next Generation Accountable Care Organization Model

Assessing an innovative model to reduce Medicare costs


Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Evaluation of the Pennsylvania Rural Health Model

Assessing efforts to improve the financial health of rural hospitals and maintain access to care


Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services