Meet Trisha Netsch López
ACET, Inc., recently hired Trisha Netsch López as a Graduate Research Assistant to conduct qualitative evaluation. At ACET, Trisha currently is working on program evaluation, community-needs assessments, and qualitative data collection for American Indian and Asian American health programs. “All the skills I’ve used so far in my research career apply to working at ACET,” she says. “I’m especially interested in culturally appropriate policies and services and how programs are doing culturally relevant work that applies to their context.”
Trisha sees quantitative evaluation as the what in people’s decisions and qualitative evaluation as the why in people’s decisions. “Through qualitative evaluation, you get to understand the personal,” she says. “You learn why people make the decisions that they do.”
Trisha is working on a joint graduate degree that includes a Ph.D. in medical anthropology and a Master’s in Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh. She has finished all her coursework and is currently writing her doctoral dissertation. Her dissertation on intercultural health policy in Ecuador received funding from the National Science Foundation and the Fulbright-Hays program.
This past summer, Trisha was an instructor at the Andes & Amazon Field School in Tena, Ecuador. She taught undergraduate students about different approaches to national health care systems and the various ways development has impacted health for indigenous peoples in the Amazon.
Trisha has an advanced proficiency in the Kichwa language (an indigenous language of South America) and is fluent in Spanish. Her undergraduate degrees were in Spanish and anthropology from the University of Minnesota. Trisha also has a Medical Interpreting Certificate from the University of Minnesota, emphasizing interpreting and translation services that provide advocacy and high-quality healthcare for those with limited English proficiency.
During her graduate program, she evaluated maternal health and lactation programs for Latino, Hmong, and Somali patients at a community-health clinic in St. Paul Trisha conducted interviews, did observations, and analyzed quantitative data to understand mothers’ perceptions of breastfeeding, patterns of breastfeeding prevalence, and the impact of support services.
Trisha gets excited about doing evaluation with diverse cultural groups. “It means their perspectives and needs are being taken into account,” she says. “It’s also amazing to see how different organizations adapt similar programs to meet the specific needs of their communities.”