Meet the HHI Evaluation Team


  • Tetine Sentell, Professor in Health Policy and Management, joined the HHI Evaluation Team as Principal Investigator in 2017. Dr. Sentell is a health services researcher with research that focuses on health disparities and social factors, especially health literacy, education, and language. Recent work has considered how community-level strengths can help build a culture of health and how social relationships can support and sustain health literacy.
  • Catherine Pirkle, Associate Professor in Health Policy and Management, joined the HHI Evaluation Team as a Co-Investigator in 2017. Dr. Pirkle is a global health researcher and life-course epidemiologist. She had done program evaluation work across the globe and is particularly interested in how early life and adolescent events can influence health outcomes later in life, especially chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.

Project Managers

  • L. Brooke Keliikoa, Assistant Specialist. Evaluation and research interests include built environment interventions for physical activity and cross-sector collaboration. Dr. Keliikoa has been with the team for much of her public health career, initially as a GRA while in the MPH program (2004-2006) and rejoining in a faculty specialist position from 2008-present.
  • Becky Rodericks, Junior Specialist, joined the HHI Evaluation Team in 2010. Her evaluation work focuses primarily on school health and youth-related evaluation projects. She has worked closely with DOH and DOE to evaluate programs that promote physical activity, nutrition, and tobacco-free lifestyles.  
  • Meghan McGurk, Junior Specialist, has been part of the HHI Evaluation Team since 2013. Her work on the HHIET has focused on the evaluation of statewide policy and systems-change efforts and nutrition interventions to reduce obesity, including the Hawai‘i Physical Activity and Nutrition Plan, the Baby-Friendly Hawai‘i Project, and the Choose Healthy Now Program.
  • Ngoc D. Vu, Junior Specialist, joined the team in 2017, currently works on projects focusing on noncommunicable disease interventions. Her research interests extend into health administration and systems, to examine the issues and factors influencing the provision of healthcare in complex environments. She has also worked on international health initiatives in Asia.
  • Kara Saiki, Program Coordinator, joined the team in 2020, currently works on projects focusing on physical activity interventions across the lifespan and also analyzes the trends of tobacco sales to minors. Her research interests include postpartum health and promoting healthy behaviors and lifestyle changes in different communities.

Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs)

  • Stephanie Cacal, Research Assistant and recent MPH graduate in the Social and Behavioral Health Sciences specialization, joined the team in September 2018. Her research interests include community and culture driven health, behavioral science, health education/promotion, and complementary and alternative medicine.
  • Michelle Quensell, GRA and DNP student, joined the team in January 2019. Her research interests include pediatric health issues, social determinants of health, chronic disease management, care integration, and bridging public health with clinical practice.
  • Mika Thompson, GRA and PhD student in Epidemiology, joined the team in January 2020. His research interests include age-related health outcomes, arthritis and rheumatic diseases and conditions, racial/ethnic health disparities, and gene-environment interactions in chronic disease.
  • Nicole Kahielani Peltzer, GRA and MPH student in the Health Policy & Management specialization, joined the team in August 2020. Her research interests include maternal and child health, food security, health education, and healthy eating promotion.