Who We Are

Dr. Maurine A. Lilleskov created Xcel Research Consulting Inc. in 2010 to help organizations and individual communities around the globe create and sustain cultures of health by increasing their awareness and knowledge of social contexts, behavior and lifestyle changes that promote disease prevention, treatment and management. Working with communities, academic institutions and public health boards in the field of public health, Dr. Lilleskov dedicates her life to promoting healthy lifestyle choices, disease prevention and treatment locally and globally. Her professional and academic experiences, combined with her loss of personal relationships from co-occurring effects of alcoholism, AIDS and other chronic diseases convinced her that the health community must focus on the improper medication, inadequate information/education, and general ignorance surrounding the proper prevention and treatment of these chronic diseases. She provides professional guidance to communities and organizations that directly promote behavior changes in individuals to improve overall community health.

Dr. Lilleskov’s focus is global because she believes that we are all culturally intertwined. Whatever affects one country, affects another. She is a strong believer in working with communities and organizations to account for social and cultural predispositions that may be affecting the proper prevention and treatment of disease. In 2007, she was a part of a team working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Botswana to provide training on the intersection between HIV/AIDS and alcohol use and providing brief intervention to clients. In 2007-2008, she served as Co-Principle Investigator of a five-year grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for the assessment and treatment of methamphetamine and other drug use among Northern Plains American Indians.

She is currently the Principal Investigator on a national project in Kenya assessing the prevalence of alcohol and drug use among private sector employees. She is also the lead evaluator for the Oglala Sioux Tribe in South Dakota on a strategic prevention framework tribal incentive grant (SPF-TIG) funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Dr. Lilleskov received her undergraduate degree in Education (First Class Honors) from Moi University in Kenya. She began her interest in public health while researching a paper entitled: The Efficiency of Food Rations on the Health Status of Refugees in Kakuma Camp (Rift Valley Province, Kenya). Her graduate degrees in Health Promotion, Public Health and Health Communication from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa demonstrate a focused attention on health promotion and disease prevention through community grants that promote healthy lifestyle behavior changes. Her Iowa State Department of Public Health internship yielded a groundbreaking paper on cardiovascular risk reduction in Johnson County, Iowa. Her dissertation topic, Patient Reduction of Uncertainty about HIV/AIDS and Alcohol Use Disorders: A Problematic Integration Approach, was acclaimed by Dr. Mansell, a relational consultant, as having far-reaching implications for the national and international prevention of other chronic diseases besides alcohol abuse and HIV/AIDS by putting emphasis on the patients’ uncertainties. This area of study has largely underutilized in public health but promises to be a key to the understanding of the dynamics of uncertainty in dealing with chronic diseases and the role of communication and social networks in disease management.

Born and raised in Kenya, Dr. Lilleskov has a deep empathy and experienced understanding of the health disparities that exist not only in developing countries but also among underprivileged communities in the United States, such as the American Indian population in South Dakota and Iowa. She has worked extensively with these communities to prevent chronic diseases that include alcohol use on reservations. In 2010, as the Project Director, Dr. Lilleskov partnered with the Health Education and Promotion Council in Rapid City on a South Dakota state funded strategic prevention framework grant to prevent alcohol and drug use among 18-25 year old American Indian young adults living in Rapid City. As of August 2013, 39 individuals had graduated from the curriculum-based prevention program.

As a Certified Health Education Specialist, in 2011, Dr. Lilleskov directed the translation of the Healthy Women, Healthy Lives psycho-educational curriculum for women into a culturally relevant curriculum for Northern Plains American Indian women in collaboration with the Prairielands Addiction Technology Transfer Center and the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board. She has also provided presentations on the role of culture in American Indian health and planning for health surveillance and monitoring to Alaskan communities.

Dr. Lilleskov draws on years of experience as a public health professional in conducting both qualitative and quantitative research services that include: conducting focus groups and key informant interviews; survey design; surveillance and data analysis; strategic planning and management; needs assessments; feasibility studies; and the development, implementation and evaluation of community-based projects.