Katherine Hempstead is a senior policy adviser at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She works on health care issues, mostly those related to health insurance, costs, and access to care. In her work in the policy unit, she seeks to inform policy discussions at the federal and state level by making data and analyses widely available. She is particularly interested making new sources of data that have the potential to inform policy available to researchers and the public sector.
Hempstead joined the Foundation in 2011. Prior to that, she was the director of the Center for Health Statistics in the New Jersey Department of Health, where she focused on analysis and dissemination of major data sets including vital statistics, hospital discharge data, and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. In this role she became involved in a number of CDC surveillance projects, and led New Jersey’s participation in the National Violent Death Reporting System. During this time, she also worked at New Jersey’s Office of the Attorney General, where she led the internal evaluation of several criminal justice initiatives and participated in other analytical projects. During this time, she served on the faculty at the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy, where she is still a visitor.
Hempstead received a PhD in Demography and History from the University of Pennsylvania, where she also received a bachelor’s degree in history and economics. She was a post-doctoral fellow at Princeton University’s Office of Population Research at the Woodrow Wilson School. Hempstead has taught history, public policy, and biostatistics in various settings. She frequently speaks and writes about health insurance and other health care topics. She is also an active researcher, and has authored numerous articles in the peer reviewed literature.