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Dr. Kristen

Principal Associate, Health

Dr. Welker-Hood brings 30 years of healthcare experience comprising acute and post-acute care nursing and public health to her work at Abt. Her areas of research include clinical quality measurement, social determinants of health (SDoH), epidemiology, survey methodology, and chronic disease health disparities. Her policy experience includes working with federal representatives and legislative elected officials on the national, state, and local levels to set policies driven to improve the lives of our most vulnerable populations.

An experienced principal investigator, she has led multiple tasks and programs for organizations such as the Veterans Health Administration (VHA); National Institute of Health’s (NIH) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; and artificial intelligence at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

Dr. Welker-Hood’s current research involves developing measures and processes to incorporate SDoH into HHS programs. This work is aimed at improving the utilization of population-based data for health equity research, as well as to help federal agencies understand the impact of their policies while taking SDoH into account. Dr. Welker-Hood held volunteer positions at the National Quality Forum (NQF) that includes the NQF Leadership Consortium, NQF Virtual Healthcare Quality Action Team, and currently serves on NQF’s Core Quality Measures Collaborative (CQMC) Health Equity Workgroup.

Prior to joining Abt, Dr. Welker-Hood worked on various aspects of clinical and public health projects for federal agencies including Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, HRSA, Food and Drug Administration, NIH, and VHA. That work has included conducting analysis on large data sets, evaluating the screening methodology and developing standardized algorithms to guide decision making, and examining clinical quality performance and guiding continuous quality improvement initiatives.


  • Clinical quality measure development including composite development and psychometric testing
  • Social Determinants of Health measurement and data analysis
  • Survey instrument design, testing, and large-scale data collection
  • Healthcare policy development, implementation, and evaluation

Key Project:

  • Social Determinant of Health Vulnerability Risk Score composite development


  • Welker-Hood, L.K., Roberts, D.W., Prasad, B., & Jayaseelan, T. (2021). ­­­ HRSA National Provider Data Bank Natural Language Processing (NLP) Initiative Pilot Report (Research Report, Healthcare Resources and Services Agency). Des Moines, IA: General Dynamics Information Technology.
  • Prasad, B., Welker-Hood, L.K., & Roberts, D.W. (2020). ­­­Using Machine Language Learning to Improve Efficiency and Effectiveness of Public Comments Review (Research Report, PIMMS CCSQ). Des Moines, IA: General Dynamics Information Technology.
  • Welker-Hood, L.K. (November/December 2014).  Underfunding and Undervaluing the Public Health Infrastructure: Reinforcing the Haves and the Have-Nots in Health. Public Health Nursing, 31(6), pp. 481-483.
  • Reifsnider, E., Bishop, S., Mendias, E, Kyuneh, A., Welker-Hood, L.K., Moramarco, M.W., & Davila, Y. (November/December 2014). We Stop for No Storm: Coping with an Environmental Disaster and Public Health Research. Public Health Nursing, 31(6), pp. 500-507.
  • Welker-Hood, L.K., Palmigiano, M., Cervantes-Connell. J., Stoimenoff, K. & Kubotera, S. (2011). Evaluation of the Niños Seguros y Sanos (Safe and Healthy Children) training-of-trainers program for staff of seasonal and migrant Head Start programs and migrant and community health centers. Available:
Dr. Kristen Welker-Hood