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Principal Associate, Health & Environment

Katharine Witgert is a health policy researcher with 20 years of public health and health care policy experience. Witgert manages research and analysis of health system innovations, conducting program evaluations for federal clients, including design, implementation, and reporting of findings. She provides technical assistance to state officials, primarily in the areas of Medicaid reforms and building Medicaid agency partnerships with public health, behavioral health, and social services programs.

Witgert is currently involved in several health policy-focused projects. She works with clients including the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and the Massachusetts Medicaid agency. Witgert is adept at leading mixed-methods teams that apply qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods to assess program implementation and impact. She specializes in Medicaid policy as a platform to address the health and social needs of vulnerable populations, including women and children, and persons with disabilities.

Before coming to Abt, Witgert worked for eight years at the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP), where she led the organization’s systems of care for vulnerable populations portfolio. She previously held positions in local, state, and federal health agencies including the Florida Legislature, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the San Diego County Tuberculosis Control Program. In these positions, Witgert further developed expertise at the intersection of public health science and policy. She has contributed to more than 25 studies and papers for federal and foundation clients, frequently authoring pieces on innovation in Medicaid.


  • Health Policy
  • Medicaid Program Implementation

Key Projects


  • Witgert, K., Sheedy, C., Shoemaker-Hunt, S. (2020, February 10). “Medicaid Can Help Providers Follow Practice Guidelines for Pregnant and Post-Partum women with an Opioid Use Disorder.” AcademyHealth National Health Policy Conference. Washington, DC.
  • Witgert, K., et. al. (2018). Evaluation of the Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program (IAP): Interim Report. Baltimore, MD. Prepared for Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.
  • Witgert K. (September 7, 2017). Why Medicaid is the Platform Best Suited for Addressing Both Health Care and Social Needs. Health Affairs blog.
  • Sparks, A., Berninger, A., Hunt, M., Sirkin, J., Witgert, K., Whitter, M. (2017). Access to Behavioral Health in Massachusetts: The Basics. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation.
katherine witgert