Katherine Howitt Appointed Director
of Massachusetts Medicaid Policy Institute
BOSTON (Dec. 3, 2018) – The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation today announced the appointment of Katherine Howitt as the new director of the Massachusetts Medicaid Policy Institute (MMPI), a program of the Foundation that leads independent and nonpartisan research about MassHealth, the Massachusetts Medicaid program.
Howitt brings a decade of experience working on state and federal Medicaid policy to her new role. In leading MMPI, she will oversee the development and implementation of a strategic agenda for policy and research work focused on MassHealth and lead efforts to produce and disseminate nonpartisan information and analysis about the program that serves more than one in four Massachusetts residents.
Howitt joins the Foundation from Community Catalyst, a national health care advocacy group where she served most recently as associate policy director and project manager for a Medicaid expansion campaign encompassing multiple states.
“Katherine has extraordinary experience in Medicaid and she understands the vital role the program plays in access as well as its fiscal and programmatic challenges,” said Audrey Shelto, president of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation. “She will be leading MMPI at a time of heightened importance as MassHealth continues its transformation to a system of provider-led organizations.”
During her tenure at Community Catalyst, Howitt oversaw policy and Medicaid teams and led the “Close the Gap” campaign that provided grant funding, policy support and strategic guidance to consumer-led campaigns in 14 states to extend and defend health care coverage for low-income adults. She regularly represented the organization at the national and state level by participating in expert panels, speaking at conferences, leading coalition meetings and conducting webinars. Howitt previously served as an adjunct professor, focusing on organizing for health care change, at the Boston University School of Public Health.
“I have a passion for improving access to Medicaid for low-income adults, as well as deep respect for state policymaking and academic, non-partisan research that can have a profound impact on the advancement of our health care system,” Howitt said. “I am thrilled to assume the directorship of MMPI and to join the talented and dedicated policy and research team at the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation.”
A resident of Wakefield, Howitt graduated with honors from McGill University in Montreal and holds a master’s degree in economics from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. She received advanced leadership training through the Massachusetts Institute for Community Health Leadership, a program of the Foundation designed to develop leadership and management skills.