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Katherine Ornstein, PhD, MPH

Professor (PAR)
Director, Center for Equity in Aging
Katherine Ornstein
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Specialties and Expertise

  • Aging
  • Big Data
  • Dementia
  • Disparities
  • End of Life
  • Equity
  • Gerontology
  • Palliative Care
  • Quantitative Research Methods/stats
  • Research Design
  • Social Determinants of Health


Katherine Ornstein, an epidemiologist by training, is director of the Center for Equity in Aging. Her program of research focuses on older individuals with serious illness and their families and includes work on the downstream effects of health care on families and caregivers; the epidemiology of the homebound population; burden and cost in dementia caregiving over time; and home-based clinical care in dementia and other settings. Her work applies a social epidemiologic framework to geriatric and palliative care research to determine how end-of-life care, including hospice care and the use of life-sustaining treatments, for patients with serious illness impacts the long-term health and health care utilization of family members. She also works closely with clinicians to improve care for the highly underserved homebound population by designing and evaluating innovative multidisciplinary models of home-based primary and palliative care.

Additional Resources

Below are selected resources. For more information, please see full CV.

  • Publications/Research

    Ornstein, K.A., Garrido, M.M., Siu, A.L., Bollens-Lund, E., Langa, K.M. & Kelley, A.S. (2018). Impact of in-hospital death on spending for bereaved spouses. Health Services Research, 53 Suppl 1:2696-2717, PMID: 29488621. PMCID: PMC6056590.

    Ornstein, K.A., Wolff, J.L., Bollens-Lund, E., Rahman, O., Kelley, A.S., (2019). Spousal caregivers are caregiving alone in the last years of life. Health Affairs, 38(6):964-972, PMID 31158025.

    Ankuda, C. K., Leff, B., Ritchie, C. S., Siu, A. L., & Ornstein, K. A. (2021). Association of the COVID-19 Pandemic With the Prevalence of Homebound Older Adults in the United States, 2011-2020. JAMA internal medicine, 10.1001/jamainternmed.2021.4456.

    Kristensen MS, Thygesen LC, Tay DL, Kumar R, Grønvold M, Aldridge M, Ornstein KA. (2021) Size and composition of family networks of decedents: A nationwide register-based study. Palliat Med. 2021 Apr 6:269216321998602. doi: 10.1177/0269216321998602. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33823696.

    Reckrey, J.M., Yang, M., Kinosian, B., Bollens-Lund, E., Leff, B., Ritchie, C., Ornstein, K. (2020). Receipt of home-based medical care among older beneficiaries enrolled in fee-for-service Medicare. Health Affairs (Millwood). 39(8):1289-1296. PMID: 32744949.

  • Awards/Honors

    2020   Fellow, Gerontological Society of America

    2018   Dan Gilden Creative Investigator Award, American Academy of Home Care Medicine

    2013   Research Scholar, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine