Katy B. Kozhimannil, PhD, MPA

Distinguished McKnight University Professor, Division of Health Policy and Management

Katy B. Kozhimannil

Contact Info


Office Phone 612-626-3812

Office Address:
D374 Mayo

Mailing Address:
420 Delaware St SE
MMC 729 Mayo
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Distinguished McKnight University Professor, Division of Health Policy and Management

Director, Rural Health Research Center

Director, Rural Health Program

PhD, Health Policy, Harvard University, 2009

MPA, Policy and Administration, Princeton University, 2003

BA, Spanish and International Relations, University of Minnesota, 1999


Dr. Kozhimannil conducts research to inform the development, implementation, and evaluation of health policy that impacts health care delivery, quality, and outcomes during critical times in the lifecourse, including pregnancy and childbirth. The goal of her scholarly work is to contribute to the evidence base for clinical and policy strategies to advance racial, gender, and geographic equity and to collaborate with stakeholders in making policy change to address social determinants and structural injustice in order to facilitate improved health and well-being.

Dr. Kozhimannil’s research, published in major journals such as Science, the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Health Affairs, American Journal of Public Health, Medical Care, and the American Journal of Managed Care, has been widely cited. Media coverage of her research, including feature stories by the New York Times, Washington Post, National Public Radio, Wall Street Journal, US News & World Report, and the Huffington Post, has generated dialogue, interest and policy action at local, state, and national levels. In addition to conducting research, Dr. Kozhimannil teaches courses that build skills for effective engagement in the policy process, and works extensively with community organizations and state and federal policy makers on efforts to improve the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities, starting at birth.


Health care policy, maternal and child health, rural health, health care quality, policy evaluation, health equity 

Awards & Recognition

  • Carol Weisman and Gary Chase Gender Based Award for top abstract in Women’s Health at the AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting (2018)
  • 2016 HCUP Outstanding Article of the Year Award, from AHRQ and AcademyHealth (2017)
  • Alice S. Hersh New Investigator Award, AcademyHeatlh, 2016
  • Labelle Lectureship in Health Services Research, international recognition of an emerging health services researcher with an inter-disciplinary approach to research, McMaster University, 2015
  • Public Health Impact Award, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, 2015
  • Health Affairs Top 15 Most-Read Articles in 2013 “Cesarean Delivery Rates Vary 10-fold Among US Hospitals; Reducing Variation May Address Quality and Cost Issues,” 2014
  • Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health, 2013
  • University of Minnesota Institute for Diversity, Equity and Advocacy Multicultural Research Award, 2011


Research Funding Grants

  • 9/2016-8/2020, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP), "Rural Health Research Center Grant Program," Principal Investigator
  • 10/2016–9/2017,  Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC), "Medicaid Payment Reform and Cesarean Birth and Maternal Morbidity," Principal Investigator
  • 6/2016–5/2017, University of Minnesota Academic Health Center Faculty Seed Grant, "Characterizing US Births Affected by Substance Use: Hot Spots and Trends Over Time," Principal Investigator
  • 9/2016–6/2017, California Health Care Foundation and Health Foundation for Western and Central New York, "Relationship Between Hospital-Level Percentage of Midwife-Attended Births and Obstetric Care Costs and Procedure Utilization," Co-Principal Investigator
  • 9/2016–8/2019, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), Interdisciplinary Research Leaders, "Improving Equity in Birth Outcome, a Community-Based, Culturally Centered Approach," Co-Principal Investigator


See a full list of my publications on PubMed

Selected Publications

  • Kozhimannil KB, Hung P, Henning-Smith C, Casey MM, Prasad S. Association between loss of hospital-based obstetric services and birth outcomes in rural US counties. JAMA. 2018;319(12):1239-1247. 
  • Kozhimannil KB, Graves AJ, Ecklund AM, Shah N, Aggarwal R, Snowden JM. Cesarean delivery rates and costs of childbirth in a state Medicaid program after implementation of a blended payment policy, Medical Care, 2018; 56(8):658-664.
  • Hung P, Henning-Smith C, Casey M, Kozhimannil KB. Access To Obstetrics Services In Rural Communities Continues Decline, Nine Percent Of Rural Counties Lost Services, 2004-14. Health Affairs, 2017; 36(9):1663-1671.
  • Kozhimannil KB, Graves AJ, Levy R, Patrick SW. Nonmedical use of prescription opioids among pregnant US women. Women’s Health Issues, 2017; 27(3): 308–315
  • Hardeman RR, Medina E, Kozhimannil KB. Structural Racism and Supporting Black Lives—The Role of Health Professionals. New England Journal of Medicine, 2016; 375:2113-2115.
  • Kozhimannil KB, Casey M, Hung P, Prasad S, Moscovice I. Location of Childbirth for Rural Women: Implications for Maternal Levels of Care. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2016; 214(5):661.e1-661.e10.
  • Kozhimannil KB, Jou J, Gjerdingen DK, McGovern PM. Access to Workplace Accommodations to Support Breastfeeding, after the Affordable Care Act. Women’s Health Issues, 2016;26(1)3-16.
  • Kozhimannil KB, Kim H. Maternal Mental Illness. Science, 2014; 345(6198):755.


Teaching Areas

I am proud to offer courses that teach talented public health students the practical skills they need to successfully engage and influence health care policy. The purpose of my teaching is to introduce students to the policy environment that influences and shapes public health and the provision of health care services, to enhance understanding of the historical and political context of health policy, to help students develop strategies for and skills in the analysis of health policy issues, and to teach students to communicate effectively in the policy environment.


  • PubH 6735, Principles of Health Policy
  • PubH 7569: Health Care Policy

Community Engagement

I work extensively with community organizations and state and federal policy makers on efforts to improve the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities, starting at birth. A primary focus of my work is improving public health at the intersection of policymaking and community engagement. I have built and sustained ties with the state and national policy community as well as local community partners.

One example of this is an RWJF-funded project with Assistant Professor Rachel Hardeman. We're working with Rebecca Polston, CPM, the founder or Roots Communtiy Birth Center — Minnesota's first and only African-American-owned birth center — to document the process and outcomes of their culturally-centered model of care, and to work toward equity in birth outcomes in Minnesota and beyond.

I have built relationships with community members, clinicians, politicians, program administrators, and private sector entities that have enabled my participation in successful legislative efforts to improve women’s health. For example, my research informed the 2013 passage of Minnesota’s "Doula Bill.” Minnesota Statues Chapter 108, Sec. 11 allows Medicaid coverage of services provided by a certified doula, and follow up work has documented the challenges and opportunities associated with the implementation of this legislation.

Nationally, I regularly consult with Congressional staff on legislation related to maternity care, women’s health, and rural health. I also serve on several state committees and task forces, including Minnesota's Maternal Mortality Review Board.



U of MN Health Sciences Expert Link

Health Experts Profile

In The News

SPH News

  • Include People of Color, Indigenous Populations in Rural Health Discussions (Read More)
  • Kozhimannil, Attanasio Earn Best Research Article from Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health (Read More)
  • Structural Factors Shape the Effects of the Opioid Epidemic on Pregnant Women and Infants (Read More)
  • Opioid-affected Births to Rural Residents are Increasing in Both Rural and Urban Hospitals (Read More)
  • Kozhimannil Joins Women’s Health Issues Editorial Board (Read More)
  • Kozhimannil Earns Award for Women's Health Research from Academy Health
  • Rural maternity care losses lead to childbirth risks (Read More)
  • Midwifery Care at Hospitals is Associated with Fewer Medical Interventions (Read More)
  • Our Maternity Care System Is Broken "Here's How We Can Fix It" (Read More)
  • Opioid Use and Pregnancy (Read More)
  • Kozhimannil Named to Editorial Board of Women's Health Issues (Read More)
  • Researchers Call for Exploring Racist Roots in Healthcare Inequities (Read More)
  • Kozhimannil and Collaborators Win Outstanding Article of the Year (Read More)
  • Many Pregnant Women Using Opioids in US Report Mental Illness and Other Substance Abuse (Read More)
  • Finding the Source: How Reproductive Age Women Get Opioids (Read More)
  • Babies Born with Opioid Addiction in Rural U.S. on the Rise (Read More)
  • Kozhimannil Receives AcademyHealth's Hersh New Investigator Award (Read More)
  • Majority of breastfeeding mothers don’t have access to basic workplace accommodations (Read More)
  • Study shows growth of certified nurse-midwives practice in rural U.S. hospitals could improve access to high-quality maternity care (Read More)
  • Mothers in poorer health are less likely to breastfeed (Read More)
  • Expert Perspective: Who delivers babies in rural hospitals? (Read More)
  • Study Shows Doula Care is Cost-Effective, Associated with Reduction in Preterm and Cesarean Births (Read More)
  • Rural Women with Higher Risk Pregnancies Likely to Give Birth at Non-local Hospitals (Read More)

In the Media

  • Dwindling maternal care in rural areas has Feds seeking fixes (Bloomberg Law)
  • Maternal deaths, and disparities, become a grassroots cause (AJMC Managed Markets Network)
  • Rural areas nationwide are losing prenatal and labor and delivery services, and Minnesota is part of that trend (MPR)
  • Rural hospitals retreat from delivering babies; small towns pay the price (MPR News)
  • ‘A pumping conspiracy’: Why workers smuggled breast pumps into prison (The New York Times)
  • When Obstetrics Units Close, Rural Hospitals Save At The Expense Of Women’s Health (Texas Standard)
  • A sense of alarm as rural hospitals keep closing (The New York Times)
  • Serious childbirth complications have risen dramatically in U.S., study finds (MinnPost)
  • Mayo in Mankato Launches Midwifery Care (Mankato Free Press)
  • Telehealth Reduces Appointments for Low-risk Pregnancies (Digital Commerce 360)
  • 5 updates on maternal health in the United States (AJMC Managed Markets Network)
  • A bundle of joy, a pile of bills: Childbirth can cost thousands in out-of-pocket expenses (Philly.com)
  • New York to expand use of doulas to reduce childbirth deaths (The New York Times)
  • Tele-Monitoring Can Reduce Medical Appointments For Low-Risk Pregnancies (Washington Post)
  • Medicaid Is Rural America’s Financial Midwife (Washington Post)
  • Childbirth risks rise when rural hospitals end delivery services (MPR News)
  • Check it Out: health briefs. Midwifery care associated with fewer medical interventions (Daily Hampshire Gazette)
  • Promise unrealized: A birth checklist fails to reduce deaths in rural India (STAT)
  • Hospital midwives may mean lower C-section rates (Chicago Tribune)
  • Maternity care 'deserts' growing (MedPage Today)
  • Lack of rural maternity wards hurts African-American moms and babies the most (Electronic Urban Report)
  • Find out how much it costs to give birth in every state (TIME)
  • You're doomed to be a helicopter parent — but it's not your fault (Refinery 29)
  • Rural Hospitals are Dying and Pregnant Women are Paying the Price (Politico)
  • Rural maternity wards are closing, and women’s lives are on the line (Huffington Post)
  • Role of racial and geographical bias in rural maternity care (AJMC.com)
  • Rise in Infant Drug Dependence is Most Felt in Rural Areas (New York Times)
  • A Little Help, Big Benefit: As Evidence of their Value Mounts, Doulas Welcomed at Birthing Centers (Duluth News Tribune
  • U.S. Premature Birthrate Falls, Along with Labor Inductions and C-sections (MinnPost
  • The Most Expensive Place to Give Birth in the U.S. (Time
  • Expectant Moms: You Have Nine Months for Delivery Decisions, You Better Shop Around (Kaiser Health News