Katherine Hoerster, PhD, MPH

Personal Statement

My research focuses on understanding and addressing the contextual factors like social support and policy that affect health and health behavior. I recently completed a 5-year VA HSR&D Career Development Award.  During the award our team engaged Veterans to develop a behavioral weight loss program for Veterans with PTSD called MOVE!+UP. We recently launched a VA Merit-funded study to test MOVE!+UP in a hybrid effectiveness and implementation randomized controlled trial. I am also PI on a VA Merit pragmatic clinical trial to test a remote behavioral weight loss intervention among 500 Veterans with obesity. I am Principal Investigator for an HSR&D- and MIRECC-funded survey study that examines the role of social and neighborhood factors in prevention and management of chronic disease among Veterans. I am fortunate to work with Veterans with PTSD as a staff psychologist in the VA Puget Sound-Seattle PTSD Outpatient Clinic. Lastly, I have an interest in maximizing research impact by communicating about science to the public and policymakers.


PhD, San Diego State University/University of California, San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, 2010
MPH, San Diego State University, School of Public Health, 2009
BA, Connecticut College, 2001

Department Affiliations

Other Affiliations

VA Health Services Research & Development (HSR&D) Seattle-Denver Center of Innovation for Veteran-Centered and Value-Driven Care.

Teaching Philosophy

I believe in competency-based training that capitalizes on trainees’ unique strengths and skillsets.  I believe that experiential learning is a powerful tool, providing the opportunity for direct observation and feedback, modeling, and bidirectional learning.

Recent Publications

Differences in healthcare costs over 10 years following discharge from military service by weight trajectory.
(2024 Apr 1)
Obes Res Clin Pract
Wong ES, Stechuchak KM, Smith VA, Hung A, Dennis PA, Hoerster KD, Maciejewski ML

Association Between a National Behavioral Weight Management Program and Veterans Affairs Health Expenditures.
(2024 Apr 1)
Med Care 62(4): 235-242
Smith VA, Stechuchak KM, Wong ES, Hung A, Dennis PA, Hoerster KD, Blalock DV, Raffa SD, Maciejewski ML

Black Veterans Experiences with and Recommendations for Improving Weight-Related Health Care: A Photovoice Study.
(2024 Mar 4)
J Gen Intern Med
Breland JY, Tanksley L Sr, Borowitz MA, Houseknecht D, Muhammad N, Raffa SD, Hoerster KD

Real World Use of Anti-Obesity Medications and Weight Change in Veterans.
(2024 Mar)
J Gen Intern Med 39(4): 519-528
Hung A, Wong ES, Dennis PA, Stechuchak KM, Blalock DV, Smith VA, Hoerster K, Vimalananda VG, Raffa SD, Maciejewski ML

Protocol for a pragmatic trial testing a self-directed lifestyle program targeting weight loss among patients with obstructive sleep apnea (POWER Trial).
(2023 Dec)
Contemp Clin Trials 135(): 107378
Donovan LM, McDowell JA, Pannick AP, Pai J, Bais AF, Plumley R, Wai TH, Grunwald GK, Josey K, Sayre GG, Helfrich CD, Zeliadt SB, Hoerster KD, Ma J, Au DH

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