Carrie M. Farmer

Photo of Carrie Farmer
Codirector, RAND Epstein Family Veterans Policy Research Institute; Director, Health Care Quality Measurement and Improvement Program; Senior Policy Researcher
Pittsburgh Office


Ph.D. in health policy, Harvard University; B.A. in psychobiology, Wellesley College

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email

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Carrie M. Farmer is codirector of the RAND Epstein Family Veterans Policy Research Institute, director of the Health Care Quality Measurement and Improvement Program, and a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. Her areas of research include military and veteran health policy and quality of health care. She has led multiple studies to assess the delivery of health care to veterans and service members, including a study of behavioral health care in the Military Health System, a study of the use of measurement-based care in the treatment of behavioral health conditions in the Veterans Health Administration, and studies to assess the capacity of community providers to meet the health care needs of veterans.

Farmer was the study director for a large, comprehensive assessment of the Veterans Health Administration required by the Veterans, Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014. She was also the codirector for a study of innovative approaches for treating psychological health problems and traumatic brain injury in the Department of Defense and led the largest assessment to date of care received by service members following a mild traumatic brain injury. She is a member of the Department of Veterans Affairs National Research Advisory Council. She received her Ph.D. in health policy from Harvard University and her B.A. in psychobiology from Wellesley College.

Recent Projects

  • High quality care for PTSD and TBI among post-9/11 veterans
  • Measurement-based mental health care within the Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Congressionally-mandated independent assessment of the Veterans Health Administration
  • Evaluation of the well-being of veterans and service members in Massachusetts
  • Evaluation of public health and mental health programs

Selected Publications

Farmer CM and Dong L, Defining High-Quality Care for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: Proposed Definition and Next Steps for the Veteran Wellness Alliance, RAND Corporation (RR-A337-1), 2020

Brooks Holliday S; Hepner KA, Farmer CM, Ivany C, Iyiewuare P, McGee-Vincent P, McCaslin S, Rosen CS, "A Qualitative Evaluation of Veterans Health Administration’s Implementation of Measurement-Based Care in Behavioral Health," Psychological Services, 17(3), 2020

Tanielian T and Farmer C., "The US Military Health System: Promoting Readiness and Providing Health Care.," Health Affairs, 38(8), 2019

Farmer CM, Whipkey K, Chamberlin M, Programs addressing psychological health and resilience in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, RAND Corporation (RR-1952-DHS), 2019

Hepner, Kimberly A.; Farris, Coreen.; Farmer, Carrie M.; Iyiewuare, Praise.; Tanielian, Terri L.; Wilks, Asa.; Robbins, Michael William.; Paddock, Susan M.; Pincus, Harold Alan,, Delivering Clinical Practice Guideline-Concordant Care for PTSD and Major Depression in Military Treatment Facilities, RAND Corporation (RR-1692), 2017

Farmer, Carrie M.; Tanielian, Terri L.; Fischer, Shira H.; Duffy, Erin L.; Dellva, Stephanie.; Butcher, Emily.; Brown, Kristine M.; Hoch, Emily., Supporting Veterans in Massachusetts: An Assessment of Needs, Well-Being, and Available Resources, RAND Corporation (RR-1698), 2017

Carrie Farmer, Susan Hosek, David Adamson, Balancing Demand and Supply for Veterans' Health Care: A Summary of Three RAND Assessments Conducted Under the Veterans Choice Act, RAND Corporation (RR-1165z4), 2016

Farmer, Carrie M.; Krull, Heather.; Concannon, Thomas W.; Simmons, Molly.; Pillemer, Francesca.; Ruder, Teague.; Parker, Andrew M.; Purohit, Maulik.; Hiatt, Liisa,; Batorsky, Benjamin.; Hepner, Kimberly A., Understanding Treatment of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in the Military Health System, RAND Corporation (RR-844), 2016

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: Federal News Radio; Scripps News; Stars and Stripes; WFED-AM Online


  • Soldiers assigned to the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment place American flags at headstones ahead of Memorial Day in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, May 21, 2020, photo by Elizabeth Fraser/U.S. Army

    A Memorial Day Like No Other

    Although Memorial Day is and should be dedicated to our fallen military personnel and veterans, this year, especially, we are reminded that service to the country comes in many forms.

    May 27, 2021 The RAND Blog

  • Aerial photo of the 12-building Department of Veterans Affairs replacement medical center under construction in Aurora, Colorado, photo courtesy of Kiewit Turner

    Infrastructure Investment for Veterans

    The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides health care to over 9 million veterans through its network of medical facilities. Improved infrastructure could help attract veterans to care, boost provider morale, and ensure high-quality care.

    May 4, 2021 The RAND Blog

  • Mid adult Hispanic male veteran gestures as he discusses something during a veterans group meeting,  photo by SDI Productions/Getty Images

    All Veterans with Invisible Wounds Should Receive High-Quality Care That Meets These Standards

    Millions of post-9/11 U.S. military veterans experience life-changing invisible wounds, including posttraumatic stress disorder and chronic issues resulting from traumatic brain injuries. While effective treatments are available, many veterans lack access to high-quality care. And what high-quality care means, exactly, has been elusive.

    Oct 30, 2020 The RAND Blog

  • A health care worker in protective equipment enters the Brooklyn Hospital Center during the COVID-19 outbreak in Brooklyn, New York, March 31, 2020, photo by Brendan McDermid/Reuters

    Amidst a Pandemic, a Mental Health Crisis May Be Looming

    The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on health care workers' mental health could be significant and may weaken the health care system's ability to resolve the crisis and survive over the long term. Interventions to promote psychological well-being should be implemented now.

    Apr 1, 2020 The RAND Blog

  • Veterans waiting for their appointments at the VA Medical Center in El Paso, Texas

    Did We Improve Veterans Health Care? It's Unclear

    The Veterans Choice program was designed to expedite veterans' access to health care and relieve pressure on the VA system. Before making the program permanent, the VA should better understand its effectiveness.

    May 24, 2016 U.S. News & World Report

  • A private security contractor and soldiers look at a destroyed vehicle after an attack near Najaf, Iraq, May 18, 2006

    Military Security Contractors Get PTSD, Too

    Largely absent from the conversation about the use of military security contractors are the parallel issues of mental health and the deployment-related stress contractors can face.

    Jun 12, 2015 USA Today

  • Contractor personnel inspect an Afghan national police facility

    Out of the Shadows, Into the Light: Why Americans Should Care About the Health of Contractors Deploying to Conflict Environments

    In contrast to the numerous mental health resources available to members of the U.S. military, very few (if any) resources are available to help private contractors struggling with mental health problems. It is in the best interest of all involved to ensure that contractors receive the support and treatment they need.

    Jan 21, 2014 The RAND Blog

  • U.S. soldier at a prayer service while on duty in Iraq

    Stigma Reduction Programs Could Help Those with PTSD, but the Evidence Is Weak

    Determining the effectiveness of programs designed to reduce the stigma of post-traumatic stress disorder is essential to helping servicemembers seek and receive the care they need.

    Jul 3, 2012