Kimberly A. Hepner

Photo of Kimberly Hepner
Senior Behavioral Scientist
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in clinical psychology, University of Arizona

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

More Experts


Kimberly Hepner is a senior behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation and a licensed clinical psychologist. Her research focuses on approaches to assess and improve quality of care for mental health and substance use problems. She has led several large studies assessing the quality of care received by patients with unhealthy alcohol use, substance use disorders, PTSD, depression, co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders, pain, and mild traumatic brain injury. Hepner has extensive expertise in assessing quality of care for veterans, servicemembers, and their families. In addition, she has led multiple studies to identify barriers and facilitators to delivering evidence-based psychotherapy, increase feasibility and quality of provider psychotherapy training, measurement-based care, telehealth, and mindfulness meditation. Hepner has led numerous cognitive behavioral therapy trainings for providers, with a focus on substance use disorders and co-occurring disorders. She also sees adult and adolescent patients in her private practice in Los Angeles, CA. Hepner received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Arizona.

Recent Projects

  • Quality of Care for Pain and Opioid Prescribing in the Military Health System
  • Quality of Care for PTSD and Depression in the Military Health System
  • Quality of Care for Unhealthy Alcohol Use
  • Capacity of Military Psychological Health Providers to Deliver Evidence-based Care
  • Access and Quality of Behavioral Health Care for Service Members Remote from Military Treatment Facilities

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: Federal News Network Online; KCBS-AM


  • Doctor and patient meet in doctor's office, photo by Pornpak Khunatorn/Getty Images

    Addressing the Shortage of Behavioral Health Clinicians: Lessons from the Military Health System

    Access to behavioral health services is one of the top challenges for the U.S. health care system, due in part to a shortage of licensed mental health providers. One potential solution to expanding the behavioral health workforce can be found in the U.S. military.

    May 23, 2022 The RAND Blog

  • Georgia Army National Guard Soldiers conduct a sunrise run during annual training at Fort Stewart, Georgia, January 11, 2017, photo by Capt. William Carraway/U.S. Army

    Supporting the Mental Health Needs of National Guard and Reserve Members

    Over one million U.S. military service members are members of the National Guard or reserves. These troops are being tested like never before, but they do not receive the same physical and mental health care coverage provided to their active-duty counterparts. It may be time to explore policy solutions to ensure that these service members have access to high-quality mental health care.

    Sep 22, 2021 RealClearDefense

  • Young woman pausing to take a breath in nature, photo by swissmediavision/Getty Images

    Four Gifts for Your Mental Health This (Pandemic) Holiday Season

    Our mental health relies on our ability to cope with and adapt to difficult situations, but the length and the scope of the impact of the pandemic on our lives is something most of us have never experienced. Here are four evidence-based strategies to support your mental health this holiday season.

    Dec 21, 2020 USA Today

  • Senior Airman Rajonda Davis (left), 59th Medical Operations Squadron mental health technician, discusses concerns with Capt. Abby Fields, 59th Medical Operations Squadron psychologist, during a mock Behavioral Health Optimization Program visit at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, photo by Staff Sgt. Kevin Iinuma/U.S. Air Force

    Review of Behavioral Health Technician Training, Policies, and Practice Identifies New Opportunities

    Behavioral health technicians are trained to be an essential part of the mental health clinical team, serving as provider extenders who work alongside and support licensed mental health providers. What are the factors that affect these roles? And how can the Military Health System most effectively incorporate them into mental health care settings?

    Oct 15, 2019 The RAND Blog

  • A female doctor talks to a young man who looks down, photo by SolStock/Getty Images

    How a New Tool Could Help Mental Health Providers Deliver More Effective Care

    The mental health workforce needs the proper tools to meet the needs of the communities it serves. A key element of this is high-quality training in how to deliver evidence-based treatments. RAND developed a new tool designed to assess how well a specific training aligns with the most critical features of effective training.

    Mar 1, 2019 The RAND Blog

  • A glass of whiskey on ice

    Is Concern About Powdered Alcohol Distracting from More Serious Drinking Problems?

    Powdered alcohol is at this point a curiosity, not a threat. Americans should be more worried about the health problems caused by widespread misuse of liquid alcohol.

    Aug 17, 2015 New York Daily News

  • A man walks past the headquarters building at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, DC, May 23, 2014

    Improving the Experience of Veterans Seeking Mental Health and Substance Use Care

    Last week, President Obama signed a bill to overhaul care provided by the Veterans Health Administration. This is an important step, but attention to veterans' experiences receiving care, particularly veterans in need of mental health and substance use care, should be an essential component to ongoing efforts to improve quality.

    Aug 13, 2014 The RAND Blog