Stacey McMorrow was a principal research associate in the Health Policy Center of the Urban Institute until her death in January 2023. She was a standout scholar whose colleagues valued her intellectual leadership, research prowess, writing ability, support, and dedication to high-quality work. Stacey’s research ranged many different areas, including gaps in coverage and access during the postpartum period, impacts of the Affordable Care Act, health care disparities, closures of labor and delivery units, the drivers of health care spending, health care prices, reproductive health access, and behavioral economics. Stacey’s research on the importance of postpartum coverage was recognized by the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission in 2021 when making policy recommendations to Congress.
In addition to her prolific research output, which included scores of research reports and briefs and 25 peer-reviewed articles, she provided caring mentorship to successive cohorts of research assistants, analysts, and other junior colleagues, served on the editorial board of Health Services Research and as adjunct faculty at George Mason University, and invested time and energy in the Health Policy Center’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion council.
Stacey was a first-generation college student who obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania after having been valedictorian of her high school graduating class in Mahopac, New York. She joined Urban’s Health Policy Center as a research assistant in 2000. She went on to earn a PhD from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, concentrating in health care management and economics, and rejoined the center in 2009.