to main content Kathryn Spates | The Joint Commission
Kathryn Spates

Kathryn Spates

Executive Vice President for Public Policy and Government Relations

Kathryn Spates, JD, ACNP-BC, is the Executive Vice President for Public Policy and Government Relations at The Joint Commission. In this role, she leads the Joint Commission’s Washington, D.C. office, which is the Joint Commission’s interface with the federal government and with public policy issues. It is also the office concerned with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and its relationship to private sector accreditation; relationships with U.S. Department of Health and Humans Services (HHS) agencies; other offices such as U.S. Government Accountability Office and HHS Office of the Inspector General; and with policymaking institutions. Ms. Spates works with federal agencies, Congress, national professional organizations, patient-focused associations, and other relevant stakeholders. She also analyzes the effects of legislation and regulations on Joint Commission and health care entities.

Ms. Spates has more than 20 years of health care industry experience, spanning legal, government relations, and clinical work. She previously worked at the Food and Drug Administration and as an attorney at a law firm in Washington, D.C. Before she began her government relations and legal career, she spent many years in clinical care as a nurse and an acute care nurse practitioner. She has worked at academic medical centers, in clinical research and at the U.S. Peace Corps headquarters. Ms. Spates also served as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy Nurse Corps. She is a member of the American Bar Association, Health Law Section and American Health Law Association.

Ms. Spates received a Juris Doctor from the Columbus School of Law, The Catholic University of America; her master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University; and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Boston College. She is admitted to the District of Columbia and Maryland bars.