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Jonathan VanGeest, PhD

Associate Professor and Chair - Health Policy & Management

PhD, Medical Sociology, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1998; MA, Sociology-UrbanStudies (Dual Degrees), Michigan State University, 1991; BS, Sociology, Michigan State University, 1988.

Dr. Jonathan VanGeest is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management in the College of Public Health at Kent State University. Prior to his arrival at Kent State, Dr. VanGeest served as a Department Chair in the School of Community Health and Policy at Morgan State University, where he also directed the university’s Center for Health Informatics, Planning and Policy. He also has previous experience working as a Senior Scientist and Program Director in Science, Quality and Public Health at the American Medical Association (AMA) and as a Scientist in the AMA’s Institute for Ethics, an academic research and training center uniquely situated within the nation’s largest medical professional association. Dr. VanGeest's research focuses on racial and ethnic disparities in health care, limited health literacy, and care outcomes associated with structural changes in medicine. He also has extensive experience in survey research methodology and program evaluation. Dr. VanGeest has published in leading health and policy journals and co-edited one of the first textbooks on limited health literacy.  He is an Associate Editor for BMC Medical Research Methodology and he is on the Editorial Boards for Evaluation and the Health Professions (EHP), a quarterly journal providing a forum for health professionals interested in health evaluation research and practices, and the Journal of Substance Abuse and Alcoholism.  A guest-edited special issue of EHP on surveying clinicians was published in September 2013.  Dr. VanGeest has served on numerous state and national committees, including the Institute of Medicine’s Liaison Panel on Assuring the Health of the Public in the 21st Century and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Panel to Evaluate U.S. Standard Certificates and Reports.  He currently serves as a Section Councilor for the Medical Care Section of the American Public Health Association.
Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities
VanGeest JB, Johnson TP, Alemagno S. (Eds.) Handbook of Substance Abuse Research Methods. New York, NY: Springer USA (Forthcoming 2014).
Schwartzberg JG, VanGeest JB, Wang CC. (Eds.) Understanding Health Literacy: Implications for Medicine and Public Health. Chicago, IL: American Medical Association Press, 2005.
Recent Articles:
VanGeest JB, Johnson TP. Surveying clinicians: Introduction to the special issue. Evaluation and the Health Professions. 2013; 36:275-78.
Cho YI, Johnson TP, VanGeest JB. Enhancing surveys of health care professionals: A meta-analysis of techniques to improve response. Evaluation and the Health Professions. 2013; 36:382-407.
VanGeest JB. Addressing "Failures in Substance Use Surveys" through applications of best practices: Commentary on Timothy Johnson. Substance Use & Misuse. 2012; 47:1685-6.
VanGeest JB, Johnson TP.  Using incentives in surveys of cancer patients: Do "best practices" apply?  Cancer Causes and Control. 2012; 23:2047-52.
Welch VL, VanGeest JB, Caskey R.  Time, costs, and clinical utilization of screening for health literacy in primary care: A case study using the Newest Vital Sign (NVS) instrument.  Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. 2011;24:281-289.
VanGeest J, Johnson TP. Surveying nurses: Identifying strategies to improve participation.  Evaluation and the Health Professions, 2011;34:487-511.
VanGeest JB, Welch VL, Weiner SJ.  Patients’ perceptions of screening for health literacy: Reactions to the Newest Vital Sign.  Journal of Health Communication.  2010;15:402-412.
VanGeest JB, Welch VL. Evaluating “Not in Mama’s Kitchen” second-hand smoke awareness campaign in Georgia.  Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice.2008;2(3):73-87.
Weiner SJ, VanGeest J, Abrams RI, Moswin A, Warnecke R. Managing the unmanaged: A case study of the intra-institutional determinants of uncompensated care at hospitals with differing ownership models. Medical Care. 2008;46(8):821-828.
VanGeest JB, Johnson TP, Welch VL. Methodologies for improving response rates in surveys of physicians: A systematic review. Evaluation and the Health Professions.2007;30(4):303-321.
Schwartzberg JG, Cowett A, VanGeest J, Wolf MS. Communication techniques for patients with low health literacy: A survey of physicians, nurses, and pharmacists. American Journal of Health Behavior. 2007;31(Suppl 1):S96-104.
VanGeest JB, Weiner SJ, Johnson TP, Cummins DS. Impact of managed care on physicians’ decisions to manipulate reimbursement rules: An explanatory model. Journal of Health Services Research and Policy. 2007;12(3):147-152.
Bremner MN, Aduddell K, Bennett DN, VanGeest JB. The use of human patient simulators: Best practices with novice nursing students. Nurse Educator. 2006;31(4):170-174.
Weiner SJ, VanGeest JB, Abrams RI, Moswin A, Warnecke R. Avoiding free care at all costs: A survey of uninsured patients choosing not to seek emergency services at an urban county hospital. The Journal of Urban Health. 2006;83(2):244-252.
Long J, Rozo-Rivera A, Akers T, VanGeest JB, Bairan A, Fogarty K, Sowell R. Validating the utility of the Spanish version of the American Diabetes Association risk test. Clinical Nursing Research. 2006;15(2):107-118.
Schwartzberg JG, Fleming M, Oliver C, Vergara LC, VanGeest JB. Evaluating a health literacy kit for physicians. Studies in Communication Sciences. 2005;5(2):159-170.
Weiner SJ, VanGeest JB, Wynia MK, Cummins DS, Wilson IB. Falling into line: The impact of utilization review hassles on physician adherence to insurance contracts. The Journal of Clinical Ethics. 2004;15(2):139-148.
Lee SYD, Dow WH, Wang V, VanGeest JB. Use of deceptive tactics in physician practices: Are there differences between international and US medical graduates? Health Policy. 2004;67(3):257-264.
Elster AB, Jarosik J, VanGeest JB, Fleming M. Racial and ethnic disparities in health care for adolescents: A critical review of the literature. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. 2003;157(9):867-874.
Research Areas
  • Health Care Disparities
  • Health Literacy
  • Physician Practice Patterns
  • Access to Care
American Public Health Association (APHA); American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR)
Jonathan VanGeest, PhD
College of Public Health

Tuesday, 5:00-6:00 PM (Twinsburg)

Kent Campus: By Appointment

Phone: 330-672-6514
Fax: 330-672-6505