Jonathan VanGeest, PhD

Office Hours:
By Appointment.
Contact Information



Dr. Jonathan VanGeest is Professor of Health Policy and Management in the College of Public Health at Kent State University, where he teaches courses in public heatlh administration, health policy, health care systems, and survey research methods.  Prior to coming to Kent State, Dr. VanGeest served as Associate Professor and 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, including the Journal of the American Medical Association, Health Affairs, Medical Care, and Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine (now JAMA Pediatrics), and co-edited one of the first textbooks on limited health literacy.  He is an Associate Editor for BMC Medical Research Methodology and Evaluation and the Health Professions. A guest-edited special issue of Evaluation and the Health Professions (with Dr. Timothy Johnson, University of Illinois at Chicago) 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 also served as a Section Councilor for the Medical Care Section of the American Public Health Association (2012-2015).


Recent Publications:


Johnson, T.P., & VanGeest, J.B. (Forthcoming). Survey Research with Health Professionals. New York, NY: Guilford.
VanGeest, J.B., Johnson, T.P., & Alemagno, S. (Eds.). (2017). Research Methods in the Study of Substance Abuse.  New York, NY: Springer.
Schwartzberg, J.G., VanGeest, J.B., & Wang, C.C. (Eds.) (2005). Understanding Health Literacy: Implications for Medicine and Public Health. Chicago, IL: American Medical Association Press.
Recent Book Chapters:
VanGeest, J.B., Johnson, T.P., & Alemagno, S. (2017).  History of Substance Abuse Research in the United States.  In J.B. VanGeest, T.P. Johnson and S. Alemagno (Eds.), Research Methods in the Study of Substance Abuse.  New York, NY: Springer.
Johnson, T.P., & VanGeest, J.B. (2017).  Quantitative Designs: Surveys.  In J.B. VanGeest, T.P. Johnson and S. Alemagno (Eds.), Research Methods in the Study of Substance Abuse.  New York, NY: Springer.
VanGeest, J.B., Beebe, T., & Johnson, T.P. (2015).  Surveys of Physicians.  In T.P. Johnson (Ed.), Handbook of Health Survey Methods.  New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Fullam, F., & VanGeest, J.B. (2015).  Surveys of Patient Populations.  In T.P. Johnson (Ed.), Handbook of Health Survey Methods.  New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Brewer, T., Tossone, K., & VanGeest, J.B. (2013).  Health and Social Policy: An Evidence-Based Imperative for Epidemiological Criminology.  In E. Waltermaurer and T. Akers (Eds.), Epidemiological Criminology:  Theory to Practice.  New York, NY: Routledge.
VanGeest, J.B., & Cummins, D.S. (2008).  International Research Ethics. In C.S. Holtz (Ed.), Global Healthcare Issues and Policies. Boston, MA: Jones and Bartlet Publishers.
Recent and Noteworthy Articles:
Birmingham, L., Cheruvu, V.K., Frey, J.A., Stiffler, K.A., & VanGeest, J. (2020).  Homogeneous subgroups of ED frequent users: A latent class analysis.  American Journal of Emergency Medicine, 38, 83-88.
Fischbein, R.L., Nicholas, L., Kingsbury, D., Falletta, L.M., Baughman, K., & VanGeest, J. (2019).  State anxiety in pregnancies affected by obstetric complications: A systematic review.  Journal of Affective Disorders, 257, 214-40.
Mulvany, J., Hetherington, V.H., & VanGeest, J.B. (2019). Survey research in podiatric medicine: An analysis of the reporting of response rates and non-response bias. The Foot, 40, 92-97.
VanGeest, J.B., & Johnson, T.P. (2013).  Surveying clinicians: An introduction to the special issue.  Evaluation and the Health Professions, 36, 275-278.
Cho Y.I., Johnson, T.P., & VanGeest, J.B. (2013). Enhancing surveys of health care professionals: A meta-analysis of techniques to improve response. Evaluation and the Health Professions, 36, 382-407.
VanGeest, J.B. (2012). Addressing "Failures in Substance Use Surveys" through applications of best practices: Commentary on Timothy Johnson. Substance Use & Misuse, 47, 1685-6.
VanGeest, J.B., & Johnson, T.P. (2012)  Using incentives in surveys of cancer patients: Do "best practices" apply?  Cancer Causes and Control, 23, 2047-52.
Welch, V.L., VanGeest, J.B., & Caskey, R. (2011).  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, 24, 281-289.
VanGeest, J., & Johnson, T.P. (2011). Surveying nurses: Identifying strategies to improve participation.  Evaluation and the Health Professions, 34, 487-511.
VanGeest, J.B., Welch, V.L., & Weiner, S.J. (2010).  Patients’ perceptions of screening for health literacy: Reactions to the Newest Vital SignJournal of Health Communication, 15, 402-412.
VanGeest, J.B., & Welch, V.L. (2008). Evaluating “Not in Mama’s Kitchen” second-hand smoke awareness campaign in Georgia.  Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice, 2(3), 73-87.
Weiner, S.J., VanGeest, J., Abrams, R.I., Moswin, A., & Warnecke, R. (2008). Managing the unmanaged: A case study of the intra-institutional determinants of uncompensated care at hospitals with differing ownership models. Medical Care, 46(8), 821-828.
VanGeest, J.B., Johnson, T.P., & Welch, V.L. (2007). Methodologies for improving response rates in surveys of physicians: A systematic review. Evaluation and the Health Professions, 30(4), 303-321.
Schwartzberg, J.G., Cowett, A., VanGeest, J., & Wolf, M.S. (2007). Communication techniques for patients with low health literacy: A survey of physicians, nurses, and pharmacists. American Journal of Health Behavior, 31(Suppl 1), S96-104.
VanGeest, J.B., Weiner, S.J., Johnson, T.P., & Cummins, D.S. (2007).  Impact of managed care on physicians’ decisions to manipulate reimbursement rules: An explanatory model. Journal of Health Services Research and Policy, 12(3), 147-152.
Bremner, M.N., Aduddell, K., Bennett, D.N., & VanGeest, J.B. (2006). The use of human patient simulators: Best practices with novice nursing students. Nurse Educator, 31(4), 170-174.
Weiner, S.J., VanGeest, J.B., Abrams, R.I., Moswin, A., & Warnecke, R. (2006). 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, 83(2), 244-252.
Long, J., Rozo-Rivera, A., Akers, T., VanGeest, J.B., Bairan, A., Fogarty, K., & Sowell, R. (2006). Validating the utility of the Spanish version of the American Diabetes Association risk test. Clinical Nursing Research, 15(2), 107-118.
Schwartzberg, J.G., Fleming, M., Oliver, C., Vergara, L.C., & VanGeest, J.B. (2005). Evaluating a health literacy kit for physicians. Studies in Communication Sciences, 5(2), 159-170.
Weiner, S.J., VanGeest, J.B., Wynia, M.K., Cummins, D.S., & Wilson, I.B. (2004). Falling into line: The impact of utilization review hassles on physician adherence to insurance contracts. The Journal of Clinical Ethics, 15(2), 139-148.
Lee, S.Y.D., Dow, W.H., Wang, V., & VanGeest, J.B. (2004). Use of deceptive tactics in physician practices: Are there differences between international and US medical graduates? Health Policy, 67(3), 257-264.
Elster, A.B., Jarosik, J., VanGeest, J.B., & Fleming, M. (2003). Racial and ethnic disparities in health care for adolescents: A critical review of the literature. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 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)


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


Public Health, Social and Behavioral Science, Health Policy Management, Policy Analysis, Survey Research, program evaluation, Health Communication, Health Services Research, Social Sciences