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Picture of Jessica Mittler

Jessica Mittler, PhD

Associate Professor

Phone: (804) 828-5221

Email: jnmittler@vcu.edu


Harvard University
Ph.D., Health Policy and Medical Sociology

University of Michigan
M.H.S.A., Health Services Administration
M.P.P., Public Policy 

Cornell University
B.S., Urban and Regional Planning 


Jessica Mittler, Ph.D., joined the Department of Health Administration as an associate professor in January 2015. She studies the pursuit of patient-centered care and the transformation it requires for individuals and organizations using qualitative and quantitative research methods. Dr. Mittler is particularly interested in understanding and improving patient experiences, patient engagement, and efforts to improve collaboration among people and across sources of care. Her recent studies include an examination of physician office culture and the implementation of the patient-centered medical homes; an investigation of how patient activation levels change over time; and an evaluation of collaborative efforts to reduce avoidable hospital readmissions. Dr. Mittler presents her research at leading academic and practitioner outlets, including AcademyHealth, Academy of Management, General Internal Medicine, and Institute of Health Care Improvement conferences and workshops. Currently, she teaches in both the MHA and MSHA programs.

Prior to joining VCU, Dr. Mittler was an associate professor at Penn State University. While there she co-lead the Women’s Leadership Initiative, a year-long program to develop students’ leadership competencies through classroom and experiential learning. Prior to earning her Ph.D, Dr. Mittler evaluated the value of health care initiatives to improve the financing and organization of health care services as a researcher at Mathematica Policy Research. Dr. Mittler earned her Ph.D. in Health Policy and Medical Sociology from Harvard in 2008, her Masters in Health Services Administration and Public Policy from the University of Michigan in 1997, and a B.S. in urban studies from Cornell University in 1994.


Hibbard JH, Greene J, Shi Y, Mittler J, Scanlon D. Taking the Long View: How Well Do Patient Activation Scores Predict Outcomes Four Years Later? Medical Care Research and Review. 2015; 72(3): 324-37.

Alexander JA, Hearld L, Mittler JN. Racial Differences in Patient-Physician Role Relationships and Patient Activation.  Medical Care Research and Review. 2014; 71(5):472-495.

Mittler JN, Martsolf GR*, Telenko SJ, Scanlon DP. Making Sense of “Consumer Engagement” Initiatives to Improve Health and Health Care: A Conceptual Framework to Guide Policy and Practice. The Milbank Quarterly. 2013; 91(1): 37-77.

Mittler JN, O’Hora JL, Harvey JB, Press MJ, Volpp KG, Scanlon DP. Turning Health Reform’s Hospital Readmission Reduction Policies into Results: Early Insights from the Field. Population Health Management. 2013; 16(4): 255-260.

Press MJ, Scanlon DP, Zhu J, Navathe AS, Ryan AM, Zhu J, Navathe AS, Mittler JN, Volpp KG. Limits Of Readmission Rates In Measuring Hospital Quality Suggest Need For Added Metrics. Health Affairs. 2013; 32(6): 1083-1091.

Mittler JN, Volmar KM, Shaw BW, Christianson JB, Scanlon DP. Using Websites to Engage Consumers in Managing their Health and Health Care. The American Journal of Managed Care. 2012; 18(6, Supplement): eS177-eS184.

Hearld LR, Alexander JA, Beich J, Mittler JN, O’Hora JL. Barriers and Strategies to Align Stakeholders in Healthcare Alliances. The American Journal of Managed Care. 2012; 18(6, Supplement): S148-S155.

Hearld L, Alexander JA, Mittler JN.  Fostering Change within Organizational Participants of Multi-Sectoral Health Care Alliances. Health Care Management Review. 2012; 37(3): 267-279. (E-pub ahead of print July 2011)

Alexander JA, Hearld L, Mittler JN, Harvey J. Patient-Physician Role Relationships and Patient Activation among Individuals with Chronic Illness. Health Services Research. 2012; 47(3 Pt 1): 1201-23.

Mittler JN, Landon BE, Zaslavsky AM, Cleary PD. Market Characteristics and Awareness of Managed Care Options among Elderly Beneficiaries Enrolled in Traditional Medicare. Medicare and Medicaid Research and Review. 2011; 1(3): E1-E16.

Mittler JN, Landon BE, Fisher ES, Cleary PD, Zaslavsky AM. Market Variations Intensity of Medicare Service Use and Beneficiary Experiences with Care. Health Services Research. 2010; 45(3): 647-669.