John Wittenborn

John Wittenborn is a senior research scientist in NORC's Public Health Analytics program. His research focuses on disease modeling, cost-effectiveness analysis, burden-of-illness studies, and program evaluation. He has particular content expertise in the areas of vision and eye health, viral hepatitis C and B, and chronic kidney disease. 

Wittenborn is currently serving as project manager of a 4-year CDC cooperative agreement to establish and national surveillance system for vision loss and eye health. He is also currently leading a study on the cost-effectiveness of telemonitoring technology for eye disease, forecasting the health and budgetary impacts of hepatitis C treatments on the Medicare program, and is developing a process to develop rapid policy impact analysis models for ASPE.

Previously, Wittenborn was principal investigator for three CDC and Prevent Blindness funded projects to estimate and forecast the economic burden of vision and eye disorders in the United States. In 2013 and 2014 he presented the Cost of Vision and the Future of Vision, respectively, each delivered as the keynote addresses at the Focus on Eye Health National Summits and separate Congressional Vision Caucus briefings. 

He also served as the lead developer for the development and analysis of the CDC/NIH Multiple Eye Disease Simulation model, two CDC hepatitis C policy models, the CDC's CKD Health Policy Model, and ASPE's Hepatitis B Health Policy Model.

Prior to joining NORC in 2012, Wittenborn served as a Research Economist at RTI International for 11 years.  In addition to his research in vision and hepatitis C, at RTI Wittenborn conducted research related to modeling of chronic kidney disease, regulatory impact analyses for several government agencies, and providing economic consulting services to CMS related to prescription drug pricing and competitive bidding. From 1998-1999, Wittenborn was a Research Assistant at Georgetown Economic Services, where he analyzed international trade patterns, including identifying the impact of the General System of Preferences tariff waiver program on market costs and cob-web cycles. From 1996-1998 Wittenborn was a Research Analyst at Space Applications Corporation.

Wittenborn has authored or coauthored 24 publications in journals such as Annals of Internal Medicine, Medical Decision Making, and Ophthalmology. His research on the impact of vaccination for hepatitis B among patients with diabetes, birth-cohort testing for hepatitis C, glaucoma screening and eye disease telemonitoring all helped lead to changes in national coverage policy. He has presented his research at numerous academic conferences and professional meetings, including delivering keynote addresses at two national eye health summits and congressional briefings. 

While at NORC Wittenborn was awarded an Exceptional Contribution Award, and received 5 Annual Awards and the Early Career Author award while at RTI.  The American Public Health Association awarded him the Melvin D. Shipp Best Abstract award, and along with P.I. David Rein, Wittenborn received the 2012 Outstanding Project of the Year Award from the APHA's Vision Care Section for the development of the Multiple Eye Disease Simulation Model.  Wittenborn is a member of the American Public Health Association and the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.