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John Wittenborn

Pronouns: He/Him

Senior Data Scientist
John focuses on health outcomes research, including health economics, surveillance, simulation modeling and program evaluation.

John is a senior data scientist and is currently serving as the project director for the national Vision and Eye Health Surveillance System (VEHSS), which was named the 2020 Most Outstanding Project of the Year by the American Public Health Association’s Vision Care Section. VEHSS is a publicly available resource where users can freely and easily access many of the best sources of vision and eye health data. Altogether, VEHSS summarizes more than 200 vision and eye health outcomes from 10 data sources representing over 250 million patient-level records per year.

John has experience in program evaluation and cost-effectiveness analyses, with expertise in simulation modeling. He was lead developer of the Multiple Eye Disease Simulation (MEDS) model, named the 2012 APHA Vision Care Section Outstanding Project of the Year. He previously developed simulation models directly used to inform national policy including birth cohort testing and treatment for viral hepatitis C and vaccination for hepatitis B among persons with diabetes. He has experience in data science, analytics and visualization using SAS, Stata, Python, VB/VBa, C++, and Java.

John is also currently serving as project director for a National Institutes on Aging funded grant “Developing and Evaluating a Surveillance System for Alzheimer’s Dementia in the United States” and a CDC funded grant “Expanding the National Approach to Hearing Loss Education and Awareness” which seeks to produce the first national estimates of hearing loss prevalence.

Recently, John led the analysis of Medicare payments for major eye diseases, and helped estimate the total economic burden of vision loss in the United States, and conducted cost evaluations of hypertension control interventions.

Previously, John was a Research Economist at RTI International where he specialized in cost-effectiveness analyses, chronic disease modeling, and Medicare payment programs including prescription drug reimbursement and competitive bidding.



Virginia Tech


Virginia Tech

Honors & Awards

Most Outstanding Project of the Year (VEHSS) | 2020

American Public Health Association’s Vision Care Section

Project Contributions

Improving and Enhancing U.S. Vision & Eye Health Surveillance

The most comprehensive system to track eye diseases and vision loss


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Diabetes Translation, Vision Health Initiative

Network-Driven COVID-19 Prevention for Vulnerable Populations (RADx-UP)

Randomized control trials to evaluate network-based approaches to promote COVID-19 prevention


National Institute of Drug Abuse

Equitably Promoting a Hypertension Control Method

Determining if the Hypertension Management Program is effective in high-burden, low-resourced health care settings


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention

Expanding Hearing Loss Education & Awareness

The nation’s first ever state- and county-level hearing loss prevalence estimates


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention