Simon Geletta, Des Moines University Department of Public Health

Simon Geletta, Ph.D.

Areas of Expertise


I attended graduate school at the university of Missouri – Columbia where I earned an MS degree (1990) and a Ph. D degree (1997) in rural sociology. My graduate studies focused on assessing the health and wellbeing of rural communities. Before coming to DMU I worked in a couple of healthcare quality improvement organizations where I was involved in operationalization, measurement and tracking of the quality of care given to Medicare beneficiaries at different healthcare providers.

I am currently a professor of public health and have been a department of public health faculty since February 2000 – just one year after the MPH program was initiated. My teaching focused on quantitative skills – such as biostatistics, research methodology and geographic information systems.

Areas of current interest/expertise

My research activities cover topics that relate to the design and evaluation of public health programs that focus on health promotion and disease prevention (HPDP). I currently have several implementations of such evaluations. My currently ongoing activity in this field involves measuring and/or tracking countries’ progress towards the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This activity exposes students to the topic of global public health, and is suited for students who wish to gain experience working in collaboration with global universities.

Locally, I also have involvement in several Health Promotion Disease Prevention programs that focus on the management of chronic disease. The principal among these types of studies is the African American Blood Pressure Screening program – which is generating population-based data on the burden of hypertension among the target population.

Other projects that are in various stages of development include investigations of ecological factors that impact a community’s health. Under this umbrella the studies that are being developed include the analysis of the spread of COVID-19 through local neighborhoods, the geographic patterns of COVID-19 vaccinations and vaccine adverse events.

I also work on simulation studies of health related events. As such, I create and evaluate results of health related simulations using approaches such as system dynamics, discreate event simulations and agent-based simulations. These activities should be of interest to any one who would like to have an overview of population-based simulation projects.

Finally, I also have projects that evaluate the use of innovative data collection approaches – such as making use of social media generated data for health measurement.  

Community/professional service

Besides being on several university committees here at DMU, I also serve as a member of an independent grant review team for the Health Resources and Service Administration over the last seven years. Locally, I serve on the Polk County Board of Health as a vice chair. I’ve been in this service for five years. I am also a member of the American Sociological Association, and the Computational Social Science Society of North America – to mention the most prominent professional services that I belong to.

Download CV

Ph.D. in Rural Sociology, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO
Master of Science, Sociology, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO
MSCIS, Computer Info Systems, Databases/Business Intelligence, Boston University, Boston, MA
Bachelor of Science

Scroll to Top