Richard Rheingans, Ph.D., Department Chair

Research & Teaching Interests: 

Interaction between socio-economic factors, the environment and health, global environmental health and equity issues, small farm agroforestry, basic food production, global health and development, water and sanitation, the effect of disparities on vaccine preventable diseases, and poverty.


  • Ph.D. Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale
  • M.A. International Relations, Yale
  • B.A. Political Science, Yale


Senior Seminar, Foundations of Sustainable Development, Environmental Humanities, Special Topics.


Dr. Rheingans comes to Appalachian after several years as an associate professor with a joint appointment in the Department of Environmental and Global Health and the Center for African Studies at the University of Florida.

His extensive teaching and research experience includes positions as impact director and visiting researcher at the SHARE Research Consortium at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, as assistant and associate professor at Emory University’s Hubert Department of Global Health and health economist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Rheingans was recognized as the University of Florida International Educator of the Year in 2012 and has several active grants funded by organizations including the World Bank, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Representative Publications

Published Articles

  1. Caruso B, Dreibelbis R, Awino Ogutu E, Rheingans R (In Press) If you build it will they come? Factors influencing rural primary pupils' urination and defecation practices at school in western Kenya, Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Sustainable Development
  2. Rheingans R, Anderson J, Anderson B, Chakraborty P. (In Press) Modeling the effects of disparities in health risk and intervention access in low-income countries: A simulation experiment and empirical example. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.
  3. Brown J, Cumming O, Bartram J, Cairncross S, Ensink J, Holcomb D, Knee J, Kolsky P, Liang K, Liang S, Nala R, Norman G, Rheingans R, Stewart J, Zavale O, Zuin V, Schmidt WP. 2015. A controlled, before and after trial of an urban sanitation intervention to reduce enteric infections in children: research protocol for the Maputo Sanitation (MapSan) study, Mozambique. BMJ Open, 5(6).
  4. Cohen CR, Steinfeld RL, Weke E, Bukusi EA, Hatcher AM, Shiboski S, Rheingans R, Scow KM, Butler LM, Otieno P, Dworkin SL, Weiser SD. Shamba Maisha: Pilot agricultural intervention for food security and HIV health outcomes in Kenya: design, methods, baseline results and process evaluation of a cluster randomized controlled trial. 2015. Springerplus 4(12).
  5. Rheingans R, Anderson J, Anderson B, Chakraborty P, Atherly D, Pindolia D. 2014. Estimated impact and cost-effectiveness of rotavirus vaccination in India: Effects of geographic and economic disparities, Vaccine 32(S1):A140-50.
  6. Garn J, Caruso B, Drews-Botsch, Kramer M, Brumback B, Rheingans R, Freeman M. 2014. Factors associated with pupil toilet use in Kenyan primary schools. Int. J. Environ Res. Public Health, 11(9):9694-711.
  7. Rheingans R, Amaya M, Anderson J, Chakraborty P, Atem J. 2014. Systematic Review of the Economic Value of Diarrheal Vaccines, Human Vaccines and Immunotherateutics, 10(6):1582-94.
  8. Caruso B, Freeman M, Garn J, Dreibelbis R, Saboori S, Muga R, Rheingans R. 2014. Assessing the impact of a school-based latrine cleaning and handwashing program on pupil absence in Nyanza Province, Kenya: A cluster-randomized trial. Tropical Medicine and International Health, 19(10):1185-97
  9. Alexander KT, Oduor C, Nyothach E, Laserson KF, Amek N, Eleveld A, Mason L, Rheingans R, Beynon C, Mohammed A, Ombok M, Obor D, Odhiambo F, Quick R, Phillips-Howard PA. 2014. Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Conditions in Kenyan Rural Schools: Are Schools Meeting the Needs of Menstruating Girls? Water.; 6(5):1453-1466.
  10. Rheingans R, Anderson JD, Luyendijk R, Cumming O. 2014. Measuring disparities in sanitation access: Does the measure matter? Tropical Medicine and International Health.19(1):2-13.
  11. Garn JV, Greene LE, Dreibelbis R, Saboori S, Rheingans R, Freeman M. 2013. A cluster randomized trial assessing the impact of school water, sanitation, and hygiene improvements on pupil enrollment and gender parity in enrollment, Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Sustainable Development, 3(4) doi: 10.2166/washdev.2013.217.
  12. Vandermeer K, Dreibelbis R, Okoko DA, Rheingans R. 2013. Pot chlorination of shallow wells in a peri-urban community in Kenya: An effectiveness trial, Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Sustainable Development. 3(4): 592-601. doi:10.2166/washdev.2013.238
  13. Brumback B, He Z, Prasa M, Freeman M, Rheingans R. 2013. Using structural nested models to estimate the effect of cluster-level adherence on individual-level outcomes with a three-armed cluster-randomized trial. Statistics in Medicine. 33(9):1490-502. doi:10.1002/sim.6049
  14. Mason L, Nyothach E, Alexander KT, Odhiambo FO, Eleveld A Vulue J, Rheingans R, Laserson KF, Mohammed A, Phillips-Howard PA. 2013. 'We keep it secret so no one should know' - A qualitative study to explore young schoolgirls attitudes and experiences with menstruation in rural western Kenya. PLoS One, 8(11): e79132. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079132.
  15. Verguet S, Murphy S, Anderson B, Johansson KA, Glass R, Rheingans R. 2013. Public finance of rotavirus vaccination in India and Ethiopia: an extended cost-effectiveness analysis. Vaccine, 31(42):4902-10. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2013.07.014.
  16. Freeman MC, Clasen T, Brooker S, Akoko D, Rheingans RD. 2013. The impact of a schoolbased hygiene, water treatment, and sanitation intervention on reinfection with soil transmitted helminths in western Kenya: a cluster-randomized trial. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 89(5):875-83. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.13-0237.
  17. Alexander K, Dreibelbis R, Freeman MC, Ojeny B, Rheingans R. 2013. Improving service delivery of water, sanitation, and hygiene in primary schools: a cluster-randomized trial in western Kenya, Journal of Water and Health. 11(3):507-19. doi: 10.2166/wh.2013.213.
  18. Dreibelbis R, Freeman MC, Greene LE, Saboori S, Rheingans R. 2013. The impact of school-based water, sanitation, and hygiene improvements on diarrhea and clinic visits among young siblings of school-going children: results from a cluster-randomized trial. American Journal of Public Health, e1-e7. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2013.301412.
  19. Saboori S, Greene L, Moe CL, Freeman MC, Caruso BA, Akoko D and Rheingans RD. 2013. Impact of regular soap provision to primary schools on hand washing and E. coli hand contamination among pupils in Nyanza Province, Kenya: A cluster-randomized trial. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 89(4):698-708. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.12-0387.
  20. Freeman MC, Clasen T, Dreibelbis R, Saboori S, Greene LE, Brumback B, Muga R, Rheingans R. 2013. The impact of a school-based water supply and treatment, hygiene, and sanitation programme on pupil diarrhoea: A cluster-randomized trial. Epidemiology and Infection, available on CJO2013. doi:10.1017/S0950268813001118.
  21. Dreibelbis R, Greene LE, Freeman MC, Saboori S, Chase, R, Rheingans R. 2013. Water, sanitation, and primary school attendance: a multi-level assessment of determinants of household-reported absence in Kenya. International Journal of Educational Development 33:1.
  22. Rheingans R, Kukla M, Faruque ASG, Sur D, Zaidi A, Nasrin D, Farag T, Levine MM, Kotloff KL. 2012. Determinants of household costs associated childhood diarrhea in three South Asian settings. Clinical Infectious Diseases 55:S4: S317-326.
  23. Rheingans R, Kukla M, Adegbola R, Alonso P, Saha D, Sow SO, Nasrin D, Farag T, Levine MM, Kotloff KL. Exploring household economic impacts of childhood diarrheal illnesses in three African settings. Clinical Infectious Diseases 55:S4: S327-336.
  24. Greene L, Saboori S, Freeman M, Dreibelbis R, Caruso B and Rheingans R. 2012. Impact of school water, sanitation intervention on fecal hand contamination in western Kenya. Am J Trop Med Hyg 87(3):385-93.
  25. Rheingans RD, Anderson, JD and Atherly, D. 2012. Distributional impact of rotavirus vaccination in GAVI-eligible countries: Estimating disparities in benefits and costeffectiveness. Vaccine 30(Supp1): pp. A15-A23.
  26. Atherly D, Parashar U, Tate J and Rheingans, RD. 2012. Projected health and economic impact of rotavirus vaccination in GAVI-eligible countries. Vaccine 30(Supp1): pp. A7-A14.
  27. Stevenson EGJ, Greene LE, Maes KC, Ambelu A, Tesfaye YA, Rheingans RD and Hadley C. Water insecurity in 3 dimensions: An anthropological perspective on water and women’s psychosocial distress in Ethiopia. 2012. Social Science & Medicine 75(2012) pp. 392-400
  28. Freeman MC, Greene LE, Dreibelbis R, Saboori S, Muga R, Brumback B and Rheingans RD. 2012. A cluster-randomized trial assessing the impact of a school-based water treatment,hygiene program, and sanitation program on pupil absence in Nyanza Province, Kenya. Tropical Medicine and International Health 17(3) pp. 380-391.
  29. McMahon SA, Caruso BA, Obure AF, Okumu F and Rheingans RD. 2011. Anal cleansing practices and fecal contamination: a preliminary investigation of behaviors and conditions in schools in rural Nyanza province, Kenya. Trop Med Int Health. 2011 Sep 12. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3156.2011.02879 pp.1536-1540
  30. McMahon SA, Winch PJ, Caruso BA, Obure AF, Ogutu EA, Ochari IA and Rheingans RD. 2011. The girl with her period is the one to hang her head’ Reflections on menstrual management among schoolgirls in rural Kenya. BMC Int Health Hum Rights. 16;11 (1): 7.
  31. Saboori S, Mwaki A, Porter SE, Okech B, Freeman MC and Rheingans RD. 2011. Sustaining School Hand Washing and Water Treatment Programs: Lessons Learned and to be Learned. Waterlines. pp.298-311
  32. Smith ER, Rowlinson EE, Iniguez V, Etienne K, Rivera R, Mamani N, Rheingans R and Leon JS. 2011. Cost-effectiveness of rotavirus vaccination in Bolivia from the state perspective. Vaccine. pp 6704-6711
  33. Saboori S, Mwaki A and Rheingans RD. 2010. Is Soapy water a viable solution for hand washing in schools? Waterlines, 29(4), pp. 329-336.
  34. Freeman MC, Quick R, Abbott D, Ogutu P and Rheingans RD. 2010. Increasing equity of access to point-of-use water treatment products through social marketing and entrepreneurship: A case study in Western Kenya. Journal of Water and Health. 7(3): pp.527-534.
  35. Rheingans RD, Antil L, Dreibelbis R, Podewils LJ, Bresee JS and Parashar UD. 2009. Economic Costs of Rotavirus Gastroenteritis and Cost-Effectiveness of Vaccination in Developing Countries. Journal of Infectious Diseases;200: pp. S16–S27
  36. Atherly D, Dreibelbis R, Parashar UD, Levin C, Wecker J and Rheingans RD. 2009. Rotavirus Vaccination: Cost-Effectiveness and Impact on Child Mortality in Developing Countries. Journal of Infectious Diseases; 200: pp. S28–S38
  37. Tate JE, Rheingans RD, O’Reilly CE, Obonyo B, Burton DC, Tornheim JA, Adazu K, Jaron P, Ochieng B, Kerin T, Calhoun L, Hamel M, Laserson K, Breiman RF, Feikin DR, Mintz ED and Widdowson M. 2009. Rotavirus Disease Burden and Impact and Cost-Effectiveness of a Rotavirus Vaccination Program in Kenya. Journal of Infectious Diseases;200: pp. S76–S84
  38. Flem ET, Latipov R, Nurmatov ZS, Xue Y, Kasymbekova KT and Rheingans RD. 2009. Costs of Diarrheal Disease and the Cost-­‐‑Effectiveness of a Rotavirus Vaccination Program in Kyrgyzstan. Journal of Infectious Diseases 2009;200: pp. S195–S202
  39. Constenla D, Velázquez FR, Rheingans RD, Antil L and Cervantes Y. 2009. Economic impact of a rotavirus vaccination program in Mexico. Rev Panam Salud Publica. 25(6): pp. 481-490.
  40. Constenla D, Linhares A, Rheingans RD, Antil L, Waldman EA and da Silva LJ. 2008. Economic impact of a rotavirus vaccine in Brazil. J Health Popul Nutr. 26(4): pp. 388-396.
  41. Constenla D, Ortega-Barría E, Rheingans RD, Antil L and Sáez-Llorens X. 2008. Impacto económico de la vacuna antirrotavirus en Panamá. An Pediatr (Barc). 2008;68(2): pp.128-135.
  42. Rheingans RD, Constenla D, Antil L, Innis BL and Breuer T. 2007. Economic and Health Burden of Rotavirus Gastroenteritis in Latin America. J Pan Am Health Org, 21(4): pp. 192- 204.
  43. Rheingans RD, Constenla D, Antil L, Innis BL and Breuer T. 2007. Cost-effectiveness of Vaccination for Rotavirus Gastroenteritis in Latin America. J Pan Am Health Org, 21(4): pp. 205-216.
  44. Goldman AS, Guisinger VH, Aikins M, Amarillo ML, Belizario VY, Garshong B, Gyapong J, Kabali C, Kamal HA, Kanjilal S, Kyelem D, Lizardo J, Malecela M, Mubyazi G, Nitièma PA, Ramzy RM, Streit TG, Wallace A, Brady MA, Rheingans R, Ottesen EA, Haddix AC. 2007. National mass drug administration costs for lymphatic filariasis elimination. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2007 Oct 31;1(1):e67.
  45. Constenla D, Pérez-Schael I, Rheingans RD, Antil L, Salas H and Yarzábal JP. 2006. Evaluación del impacto económico y del costo-efectividad de la vacuna anti-rotavirus en Venezuela. Rev Panam Salud Publica, 20(4): pp. 213-222.
  46. Constenla D, Rivera M, Rheingans RD, Antil L and Vásquez ML. 2006. Evaluación económica de una eventual incorporación de la vacuna anti-rotavirus en el calendario de vacunación infantil en Honduras. Rev Med Hond, 74(1): pp. 19-28.
  47. Isakbaeva ET, Musabaev E, Antil L, Rheingans RD, Juraev R, Glass RI and Bresee JS 2006. Rotavirus disease in Uzbekistan: Cost-effectiveness of a new vaccine. Vaccine, 25(2): pp. 373-380.
  48. Constenla D, O'Ryan M, Navarrete MS, Antil L and Rheingans R. 2006. Evaluación de costoefectividad de la vacuna anti-rotavirus en Chile. Revista Médica de Chile, 134(6): pp. 679-688.
  49. Rheingans RD. 2006. Economic evaluation of rotavirus vaccination in Europe: What makes sense? Journal of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, 25(1S): pp. S48-S55.
  50. Moe C and Rheingans RD. 2006. Global challenges in water, sanitation and health. Journal of Water and Health, 4(S): pp. 41-57.
  51. Rheingans RD, Dreibelbis R and Freeman M. 2006. Beyond the Millennium Development Goals: Public Health Challenges in Water and Sanitation. Global Public Health, 1(1): pp. 31-48.
  52. Fischer T,K, Anh DD, Antil L, Cat NDL, Kilgore PE, Thiem VD, Rheingans RD, Tho LH, Glass RI and Bresee JS. 2005. Health Care Costs of Diarrheal Disease and Estimates of the Cost-Effectiveness of Rotavirus Vaccination in Vietnam. Journal of Infectious Disease, pp. 192: 1720-1726.
  53. Walker D and Rheingans RD. 2005. Cost-effectiveness of rotavirus vaccines. Expert Review of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research, 5(5): pp. 593-601.
  54. Beau de Rochars M, Kanjilal S, Direny A, Radday J, Lafontant J, Mathieu E, Rheingans RD, Haddix A, Streit T, Beach M, Addiss D and Lammie P. 2005. The Leogane, Haiti Demonstration Project: Decreased microfilaremia and program costs after three years of mass drug administration. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Health, 73(5): pp. 888-894.
  55. Podewils LJ, Antil L, Hummelman E, Bresee J, Parashar UD and Rheingans RD. 2005. Projected cost-effectiveness of rotavirus vaccination of children in Asia. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 192(51): pp. S133-S45.
  56. Rheingans RD, Haddix AC, Messonnier ML, Meltzer M, Mayard G and Addiss DG. 2004. Willingness to pay for prevention and treatment of lymphatic filariasis in Leogane, Haiti. Filarial Journal, 3(2): pp. 1-11.
  57. Addiss DG, Rheingans RD, Twum-Danso NAY and Richards FO. 2003. A framework for decision-making for mass distribution of Mectizan in areas endemic for Loa loa. Filarial Journal, 2(S9): pp. 1-11.
  58. Haggar J, Rheingans RD, Arroyo P and Alvarado B. 2003. Benefits and costs of intercropping reforestation in the Atlantic lowlands of Costa Rica. New Forests, 25(1): pp. 41-48.
  59. McLaughlin SI, Radday J, Michel MC, Addiss DG, Beach MJ, Lammie PJ, Lammie J, Rheingans RD and LaFontant J. 2003. Frequency, severity, and costs of adverse reactions following mass treatment for lymphatic filariasis using Diethylcarbamazine and Albendazole in Leogane, Haiti, 2000. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 68: pp. 568-573.
  60. Montagnini F, Gonzalez E, Rheingans RD and Porras C. 1995. Mixed and pure forest plantations in the humid neotropics: a comparison of growth, production and pest damage. Commonwealth Forestry Review. 74: pp. 306-314.
  61. Guariguata MR, Rheingans RD and Montagnini F. 1995. Patterns of understory woody invasion in plantations of native tree species in lowland Costa Rica: implications for restoration. Restoration Ecology. 3: pp. 252-260.

Refereed Proceedings

  1. Haggar J, Rheingans R, Arroyo P, and Alvarado B. 1999. Integrating biological, economic and farmer evaluation of plantation intercropping in Costa Rica. In Multi-strata agroforestry systems with perennial crops. Proceedings of the International Symposium (CATIE, Turrialba, Costa Rica, February 22-27, 1999). Jiménez F, Beer J (Eds), Turrialba: CATIE, pp. 247-250.
  2. Haggar J, Alvarado B and Rheingans RD. 1996. Proyecto Agroforestal Sarapiqueño. In Memoria. Taller Nacional sobre Especies Forestales Nativas, Calvo J, Haggar J, and Arroyo P (Eds), Estación Biológica La Selva, Puerto Viejo, Sarapiquí, Costa Rica, November 2-3, 1995, Cartago: Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica, pp. 61-62.
  3. Montagnini F, Gonzalez E, Porras C, Rheingans RD and Sancho F. 1994. Mixed-tree plantations in the humid tropics: Growth, litterfall and economics of experimental systems in Latin America. In IUFRO International Symposium on Growth and Yield of Tropical Forests. Fuchu, Tokyo Japan, September 26 - October 1, 1994, Tokyo: Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, pp.125-135.

Book Chapters

  1. Helian S*, Brumback BA, Freeman MC, Rheingans R (2015). Structural Nested Models for Cluster-Randomized Trials. In Statistical Causal Inferences and Their Applications in Public Health Research, eds. He H, Wu P, Chen DG. Springer.
  2. Rheingans R. (2005). Energy production, in Environmental Health: From local to global, Frumkin H (Ed), Josey Bass Publishers: San Fransisco, pp. 362-86.
  3. Rheingans R. (2003). Computer software for prevention effectiveness analysis, in Prevention Effectiveness, Haddix A, Teutsch S, Corso P (Eds), Oxford University Press: Oxford, pp. 214-16.


Rheingans, R. 1996. The ecological, economic and political effects of plantation intercropping on small farm forestry in the Atlantic lowlands of Costa Rica, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, New Haven, CT.

Department: Sustainable Development

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