Three-time Bull Jonathan Lange-Chen works to improve patient care

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Jonathan Lange-Chen holds three degrees (and one certificate) from USF. He graduated with a BS in biology in 2013, an MS in medical sciences in 2014 and an MHA from the USF College of Public Health in 2017. In 2020, he became a certified professional in healthcare quality. 

“I see my role in public health as serving disenfranchised communities and vulnerable populations and improving the health of my community,” Lange-Chen said.

Lange-Chen grew up in Jamaica and decided to pursue his undergraduate degree at USF because of its high ranking and (relatively) low price tag. While working on his MS degree, Lange-Chen met (and later became engaged to) Angela Armstrong, who was studying epidemiology at the college. At the time, he was seriously considering a career path in a health field that didn’t involve medical school. And the COPH’s Master of Health Administration seemed to fill the bill.

“I was drawn to public health because of my passion for healthcare, and I see it as an opportunity to affect change at the community level or greater,” Lange-Chen said. “Public health is very important because I believe that health is one of the most important things a person has.”

While a COPH student, Lange-Chen worked to initiate a Good Catch program at USF Health. The program aims to discover and report near medical mistakes, including potential drug mix-ups and fall hazards. “A near miss is an unplanned event that has the potential to cause harm but did not,” commented Lange-Chen. “I worked with a small group of students to interview stakeholders, perform subject matter research and educate staff. Reporting near misses is very important because one of these events could lead to harm.”

Jonathan Lange-Chen, MHA, CPHQ, on the job at VITAS Healthcare in Boynton Beach, Fla. (Photo courtesy of Lange-Chen)

As part of his field experience, Lange-Chen worked with the patient and family educator at the James A Haley Veterans’ Hospital and Clinics. “I conducted patient and staff interviews to obtain useful information and insight on educational intervention for patients waiting for their appointments,” explained Lange-Chen.

Lange-Chen’s first public health job was a risk-management and compliance analyst with the South Carolina Department of Corrections in Columbia. In that role, he analyzed data and identified deficiencies in the medical care inmates were receiving.

It was a great training ground for his current job as a performance-improvement specialist with VITAS Healthcare, an end-of-life health care provider based in South Florida. “What I love most about my job is the constant collaboration with various other teams, such as nurse team managers, physicians, RNs, clinical educators and other performance-improvement specialists,” said Lange-Chen.

Some of his responsibilities include analyzing infection and incident rates, leading performance-improvement projects to help reduce anxiety in hospice patients and doing root-cause analyses for medication-adverse and suicide-related events. “What attracted me most to my current position was the opportunity to improve patient care and patient experiences,” remarked Lange-Chen.

What’s on the horizon for Lange-Chen? There’s his wedding to Armstrong, slated for 2021. And there are his plans to continue to advocate for and improve patient care.

Lange-Chen poses with his bride-to-be, Angela Armstrong, who graduated the COPH with an MPH in 2017. (Photo courtesy of Lange-Chen)

“My time at the COPH was invaluable, and I had an amazing experience,” said Lange-Chen. “I gained both hard and soft knowledge, like advanced Excel skills and experience carrying myself as a professional. These have been necessary to propel me to where I am right now.”

Alumni Fast Five:

What did you dream of becoming when you were young?

A banker

Where might we find you on weekends?

Somewhere out in nature

What is the last book you read?

“A Brief History of Seven Killings,” by Marlon James

What superpower would you like to have?


What’s your all-time favorite movie?


Story by Donna Campisano, USF College of Public Health