School of Public Health

Ronish, Ross

Ross H. Ronish

Clinical Assistant Professor, Epidemiology


MD Washington University, 1982
MPH Epidemiology, Uniformed Service U of The Health Sc., 1987

Contact Info

Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic
604 West First Avenue
Toppenish, WA 98948

While I have had a varied and interesting career, my work at Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic engages my passion: care for those who have no other source of care and designing health care to efficiently give the desired results. This exactly matches my church vocation, giving a depth to my entire experience of service to others. In addition to the particular occupational and social hazards of agricultural workers, my interests include the epidemiology of infectious disease and applying the tools of epidemiology to the design, measurement, and improvement of health care services.

Dr. Ronish graduated from Carroll College in Helena, MT, in 1980.  This was with a BA in Biology under a special program that allowed completion of the degree after successful completion of the first two years of medical school.  He graduated from medical school in 1982 at Washington University in St. Louis.  Washington University was among the top five medical schools in the nation, and Dr. Ronish graduated as a member of Alpha Omega Alpha honors medical society.  Following graduation, Dr. Ronish completed a year of Family Medicine training at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.  He then trained as a flight surgeon in the Air Force.  Following three years as a flight surgeon, Dr. Ronish completed an MPH at Uniformed Services University in 1987 and his preventive medicine residency at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, in 1988.  While at Walter Reed, Dr. Ronish participated in the analysis of HIV data and in a study of a novel approach to hepatitis B immunization.

Following preventive medicine training, Dr. Ronish worked at the Air Force’s School of Aerospace medicine, developing a preventive medicine program for the Air Force.  After discharge, he began work with the occupational medicine contractor on the Hanford Nuclear reservation in Washington state, and we on to become the site Medical Director.  After six years at Hanford, Dr. Ronish joined Group Health as the medical director for southeastern Washington, overseeing the development and maintenance of the healthcare delivery system for Group Health members in the area.  After 11 years with Group Health, Dr. Ronish moved to Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic, a Federally Qualified Health Center, delivering health care services to migrant and seasonal farm workers and to a large number of Medicaid patients in Washington and Oregon.  Dr. Ronish is the Chief Medical Officer for that organization and is responsible for the care in 18 health clinics.  He is boarded in occupational medicine and in preventive medicine/public health.


Using the foundation of the patient-centered medical home to design efficient and effective health care services and to do quality improvement under an evidence-based and evidence-gathering design.

Research Interests

Emerging infectious disease; occupational hazards and illnesses and their mitigation; evidence-gathering medicine

Teaching Interests

Epidemiology principles; biostatistics; research design; interpretation and use of clinical evidence