Department of Medicine

Department of Medicine

  Division of General Internal Medicine

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photo Charles Jonassaint, PhD

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Social Work and Clinical and Translational Science


Phone: 412-586-9850

Office: 230 McKee Place
Suite 600
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Phone: 412-586-9850
Fax: 412-692-4838
Education and Training
BA, Psychology, Minot State University, 2002
PhD, Clinical Psychology, Duke University, 2009
MHS, Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2012
Internship, Duke University Medical Center, 2009
Fellowship, Johns Hopkins University, 2013
Research Interest
Dr. Jonassaint’s program of research aims to reduce health care disparities by using multimedia technology to deliver evidence-based interventions to underserved populations. The primary focus of his research has been on patients with sickle cell disease (SCD), a condition that disproportionately affects those of African descent and is associated with significant disparities in both funding and treatment. Prior to arriving at the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Jonassaint’s research helped identify maladaptive psychological and biological stress responses that contribute to poorer health among underserved populations. He is now working with an interdisciplinary team of investigators to help address these risk factors through the development and testing of mobile health interventions. Dr. Jonassaint is currently funded through an AHRQ PCOR K12 grant to lead a program of research in sickle cell disease focused on designing, cost-effective, scalable, mobile technology-delivered, stress and pain management interventions that patients can easily access on their own mobile phones or tablets. He is the co-inventor of an SCD specific self-management app called SMART: The Sickle Cell Disease Mobile Application to Record Symptoms via Technology. Testing of SMART has led to two publications and is now being used in four funded studies at three institutions.
Clinical Interest
Dr. Jonassaint is a practicing clinical health psychologist with an MHS in cardiovascular epidemiology. He has clinical expertise in chronic disease self-management and cognitive behavioral therapy, and has had extensive experience working with patients from under-represented minority groups. His current clinical practice is with adolescents and adults with sickle cell disease.
For my complete bibliography, Click Here.
Selected Publications:
Jonassaint, C. R., Jones, V. L., Leong, S., Frierson, G. M. A systematic review of the association between depression and health care utilization in children and adults with sickle cell disease. British Journal of Hematology. 2016; 174(1): 136-47.
Crawford, R., Jonassaint, C. R. Faster is not always better: Adults with sickle cell anemia perform cognitive tests as well as controls when processing speed is taken into account. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 2016; 72(6): 1409-16.
Schneider, A. L. C., Jonassaint, C. R., Sharrett, A. R., Mosley, T. H., Astor, B. C., Selvin, E., Coresh, J., Gottesman, R. F. Hemoglobin, anemia, and cognitive function: The Atherosclerosis Risk In Communities (ARIC) study. The Journals of Gerontology. Series A, Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences. 2016; 71(6): 772-9.
Jonassaint, C. R., Beach, M. C., Haythornthwaite, J. A., Bediako, S. M., Diener-West, M., Strouse, J. J., Lanzkron, S., Onojobi, G., Carroll, C. P., Haywood, C Jr. The Association between Educational Attainment and Patterns of Emergency Department Utilization among Adults with Sickle Cell Disease. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine. 2016; 23(3): 300-9.
Booth, J. M., Jonassaint, C. R. The Role of Disadvantaged Neighborhood Environments in the Association of John Henryism with Hypertension and Obesity. Psychosomatic Medicine. 2016; 78(5): 552-61.
Jonassaint, C. R., Shah N., Jonassaint, J. C., De Castro, L. Usability and Feasibility of an mHealth Intervention for Monitoring and Managing Pain Symptoms in Sickle Cell Disease: The Sickle Cell Disease Mobile Application to Record Symptoms via Technology (SMART). Hemoglobin. 2015; 39(3): 162-8.
Jonassaint, C. R., Varma, V., Harris, G. C., Chuang, Y., Yasar, S., Polinder-Bos, H., Carlson, M. C. Lower hemoglobin is associated with poorer cognitive performance and smaller brain volumes in older adults. Journal of the American Geriatric Society. 2014; 62(5): 972-3.
Sponsored Research/Activities
Title: Using Technology to Deliver Evidence-Based Interventions to Underserved Patients with Pain
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute
Grant Number: K23 HL135396
Start Year: 2017
End Year: 2020
Title: Ledipasvir-sofosbuvir for postpartum HCV-infected women: effectiveness, adherence, feasibility/acceptability and infant exposure
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: Gilead Sciences, Inc
Start Year: 2017
End Year: 2018
Title: The LEND Center at the University of Pittsburgh
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: Health Research and Services Administration
Grant Number: T73 MC00036
Start Year: 2016
End Year: 2021
Title: The University of Pittsburgh PCOR Career Development Program
Role: Scholar
Funding Agency: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Grant Number: K12 HS022989
Start Year: 2014
End Year: 2019
Notable Achievements
American Psychosomatic Society Young Investigators Colloquim, 2015
Affiliate, Duke Center for Biobehavioral Health Disparities, 2014-present
Co-chair, Society of Behavioral Medicine Behavioral Informatics and Technology Special Interest Group, 2016-present
Scholar, NHLBI PRIDE program, 2015-2016