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Jesse Ballenger

Contact Information

Jesse F Ballenger


Clinical Professor

Health Administration Department

Jesse Ballenger, PhD, teaches courses in health care ethics, the history of health care and the health humanities. His background is in the history of medicine and the interdisciplinary field of Science, Technology and Society. After working for more than a decade as a nursing assistant, he earned an MA and PhD in history from Case Western Reserve University, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of the History of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University. He has lectured widely and written extensively on the ethical and policy implications of dementia. He is author of Self, Senility and Alzheimer’s Disease in Modern America: A History (Johns Hopkins Press, 2006), and coeditor of Treating Dementia: Do We Have a Pill for It? (Johns Hopkins, 2009) and Concepts of Alzheimer Disease: Biological, Clinical and Cultural Perspectives (Johns Hopkins, 2000).

Faculty Fellowships

Visiting Scientist, Department of the History of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, January – May 2016.

Professional Society

American Association of the History of Medicine
American Society for Bioethics and Humanities
Gerontological Society of America
North American Network in Aging Studies

Selected Publications

Ballenger, J. (2017). Framing Confusion: Dementia, Society, and History. AMA Journal of Ethics 19 (7): 713-19.

Ballenger, J. Dementia: Confusion at the Borderlands of Aging and Madness. In G. Eghigian (Ed.), Routledge History of Madness and Mental Health. New York, NY, Routledge.

Schicktanz, S., Schweda, M, & Ballenger J., et al. (2014). Before It Is too Late: Professional Responsibilities in Late-onset Alzheimer’s Research and Pre-symptomatic Prediction. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 8 (921).

Editorial review board membership:

Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry

Research Interests

History of Medicine and Health Care, Health Humanities, Bioethics, Dementia and Aging and Critical Gerontology.


Bioethics, Gerontology, History of Medicine and Health Care, Medical Humanities

Postdoctoral Fellow, History of Medicine, 2004
Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, MD

PhD, History, 2000
Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland, OH

MA, History, 1994
Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland, OH

BA, History, 1989
Kent State University
Kent, OH