Beth A. Virnig PhD, MPH » Faculty

Research Interests:Differences in end-of-life care between managed care and fee-for-service settings; utility of Medicare administrative data for cancer surveillance and studies of treatment patterns.

Professor & Senior Associate Dean, Academic Affairs & Research, Health Policy & Management

Address Division of Health Policy & Management 420 Delaware Street SE, A365 Mayo MMC 729 Minneapolis MN 55454 Work Phone: 612-624-4426
Photo of Beth A. Virnig PhD, MPH


Beth Virnig completed her Ph.D. in epidemiology at the University of Minnesota. She is involved in research that examines the use of health care by the elderly in the Medicare program, with a focus on hospice use, cancer surveillance and care, and Medicare managed care. She teaches Research Using Administrative Data, Foundations of Public Health, and the Public Health Administration and Policy Master’s Project Seminar.

  • PhD, Epidemiology/Biostatistics, University of Minnesota, 1993
  • MPH, Epidemiology, University of Minnesota, 1989
  • BA, Psychology, Carleton College, 1987


Cancer, Cancer: Treatment & Outcomes, Global Health, Health Policy & Management, Medicaid / Medicare, Outcomes / Measures, Quality of Care

Professional Experience:

  • Professor, Division of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, University of Minnesta, 2009 to present
  • Associate Professor, Division of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, 2004 to 2009
  • Assistant Professor, Division of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, 1998 to 2004
  • Research Health Scientist, Center for Health Services Research and Development, Miami Veterans Administration, 1995 to 1998
  • Assistant Professor (Research), Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Miami, 1994 to 1998
  • Research Associate and Instructor, Center for Evaluative Clinical Sciences, Dartmouth Medical School, 1993 to 1994


Delta Omega, Member, Public Health Honor Society, 2000 to present Jean Schmidt Award , Carleton College, 1987

Selected Publications:

  • Groth SS, Virnig BA, Al-Refaie WB, Jarosek SL, Jensen EH, Tuttle TM. Appendiceal carcinoid tumors: Predictors of lymph node metastasis and the impact of right hemicolectomy on survival. Journal of Surgical Oncology, 103(1):39-45, 2011.
  • Elliott SP, Jarosek SL, Alanee SR, Virnig BA. 3-Dimensional external beam radiotherapy for prostate cancer increases the risk of hip fracture. Cancer, 117(19):4557-4565, 2011.
  • Rueth NM, Parsons HM, Habermann EB, Groth SS, Virnig BA, Tuttle TM, Andrade RS, Maddaus MA, D’Cunha J. The Long-Term Impact of Surgical Complications After resection of stage I non-small cell lung cancer: a population-based survival analysis. Annals of Surgery, 254(2):368-374, 2011.
  • Lakshminarayan K, Schissel C, Anderson DC, Vazquez G, Jacobs DR Jr., Ezzeddine M, Luepker RV, Virnig BA.  Five year rehospitalization outcomes in a cohort of acute ischemic stroke patients: Medicare linkage study.  Stroke, 42(6):1556-1562, 2011.
  • Prizment AE, Alonso A, Folsom AR, Ahmed RL, Virnig BA, Warshaw EM, Anderson KE. Association between psoriasis and incident cancer: the Iowa’s Women’s Health Study. Cancer Causes Control, Jul;22(7):1003-10, 2011. 
  • Wang SY, Shamliyan T, Virnig BA, Kane R. Tumor characteristics as predictors of local recurrence after treatment of ductal carcinoma in situ: a meta-analysis. Breast Cancer Res Treat, 127(1):1-14, 2011.
  • Tuttle TM, Rueth NM, Abbott A, Virnig BA. Trends in the local treatment of breast cancer: should we be worried? J Surg Oncol, 15;103(4):313-6, 2011.
  • Groth SS, Virnig BA, Whitson BA, Defor TE, Li ZZ, Tuttle TM, Maddaus MA. Determination of the minimum number of lymph nodes to examine to maximize survival in patients with esophageal carcinoma: Data from the surveillance epidemiology and end results database. Journal of Thoracic Cardiovascular Surgery, 139(3):612-620, 2010.
  • Lutsey PL, Virnig BA, Durham SB, Steffen LM, Hirsch AT, Jacobs DR, Folsom AR.  Correlates and consequences of venous thromboembolism: The Iowa Women’s Health Study. American Journal of Public Health, 100(8):1506-1513, 2010.
  • Al-Refaie WB, Gay G, Virnig BA, Tseng JF, Stewart A, Vickers SM, Tuttle TM, Feig BW. Variations in gastric cancer care: a trend beyond racial disparities. Cancer, 116(2):465-75, 2010.
  • Baxter NN, Ricciardi R, Simunovic M, Urbach DR, Virnig BA. An evaluation of the relationship between lymph node number and staging in pT3 colon cancer using population-based data. Diseases of the Colon & Rectum, 53(1):65-70, 2010.
  • Al-Refaie WB, Parsons HM, Henderson WG, Jensen EH, Tuttle TM, Vickers SM, Rothenberger DA, Virnig BA. Major cancer surgery in the elderly: results from the American college of surgeons national surgical quality improvement program. Annals of Surgery, 251(2):311-318, 2010.
  • Virnig BA, Tuttle TM, Shamliyan T, Kane RL. Ductal carcinoma in situ of the breast: a systematic review of incidence, treatment, and outcomes. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 102(3):170-178, 2010.
  • Rueth NM, Groth SS, Tuttle TM, Virnig BA, Al-Refaie WB, Habermann EB. Conditional survival after surgical treatment of melanoma: An analysis of the surveillance, epidemiology, and end results database. Annals of Surgical Oncology, 17(6):1662-1668, 2010.
  • Allen JD, Barlow WE, Duncan RP, Egede LE, Friedman LS, Keating NL, Kim P, Lave JR, Laveist TA, Ness RB, Optican RJ, Steinwachs D, Virnig BA.  NIH State-of-the-Science Conference Statement: Enhancing Use and Quality of Colorectal Cancer Screening.  NIH Consensus and State-of-the-Science Statements, 27(1): 2010.
  • Forte ML, Virnig BA, Swiontkowski MF, Bhandari M, Feldman R, Eberly LE, Kane RL. Ninety-day mortality after intertrochanteric hip fracture: does provider volume matter? Journal of  Bone and Joint Surgery of America, 92(4):799-806, 2010.
  • Al-Refaie WB, Habermann EB, Dudeja V, Vickers SM, Tuttle TM, Jensen EH, Virnig BA. Extremity soft tissue sarcoma care in the elderly: Insights into the generalizability of NCI cancer trials.  Annals of Surgical Oncology, 17(7):1732-1738, 2010.
  • Al-Refaie WB, Parsons HM, Henderson WG, Jensen EH, Tuttle TM, Rothenberger DA, Kellogg TA, Virnig BA. Body mass index and major cancer surgery outcomes: Lack of association or need for alternative measurements of obesity? Annals of Surgical Oncology, 17(9):2264-2273, 2010.
  • Al-Refaie WB, Habermann EB, Jensen EH, Tuttle TM, Pisters PW, Virnig BA. Surgery alone is adequate treatment for early stage soft tissue sarcoma of the extremity. British Journal of Surgery, 97(5):707-713, 2010.
  • Blaes AH, Gaillard P, Peterson BA, Yee D, Virnig B. Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors may be protective against cardiac complications following anthracycline chemotherapy. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 122(2):585-590, 2010.