Bonnie M. Vest Ph,D.

Bonnie Vest

Bonnie M. Vest

Research Associate Professor

Department of Family Medicine

Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences

Specialty/Research Focus

Health Services Research; Implementation Science; Medical Anthropology; Military & Veterans Health/Healthcare; Program Evaluation; Qualitative Methods; Substance Use

Contact Information
77 Goodell Street
Suite 220
Buffalo, New York 14203
Phone: 17168167287

Professional Summary:

I am a medical anthropologist, with expertise in qualitative and mixed methods approaches and in applying qualitative and implementation science methods in health services research, serving in this role on several translational implementation projects in healthcare and community settings.

Specifically, I have extensive experience conducting qualitative and mixed-methods research with military populations across multiple projects, primarily focusing on mental health, substance use, identity, and healthcare preferences. Examples include: examining how identity negotiations impact National Guard soldiers’ experiences in the post-9/11 era; how substance use risk and motivations change over the course of military service; how identity relates to student veterans’ health and engagement; and how primary care providers outside the VA system address the needs of their veteran patients.

I have also been engaged in multiple mixed-methods and qualitative primary care and public health-based projects with a broad range of populations, including low-income minority and underserved patients, those living with chronic disease, individuals who use substances, and healthcare providers.

The common thread throughout my work is a focus on understanding the complexity and context that impact health-related behaviors and healthcare to incorporate insights based on individuals' lived experiences (both patients and providers) into recommendations to improve health and healthcare.

Education and Training:

  • PhD, Cultural Anthropology, University at Buffalo (2012)
  • MA, Cultural Anthropology, University at Buffalo (2006)
  • BA, Anthropology, Miami University (2001)


  • Instructor, School of Nursing, University at Buffalo
  • Research Associate, Center for Integrated Healthcare, VA WNY Healthcare System
  • Research Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, University at Buffalo

UB 2020 Strategic Strengths:

  • Health and Wellness Across the Lifespan

Grants and Sponsored Research:

  • June 2013–July 2024
    Substance Use in Reservists: Social and Environmental Influences
    National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • October 2020–September 2023
    The Erie County NY Comprehensive Quick Response Program (QRP) to Overdose
    Bureau of Justice Assistance
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • May 2021–October 2022
    Developing a Meaningful Sense of Belonging Among Veterans
    National Endowment for the Humanities
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • April 2017–September 2022
    VA PRIME Precision Medicine in Mental Health Care
    VA HSR&D
    Role: Contributor

Journal Articles:

See all (39 more)

Books and Book Chapters:

  • Vest BM, Anderson Goodell EM, Hoopsick RA, Homish DL, Homish GG. (2023) A Conceptual Framework for Examining the Role of Identity in the Experiences of U.S. Army Reserve and National Guard Soldiers. In: Contemporary Military Reserves: Between the Civilian and Military Worlds. Routledge Publishing, 19-38.

Professional Memberships:

  • American Public Health Association
  • College on Problems of Drug Dependence; Member

School News:

In the Media:

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Insurance Accepted:

Contact Information

77 Goodell Street
Suite 220
Buffalo, New York 14203
Phone: 17168167287