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Meet Dr. Ruggieri

Dominique G. Ruggieri, Ph.D.


Dr. Dominique Ruggieri is the Founder and CEO of BonVie Health and Nutrition Consulting and Teaching Faculty at the University of Pennsylvania’s Master of Public Health (MPH) Program. She is a public health professional, health communications specialist, and nutrition educator with expertise in program planning, research, and education for various health issues. She has significant experience in designing messages for improved health engagement and decision making, and tailoring health information for diverse populations. Dr. Ruggieri specializes in educating about obesity, nutrition, exercise, pediatric health issues, stress management, and counseling techniques. She believes that tailored and simple messages are important and motivating for helping people to understand and make better decisions about healthy behaviors.


Dr. Ruggieri is well known for her “consumer and user friendly” approach to assist people in understanding sometimes complex health and dietary issues. She has conducted workshops and trainings for corporations, organizations, and governmental agencies on a local, regional, and national level. Dr. Ruggieri has also worked with individuals of all ages, educating them about how to eat for better health, energy, fitness, and overall quality of life for themselves and their families. As a foodie-at-heart, her focus is on small changes, substitutions, and food enjoyment. Her experience with tailoring nutrition choices for various life-stages and lifestyles has helped even the pickiest eaters find their way to better health. Please see her philosophy on nutrition under the FAQs page for more about her approach to nutrition education.


In addition to teaching at the university level for more than 15 years, Dr. Ruggieri has had significant professional experiences at the Temple University Center for Obesity Research and Education (CORE), the Risk Communication Laboratory (RCL) at Temple University, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) Bioterrorism Unit, the Fox Chase Cancer Center’s Office of Health Communication and Health Disparities (OHCHD), and Health Enhancement and Prevention, Inc. (HEP). As a researcher and health communication consultant, Dr. Ruggieri has applied her expertise to numerous health areas and populations, including but not limited to: type 2 diabetes prevention, smoking cessation, colorectal cancer screening decision making, risk and bioterrorism communication for low-literacy populations, stress management and healthy eating training for police officers and athletes, and pediatric obesity prevention for school nurses and parents. While she enjoys working in all areas of health, her greatest passion is in designing messages to educate individuals about how to improve their health and quality of life through better nutrition and exercise.


Select Recent Press:

Contemporary Pediatrics (2015, September 1). ‘F’ for ‘Fat’: Grading Weight Report Cards by Ilya Petrou, MD

Knowledge@Wharton on Sirius XM Business Radio (2015, August 20). Interview about BMI Report Cards with Dr. Kevin Gee and Host Dan Loney

Scientific American (2015, August 19). Do “Fat Letters” Help Kids Lose Weight? by Dina Fine Maron

New York Times (2015, August 10). ‘Body’ Report Cards Aren’t Influencing Arkansas Teenagers by Jan Hoffman

Reuters Health (2015, July 3). Screening teens for obesity may not help them lose weight by Madeline Kennedy


Select Recent Publications:

Ruggieri, D.G. (2015). African American Parents’ Knowledge and Perceptions about BMI Measurements, School-Based BMI Screening Programs, and BMI Report Cards: Results from a Qualitative Investigation and Implications for School-to-Parent CommunicationJournal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. DOI: 10.1007/s40615-015-0149-0

Ruggieri, D.G. & Bass, S.B. (2015). A Comprehensive Review of School-Based BMI Screening Programs and Their Implications for School Health: Do the Controversies Accurately Reflect the Research? Journal of School Health, 85, 1, 61-72.

Bass, S.B., Greener, J., Ruggieri, D.G., Parvanta, C., Mora, G., et al. (2015). Attitudes and perceptions of a “dirty bomb” radiological terror event in urban, minority residents with limited literacy: Results from a qualitative study and implications for effective risk communication. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 9, 1, 1-10. 

Fleisher, L., Ruggieri, D.G., Miller, S.M., Albrecht, T., Buzaglo, J., et al. (2014). Application of best practice approaches for designing decision support tools: The Preparatory Education About Clinical Trials (PRE-ACT) studyPatient Education and Counseling, 96, 1, 63-71.

Ruggieri, D.G., Bass, S.B., Rovito, M.J., Ward, S., Gordon, T.F., et al. (2013). Perceived colonoscopy barriers and facilitators among urban African American patients and their medical residentsJournal of Health Communication, 18, 4, 372-390.


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