Valdez, Rupa S., Ph.D.

My research integrates quantitative and qualitative methods from health informatics, health systems engineering, human factors engineering, and cultural anthropology to understand and support the ways in which people manage health at home and in the community. This work encompasses participatory and co-design approaches and has a strong focus on informing the development of information technologies that support patient goals for self-management.  My research has a specific focus on underserved populations, including populations that are racial/ethnic minorities, are of low socioeconomic status, or are living with physical, sensory, or cognitive disabilities. A complementary research interest is in methodological development for the fields listed above. In addition to these research interests, I am actively involved in initiatives focused on awareness of and advocacy for disability rights on and off Grounds.

Assistant Professor
Department of Public Health Sciences
Ph.D, Industrial and Systems Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison

P.O. Box 800717
Tel: 1-434-982-2510
Health System West Complex, Room 3011


Human Factors, Consumer Health IT, Culturally Informed Design, Co-Design, Inclusive Design, Mixed Methods, Health Disparities

Teaching Responsibilities:

INST 2559: Disability in the Workplace
SYS 4053 Systems Design I
SYS 4054 Systems Design II
SYS 4581 / 6581  Human Factors Design for Community Health
PHS 4016 / 7016 Human Factors Design for Community Health

Publications list (selected):

  1. Rogers, C., Johnson, J., Nueslein, B., Edmunds, D., Valdez, R. S. (corresponding author). (In Press). “I love fruit but I can’t afford it”:  Using participatory action research to develop community-based initiatives to mitigate challenges to chronic disease management in an African American community living in public housing. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities.
  2. Valdez, R. S. & Keim-Malpass, J. (In Press). Ethics in health research using social media. In J. Bian, Z. He, X. Hu (Eds.), Social Web and Health Research: Benefits, Limitations, and Best Practices. To be published by Springer.
  3. Ozkaynak, M., Valdez, R.S., Holden, R.J., Weiss, J. (In Press). Infinicare framework for integrated understanding of health-related activities in clinical and daily-living contexts. Health Systems.
  4. Valdez, R.S., McGuire, K.M., Rivera, A.J. (2017). Qualitative ergonomics/human factors research in health care: current state and future directions. Applied Ergonomics, 62, 43-71.
  5. Valdez, R.S., Brennan, P.F. (2017). Embracing complexity: rethinking culturally informed design in human factors/ergonomics and consumer health informatics. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 33, 322-332.
  6. Valdez, R.S., Guterbock, T.M., Fitzgibbon, K., Williams, I.C., Wellbeloved-Stone, C.A., Bears, J.E., Menefee, H.K. (2017, epub ahead of print). From loquacious to reticent: understanding patient health information communication to guide consumer health IT design. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.
  7. Holden, R. J., Valdez, R. S., Schubert, C. C., Thompson, M. J., Hundt, A. S. (2017). Macroergonomic factors in the patient work system: examining the context of patients with chronic illness. Ergonomics, 60(1), 26-43.
  8. Wellbeloved-Stone, C.A., Weppner, J.L., Valdez, R.S. (corresponding author) (2016). A systematic review of telerehabilitation and mHealth interventions for spinal cord injury. Current Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Reports, 4(4), 295-311.
  9. Menefee, H.K., Thompson, M.J., Guterbock, T.M., Williams, I.C., Valdez, R.S. (corresponding author) (2016). Mechanisms of communicating health information through Facebook: implications for consumer health information technology design. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 18(8), e218.
  10. Chaet, A.V., Morshedi, B., Wells, K.J., Barnes, L.E., Valdez, R.S. (corresponding author) (2016). Spanish-Language consumer health information technology interventions: a systematic review. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 18(8), e214.
  11. Valdez, R. S., Holden, R. J. (2016). Health care human factors/ergonomics homeward bound:  practical considerations for fieldwork in home and community settings. Ergonomics in Design, 24(4), 4-9.
  12. Thompson, M., Reilly, J.R., Valdez, R. S. (corresponding author) (2016). Work system barriers to patient, provider, and caregiver use of personal health records: a systematic review. Applied Ergonomics, 54, 218-42.
  13. Thompson, M., Valdez, R. S. (corresponding author) (2015). Online Filipino-Americans’ perspectives on informatics-enabled health management. Health Policy and Technology, 4(4), 320-36.
  14. Valdez, R.S., Brennan, P.F. (2015). Exploring patients’ health information communication practices with social network members as a foundation for consumer health IT design. International Journal of Medical Informatics, 84(5), 363-74.
  15. Valdez, R.S., Holden, R.J., Novak, L.L., & Veinot, T.C. (2015). Technological infrastructure implications of the patient work framework. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, e213-e215.
  16. Brennan, P.F., Valdez, R.S., Alexander, G., Arora, S., Bernstam, E.V., Edmunds, M., Kirienko, N., Martin, R.D., Sim, I., Skiba, D., Rosenbloom, T. (2015). Patient-centered care, collaboration, communication and coordination: a report from AMIA’s 2013 policy meeting. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 2015 Apr;22(e1):e2-6.
  17. Valdez, R. S., Holden, R. J., Novak, L. L., Veinot, T. C. (2015). Transforming consumer health informatics through a patient work framework: connecting patients to context. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 22(1), 2-10.
  18. Valdez, R.S., Guterbock, T.M., Thompson, M.J., Reilly, J.D., Menefee, H.K., Bennici, M.S., Williams, I.C., Rexrode, D.L. (2014). Beyond traditional advertisements: leveraging Facebook’s social structures for research recruitment. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 16 (10), e243.
  19. Valdez, R. S., Gibbons, M. C., Siegel, E. R., Kukafka, R., & Brennan, P. F. (2012). Adapting consumer health IT to enhance usability among different racial and ethnic groups within the United States. Health and Technology 2(4), 225-233.
  20. Peace, J., Valdez, R. S., Lutz, K. (2012). Data-based considerations for electronic family health history applications. Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 30(1), 37-45.
  21. Brennan, P. F., Valdez, R. S., & Rodriguez, A. J. for the Committee on the Role of Human Factors in Home Health Care, National Research Council. (2011). Consumer Health Information Technology in the Home: A Guide for Human Factors Design Considerations. National Academies Press. Available at:
  22. Zayas-Caban, T. & Valdez, R. S. (2011). Human factors and ergonomics in home care. In P. Carayon (Ed.), Handbook of Human Factors and Ergonomics in Health Care and Patient Safety. Taylor and Francis.
  23. Valdez, R. S., Ramly, E., & Brennan, P. F. (2010). Industrial and Systems Engineering and Health Care: Critical Areas of Research: Final Report. (Prepared by Professional Scientific Associates under Contract No. HHSN2900900027U). Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

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