Valdez, Rupa S., Ph.D.

Rupa Valdez in purple shirt sitting with pillow on lap.

My research focuses on understanding and designing solutions to support the ways in which people manage health at home and in the community. I draw on methods from multiple disciplines including human factors engineering, cultural anthropology, and health informatics, among others. This work encompasses participatory and co-design approaches and attends to the ways in which social networks, physical environment, community resources, and information technology shape patient experiences. I am particularly interested in how health is managed among marginalized populations, including racial/ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, and people living in under-resourced settings. A complementary research interest is in methodological development for research and teaching in this space. I have testified before Congress on the topic of bridging health equity gaps for people with disabilities and chronic conditions. My editorial appointments include serving as Associate Editor for Ergonomics, the Journal of American Medical Informatics Association Open, and Human Factors in Healthcare. Among other appointments, I serve on the Board of Directors for the American Association of People with Disabilities and for the American Health Information Management Association Foundation. I also serve on PCORI’s Patient Engagement Advisory Panel and the National Committee for Quality Assurance’s Health Equity Expert Work Group. I am also the Founder and President of the Blue Trunk Foundation.

Associate Professor
Department of Public Health Sciences
Department of Engineering Systems and Environment
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 Engineering, Consumer Health IT, Culturally Informed Design, Co-Design, Inclusive Design, Mixed Methods, Health Equity, Community-Based Participatory Research

Teaching Responsibilities:

PHS 7500/4016/7016: Qualitative Methods for User-Centered Design

PHS 4016/7016, SYS 4581/6581: Human Factors Design for Community Health

PHS 4991: Global Public Health Capstone

SYS 4053/4054: Systems Design I + II

INST 2020: Disability in Contemporary Society


  • American Medical Informatics Association Samantha Adams Best Paper Award, Honorable Mention (2022)
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Jack A. Kraft Innovator Award (2021)
  • University of Virginia Collaborative Excellence in Public Service Award (2020)
  • University of Virginia Excellence in Public Service Award (2019)
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Bentzi Karsh Early Career Service Award (2018)
  • University of Wisconsin Alumni Association Forward Under Forty Award (2018)

Publications list (selected):

  1. Valdez, R.S., Lyon, S.E., Wellbeloved-Stone, C., Collins, M., Rogers, C.C., Cantin-Garside, K.D., Fortes, D.G., Kim, C., Desai, S.S., Keim-Malpass, J., Kushalnagar, R. (2022). Engaging the disability community in informatics research: rationales and practical steps. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 29(11), 1989-1995.
  2. Valdez, R.S., Ancker, J.S., Veinot, T.C. (2022). Provocations for reimagining informatics approaches to health equity. Yearbook of Medical Informatics, 31(1), 15-19.
  3. Barton, H.J., Pflaster, E., Loganathar, S., Werner, A., Tarfa, A., Wilkins, D., Ehlenbach, M.L., Katz, B., Coller, R.J., Valdez, R.S., Werner, N.E., (2022). What makes a home? Designing home personas to represent the homes of families caring for children with medical complexity. Applied Ergonomics.
  4. Valdez, R.S., Rogers, C.C., Claypool, H., Trieshmann, L., Frye, O., Wellbeloved-Stone, C., Kushalnagar, P. (2021). Ensuring full participation of people with disabilities in an era of telehealth. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 28(2), 389-392.
  5. Valdez, R.S., Detmer, D.E., Bourne, P., Kim, K.K., Austin, R., McCollister, A., Rogers, C.C., Waters-Wick, K.C. (2021). Informatics-enabled citizen science to advance health equity. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 28(9), 2009-2012.
  6. Rogers, C.C., Moutinho, J.R., T.J., Liu, X., Valdez, R.S. (corresponding author). (2021) Designing consumer health information technology to support biform and articulation work: a qualitative study of diet and nutrition management as patient work. JMIR Human Factors, 8(3), e27452.
  7. Cantin, K., Nussbaum, M., White, S., Kim, S., Kim, C.D., Fortes, D., Valdez, R.S. (corresponding author). (2021). Understanding the experiences of self-injurious behavior in autism spectrum disorder: implications for monitoring technology design. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 28(2), 303-310.
  8. Hochheiser, H. & Valdez, R.S. (2020). Human-computer interaction, ethics, and biomedical informatics. International Medical Informatics Association Yearbook of Medical Informatics, 23(1), 93-98.
  9. Petersen, C., Austin, R., Backonja, U., Campos, H., Chung, A., Hekler, E., Hsueh, P., Kim, K., Pho, A., Salmi, L., Valdez, R.S. (2019). Citizen science to further precision medicine: from vision to implementation. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association Open, 3(1), 2-8.
  10. Valdez, R.S. & Edmunds, D. (2019). Reimagining community-based research and action in human factors: A dialogue across disciplines. In R. Roscoe, E. Chiou, A. Wooldridge (Eds.), Advancing Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice through Human Systems Engineering. CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group.
  11. Benda, N., Montague, E., Valdez, R.S. (corresponding author). (2019). Design for inclusivity. In F. Sasangohar, A. Sethumadhavan (Eds.), Handbook of Human Factors in Healthcare Design. Elsevier.
  12. Valdez, R. S. & Keim-Malpass, J. (2019). 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. Springer.
  13. Gorman, R. K., Wellbeloved-Stone, C. A., & Valdez, R. S. (corresponding author). (2018). Uncovering the invisible patient work system through a case study of breast cancer self-management. Ergonomics, 61(12), 1575-1590.
  14. Rogers, C., Johnson, J., Nueslein, B., Edmunds, D., Valdez, R. S. (corresponding author). (2018). “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, 5(6), 1315-1327.
  15. Ozkaynak, M., Valdez, R.S., Holden, R.J., Weiss, J. (2018). Infinicare framework for integrated understanding of health-related activities in clinical and daily-living contexts. Health Systems, 7(1), 66-78.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Valdez, R.S., Guterbock, T.M., Fitzgibbon, K., Williams, I.C., Wellbeloved-Stone, C.A., Bears, J.E., Menefee, H.K. (2017). From loquacious to reticent: understanding patient health information communication to guide consumer health IT design. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 24(4), 680-696.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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, 22(e1), e2-6.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. Peace, J., Valdez, R. S., Lutz, K. (2012). Data-based considerations for electronic family health history applications. Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 30(1), 37-45.
  31. 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:
  32. 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.
  33. 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.