Valerie A. Gruss, PhD, CNP-BC
Clinical Assistant Professor
Department of Biobehavioral Health Science
UIC College of Nursing
845 South Damen Avenue (MC 802)
Chicago, IL 60612-7350
Research / Discovery
Dr. Gruss has a broad range of expertise and research experience working with geriatric patients and multidisciplinary teams in a variety of settings. Dr. Gruss was awarded a 2-year John A. Hartford Fellowship for geriatric research and scholarship. Dr. Gruss has conducted studies as principal investigator and has worked as a research associate for others. As PI, her research examined empowerment and satisfaction among caregivers of persons with dementia. Earlier published research includes examination of stress factors of caregivers of persons with dementia. Her current role is as PI for an R01 proposal examining non-pharmacological interventions for persons with early-middle stage Alzheimer disease.
Dr. Gruss is also a member of a Task Group examining “Antipsychotic Drug Use Among the Elderly.” Findings, including an antipsychotic drug algorithm, are being internationally disseminated. This project has been funded by the Chicagoland Gerontological Advance Practice Nurses.
Teaching / Learning
Dr. Gruss’s academic responsibilities include creation and implementation of Case Study Team Learning curriculum for graduate and undergraduate courses. This problem-based learning curriculum is a student-centered instructional strategy in which teams of students collaboratively define, analyze and solve geriatric patient problems. These "real-life" geriatric cases are based on contemporary challenges faced by practicing nurses. The students learn to approach problems in a focused way that leads to well-reasoned conclusions and to development of a methodological process that fosters good judgment and effective action. Dr Gruss is a founding member of the UIC Interprofessional Faculty Curriculum Committee which has piloted an interprofessional educational (IPE) student program. The IPE education model has been recently funded by the CETA grant.
Service / Practice
Dr. Gruss was awarded the UIC Faculty Practice Award for 2010. She is an assistant professor and a board-certified gerontological nurse practitioner with over 12 years of clinical experience. She has a broad range of expertise and extensive clinical experience working with geriatric patients and multidisciplinary teams in a variety of settings, including clinics, home care, long-term care, acute care settings, and hospice.
Through the UIC Institute for Health Care Innovation, Dr. Gruss collaborates with a team from the University of Illinois on a State of Illinois project, “Money Follows the Person.” This federal/state demonstration project seeks to transition eligible persons out of nursing homes and into an appropriate community setting. Dr. Gruss, along with the UIC/UI team, has developed risk management protocols, quality assurances and benchmarks and has developed and held training modules and protocols. Dr. Gruss is responsible for mentoring State of Illinois project transition coordinators for the northern portion of the state. This includes quarterly site training, in addition to monitoring and reviewing transition cases for clinical assessment and risk.
Dr. Gruss is Co-Chair of the Advanced Practice Nursing Council for the University of Illinois Medical Center. The Council is involved in current nursing practice issues and advanced practice nursing standards at the Medical Center.
Dr. Gruss is a member of the Research Committee for the Geriatric Advanced Practice Nurses Association. She was a founding member of the Chicago Chapter of Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses. She is also a member of the Gerontological Society of America, American Nurses Association, Illinois Nurses Association, National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties, Midwest Nursing Research Society, and Rush University Golden Lamp Society.
Current Research Projects:
- Testing a Bimodal Intervention for Persons with Early to Middle Stage Dementia (PI)
- Antipsychotic Use Among the Elderly
- Developing an Interprofessional Educational Program