I am an Associate Professor at University of Illinois at Chicago and have a broad range of experience and expertise working in geriatrics and primary care with multidisciplinary teams in a variety of settings. My role blends research, practice and education. In 2018, I was inducted into the American Academy of Nursing as a Fellow.
My overall research focus is improving the care of the older adult. I am Director of a $3.3 million federal HRSA Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP) grant. My GWEP program,
Engage-IL (Enhancement of Geriatric Care for All through Training and Empowerment: An Interprofessional Imperative) includes an online accredited clinical geriatric training program (engageil.com), a student geriatric scholarship program, community outreach programs and a free downloadable mobile app, Dementia Guide Expert. The Dementia Guide Expert mobile app has been downloaded/viewed more than 26,000 times in 12 different countries, enhancing the care of persons with dementia and families. The app is available for free in English and Spanish for iOS devices through Apple App store and for Android devices through Google Play. The app has been translated into Spanish, Guia Experta Sobre La Demencia and is now available for free download.
This work aligns with my passion to educate on dementia and create Dementia Friendly Communities. Through innovative collaborative partnerships with the City of Chicago Age-Friendly Commission and senior high-rise building management companies, I provide dementia training for building management staff. Building management staff needs the skills to identify older residents with cognitive status changes, refer them for evaluation, and help create a safe environment for them to age in place. I was awarded the Gerontological (GAPNA) “Excellence in Research” award.
As a practicing geriatrician, I have helped to transform the paradigm of elder care with a program that transitions older adults out of nursing homes and back into the community, improving their quality of life. As lead clinical consultant for the Illinois Department on Aging with the Money Follows the Person program, we successfully transitioned more than 2,305 individuals and Illinois was awarded $55.7 million in enhanced Medicaid reimbursements. Further, I made significant contributions to care management of seniors by creating the UIC Training Institute, presenting a series of in-person workshops and online webinars on how to manage persons with chronic illnesses in the community. These webinars are available to care coordinators and case workers throughout the state and offer continuing education hours for social workers and nurses. In 2017, I was awarded the Distinguished Award for Scholarly Practice.
In 2017, I was selected as an official Geriatric Delegate for the Chicago Sister Cities International program, Chicago-Shanghai Services Exchange. As a member of an 8-person Geriatric Expert Panel, I travelled to Shanghai, China. The purpose of the international exchange of geriatric experts was to assess the impact and address the challenges of the global aging population. Our successful international exchange shared best practices and policies, overcame cultural division and learned from each other.
As a professor in the College of Nursing (CON), I teach graduate advance practice nursing students. As Director of Interprofessional Education for the CON, I have been engaged in efforts to create Interprofessional Educational opportunities for students in UIC’s multiple health professions education programs. I serve on the Vice Chancellor’s IPE Strategic Planning Committee and Chancellor’s Steering Committee for Interprofessional Education. I received the Gerontological Advance Practice Nurses Association 2018 Excellence in Education award, and UIC’s Teaching Recognition Program Award 2016.
Gruss, V. (PI), and Hasnain, M. (PI) Health Resources & Service Administration, Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP), 2018-2019, $881,778.00 (one year)
Hasnain, M., Gruss, V., Suesakul, A., Perry, L.A. (Co-Investigator). Optimizing the Health of Homebound Patients through Interprofessional Patient and Family-Centered Care. HCCI, 2018. $70,000 (one year)
University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Medicine, MATEC: Midwest Fellowship for Primary Care Champions (MFPCC) in HHS Region V, (In-kind faculty), 2019-2023, $4.4 million
Olsen, B., Gruss, V., Hasnain, M., Emery-Tiburicio, E., Miller, R., Health Resources & Service Administration, Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP), (Co-PI) Small Networking Meeting Grant Program, Assessment of Geriatric Interprofessional Training, 2018 $31,000 (6 months)
Gruss, V. (PI), and Hasnain, M. (PI), Health Resources & Service Administration, Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP), 2015-2018, $2,500,000 (3 years)
Hasnain, M., Gruss, V., (Co-PI) Innovative Geriatrics Program and Approaches to Care, HRSA, GWEP-CC $7,500. 2018
Gruss, V., Hasnain, M, (Co-PI), John A. Hartford Foundation, 086215-206084G $2,000. 2018
Leathers, S., Melka-Kaffer, C., McDermott, M., Mitchell, C., Brooks, E., Hasnain, M.,
Gruss, V. Coats, B., Bonecutter. G., (Co-Investigator), M01HP31358-01-00 for Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Program, Integrated Behavioral Health Care Training for Social Workers, HRSA, Sept. 30, 2017 – Sept. 29, 2021 $1,919,894 (3 years)
Berry, J. (PI), Gruss, V. (Co-Investigator) Advancing Interprofessional Education & Clinical Expertise Using Technology Initiatives in Advanced Practice Nursing. Health Resources & Service Administration, 2012-2015, $980,000
Gruss, V. (PI), Examining nursing home staff attitudes towards residents’ sexuality, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association Foundation, 2015, $2,000.
Burgener, S. (PI), Gruss, V. (Co-Investigator), Comprehensive Geriatric Education Program, Health Resources & Service Administration, #D62HPO1899, 2009-2011
Gruss, V. (Co-PI), Antipsychotic Medication Use Among the Elderly, Gerontological Advance Practice Nurses Association, Chicago Chapter. 2010, $500.
Gruss, V. (Principal Investigator). Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity (Pre-Doctoral Fellowship). The John A. Hartford Foundation, 2001-2003, $100,000
List of Publications/ Inventions:
TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATIONS & DISCOVERIES
Gruss, V. (PI), Hasnain, M., Koronkowski, M. Mobile Software Application: “Dementia Guide Expert”. Mobile App, Spanish Version, available in iOS Apple App Store and for Android on Google Play (2018-present)
Gruss, V. (PI), Hasnain, M., Koronkowski, M. Mobile Software Application: “Dementia Guide Expert for families”. Mobile App available in iOS Apple App Store and for Android on Google Play (2016-present)
Gruss, V. (PI), Hasnain, M. (Co-PI), Online Accredited Learning in Interprofessional Geriatrics, online training modules for healthcare professionals. Available through website: engageil.com (2017-present)
Gruss, V. (PI). Mobile Software Application Patent: “Behavioral Symptoms of Dementia” downloadable App. Software registered at the Library of Congress by UIC Office of Technology Management. Invention Identification number DF092. App is available in iOS Apple App Store and for Android at Google Play. (2012-present)
PUBLICATIONS (last 5 years only)
Gruss, V., Hasnain, M. A Smartphone Application for Educating the Public about Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias, Gerotechnology, submitted May 2019
Kottorp, A., Keehn, M., Hasnain, M., Gruss, V., Peterson, E. Instrument Refinement for Measuring Self-Efficacy for Competence in Interprofessional Collaborative Practice: Development and Psychometric Analysis of IPECC-SET 27 and IPECC-SET 9. Journal of Interprofessional Care [8/2018]
Mitzen, P., Gruss, V. American Society on Aging, Aging Today, Aging Services Go Global-From Shanghai to Chicago and Back, (May 18, 2018)
Peterson, E., Koronkowski, M., Hasnain, M., & Gruss, V. UIC’s Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program “ENGAGE-IL” Leads to Educational Opportunities for Occupational Therapy Practitioners. The Illinois Occupational Therapy Association Communiqué, 4, 6-7. (Oct/Nov/Dec 2017).
Hasnain, M., Keehn, M., Gruss, V., Koronkowski, M., Altfeld, S., Mitchell, C., Association for Prevention Teaching and Research, APTR/CDC IPE Small Grant Program, UIC Transforming Health Disparities through Interprofessional Education, Research and Service. APTR Academic Innovation Models website.http://www.academicinnovationmodels.org/interprofessional.html
McCann, P, Lewis, A., Gruss, V., (2017) Antipsychotic Medication Use in Illinois Skilled Nursing Facilities: A Rational Approach to Change, The Director, Patient & Resident Safety Issue, 2017
Hasnain, M., Gruss, V., Keehn, M., Peterson, E., Valenta, A. L., & Kottorp, A. Development and Validation of a Tool to Assess Self-Efficacy for Competence in Interprofessional Collaborative Practice. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 31(2), 255-262, (2017).
Lee, C. H., Gruss, V., Stuercke, M., & Ryan, C. J. Relation of Stop and Watch Tool Use in a Skilled Nursing Facility to 30-Day Hospital Transfer Rates. Jour Nursing Home Res, 2, 104-109, 2016.
Oosterhouse, K. J., Vincent, C., Foreman, M. D., Gruss, V., Corte, C., & Berger, B. Intensive Care Unit Nurses’ Beliefs About Delirium Assessment and Management. AACN Advanced Critical Care, 27(4), 379-393, 2016.
Koplow, S., Gallo, A., Knafl, K., Vincent, C., Paun, O., Gruss, V. A Case Study Approach to Nursing Home Placement: Smooth and Difficult Cases and Implications for Nursing, Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 41(7), 58-64, 2016.
Koplow, S., Gallo, A., Knafl, K., Vincent, C, Paun, O., Gruss, V. Family Caregivers Define and manage the Nursing Home Placement Process, Journal of Family Nursing, 2015. DOl: 10.1177/1074840715571365
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