Valerie G. Press, MD, MPH is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Section of Hospital Medicine at the University of Chicago. Dr. Press earned degrees in medicine and public health from the University of Michigan and completed her residency in the combined Internal medicine-Pediatrics Program at the University of Chicago. She then completed the University of Chicago Hospitalist Scholars Fellowship. Her work primarily focuses on improving patient-centered education for underserved patients with chronic disease and limited health literacy through novel interventions in the community and hospital settings targeted at both patients and clinicians.
During her Hospitalist Scholars fellowship, Dr. Press led the development and implementation of the Chicago Breathe Project that provided inhaler education for 5 Chicago residency programs and 2 community sites serving minority patients with funding from the American College of Physicians Foundation. As part of the Robert Wood Johnson Finding Answers Disparities Research for Change project, she led a systematic review of interventions that aim to improve health disparities and care for minority populations with asthma. Since then, she has built her research program and received additional post-doctoral training through the National Institute of Health Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Randomized Behavioral Clinical Trials fellowship, the Medical Education Research, Innovation, Teaching and Scholarship (MERITS) Program, and the National Institute of Aging Butler-Williams Scholars Program.
Most recently, she completed work funded by an institutional KM1 on the comparative effectiveness of educational strategies (intensive “Teach to Goal” vs. brief in-person or video education) designed to improve hospitalized patients’ ability to self-manage their asthma and COPD through promoting correct use of respiratory inhalers. She has since received an NIH K23 to continue this work and expand it to examine the utility of video module education for inhaler use. Dr. Press Co-Directs the University of Chicago COPD Readmissions Reduction Program, is a member of the Society of Hospital Medicine Taskforce for COPD, and is a member of the American Thoracic Society Behavioral Science and Health Services Assembly’s planning committee. In addition to her work with lung patients, Dr. Press is also conducting health literacy and vision research, in which she has found that a non-trivial number of patients have poor vision, a risk that is increased in older patients, which also increases risk of worse self-management of chronic disease. Her current work, supported by the Chicago Center for Diabetes Translation Research, is examining the risks of poor vision in patients with diabetes.