Faculty and Staff

Valerie HillValerie Hill, PhD, MS, OTR/L
Assistant Professor

Division of Occupation Therapy

Mentor Status: P


453 W. 10th Ave.
Columbus, Ohio 43210

Professional Areas of Interest

  • Life Management and Lifestyle Redesign® Intervention Approaches
  • Community-Based Participatory Research
  • Minority Health and Health Disparities
  • Stroke Rehabilitation and Community Participation
  • Transitions of Stroke Care


Dr. Valerie Hill is an Occupational Therapist and Rehabilitation Scientist with 20 years of experience in occupational therapy practice, teaching, and research. She is the director of the Healthy GOALs Laboratory with a mission is to create innovative ways for individuals, communities, and populations who are underrepresented in biomedical research to get equitable health opportunities and live healthfully in their homes and communities. Dr. Hill’s research focuses on helping individuals with chronic conditions manage their health and well-being from a holistic lens. She is interested in assessing social determinants of health that impact individuals’ lives, their communities, and population health. She aims to “meet people where they are,” wherever that may be.

The lab is named after the Healthy GOALS Intervention line of research and stands for: Healthy Goal Achievement through Action Planning and Lifestyle Management after Stroke. Healthy GOALS is an occupational therapist-led, community-based, manualized life management intervention tailored to the unique needs of community dwelling stroke survivors. Dr. Hill and her team developed Healthy GOALS and continue to systematically evaluate methods to support stroke survivors to manage their health across service settings and systems.  

Dr. Hill’s career catapulted in 2016 when she was granted a K99/R00 Pathway to Independence award from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (Mentors: Amytis Towfighi, MD; Florence Clark, PhD, OT, FAOTA). In the K99 phase, Valerie developed and tested the feasibility of the Healthy GOALS Intervention at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center/ Los Angeles County Health Services in Los Angeles, California. 

During the R00 grant phase, Dr. Hill studied the efficacy of the Healthy GOALS intervention in Ohio at the University of Cincinnati (UC) where she was Assistant Professor. Valerie helped develop the Master and Doctor of Occupational Therapy programs at UC and served as interim program director from 2019 to 2020. She directed the occupational therapy research program (2018-2022), taught several research and assessment courses, and mentored student research projects.

Dr. Hill has a well-developed research line and is engagement in community-based participatory implementation research of a modified Healthy GOALS intervention with occupational therapists at UC Health and other care settings, such as in-patient and out-patient rehab, primary care, and community wellness. Valerie also studies models of post-stroke care; needs assessment, and program development and evaluation for community-based stroke care. She sees the value in occupational therapy practitioners’ presence in community and primary care to improve patient outcomes and coordinate care for patients in isolated regions in Ohio.

Valerie has a long history of teaching and mentoring students. At Ohio State, she teaches evidence-based practice courses and oversees student capstone projects in the Clinical Doctorate of Occupational Therapy program. 

Recent Publications

Peer-reviewed journals:

Towfighi, Cheng, Ayala-Rivera, Barry, McCreath Mittman, Ganz, Cunningham, Lee, Sanossian, Mehta, Dutta, Razmara, Bryg, Song, Willis, MAcia, Ibrahim, Wu, Ramirez, Richards, Jackson, Factor, Wacksman, Vickrey, SUCCEED Investigators [Hill]. (2021) Randomized Controlled Trial of a Chronic Care Model Based Intervention to Improve Risk Factor Control after Stroke or Transient Ischemic Attack: Secondary stroke prevention by Uniting Community and Chronic care model teams Early to End Disparities (SUCCEED), JAMA Open Network, 4(2). doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.36227  

Towfighi, A. Vickrey BG, Cheng EM, Hill, V, Valle NP, Ayala-Rivera M, Moreno L, Munoz C, Dombish H, Charlton A, Wang D, Ochoa D. (2020) Results of a Pilot Trial of a Lifestyle Intervention for Stroke Survivors: Healthy Eating And Lifestyle after Stroke; Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases, 29(12). 
doi: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2020.105323

Sleight, Hill, Cogan, Pyatak, Diaz, Florindez, Carlson, Clark. (2019) Factors protecting against pressure ulcers in adults with spinal cord injury: A qualitative study. Topics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehab; 25(1): 31-40. doi: 10.1310/sci2501-31 


Lifestyle ReDesign®: The Intervention Tested in the USC Well Elderly Studies, 2nd Edition. (2015). Clark, F., Blanchard, J., Sleight, A., Cogan, A., Eallonardo, L., Florindez, L., Gleason, S., Heymann, R., Hill, V., Holden, A., Jackson, J., Mandel, D., Murphy, M., Proffitt, R., Schepens Niemiec, S., Vigen, C., & Zemke, R. AOTAPress.

Recent Presentations

Hill, Leugers, Wagner, Miller. (2023). Results of the Healthy GOALS Efficacy Study of a Life Management Intervention on Engagement in Meaningful Activities & Quality of Life Poststroke. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 77(2): 7711510286p1. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2023.77S2-PO286

Kim, Bailey, & Hill. (2023). Behavior Change Techniques for Maximizing Function, Health, & Participation After Stroke. American Occupational Therapy Association Inspire Conference. Kansas City, MI. April 21, 2023. 

Furst, Craven, & Hill. (2023). Development of a Return-to-Work Program for Stroke Survivors in an Urban Metropolis: Initial Exploration of Supports, Barriers, & Needs. American Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference, San Antonio, TX, April 2022.

Major Awards

  • 2019: Research Incentive Award, University of Cincinnati
  • 2019: Scientific Scholarly Theater Award, American Occupational Therapy Association
  • 2018: K99/R00 Early Career Pathway to Independence grant (R00 Phase), NIMHD, R00MD010471-05 (PI: Hill)
  • 2016: K99/R00 Early Career Pathway to Independence grant (K99 Phase), NIMHD, K99MD010471-02 (PI: Hill)
  • 2013: Stroke Prevention Intervention Research Program Fellowship (NINDS), University of California Los Angeles Department of Neurology (1U54NS081765-01) (PI: Vickrey)
  • 2013: T32 Training in Rehab Efficacy and Effectiveness Trials (TREET) Postdoctoral Fellowship (NCMRR), University of Southern California Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy (5T32HD064578-03) (PI: Clark)


  • PhD, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Indiana University (IUPUI, Indianapolis, IN)
    Dissertation: The relationship between touch sensation of the hand and occupational performance in individuals with chronic stroke.
    Emphasis: Gerontology
  • MS, Health Sciences Education, Indiana University (IUPUI, Indianapolis, IN)
    Practicum: Interdisciplinary dementia course: Effective non-pharmacological interventions for healthcare professionals.
  • BS, Occupational Therapy, Indiana University (IUPUI, Indianapolis, IN)
    Minor: Psychology

My Links

Research Gate