Physical Therapy (DPT) Faculty and Staff
Michelle Criss PT, DPT, Board-Certified Geriatric Clinical Specialist
Joined Chatham : 2012
Academic Areas of Interest
Using standardized tests and measures in PT practice to enhance the care of older adults, ageism, using technology to enhance learning
Personal Areas of Interest
Dance, gardening (especially if the weeds pick themselves), kayaking and finding time to actually do it, good food, good friends, finding ways to enjoy my family and not get caught up in the teenage years!
Dr. Criss has been practicing in the area of geriatric physical therapy for 23 years mostly in skilled nursing facilities but also in inpatient rehabilitation, adult day programming, and home health. She joined the core faculty in 2012 as a part-time instructor after serving as adjunct and in 2015 joined as full time faculty. Dr. Criss currently serves the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy on the Program Committee and GeriEDGE subcommittee of the Practice Committee. Dr. Criss is proud to have developed the ABPTRFE-accredited UPMC Centers for Rehab Services Geriatric Physical Therapy Residency program in which she continues to serve as a faculty member. She is currently enrolled at Nova Southeastern University working towards her PhD in Physical Therapy.
- Ph.D., Nova Southeastern University (Ft. Lauderdale, FL), ABD
- Doctor of Physical Therapy, University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA), 2010
- Master of Science, Physical Therapy, Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA), 1995
- Bachelor of Arts, Biology and Psychology, University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA), 1992
- Lusardi MM, Fritz S, Middleton A, Allison L, Phillips E, CRISS M, Verma S, Osborne J, Chui KK. Determining Risk of Future Falls in Community Dwelling Older Adults: a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis Using Posttest Probability. J Geriatr Phys Ther.2017;40:1-36.
- CRISS M, Heitzman J, Wharton MA. Legal and ethical reasoning to enhance compassionate care in patients experiencing cognitive decline. Cognitive and Mental Health SIG Continuing Education Module. Gerinotes. 2016; 23(6): 18-23
- CRISS M and Takacs S. Rehabilitation of hip fractures across the continuum of care. Top Geriatr Rehab. 2013; 29(4): 281-293.
- Certified Geriatric Clinical Specialist, American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties
- Credentialed Clinical Instructor, American Physical Therapy Association
- Excellence in Geriatric Research Award for the paper “Determining Risk of Falls in Community Dwelling Older Adults”, Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy (co-author, award presented to first author), 2018
- Chatham University Faculty Technology Fellow, 2017-2018
- Clinician-Educator Award, Chatham University Physical Therapy Program, 2011
- Award of Excellence, Geriatric Special Interest Group, Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association, 2009
- President's Award, Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy, American Physical Therapy Association, 2009
- Member, American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)
- Member, APTA Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy; Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy; Academy of Clinical Electrophysiology and Wound Care; Section on Education
- Member, Gerontological Society of America
- AGPT GeriEDGE (evidence-based document group), member, 2014-present & Program Committee, member, 1998 – present
- Faculty: Geriatric Physical Therapy Residency Program, UPMC Centers for Rehab Servcies, 2011-present
- Director and Creator: Geriatric Physical Therapy Residency Program, UPMC Centers for Rehab Services, Pittsburgh, PA, 2011-2015
- Nominating Committee: Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy, American Physical Therapy Association, 2011-2014 (chair, 2013-2014)
- Item Writer: Geriatric Specialization Academy of Content Experts, American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties, 2010-2013
- Delegate: American Physical Therapy Association House of Delegates, 2009-2012
- Chair: Regional Course Committee, Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy, American Physical Therapy Association, 2002-2009
- CRISS M. “Implicit Learning and Useful Communication Strategies: Working with Persons Living with Dementia.” Educational Offering for Clinical Instructors of Penn State Fayette PTA Program. May 10, 2018
- CRISS M. “Using Apps to Practice Observation Skills.” Pittsburgh Regional Faculty Symposium, Pittsburgh, PA. March 2018
- CRISS M. “Help! How do I use evidence to treat persons living with dementia? The basics of implicit learning and useful communication strategies” PPTA Geriatric SIG presentation at PPTA Annual Conference, Seven Springs, PA. October 2017
- White L, Dawson N, Ross B, Stanley M, Knott G, CRISS M, Miles J, Steffes L, Ross C. “Working with Cognitive/Mental Health Issues Across the Care Continuum.” 2-Day Pre-Conference Education Program, APTA Combined Sections Meeting (San Antonio, TX), February 2017.
- CRISS M & Heitzman J. “Ethics, Decision-Making Ability, and Interventions for Patients with Alzheimer Disease. AGPT Education Session, American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting (Anaheim, CA), February 2016
- CRISS M, Grieve S, Cook J. "Teaching with Multimedia: Applying Evidence to Enhance Learning." Education Session, American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting (Anaheim, CA), February 2016
- Lusardi M, Fritz S, Allison L, Wingood M, CRISS M, Middleton A, Phillips E. “GeriEDGE Fall Risk Assessment and Outcome Measures.” Education Session, APTA Combined Sections Meeting (Indianapolis, IN), February, 2015
- CRISS M and Schwartz S. “Falls and rehabilitation after hip fracture.” Invited presentation. Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association Southwest District Mini-Combined Sections Meeting, March 2013.
- Strunk E and CRISS M. “Are you a frustrated SNF therapist? What you can do to influence change.” American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting, San Diego, January 2013.