Chatham University

Physical Therapy (DPT) Faculty and Staff

Patricia Downey PT, PhD, DPT

Patricia Downey
Professor, Dean for the School of Health Sciences
Hometown : Detroit, Michigan
Joined Chatham : 1994

Academic Areas of Interest

Orthopedic physical therapy, Women's health physical therapy, Osteoporosis

Personal Areas of Interest

Fitness, Travel, Spending time with my family, Craft beers, Pittsburgh Pirates Baseball


Dr Downey has been a licensed physical therapist for over 30 years specializing in orthopedics and women's health. She has been on faculty at Chatham since 1994 and physical therapy program director from 2005-2014. She became the inaugural Dean for the School of Health Sciences in 2014. She has an advanced masters degree in orthopedic physical therapy and was a certified orthopedic clinical specialist for 20 years. She also has a PhD in physical anthropology with an emphasis in functional anatomy and morphology.


  • Transitional DPT, Chatham University, 2008
  • PhD, University of Pittsburgh, 2004: Physical Anthropology;
  • MS, University of Pittsburgh 1988: Advanced Orthopedic Physical Therapy;
  • BS West Virginia University, 1980: Physical Therapy


  • Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy. (2013) Downey PA, Perry SB, Anderson JA. Screening Postmenopausal Women for Fall and Fracture Prevention. 36:138-145. DOI: 10.1519/JPT.013e31827bc497
  • Journal of Physical Therapy Education 2013 in press. Bednarek M, Downey PA, Williamson A. The use of human simulation to teach acute care skills in a cardiopulmonary course.
  • Recreational Sports Journal 2013. Loughran MJ, Hamilton D, Downey PA, Winters C Going the Distance: An Interdisciplinary Seminar Series on a University Campus in Support of Training for Recreational Distance Running. 37:55-65.
  • Journal of Physical Therapy Education 2012; Schreiber, Perry, Downey, Williamson."Implementation of an Innovative Continuing Education Program Focused on Translation of Knowledge into Clinical Practice: A Case Report"
  • “Fracture Risk & Prevention: A Multi-Dimensional Approach; Physical Therapy Journal 2011; Perry, Downey
  • Journal of Physical Therapy Education. (2009) Schreiber J, Downey PA, Traister J. “Academic Program Support for Evidence-Based Clinical Practice: A Mixed Methods Investigation.” Spring 23:36-43.Spring
  • Physical Therapy (2008). Continence and Quality of Life Outcomes Six Months Following an Intensive Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercise Program for Female Stress Urinary Incontinence: A Comparison of Low versus High Maintenance Exercise. Borello-France, D and Downey, P et al.
  • Critical Reviews in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. (2007) Downey PA, Perry S. "Rehabilitation Approaches to the Prevention of Osteoporosis and Osteoportic Fractures."
  • Physical Therapy. (2006) Borello-France DB, Zyczynski H, Downey PD, et al. “The effect of exercise position on pelvic floor muscle exercise outcomes in women with stress urinary incontinence.”
  • Physical Therapy. (2006) Downey PA, Siegel M. “Bone Biology and the Clinical Implications for Osteoporosis.”
  • Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy (2006) Downey PA, Siegel MI, Mooney MP et al. Craniosacral therapy: The effects of cranial manipulation on intracranial pressure and cranial bone movement."
  • The Journal of Women's Health Physical Therapy 2005. Downey PA. “Health Related Quality of Life Outcome Measures: Relevance to Physical Therapy for Women.” 29:11-17.
  • The Journal of Women's Health Physical Therapy 2006. Downey PA, Frederick I. Physical Therapy Treatment for Vulvar Vestibulitis: A Case Report. The Journal of Women's Health Physical Therapy; 2006, 30:1.


  • Orthopedic Clinical Specialist 1994-2012


  • “MaryLou Barnes Award for Distinguished Professional Service”: 2013 Alumni Award presented to an alumnus of West Virginia University Physical Therapy Program for a distinguished career.
  • "Given-Heinz Professorship” Chatham University 2006-2009 (Awarded to 'a superior person in a major field of study,' the purpose being to strengthen the educational program of the University and to attract eminent teachers)


  • Member of the American Physical Therapy Association and Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association; Member of the Orthopedic, Education and Women's Health Sections of the APTA


  • Loughran MJ, Hamilton D, Downey PA, Winters C. Going the Distance: An Interdisciplinary Seminar Series in Support of Marathon Training on a University Campus. Poster presentation at the Association for Applied Sports Psychology Conference, September, 2009.
  • Loughran MJ, Hamilton D, Downey PA, Winters C. The Effect of Marathon Training and Participation on Mood, Outlook, and Psychological Well-Being. Poster presentation at the Association for Applied Sports Psychology Conference, September, 2009.
  • Clifford S, Downey PD, Traister J. "Clinical Instructor Utilization of Spinal Manipulation Techniques in Clinical Practice." Platform presentation Combined Sectons Meeting of the APTA. February, 2008
  • Loughran MJ, Downey PD, Winters-Hart C, Mannarino MB. “Exercise Adherence in a Campus Fitness Program: Factors Influencing Premature Termination.” Lecture presentation, American Academy of Sports Psychologists Annual Meeting, October 2007
  • Downey PA, Barbano TE, Kapur R, Sciote JJ, Siegel MI, Mooney MP. “Craniosacral Therapy and Intracranial Pressure: Is There Biology Behind the Theory.” Platform presentation, Combined Sections Meeting of the APTA, 2005