Chatham University

Physical Therapy (DPT) Faculty and Staff

Michelle Criss PT, DPT, GCS

Michelle Criss
Assistant Professor
Hometown : Springfield, VA
Joined Chatham : 2012

Academic Areas of Interest

Frail older individuals with multiple co-morbidities, balance and falls, and the use of standardized tests and measures in skilled nursing rehabilitation

Personal Areas of Interest

Dance, photography, travel, good food, and, most importantly, spending time with my family


Dr. Criss has been practicing in the area of geriatric physical therapy for 20 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 as a GeriEDGE Task Force member. Dr. Criss is proud to have developed the recently 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)
  • Master of Science, Physical Therapy, Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA)
  • Bachelor of Arts, Biology and Psychology, University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA)



  • Certified Geriatric Clinical Specialist, American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties
  • Credentialed Clinical Instructor, American Physical Therapy Association


  • 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




  • 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." 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.