Michelle Criss, PT, DPT, Board-Certified Geriatric Clinical Specialist

Michelle Criss
Assistant Professor
Eastside - 236

Joined Chatham:  2012


Using standardized tests and measures in PT practice to enhance the care of older adults, ageism, using technology to enhance learning


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