Chatham University

Physical Therapy (DPT) Faculty and Staff

Michelle Criss PT, DPT, GCS

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

Academic Areas of Interest

Frail older individuals with multiple co-morbidities, balance and falls, wound care, 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), currently enrolled
  • 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)


  • 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


  • 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




  • CRISS M & Heitzman J. "Ethics, Decision-Making Ability, and Interventions for Patients With Alzheimer Disease." 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." 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 Recommendations for Fall Risk and Outcomes Measures." American Physical Therapy Association 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.