Wayne State University
Heather Fritz

Heather Fritz

Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy



Office location

EACPHS, Room 2204


Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy Program

Assistant Professor, Institute of Gerontology

Degrees and Certifications


Ph.D. in Occupational Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2013
M.S.O.T., Winston Salem State University, 2007


Certified Health Coach, National Society of Health Coaches, 2014
Licensed Occupational Therapist in the state of Michigan, 2013


Postdoctoral fellowship, Wayne State University Institute of Gerontology, 2013-2015



Professional Memberships

American Public Health Association
National Society of Health Coaches
American Gerontological Association
Society for the Study of Occupation: USA
American Occupational Therapy Association

Primary Research Interest

Chronic condition prevention and management (theory, intervention research)

Occupational science (theory, habits, environments and health)

Aging (neighborhood environments and health, clinical practice)

Recent Publications



1. Boon Peng, N., Jensen, G., & Fritz, H., (in press). Effects of Medicare coverage of a “Welcome to Medicare” visit on use of preventative services among new Medicare Enrollees. Journal of Aging Research.

2. Zilioli, S., Cutchin, M. P., Fritz, H., Booza, J., & Slatcher, R. (in press). Brief Report: A pilot study of neighborhood adversity and hair cortisol among older urban African Americans. Psychneuroendocrinology. doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2017.02.026

3. Fritz, H., & Cutchin, M. P. (2017). Changing neighborhoods and occupations: Experiences of older African-Americans in Detroit. Journal of Occupational Science. doi:10.1080/14427591.2016.1269296

4. Fritz, H., Tarraf, W., & Saleh, D., Cutchin, M. P. (2017). Using a smartphone-based ecological momentary assessment protocol with community dwelling older African-Americans. Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbw166.

5. DiZazzo-Miller, R., Pociask, F., Bertran, E., Fritz, H., Arnetz, J., Tarakji, S., Lysack, C., & Jaber, L. (2016). Diabetes is devastating and insulin is a death sentence: Provider perspectives of diabetes self-management in Arab American patients. Clinical Diabetes. doi:10.2337/cd15-0030

6. Fritz, H., DiZazzo-Miller, R., Bertran, E., Pociask, F., Tarakji, S., Arnetz, J., Lysack, C., & Jaber, L. (2016). Diabetes self-management among Arab Americans: Patient and provider perspectives. BMC International Health and Human Rights. doi:10.1186/s12914-016-0097-8

7. Fritz, H., & Cutchin, M. P. (2016). Integrating the science of habit: Opportunities for occupational therapy. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health. 10.1177/1539449216643307

8. Bertran, E., Fritz, H., Abbas, M., Arnetz, J., Lysack, C., Pociask, F., DiZazzo-Miller, R., Tarakji, S., & Jaber, L. (2015). The Impact of Arab American Culture on Diabetes Self-Management Education. The Diabetes Educator, Advance online publication. doi:10.1177/0145721715607356

9. Murphy, S., Lyden, A., Fritz, H., Kratz, A., Williams, D., Clauw, D., Gammaitoni, A., & Phillips, K. (2015). The nature of pain flares in a sample of patients with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis. Arthritis Research and Care, 67(8), 1103-1111. doi: 10.1002/acr.22545

10. Fritz, H., Dillaway, H., & Lysack, C. (2015). “Don’t think paralysis takes away your womanhood”: Sexual intimacy after SCI. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 69(2), 1-10. doi:10.5014/ajot.2015.015040

11. Fritz, H., Lysack, C., Luborsky, M., & Messinger, S. (2014). Long-term community reintegration: Concepts, outcomes, and dilemmas in the case of a military service member with a spinal cord injury. Disability and Rehabilitation, 37(16),1501-1507. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2014.967415

12. Fritz, H. (2014). Challenges to developing diabetes self-management skills in a low income sample in North Carolina, U.S. A. Health and Social Care in the Community. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/hsc.12172.

13. Fritz, H. (2014). Learning to do better: The transactional model of diabetes self-management integration. Qualitative Health Research, 25(7), 875-886. doi: 10.1177/1049732314552453

14. Fritz, H., & Lysack, C. (2014). “I see it now”: Using photo elicitation to understand chronic illness self-management. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 81(4), 247-255. doi:10.1177/0008417414540517

15. Fritz, H. (2014). The influence of routines on engagement in diabetes self-management. Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 21(3), 232-240. doi: 10.1177/0008417414540517

16. Fritz, H. (2012). Insights into the function of habit in the occupation of improvisational theater. Journal of Occupational Science, 21(2), 161-172. doi: 10.1080/14427591.2012.724352

Research Connect link


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