Health Care Sciences

Occupational Therapy

Catherine L. Lysack, PhD, OT(C)
Dr. Lysack's research focuses on the social, physical and environmental influences on health, and understanding how older adults and people with disability redevelop active and meaningful lives in the community after illness and injury. She has conducted numerous studies including recent studies to evaluate methods to strengthen occupational therapy practice skills in mental health, and identify factors that facilitate community participation after spinal cord injury. She is presently conducted research on two projects: 1) Household Downsizing in Late Life, funded by the National Institute on Aging, and 2) Social Reintegration of Service-members and Veterans with Spinal Cord Injury Returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, funded by the U.S. Department of Defense.

Regina Parnell, PhD, OTR
Dr. Parnell's study on "Hurried Woman Syndrome" investigated the validity of the construct with 121 Detroit area African American women who occupy multiple social roles in society. The Attitude and Mood Assessment tool, which was developed to assess the presence of fatigue, depression, weight gain and low libido, was used to examine the impact of multiple role engagement and social stressors on the health of these hurried women. Results thus far suggest that this cohort of Black women do not experience the typical hurried woman syndrome health symptoms: only fatigue and depression. Also, that the participant's health symptoms were most strongly associated with their perceptions of stress and discrimination.

A study conducted at Coalition on Temporary Housing (COTS) explored the impact of introducing age-appropriate play experiences to elementary age children in an urban homeless shelter. To date, results from the study have revealed that children residing in homeless shelters enjoyed participating in age-appropriate leisure activities. While children were easy to engage in the research study, they did face some barriers to access to these play activities based on the setting, the parents, staff and personal schedules. Researchers were able to identify and minimize some barriers during the study, others persisted throughout the study. Recommendations for anticipating and overcoming common challenges for research student projects set in homeless shelter environments are emerging.

Preethy Samuel, PhD, OTR
Dr. Samuel studies quality of life and conducts investigations of: 1. Psychometric testing of an international survey of family quality of life in order to refine it into a more precise and accurate tool. 2. Quality of life of children, adolescents, and adults with intellectual/ developmental disabilities and of their familial caregivers (eg. Parents, siblings, grandparents). 3. Evaluation of family centered outcomes of various pediatric interventions.

Rosanne DiZazzo-Miller, DrOT, OTRL, CDP
Dr. DiZazzo-Miller's research interests include family caregiver training for persons with dementia, and various modes of instructional learning delivery, and outcomes research. These interests are divided up into four main categories. First, the effectiveness and validity of caregiver training programs focusing on activities of daily living of persons with dementia. Second, quality of life for caregivers of persons with dementia. Third, balance and mobility of persons with dementia and their caregivers. Fourth, instructional design and development of effective web-based blended learning.

Nancy Vandewiele Milligan, PhD, OTRL, FAOTA
Dr. Milligan's research interests include The Diabetes Education Wellness Clinic: a multidisciplinary, student-run free clinic for underserved women with type 2 diabetes; computer Training for Urban Older Adults: Occupational Outcomes; a Participatory Action Strategy to Enhance Accessibility and participation in Arts and Cultural Events by people with Disabilities

Gerry Conti, PhD, OTRL, FAOTA
Dr. Conti has two complementary lines of research. Her primary research is the kinematic and clinical examination of reach, grasp and manipulation in people across the lifespan with and without health impairments. Currently kinematic and clinical studies of handwriting are ongoing. Her second research line is the development and examination of rehabilitation technology, with studies in collaboration with Engineering. Ongoing research in this area includes the development of digital human modeling of people with severe movement limitations and rehabilitation exercise robotics.

Physical Therapy

Diane E. Adamo, PhD, OT
Dr. Adamo is Director of the Movement Analysis and Performance Sciences laboratory. She investigates age effects on the ability to produce, modulate and remember hand grasp forces using upper extremity sensorimotor paradigms. More recently, she has investigated the control of grasp force in individuals who have suffered a stroke. Parallel lines of research include the contribution of physical activity to age-related differences in sensorimotor processing and functional fitness.

Dr. Malek is Director of the Integrative Physiology of Exercise Laboratory. His lines of research include assessment of skeletal muscle capillarity, gas exchange parameters in healthy and clinical populations as well as issues related to research methodology and statistical analyses.

Martha Schiller, PT, DPT, MSA
Dr. Schiller's primary research interest is focused on Clinical Instructor (CI) behaviors, training and credentialing. Further interest is with the student-run multidisciplinary Diabetes Education and Wellness (DEW) clinic and community collaboration for PT services for the underserved.

Vicky Pardo, PT, DHS
Dr. Pardo's research studies include investigations of treatment interventions for people who have had a stroke. Her studies include quantifying minimal detectable change of outcome measures in patients post-stroke. She has also studied use of ankle foot orthoses in people who have had a stroke.

Tina Reid, PT
Professor Reid's research involves studies of anterior pelvic tilt in people who have had a lower extremity amputated. She studies gait in people after amputation. Other interests include reliability and validity of clinical motion analysis software as a gait assessment tool.

Sujay Galen, PhDPT, FHEA
Dr. Galen is a Physical Therapist with a PhD in Bioengineering. His primary research interests are in improving mobility in people with disabilities due to neurological disorders such as Spinal Cord Injury (SCI), Cerebral Palsy and Stroke. Dr. Galen has expertise in interventions such as Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) and robotics, and has performed studies that have employed these interventions to improve function in neurological conditions such as Cerebral Palsy and SCI. He also has an interest in developing outcome measures to study recovery in various neurological conditions including SCI. His research in SCI was funded by the International Spinal Research Trust.

Fredrick Pociask, PhDPT, OCS, FAAOMPT
Dr. Pociask's research focuses on the study of human memory and cognition in the areas of instructional design, critical thinking, and adaptive psychomotor performance, as well as orthopedic interventions in the management of spinal and extremity disorders across the lifespan. A focus of his studies is on investigations of instructional principles used to reduce cognitive load and improve instructional effectiveness of complex instruction.

Nora Fritz, PhD, PT, DPT, NCS 
Dr. Fritz is the director of the Neuroimaging and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory. Dr. Fritz's research interests include examining the influence of cognition on mobility and exploring exercise interventions to improve function in individuals with neurologic conditions. She is particularly interested in linking clinically observable function to structural imaging and predicting the outcomes of exercise interventions using neuroimaging. Her research has been funded by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Sara F Maher, PT, DScPT, OMPT 

Dr. Maher's research is focused on the use of effective instructional strategies and student learning. Dr. Maher is particularly interested in the impact of novel educational techniques on student outcomes within the classroom setting. Other interests include identifying ways to impact the attributes of professional graduate students such as cultural awareness, leadership skills, etc.

Physician Assistant

Healthcare Delivery in Siberia, Disease Prevention Education and methods for improvement. 

Utilization of Physician Assistants in Hospital Settings as surrogate Houseofficers.

Factors affecting employment Opportunities for Physician Assistants, post-thesis continuation

Childhood Immunization
Innovations in Health Care: 2001 AAPA/PA Physician Assistant Foundation/Pfizer Recognition Program. Childhood Immunization Initiative at Wayne State University Department of Physician Assistant Studies. Submitted by S J Gilkey. 
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Literacy Enhancement
Physician Assistant Foundation. Community Based Project Grant 2003. Literacy Enhancement for a Detroit Public Grade School Through Supplemental Tutoring Materials and Books Provided by The WSU Physician Assistant Student Society. Faculty mentor and adviser. 
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Pre-Sport Health Appraisals
Physician Assistant Foundation. Community Based Project Grant 2000. Pre-Sport Health Appraisals for Detroit Special Olympians provided by Wayne State University Department of PA Studies and Sinai-Grace Department of Internal Medicine. Project director- S J Gilkey. 
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Michigan Cardiovascular Consortium Angioplasty Registry
Agency: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
Period of Award: 1999-Present 
Amount:   $20,000/year
Principal Investigator: John G. McGinnity, M.S., P.A.-C.
Role: Principal Investigator, Study Site (DMC-Harper Hospital)
Aregistry study of seven Southeastern Michigan hospital cardiaccatheterization laboratories procedures. Tracking approximately 200data points on all percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplastiesprocedures and their outcomes. 
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Department of Health Care Sciences Multimedia Instruction Modules
Agency: Wayne State University Innovative Technology Grant
Period of Award: 2006-2007
Amount $29,980
Principle Investigator: Fredrick D. Pociask PhDPT, OCS, FAAOMPT
Role: Co-Investigator
This grant will fund the development of three self contained multimediainstructional modules for use by Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapyand Physician Assistant programs.
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Physician Assistant Training in Primary Care
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Period of Award:   2002-2006
Amount:   $255,143
Principle Investigator: Stephanie Gilkey M.S., P.A.-C.
Role:  Co-Investigator, Responsible for Development and implementation of aweb-based data tracking system for all aspects of the training grant. 

This grant will establish a multifaceted program to increase minorityrecruitment in the Physician Assistant training program. A school-basedhealth clinic will be established with the Detroit Public Schools topromote Physician Assistants as caregivers and assist with recruitmentefforts. 
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