Heather Fritz

Heather Fritz


Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy

Office Location

EACPHS, Room 2204






Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy Program Assistant Professor, Institute of Gerontology

Heather Fritz

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



Awards and Honors


American Cancer Society: IRG #14-238-04-IRG $29,950
Title: Reducing Metabolic Syndrome and Unmet Needs among Rural Breast Cancer Survivors During the Survivorship Transition: 5/1/2018-4/30/2019
Goal: To evaluate the feasibility of a combined rehabilitative and lifestyle behavior changed approach for meeting physical unmet needs and improving metabolic syndrome risk factors among rural breast cancer survivors during the survivorship transition.
Role: PI

Michigan Health Endowment Fund: R-1707-141644 $256,076
Title: Frailty Prevention in Older African Americans; 3/1/2018-2/29/2020
Goal: To evaluate the feasibility and to determine preliminary outcomes of an occupational therapy based frailty prevention program among community-dwelling, pre-frail African Americans.
Role: PI

Michigan Health Endowment Fund: R-1712-142406 $79,846
PI: Goodman     
Title: Development of the Nursing Home Checklist: 5/1/2018-4/31/2019
Goal: To develop and pilot test a mobile application to be used by skilled nursing home staff and patients/patient agents to improve nursing home care quality
Role: Co-I


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



Fritz, H., Seidarabi, S., Barbour, R., & Vonbehren, A. (2018). Occupational therapy intervention to improve outcomes among frail older adults: A scoping review. American Journal of Occupational Therapy.

Fritz, H., Cutchin, M. P., & Cummins, E. R. (2018). Loss of trust in the neighborhood: The experience of older African Americans in Detroit. Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences.

Fritz, H., Patzer, D., & Galen, S. S. (2017). Robotic exoskeletons for reengaging in everyday activities: Promises, pitfalls, and opportunities. Disability and Rehabilitation, 7, 1-4. doi: 10.1080/09638288.2017.1398786.

Fritz, H., & Cutchin, M. P. (2017). The transactional perspective and health behavior: A role for occupational science in population health improvement, Journal of Occupational Science, 24(4), 446-457.

Fritz, H., Brody, A., & Levy, P. (2017). Assessing the feasibility, acceptability, and potential effectiveness of a behavioral-automaticity focused lifestyle intervention for African Americans with metabolic syndrome: The pick two to stick to protocol. Contemporary Clinical Trials, 7, 166-171. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.conctc.2017.06.009

Boon Peng, N., Jensen, G., & Fritz, H., (2017). Effects of Medicare coverage of a “Welcome to Medicare” visit on use of preventative services among new Medicare Enrolees. Journal of Aging Research. 2017, 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/2074810

Zilioli, S., Slatcher, R. B., Fritz, H., Booza, J. C., & Cutchin, M. P. (2017). Brief report: Neighborhood disadvantage and hair cortisol among older urban African Americans.Psychoneuroendocrinology, 80, 36-38. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2017.02.026

Fritz, H., & Cutchin, M. P. (2017). Changing neighborhoods and occupations: Experiences of older African-Americans in Detroit. Journal of Occupational Science, 24, doi:10.1080/14427591.2016.1269296

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, 72, 886-887 doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbw166.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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 website