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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Physical Therapy & Human Movement Sciences
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Bill Healey, PT, EdD

A relationship between Westside Health Authority (WHA) and the Northwestern University Department of Physical Therapy & Human Movement Sciences started in 2004. A faculty member contacted WHA to invite community health advocates to discuss the impact of health disparities and describe their healthcare experiences. This relationship became formalized when Bill Healey, Pt, EdD, and Gail Huber, PT, PhD, received a partnership-building grant from the Alliance for Research in Chicago Communities in 2009. Since then, Healey and Huber have worked with WHA staff on nine projects related to physical activity promotion and access to physical therapy. In addition, when called upon we have participated in community screenings for blood pressure, fitness and balance. In 2016, the partnership received a Healthy Chicago 2.0 seed grant to fund a program called Come Out from Behind the Walls. Healthy Chicago 2.0 is a comprehensive, citywide plan to improve the health and well-being of Chicago’s residents.

Healey, Huber and colleague Prisca Collins, PT, PhD, are investigating access to outpatient PT services in medically underserved Chicago communities. They have conducted community focus groups, interviewed healthcare medical providers and are planning to interview outpatient PT providers.

Healey has assisted colleague Margaret Danilovich, PT, DPT, PhD, in several studies involving home care aides health and fitness, training home care aides to deliver resistance exercises with their older clients and teaching a self-management program for frail elders.


Current Projects

  • Outpatient Physical Therapy Presence and Access in Medically Underserved Chicago Communities
  • Implementing a Successful Aging Intervention to Reduce Frailty
  • Implementing Resistance Exercise to Reduce Frailty for Older Adult Medicaid Waiver Recipients

Synthesis Projects

Outpatient Physical Therapy Presence and Access in Medically Underserved Chicago Communities


Principal Investigator

Collaborating Faculty

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