Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Physical Therapy & Human Movement Sciences

William E. Healey, PT, EdD, GCS

Research Description

A relationship between Westside Health Authority (WHA) and the NU Department of Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences (PTHMS) started in 2004. A faculty member contacted WHA to invite community health advocates (CHAs) to discuss the impact of health disparities and describe their health care experiences. This relationship became formalized when Bill Healey and Gail Huber received a partnership-building grant from the Alliance for Research in Chicago Communities in 2009. Since then Bill and Gail have worked with WHA staff on 9 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. 

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

Bill has assisted colleague Margaret Danilovich 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.

Important Links

Alliance for Research in Chicagoland Communities (ARCC)                                                                      
Global Health


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