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Jennifer Howanitz, PT, DPT, GCS

Assistant Professor, Director of Clinical Education

Education

Dr. Howanitz is an assistant professor and Director of Clinical Education in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. She earned her Bachelors of Health Sciences and Master of Physical Therapy from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia (formally the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science). She went on to earn her transitional Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Arcadia University.

Clinical Experience/ Expertise

Dr. Howanitz has over 25 years of clinical experience, including practice in acute care, sub-acute rehabilitation, long term care, home care, and inpatient and outpatient oncology rehabilitation.

She currently practices in both the inpatient acute care and subacute rehabilitation settings specializing in geriatric physical therapy. She is a Board Certified Geriatric Clinical Specialist by the ABPTS.

She is a member of the APTA Academies of geriatrics and oncology, and currently serving as an item writer for the geriatric credentialing exam, as well as serving as the Chair of the Global Health for Aging Adults special interest group and a research liaison for the Cognitive and Mental Health special interest group, both of the APTA Academy of Geriatrics.

She is the former program chair for the APTA Academy of Oncologic Physical Therapy. Her area of expertise includes rehabilitation of older adults with neurocognitive disorders and adults with oncologic diagnoses.

Dr. Howanitz has recently served as a regional director for a local eldercare organization and has been extensively involved with program development in both geriatric and oncology rehabilitation.

In 2016 a project she was leading was selected to receive the National Great Minds Award for Excellence in Dementia Care from Leading Age and Intergrace. The award recognized a Leading Age member organization for creating programs and services that are models of excellence and contribute significantly to the quality of life of individuals with dementia.

Dr. Howanitz is also a member of the Lehigh Carbon Community College Physical Therapy Assistant program advisory board.

Teaching Responsibilities

Dr. Howanitz is responsible for the coordination of all four student clinical education experiences within the Doctor of Physical Therapy curriculum. She develops clinical education relationships with outside organizations to cultivate new experiences for the program and enhances the expertise of partnered clinical education faculty by providing educational opportunities and resources.

She also lectures within the DPT curriculum in her areas of specialty.

Scholarship/ Research Interests

Dr. Howanitz has presented research at multiple national conventions on the topic of rehabilitation of patients with neurocognitive impairment as well as oncology diagnoses. She has performed numerous continuing education courses for physical therapists and other healthcare professionals on the rehabilitative management of patient’s geriatric   oncologic rehabilitation needs.

She has co-authored several articles on the role neurocognitive impairment in the rehabilitative process. Her current research interest includes the effect various training mechanisms have on behavior change in practicing physical therapists.

Personal

When not in the classroom, Dr. Howanitz enjoys spending time with her husband and three daughters. Her two favorite seasons are summer to enjoy the beach with friends and family and the fall to watch both local highschool and Penn State football.