gwidener

Faculty Profile

Gail Widener
Gail
Widener
PhD, PT
Professor
Doctor of Physical Therapy
GWidener@samuelmerritt.edu
510-869-6977

Physical therapy has been a wonderful career for me. I have practiced in several areas including sports medicine, acute care, neurorehabilitation and geriatrics and in many different settings. My research focuses on ways to improve mobility and balance in people with neurodegenerative diseases, particularly mutliple sclerosis and cerebellar ataxia.

I have worked in many physical therapy settings: acute care, outpatient and home care. My favorite of these settings is home care - it is where PTs can have a dramatic impact on patient's lives - working with people in the environment in which they have to function. I live in Oakland and love its great food, diverse people, activities and proximity to everything in the Bay Area.

University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas, 1984- 1989, Physiology, Ph.D.

Texas Woman's University, Denton and Houston, Texas, 1980, Physical Therapy, B.S.

University of Texas, Austin, Texas, 1975-1977, Pre-physical therapy

I teach Clinical Exercise Physiology,  Exercise Prescription I, Neuroscience I and III, Pathology and Pharmacology I and II and the Captone courses II-IV.

I am currently interested in investigating balance, gait and functional mobility in people with neurological dysfunction. Of particular interest is evaluating gait and balance dysfunction in people with multiple sclerosis. I have received funding from the National Institutes of Health, National Multiple Sclerosis Society ,Samuel Merritt University, and the California Physical Therapy fund ato support my research.

Horn K, Allen DD, Gibson-Horn C, Widener GL. Torso-weighting produces improved standing balance and fall reduction during sensory organization testing in people with multiple sclerosis. IJMSC. 2017. doi.org/10.7224/1537-2073.2015-090

Mielke A, Lazaro R, Widener G. Using symptoms to effectively dose therapeutic exercises for a female with multiple sclerosis after an acute exacerbation: A case report. Phys Ther Rehabil. 2016; 3:2. http//dx/ doi/org/10.7243/2055-2386-3-2

Cohen ET, Potter K, Allen DD, Bennett SE, Brandfass KG, Widener GL, Yorke AM. Selecting rehabilitation outcome measures for people with multiple sclerosis.  Int J MS Care. 2015:17:181-189.

Widener GL, Allen DD. Measurement characteristics and clinical utility of the 29-item Multiple Sclerosis Impact Scale. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2014 Mar;95(3):593-4. PubMed PMID: 24701634

Cohen ET, Potter K, Bennett SE, Brandfass KG, Allen DD, Widener GL, Yorke AM. Selecting rehabilitation outcome measures: applying the findings of the American Physical Therapy Association MSEDGE Task Force. Int J MS Care. 2014;16(3):76-80

Hunt CM, Widener GL, Gibson-Horn C, Allen DD. Postural control in standing with and without balance-based torso weighting in people with multiple sclerosis and healthy controls. Phys Ther. 2014; 94(10):1489-1498

Gorgas A-M, Widener GL, Gibson-Horn C, Allen DD. Gait changes with balance-based torso-weighting in people with multiple sclerosis. Physther Res Int. 2014; DOI: 10.1002/pri.1595

Cohen ET, Allen DD, Bennett SE, Brandfass KG, Widener GL, Yorke AM. Outcome measures for individuals with multiple sclerosis: recommendations from the American Physical Therapy Association Neurology Section task force. Phys Ther. 2014; 94(5):593-608.

Widener GL, Allen DD. Measurement characteristics and clinical utility of the 29-item Multiple Sclerosis Impact Scale. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2014 Mar;95(3):593-4.

Crittendon A, O’Neill D, Widener GL, Allen DD. Standing data disproves biomechanical mechanism for balance-based torso-weighting. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2014; 95(1): 43-9.

Allen DD, Widener GL. Ch 5 Tone Abnormalities, In: Physical Agents in Rehabilitation: From Research to Practice, 4th edition. Elsevier; St. Louis, MO: 2013.

Widener GL. Ch 19, Multiple Sclerosis, In: Neurological Rehabilitation, 6th edition. Umphred D, Lazaro R, Roller M editors. Mosby; St. Louis, MO: 2012.

Widener GL, Allen DA, Gibson-Horn C. Randomized clinical trial of balance-based torso-weighting for improving upright mobility in people with multiple sclerosis. Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2009;23(8):784-791

Widener GL, Gibson-Horn C, Allen DA. Balance-Based Torso-Weighting May Enhance Balance in Persons with Multiple Sclerosis: Preliminary Evidence. Arch Phys Med Rehab. 2009; 90:602-609

Liquori A, Widener G, Clark C. Effects of a 6-week prenatal water exercise program on physiological parameters and well-being in women with pregnancies in the 2nd-3rd trimesters: A pilot study. J of Section on Women's Health, 2003; 27(3): 11-19

McGibbon NH, Andrade CK, Widener GL, Cintas HL. Effect of hippotherapy on energy expenditure during gait in children with cerebral palsy. Dev Med Child Neurol. 1998, 40: 754-762

Widener GL, Cheney PD. Effects on muscle activity from microstimuli applied to somatosensory cortex (SI) and motor cortex during voluntary movement in the monkey, J Neurophysiol. 1997, 77: 2446-2465

Cheney PD, Mewes K, Widener GL. Effects on wrist and digit muscle activity from microstimuli applied at the sites of rubromotoneuronal (RM) cells in primates. J Neurophysiol, 1991, 66(6): 1978-1992

Gonzalez NC, Pauley J, Widener,G, Sullivan LP, and Clancy RL. Regulation of the acid-base balance during prolonged hypoxia: effects of respiratory and non-respiratory acidosis. In "Oxygen Transfer from Atmosphere to Tissues", Ed. NC Gonzalez and M R. Fedde. Plenum Press, New York, 1988, pp. 301-312.

Widener G, Sullivan LP, Clancy RL, and Gonzalez NC. Renal compensation of hypercapnia in prolonged hypoxia. Resp Physiol. 1986, 65: 341-350.

Conley N, Whiteford S, Gee J, Harrell A, Allen DD, Gibson-Horn C, Block V, Widener GL. Changes in standing stability with balance-based torso-weighting in people with cerebellar ataxia: a pilot study. Poster presentation at Combined Section Meeting, Anaheim, CA, Feb. 20, 2016

Hausle SS, Widener GL. Using interprofessional collaboration to design cognitive-based interventions for a patient following a right hemisphere stroke: A case report. Poster presentation at Combined Section Meeting, Anaheim, CA, Feb. 10, 2016

Mielke A, Lazaro R, Widener G. Using symptoms to effectively dose therapeutic exercises for a female with multiple sclerosis after an acute exacerbation: A case report. Poster presentation at Combined Section Meeting, Anaheim, CA, Feb. 20, 2016

Cook J, Widener GL, Rivera M, Lam M. Using the International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health Model to Guide Outcome Measurement Choices for a 14 year-old Adolescent with Cerebral Palsy: a Case Report. Poster presentation at Combined Section Meeting, Indianapolis, IN, 2015.

Ahola A, Widener GL. Implementation of an Aquatic Therapy Program to Address Fall Risk and Fear of Falling in an Elderly Male Exhibiting Parkinson-like Symptoms Complicated by a Recent History of Multiple Falls. Poster presented at the CPTA Annual Conference, Oakland, CA, Sept 25, 2015.

Standfield AN, Raymond GL, Widener GL. The Application of Modified Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy for Pre-Gait Training in a Patient Post-Stroke: A Case Report. Poster presented at the CPTA Annual Conference, Oakland, CA, Sept 25, 2015.

Widener GL, Horn K, Gibson-Horn C, Allen DD. Fall Reduction and Functional Improvement with Balance-Based Torso-Weighting in People with Multiple Sclerosis. Platform Presentation at CSM Indianapolis, IN, 2015.

Widener GL, Horn K, Gibson-Horn C, Allen DD. Fall reduction during the Sensory Organization Test with and without Balance-Based Torso-Weighting in People with Multiple Sclerosis. Oct. 10, 2014, Cleveland, OH. Podium presentation at the CPTA Annual Conference, Oct 24, 2014, Oakland CA.

Horn KK, Gibson-Horn C, Allen DD, Widener GL. Balance-based torso-weighting results in fall reduction during sensory organization test for people with multiple sclerosis. IJMSC. 2014;16(S3):8.

Fridolfsson J, Gibson-Horn C, Widener G. Balance-based Torso Weighting for enhancing functional mobility in a child with ataxia from a traumatic brain injury: a case report. Poster Presentation at CPTA Annual Conference, Oakland, California, Oct 24, 2014

Cohen ET, Potter K, Bennett SE, Brandfass KG, Allen DD, Widener GL, Yorke AM. Selecting Rehabilitation Outcome Measures: Applying the Findings of the American Physical Therapy Association MS Edge Task Force. IJMSC. 2014:76

Hartman HW, Widener GL. The Measurement of Functional Outcome in a 13 year-old Female with Iliotibial Band Tightness using the Functional Self Assessment Lower Extremity (FSALE): a Case Report. CPTA, Pasadena, CA Sep, 2013

Potter K, Allen DD, Bennett SE, Brandass K, Cohen E, Widener GL, Yorke AM. Report and Recommendation from the Neurology Section Taskforce on Outcome Measures for Individuals with Multiple Sclerosis, APTA Combined Sections Meeting, Chicago, IL, Feb. 9, 2012

Potter K, Widener G, Bennett S, Cohen E, Allen D, Brandfass K, York A. Report and Recommendations from the American Physical Therapy Association – Neurology Section Taskforce on Outcome Measures from Persons with Multiple Sclerosis. 2nd Annual International Symposium on Gait and Balance in Multiple Sclerosis, Portland, OR, Oct 19-20, 2012.

Topp K, Widener GL, Brown DA, Allen DD. Behavioral Correlates of Neurological Dysfunction and Recovery: Assessments for Translational Research. Winter Conference on Brain Research. Breckenridge, CO, January 2010.

Gibson-Horn C, Widener GL. Balance-Based Torso-weighting Improves Balance and Mobility in MS. CMSC Annual Meeting, Scotsdale AZ, May 2006.

Gibson-Horn C and Widener GL. The Use of Weighted Vests to Enhance Postural Stability, Gait, and Functional Abilities in Persons with Multiple Sclerosis. CPTA Annual Conference, Sacramento, CA, Oct. 2003.

Industry Grant AlterG. “Effects of Alter-G Treadmill Training on Balance, Mobility and Strength in Individuals with Multiple Sclerosis” (5.9K)

NIH AREA Award “Movement Ability Changes with Balance-Based Torso-Weighting in Multiple Sclerosis”. (413K), 9/15/2010-8-31-2013 PI

Academic Vice President Faculty Incentive Award, SMU “BBTW Effects in Healthy People”, (10K), 1/2010 PI

National Multiple Sclerosis Society Pilot Grant, "Balance-Based Torso Weighting: A New Intervention for Improving Balance and Mobility", (44K), 11/2004 PI

Faculty Research Grant – Samuel Merritt College “Long-Term Effects of a Weighted Vest for People with Multiple Sclerosis”, ($2700), 3/2003 PI

California Physical Therapy Fund Grant “Use of a Weighted Vest to Improve Gait, Balance and Function in Persons with Multiple Sclerosis” ($2300.00), 12/2002 PI

Faculty Research Grant “Use of a Weighted Vest to Improve Gait, Balance and Function in Persons with Multiple Sclerosis” ($1750.00), Samuel Merritt College 2001 PI

Faculty Research Grant “Validation of the Senior Safety Questionnaire” ($1400.00), Samuel Merritt College, 1994 PI

Cameron M, Widener GL, Zakowski K. Summary of the 6th International Symposium on Gait and Balance in Multiple Sclerosis, at the CMSC Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA, May 2017

Allen, DD and Widener GL. Sensory Augmentation to Improve Gait and Balance in MS. Invited speakers, 6th International Symposium on Gait and Balance in Multiple Sclerosis, Portland, OR, Sept 10, 2016

Cameron M, Widener GL, Zakowski K. Summary of the 5th International Symposium on Gait and Balance in Multiple Sclerosis, at CMSC Annual Conference, Indianapolis, IN, April 2016

Widener GL. Measurement Toolboxes for Gait and Balance in Multiple Sclerosis. Invited speaker; 3rd International Symposium on Gait and Balance in Multiple Sclerosis: Selecting the Right Measures, St. Louis, MO  Oct 18-19, 2013

Widener GL. Update on Multiple Sclerosis: Neurorehabilitation. Invited Speaker at the California Neurology Conference. San Francisco, CA. May 4, 2013

Widener GL, Gibson-Horn C, Gorgos AM, Allen DD. People with Multiple Sclerosis Show Improved Gait Parameters with Balance-Based Torso Weighting. Health Science Symposium, Samuel Merritt University, May 11, 2012.

Allen DD, Widener GL. Selecting Outcome Measures for People with Multiple Sclerosis. UCSF/SFSU Graduate Program in Physical Therapy Spring Symposium May 5, 2012, San Francisco, CA.

Sensorimotor Integration. Webinar presented to Neurologic Residency students across the country. September 26, 2011. Co-presented with Diane D. Allen

Multiple Sclerosis: Evidence-Based PT Practice. Golden Gate District Meeting, Berkeley, CA, July 19, 2011.

Management of People with Degenerative Diseases of the Nervous System. 6 hour clinical course taught for PT/OT Clinicians and the Kaiser Permanente, Neurologic PT Residency Program. Samuel Merritt University, Oakland, CA, 2007-2016.

Weighted Vest: Does it Enhance Postural Stability, Gait and Functional Abilities in Persons with Multiple Sclerosis? Health Sciences Symposium, Samuel Merritt College, Oakland, CA, April 2003

Rehabilitation Team Roles, Multiple Sclerosis and Nursing Conference, Northern California MS Society, Samuel Merritt College, October 2002

Hooked On Evidence Presentation to the Golden Gate District CCAPTA Meeting, Feb. 22, 2001

Exercise Physiology Review, CPTA Annual Conference, Santa Clara, Oct. 2001

Facilitator, Post Professional Education Round Table Discussion, Neurology Section, APTA, CSM, Feb, 2001

Facilitator, Post Professional Education Round Table Discussion, Neurology Section, APTA, CSM, Feb, 1996

Facilitator, Professional Issues Forum, Home Care Practice Patterns, Neurology Section, APTA, CSM, Feb, 1996

Ad Hoc Book Reviewer for Lippincott-Raven Publishers, 1995

Invited participant, Summer Institute in Research on Aging, sponsored by NIA, Arlie, VA, July, 15-22, 1994

Sources for Case Study Development and Framework for Developing a Scenario or Vignette, Fall Faculty Retreat, Samuel Merritt College, 1993

Critically Reading the Literature, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, Rehabilitation Services, April 27, 1992

The Clinician and Student Projects, CPTA, Annual Conference, Oct. 1, 1999

Facilitator, Post Professional Education Round Table Discussion, Neurology Section, APTA, CSM, Feb, 1997

Member, Health Advisory Committee, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Northern California Chapter, 1999 – present

Member, American Physical Therapy Association, 1981 - 1985, 1990 - present APTA Sections: Research, Neurology, Education, Geriatrics. and Acute Care

Member, Research SIG, California Chapter APTA, Sept. 1993 - present

Member, California Chapter, APTA, Golden Gate District, 1991 - present

 

History

Member for
10 years 12 months

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