Colleen Chancler

Colleen E. Chancler, PT, MHS, PhD

  • Assistant Professor
Media Expertise:
  • Health Sciences

Affiliated Programs


  • PhD, Health Sciences (2017)
    Seton Hall University (NJ)
  • MHS, Health Sciences (2005)
    Drexel University (PA)
  • BS, Physical Therapy (1986)
    University of Scranton (PA)

About Me

I graduated from the University of Scranton in 1986 with a BS in Physical Therapy, from Drexel University in 2005 with a Master’s in Health Services and from Seton Hall University in 2017 with my PhD. I have been an active member of the Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association (PPTA) since 1982 and have served in many positions at the district, state and national level. I am currently serving as the Pennsylvania Chapter President and I was elected to a second term of office which will be completed in 2023. I have served in the American Physical Therapy (APTA) on committees and task forces and have been elected to serve in the House of Delegates (HOD) since 1997 to present. I have been the invited speaker at University White Coat ceremonies and pinning ceremonies, I have taught in area DPT programs, and I have completed research and have presented these findings in several peer reviewed meetings.

Areas of Expertise

I have extensive work and knowledge in acute care patient management, management of the medically complex patients and interprofessional collaborations.  I have knowledge and have taught on issues related to health care management and health policy as it relates to hospital based services and physical therapy.

Research Interests

My research interest includes analyzing the effects of hospitalization and discharge on older adults from a biopsychosocial perspective.  Specifically, I am interested in the social determinants of health as related to the ability to return to a full and active lifestyle after acute illness for older adults.


  • Chancler, C & Dillon, H. (2006).  Neurologic and Neurosurgical Diseases and Disorders in Malone, DJ and Lindsay, KLB (eds): Physical Therapy in Acute Care: A Clinician’s Guide. Thorofare, NJ, Slack, Inc., pg #317-pg#384.

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

  • American Physical Therapy Association
  • Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association


  • Henry O. and Florence P. Kendall Award, American Physical Therapy Association (2011)
  • Outstanding Service Award, Widener Physical Therapy Program (2011)


  • Widener Shows Support at Black Doctors Consortium Walk-a-Thon

    Members of the Widener community participated in this year's Next Step: From Freedom to Equity Walk-A-Thon and Health Fair hosted by the Black Doctors Consortium and the Dr. Ala Stanford Center for Health Equity. The event drew supporters to the two-mile march up Broad Street in North Philadelphia to bring awareness to local racial health disparities. Rhonda Hazell, associate professor and coordinator of clinical anatomy, organized the Widener team and was joined by Katie Hershede, vice president for strategic initiatives and chief of staff, Anali Falcon '23, Lori Felker, director of the Institute for Physician Assistant Education, Ijjae Hill '25, Jill Black, associate dean of College of Health & Human Services and director of Institute for Physical Therapy, and Colleen Chancler, assistant professor. 

    (Photo left to right: Katie Hershede, Anali Falcon, Rhonda Hazell, Lori Felker, Ijjae Hill, Jill Black, and Colleen Chancler.)

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  • Physical Therapy Professor Honored with a Service Award

    Colleen Chancler, assistant professor in the Institute for Physical Therapy Education, is the recipient of the Lucy Blair Service Award from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), a professional organization representing physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students of physical therapy. This award honors Chancler for her exceptional contributions to APTA.

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