Associate Vice-President for Research
Academic Affairs Division, Graduate Studies and Research
- Clark University, Department of Education. Worcester, MA. Doctor of Education
- Boston University, Sargent College, Master of Science in Physical Therapy
- Northeastern University, Boston, MA. Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy
Dr. Wong serves as the Associate Vice-President for Research, overseeing both external and internal research funding, strategic initiatives related to research, and faculty growth and development as researchers. She came to Marymount in 1995 as the founding Director of Marymount’s Physical Therapy program where she served in a leadership role from 1995 until 2013. In 2013, she transitioned into an academic affairs administration role overseeing graduate education. In 2017, oversight of research activities was added to her responsibilities. She has been a champion for the establishment of Marymount’s Center of Optimal Aging and continues in a leadership role with the Center, linking community groups with the Center.
Dr. Wong has over 40 years of academic and clinical experience in physical rehabilitation and health promotion for older adults. She is a co-editor of a nationally recognized textbook on Geriatric Physical therapy, now in its 4th edition; and a founding member of the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy’s Geriatric Specialty Council that oversees the Geriatric Physical Therapy Clinical Specialist Certification process. Her research has focused on preparing health care students to work with older adults, falls prevention, and health and wellness of older adults.
Dr. Wong has served as the principal investigator for two Department of Health and Human Services, Administration of Community Living (HHS: ACL) grants to embed evidence-based falls prevention programs into the Northern Virginia Community.
Dr. Wong is a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) as well as a Joan Mills and Lucy Blair Service Award recipient from the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy.
Marymount Center for Optimal Aging
Recent Books and Book Chapters
Avers, D., & Wong, R. A. (Eds.). (2020). Guccione’s Geriatric Physical Therapy (4th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.
Denson, M & Wong, R. (2020). Environmental Design: Accommodating Sensory Changes and Mobility Limitations in Older Adults. In, D. Avers, & R. Wong (Eds.), Guccione’s Geriatric Physical Therapy (4th ed., pp 85-10 Elsevier.
Morris, D. & Wong, R. (2020). Wellness in the Older Adult. In, D. Avers, & R. Wong (Eds.), Guccione’s Geriatric Physical Therapy (4th ed., pp 527-543). St Louis, Mo. Elsevier/Mosby.
Recent and Relevant Peer-reviewed Publications:
Barr JO, Wong R. Preparing Students to Provide Services to Older Adults. J. Phys. Ther. Educ. 2014;28(2):5-6.
Wong R, Odom C J, Barr J O. Building the Physical Therapy Workforce for an Aging America. J. Phys. Ther. Educ. 2014;28(2):12-21.
Wong R, Barr J, Avers D, Klimas D, Thompson M. Essential Competencies in the care of older adults at the completion of the entry-level physical therapist professional program of study. Section on Geriatrics, American Physical Therapy Association, 2011.
Youssef F and Wong R: Educating clinicians to assess quality of life in patients with chronic illness. Home Health Care Management and Practice Vol:15, Issue:1, pp 20-26, 2002
Wong R, Stayeas C, Eury J, Ros C: Geriatric content in physical therapist educational programs in the United States. Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 15(2):4-9, 2001.
Recent Grant Activity:
7-2018- 6-2021: Principal Investigator. Academic Community Partnership for Falls Prevention Hub. DHHS: Administration for Community Living. 90FPSG0012-01-01. Grant amount: $542,554.
8/1/16 – 7/31/18: R Wong, Principal Investigator. Northern Virginia Falls Prevention Network. DHHS: Administration for Community Living. 90FP0028-01-00. Grant amount: $479,821. Embedding evidence-based fall prevention programs in the Northern Virginia older adult community.
Recent and Relevant Presentations
Elrod C., Pappa S.T., Wong R.: 2021 Virtual Virginia Governor’s Conference on Aging, May 24-27. Collaborating to Embed Falls Prevention Programs into the Community: Transitioning in the Presence of COVID-19.
Pappa, S.T., Elrod, C., & Wong, R. (2020, March). Evaluating A Multi-Sector, Academic-Community Partnership Using the RE-AIM Framework: Lessons Learned From the 100+ Member Northern Virginia Falls Prevention Alliance (NVFPA) Aging in America Conference.
Wong R, Avers D, Barr J, Ciolek C, Klima, D, Thompson, M. Recommendations made to the Section on Geriatrics (SOG), American Physical Therapy Association, by a Taskforce established by the SOG to Address the Growing Physical Therapy Workforce Shortage in Geriatrics. World Confederation of Physical Therapy, June 22, 2011, Amsterdam Netherlands
Barr J, Semla T, Wong R. Entry-level Multidisciplinary Competencies for Health Professionals Caring for Older Adults in the U.S.: Implications for Physical Therapy. World Confederation of Physical Therapy, June 21, 2011, Amsterdam Netherlands.
February, 2011: Rita Wong, PT, EdD; Dale Avers, PT, DPT, PhD; Cathy Ciolek, PT, DPT, GCS; Dennis Klima, PT, MS, GCS, NCS; Mary Thompson, PT, PhD, GCS; John Barr, PT, PhD. Geriatric Competencies in Physical Therapy: Preparing for the Future. Educational Session for Combined Sections Meeting, New Orleans, Feb 2011.