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Mary Ann Wharton PT, MS

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Title: Curriculum Coordinator, Associate Professor of Physical Therapy
School: Health Sciences
Academic Department: Physical Therapy
Phone: 814-472-3123
E-mail: mwharton@francis.edu
Office Location: Stokes Building, Suite 229
Additional Contact Information: fax: 814-472-3140


  • BS, Ithaca College
  • MS, University of Pittsburgh


Clinical & Research Interests

Research Interests

  • Ethics and Values in Physical Therapy
  • Geriatric Physical Therapy
  • Fall Prevention

Teaching Activities

  • PHTH 430 Health Care Systems 1
  • PHTH 530 Health Care Systems 2
  • PHTH 431 Health Care Systems 3
  • PHTH 532 Health Care Systems 4
  • PHTH 552 Patient/Client Management 6 - Clinical Interventions
  • PHTH 553 Special Topics in Complimentary and Alternative Medicine
Professional Activities & Memberships
  • American Physical Therapy Association
    • Delegate: APTA House of Delegates.
    • Member:  Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy, Health Policy/Administration Section, Education Section, Neurology Section.
    • Acute Care Section.
  • Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association
    • Chair Ethics Committee.
    • Vice Chair Geriatric Special Interest Group.
    • Mentor, Connect PA Professional & Student Leadership Mentoring Group
Publications and Presentations

Peer Reviewed Publications: 

Wharton MA.  Ethics.  In: Kauffman TL, Scott RW, Barr JO, Moran ML, eds.  A Comprehensive Guide to Geriatric Rehabilitation.  3rd ed.  Oxford, United Kingdom:  Churchill Livingstone;  2014:527-537.

Jensen GM, Randall AD, Wharton MA.  Cognitive Impairment in Older Adults:  the Role of Ethical Mindfulness.  Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation.  2012; 28(3):163-170. 


Wharton MA.  Ethics. In:  Kauffman TL, Barr JO, Moral NL, eds. Geriatric Rehabilitation Manual.  2nd ed.  Edinburgh, United Kingdom:  Churchill Livingstone; 2007:491-499.


Wharton MA.  Enhancing Professional Accountability:  Inquiry into the Work of a Health Profession’s Ethics Committee. In:  Purtilo RB, Jensen GM, Royeen CB, eds.  Educating for Moral Action:  A Sourcebook in Health and Rehabilitation Ethics.  Philadelphia, PA:  FA Davis Company; 2005:131-143. 


 ProfessionalAssociation Newsletter Publications:

Wharton MA.  Fostering ethical accountability:  Introducing your PPTA Ethics Committee.  Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association Newsletter. Spring 2015.  http://www.ppta.org.  Posted 2-27-2015.


Wharton MA.  Professionalism:  More than a word.  Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association Newsletter.  2014;35(2):17-18.


Wharton MA.  Ethics?  Who has time for that?  Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association Newsletter.  Summer 2014.  http://www.ppta.org.  Posted 5-29-2014.


Wharton MA.  Ethics,fraud and abuse, and professional integrity. A commentary on “Addressing PT’s Biggest Threat.”  Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association Newsletter.  Spring 2014.  http://www.ppta.org.  Posted 3-3-2014.


Wharton MA.  Acommentary on health care reform, professionalism, and ethics.  Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association Newsletter.  2013;35(1):9-10.


Frey T, Wharton MA.  A true partnership:  physical therapist and physical therapist assistant. Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association Newsletter.  Summer 2013. http://www.ppta.org.  Posted 5-3-2013.


Wharton MA.  Ethics and CEU’s:  what’s the connection?  Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association Newsletter.  Spring 2013.  http://www.ppta.org.  Posted 3-8-13.  http://www.ppta.org


Mulligan I, Wharton MA.  Ethical challenges in today’s health care environment:  access, legislation, and professional responsibility.  Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association Newsletter. Winter 2013.  http://www.ppta.org.  Posted 12-10-13.


Wharton MA.  When patient care clashes with accountability to the health care system:  lessons in the code of ethics.  Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association Newsletter.  2012;34(1):12, 21.


Wharton MA.  More than policing violations:  a commentary on the role and responsibilities of the PPTA Ethics Committee.  Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association Newsletter.  2011;33(1):9,14.


 Peer ReviewedScientific and Professional Presentations:

Ethics in PT Practice:  Applying Ethical Theory and the Code of Ethics to Everyday Clinical Situations. 
Vantage Physical Therapy, Ebensburg, PA, September 18, 2014 


Am I Breaking the Law?  A Mock Trial Illustrating Legal Aspects of Physical Therapy Practice. 
 NorthEast District, Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association
Dallas,PA, September 6, 2014 


Will I Get Sued or Lose My License?
 NorthCentral District, Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association
Williamsport, PA, May 22, 2014 


Ethical Issues in Clinical Education 
Saint Francis University, Department of Physical Therapy
Loretto, PA, May 21, 2014 


Am I Being Ethical?  Applying Contemporary Ethical Theories and the Code of Ethics to Physical Therapy Practice. 
Mary Ann Wharton, PT, MS, Sandy Phipps, PT, Leesa DiBartola, PT, EdD, CHES
South West District, Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association
Monroeville, PA, April 15, 2014  


Will I Lose My License?  A Mock Trial Illustrating Ethical and Legal Issues in Clinical Practice 
WestCentral District, Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association
Loretto, PA, March 29, 2014 


Ethics in Acute Care 
Acute Care Special Interest Group, Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association.
 Online Webinar, February 13, 2014 


Predicting and Preventing Falls in Older Adults 
Rural Telehealth and Advanced Technologies Conference
2013 Updates for Healthcare Providers
DiSepio Institute for Rural Health and Wellness
Loretto, PA, September 20, 2013 


Ethicaland Legal Standards of Care:  A Mock Trial for Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapists 
Fox Continuing Education, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, September 14, 2013 


I’m Being Sued for What?  A Mock Malpractice Trial 
NorthCentral District, Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association
Williamsport, PA, May 9, 2013 


Why Me?  A Mock Trial Emphasizing Defense and Risk Management Strategies 
Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association Annual Conference
Valley Forge Pennsylvania, October 16, 2011 


 Code of Ethics:  Not a Book of Rules.  In Teaching Ethics and Professionalism in Rehabilitation:  An Inter professional Workshop 
LauraLee Swisher, PT, MDiv, PhD, Mary Ann Wharton, PT, MS, Regina Doherty, OTD, MS, OTR\L, Gail Jensen, PT, PhD, Ruth Purtilo, PT, Lee Nelson, PT, DPT, Denise Wise, PT, PhD, Carol M. Davis, PT, PhD, Ernest Nalette, PT, PhD
 APTA Combined Sections Meeting – Education Section Pre-conference workshop.
SanDiego, CA, February 17, 2010 


Recent ResearchPresentations:

The relationship between gait performance and fear of falling avoidance behavior in community dwelling older adults. 
Wharton MA, Klima D, McMellen K, Fort S, Abrams D
A study analyzing the correlation between selected walking assessments (Gait Velocity, Timed Up and Go, Dynamic Gait Index) and avoidance behaviors identified on the Fear of Falling Avoidance-Behavior Questionnaire in community dwelling older adults.
Internal Funding:  Saint Francis University
Poster Presentation, 2015 NEXT Conference, Inner Harbor, MD 


A blended learning model for teaching neuroscience in a doctor of physical therapy program. 
Ge W, Wharton MA.
A study assessing the effectiveness of teaching a neuroscience course through a blended learning model that uses professors from two academic programs.
Internal funding.
Study in process:  2013 – 2015
Poster Presentation, 2015 Combined Sections Meeting – Education Section.

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