We talked to Rich Willy and Ellen Hillegas at APTA’s Combined Sections Meeting in New Orleans.

Rich Willy

Assistant Professor

Rich Willy


University of Delaware                                                                              2007 – 2011

Doctor of Philosophy, Biomechanics & Movement Science

     Dissertation: “Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome: Sex differences in gait, joint alignment, and cartilage contact area and an investigation of a neuromuscular treatment”

Advisor: Irene S. Davis, PhD, PT, FACSM, FAPTA

Ohio University                                                                                             June 1999

Master of Physical Therapy

Ohio University                                                                                             June 1997

Bachelor of Sport Science, Exercise Physiology

Research Interests

1) Develop clinically-relevant evaluation and intervention strategies to reduce risk of lower extremity injury in at-risk individuals during activities with and without load carriage. Ideally, evaluation and interventions can be performed in-field to maximize ecological validity while minimizing training disruption. Key populations of interest include runners and tactical athletes.

2) Address aberrant movement strategies and musculoskeletal properties that may place individuals at risk for impaired gait performance and the eventual development of knee osteoarthritis. Specifically, individuals who are post-partial meniscectomy or post-Achilles tendon rupture the subject of this research focus. This focus aims to improve musculoskeletal function to maximize physical activity levels across the lifespan.


Ellen Hillegas

Ellen Hillegass, EdD, PT, CCS, FAACVPR, FAPTA, is an experienced educator and clinician, and a dynamic teacher.

She is an adjunct associate professor in the DPT program at Mercer University, Western Carolina University, and Touro University.

She serves as president of Cardiopulmonary Specialists and is an instructor of continuing education programs across the country.

She draws upon her expertise as a board-certified cardiovascular and pulmonary clinical specialist to create a clinically relevant classroom experience for her students.

Dr. Hillegass is a Fellow of the APTA and has been active in the Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Section for many years as VP and Payment and Policy Chair. She has also been active and is a Fellow of the American Association of Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR). She is editor of Essentials in Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy, an entry-level text with the third edition published in 2010, and working on the fourth edition for 2014.

She is the author of a clinical notes book titled PT Clinical NOTes. Ellen holds a Masters of medical science in cardiopulmonary physiology from Emory University and a doctorate in exercise physiology from the University of Georgia.


2012 winner of The Catherine Worthingham APTA Fellow Award.

partner in PT Cardiopulmonary Educators: web-based education company for PTs.

Board certified Cardiopulmonary Clinical specialist…just recertified for the THIRD time

Author, editor of Essentials of Cardiopulmonary PT; number one Cardio text used by FSBPT, PT programs

First author of Guidelines for Venous thromboembolism  (VTE) and also Oxygen recommendations for Physical Therapists

Catherine Worthingham Fellow of APTA

223 – Mary Massery – If you can’t breathe, you can’t function.

204 – Robin West from The Inova Capitol City Sports Medicine Summit

5 – Jerry Durham on customer service.