James M. Smith, D.P.T.

Dr. James Smith
  • Professor of Physical Therapy
(315) 792-3074
  • 305 Romano Hall
  • School of Health Profess & Edu
Position type


My career began after earning a Bachelor of Science degree in physical therapy from Northeastern University in 1984. My first professional position was at the Johns Hopkins Hospital (Maryland) and then I moved to Connecticut and practiced physical therapy at Hartford Hospital. I completed a Master of Arts degree in Psychology (Neuroscience Program) at the University of Hartford in 1995.

I was the founding director of the Connecticut Community College’s Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Naugatuck Valley Community College and we graduated our first class in December, 1998. I was also an adjunct instructor in the graduate programs in Biology and Physical Therapy at the University of Hartford from 2002 – 2005. I joined the faculty of Utica College in 2005, and in 2006 I completed a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Simmons University. Locally I have provided per diem services at St Elizabeth’s Medical Center and the Utica R.I.S.E. (Rehabilitation and Integrative Services) pro bono clinic.

I have been promoted to Professor of Physical Therapy at Utica College. My scholarship includes 20 peer-reviewed and 34 non-peer reviewed publications, and more than 100 presentations. My scholarship focuses on post-intensive care syndrome and acute care physical therapy.

I have enjoyed service in the physical therapy profession in many leadership roles, including:

  • In the Academy of Acute Care Physical Therapy I have served as the President, Director, Chief Delegate to APTA’s House of Delegates, Co-chair of the Clinical Practice Guidelines Committee and Chair of the Nominating Committee.
  • In the American Physical Therapy Association I have served as Chair of the Awards Committee, as an On-site Reviewer and Reader/Consultant for the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, on the Task Force for the development of A Normative Model of Physical Therapist Assistant Education, Version 2007, on the Task Force on Member Education and Meetings, on the Sections Governance Work Group and I have served in the House of Delegates numerous times.
  • In the Connecticut Physical Therapy Association I have served as Director, Chair of the Nominating Committee and Treasurer.
  • In the New York Physical Therapy Association I have served as a Delegate, Chair of the Nominating Committee and the Awards Committee.


B.S. Northeastern University

M.A. University of Hartford

D.P.T. Simmons University

Past Research

Recent publications:

Smith EMT, Lee ACW, Smith JM, Thiele A, Zeleznik H, Ohtake PJ. COVID-19 and post-intensive care syndrome: Community-based care for ICU survivors. Home Health Care Management & Practice. 2021;33(2):117-124. doi:10.1177/1084822320974956

McKnight R, Smith J. Adult Clients with Stroke. In Lazaro RT, Umphred DA. (Ed.), Umphred’s Neurorehabilitation for the Physical Therapist Assistant, 3rd Edition. 2021; Thorofare, NJ: Slack, Inc. ISBN: 9781630915650.

Smith JM, Lee AC, Zeleznik H, Coffey Scott J, Fatima A, Needham DM, Ohtake PJ. Home and community-based physical therapist management of adults with post-intensive care syndrome. Physical Therapy. 2020;100(7):1062–1073. DOI: 10.1093/ptj/pzaa059.

Ohtake PJ, Lee AC, Coffey Scott J, Hinman RS, Ali NA, Hinkson CR, Needham DM, Shutter L, Smith-Gabai H, Spires MC, Thiele A, Wiencek C, Smith JM. Physical impairments associated with post-intensive care syndrome: Systematic review based on the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health Framework. Physical Therapy. 2018; 98:631-645. https://doi.org/10.1093/ptj/pzy059

Smith J. The praxis of physical therapy. Journal of Acute Care Physical Therapy. 2019;10(3):77-84. DOI: 10.1097/JAT.0000000000000109.

Awards and Recognition

I have been honored to receive the Lecture Award and James Dunleavy Distinguished Service Award from APTA Acute Care, the Dr. Marilyn Moffat Distinguished Service Award from the New York Physical Therapy Association, and the F.A. Davis Award for Outstanding Physical Therapist Assistant Educator and Lucy Blair Service Award from the American Physical Therapy Association.

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