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Erika Lewis

Erika Lewis
Erika S LewisChair - Physical Therapy, Associate Professor
  • CollegeZuckerberg College of Health Sciences
  • DepartmentPhysical Therapy
  • Phone(978) 934-4405

Research Interests

Research Interests: emotional intelligence, musculoskeletal injury/ interventions involving the hand. Hand and upper extremity injuries and therapeutic interventions, splinting, emotional intelligence, patient compliance, stenosing tenosynovitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and grip strength topics.


  • EDD: Leadership and Schooling, (2004), University of Massachusetts Lowell - Lowell, MA
    Dissertation/Thesis Title: Emotional Intelligence, Cognitive Intelligence and Clinical Performance in Physical Therapy Students
  • MS: Physical Therapy, (1992), University of Massachusetts Lowell - Lowell, MA
  • BS: Pre-Physical Therapy, (1987), University of Massachusetts Amherst - Amherst, MA


Erika Lewis, Ph.D., has been teaching in the Physical Therapy Department since 1997 and became a full-time faculty member in 2004. She has been a physical therapist since 1992 and practiced primarily in orthopedics with a specialty in Hand Therapy since 1994 (including orthopedics and plastic surgery). Lewis became a Certified Hand Therapist in 1998. Her clinical practice took place at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston; New England Therapeutic Associates in Newton, Lowell and North Andover; and UMass Memorial Hospital, Worcester. She completed her doctoral degree in 2004 in Leadership and Schooling from the Graduate School of Education at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Her dissertation was on the topic of “Emotional Intelligence, Cognitive Intelligence and Clinical Performance of Physical Therapy Graduate Students.” Her Master of Science in Physical Therapy degree was earned from the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 1992. Her undergraduate degree in Pre-Physical Therapy was in the Bachelor’s Degree with Individual Concentration (BDIC) program combining the Exercise Science major requirements, Psychology, and Dance from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Lewis earned a certification in exercise for the geriatric population in 2010 entitled “Certified Exercise Expert for the Aging Adult.”
Lewis has been an invited lecturer numerous times on the topic of Hand Therapy and related physical therapy interventions for medical groups and physical therapists in clinical practice.? She was also an invited lecturer on the topic of Emotional Intelligence. Her articles and abstracts are published in peer-reviewed journals on the topics of hand therapy and emotional intelligence. She is a manuscript reviewer for the Journal of Hand Surgery and the Journal of Physical Therapy Education. She has received grant funding for research including an NIH SBIR grant on “Novel Material for Conformable Splints”
Lewis is involved in the university community as a member of the Executive Board, Vice President of the Faculty Senate, and a member of the NCAA Self Study Committee.? She is a member of the American Society for Hand Therapists, and the American Physical Therapy Association (including the Education, Geriatric and Hand Rehab Section of the APTA). Service to the community includes Hands On workshops for the elderly on common upper extremity injuries, balance testing and home safety awareness.

Awards and Honors

  • Finalist for Outstanding Scientific Research Poster Award (2011), Scholarship/Research - American Society of Hand Therapists
  • Outstanding Scientific Research Poster Award (2011), Scholarship/Research - American Society of Hand Therapists
  • Research Mentor Award (2011), Scholarship/Research - Eastern Nursing Research Society Conference
  • Certificate of Excellence" in recognition of excellence and dedication to teaching. (2010), Teaching - Student Government Association
  • Award of Excellence in Community Service (2008), Service, Community - President of the Board of Trustees of Meeting House at Stow
  • Faculty Recognition Award (2006), Teaching - National Student Athlete Day
  • Merrimac Valley AHEC HIV Caregivers Award (2001), Service, Community - Merrimac Valley AHEC
  • Medal of Recognition for Research (2000), Scholarship/Research - American Nurses Foundation
  • Eta Omega Chapter Research Award (1999), Scholarship/Research - Sigma Theta Tau
  • Outstanding Research Nurse Award (1999), Scholarship/Research - The Merrimac Valley Area Health Education Council
  • Teaching Award (1999), Teaching - UMASS Lowell Nursing Department
  • American Nurses Foundation Scholar (1998), Scholarship/Research - American Nurses Foundation


  • Lewis, E.S. (2010) "Finger circumference measurements: inter-and intra-rater reliability," Hand Therapy 15:3 pp. 69-72
  • Lewis, E.S., Fors, L., Tharion, W.J. (2010) "Interrater and intrarater reliability of finger goniometric measurements," The American Journal of Occupational Therapy 64:4 pp. 555-561

Contracts, Fellowships, Grants and Sponsored Research

  • PI: Comparison of Figure-of-Eight Hand Measurements to Standard Volumetric Measurements and the Reliability within a Clinical Setting With Hand Injured Patients (2012), Grant - SHE Seed Grant Proposal
  • PI: A Randomized Controlled Study of Low Level Laser Treatment on Lateral Epicondylitis (2011), Grant - American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH)
  • PI:Fall Risk Self Assessment: How to help yourself and the ones you love (2011), Grant - Deshpande Foundation Campus Catalyst Competition
  • PI: Novel Material for Improved Outcomes with Custom Splints (2010), Grant - NIH R03 Small Research Grant
  • Co-Investigator: Strategies for Success in the Freshman Year: Improving Academic Performance and Student Retention in the Exercise Physiology Program (2009), Grant - Exploration in Teaching and Learning Grant
  • PI: Hands-On Health Fair (2008), Grant - SHE Creativity Grant
  • PI: Trigger Finger Treatment: An Outcome Study (2008), Grant - American Hand Therapy Foundation (AHTF)
  • PI: Trigger Finger Treatment: An Outcome Study (2008), Grant - SHE Seed Grant
  • Faculty Research Seed Grant (1995), Grant - UML
  • PI: Comparison of Figure-of-Eight Hand Measurements to Standard Volumetric Measurements and the Reliability within a Clinical Setting With Hand Injured Patients (2012), Grant - SHE Seed Grant Proposal
  • Co-Investigator: Echo 360 Lecture Program (2011), Grant - UML
  • PI: Graduate Nursing Education Training Grant for MS, DNP and PhD students (2011), Grant - Health Research Service Award
  • PI: Graduate Nurse Internship (2011), Grant - Occupational Safety and Health
  • Trigger Finger Treatment: An Outcomes Study (2008), Grant -
    Lewis, E.S. (Principal)
  • PI for Subcontract: Novel Material for Conformable Splints (2006), Grant - NIH SBIR
  • Clinical Feedback and Testing of Splints (2007), Contract - NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
    Lewis, E.S. (Principal)
  • Innovative Enhancement Research Award (2007), Grant - UML Committee of Collaborated Centers and Institutes
  • Co-investigator: PHASE -- In Health Care Grant, Promoting Health and Safe Employment in Healthcare. (2000), Grant - NIOSH
  • Principal Investigator: "Raising a Child with HIV: An Emerging Phenomenon (1996), Grant - ----
  • Co- Investigator in a multi-site longitudinal study project entitled: "Nutritional Evaluation and Intervention of HIV-Infected Children (1997), Grant - NIDDK, NIH
  • Healey Endowment Grant, HIV Study (1995), Grant - Healey Endowment Grant