Hannah Mercier, PhD, MS, OTR/L

Hannah Mercier


Hannah Mercier, PhD, MS, OTR/L

PhD '16

What year did you start the program? 2012



Hannah is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School. She is working in the Cardiovascular Research Lab at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.

What are your prior degrees and at which institutions?
BS, Therapeutic Studies, Boston University, 
MS, Occupational Therapy, University of New England

What were your research settings during the PhD program?
: Alan Jette, PT, PhD, MPH, FAPTA , Director
Lab: New England Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center at the Health and Disability Research Institute

Mentor: J. Andy Taylor, PhD
Lab: Spaulding-Harvard Spinal Cord Injury Model System

What was your dissertation title?
Examining Hospitalization and Secondary Health Conditions in Spinal Cord Injury

On what was your research focused?
My research focuses on enhancing wellness and participation outcomes for adults with spinal cord injury (SCI) at community-based levels of rehabilitation.

With the New England Regional SCI Center, I am on a research team that uses telehealth technology and peer coaching to provide health screening and education for community-residing adults with SCI in order to support skill development and self-efficacy for managing SCI, accessing healthcare, and engaging in meaningful activities.

At the Spaulding-Harvard SCI Model System, I have collaborated with exercise physiologists to measure the psychosocial benefits of participating in an adapted rowing program for newly-injured adults with SCI.

What publications or external presentations have you produced that are based on the research you have done while in the program?
Mercier, H. W., Ni, P., Jette, A., Houlihan, B. (November 2015). Differential impact and use of a telehealth intervention by persons with MS or SCI. American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 94:11, 987-999

Mercier, H. W. (April, 2015). Empowering adults with spinal cord injury for healthcare engagement. Poster accepted for presentation at American Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference, Nashville, TN.

Mercier, H. W., Ni, P., Jette, A., Houlihan, B et al. (October, 2014). Differential impact and use of a telehealth intervention by persons with multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury. Poster presented at American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine Progress in Rehabilitation Research Annual Conference, Toronto, ON.

What awards have you won while in the program?
2014 DeVivo Mentored Research Award, National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center: Effects of Rehospitalization among Adults with Spinal Cord Injury on Quality of Life, Independence, and Participation.

Recipient of Best Poster Award: West AM, Scarborough DM, McInnis KC, Oh LS. Softball Windmill pitchers: strength and motion in the dominant versus non-dominant upper and lower extremity. American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (AAPM & R) Annual Assembly New Orleans, LA. October 2016.

Recipient of Best Poster award- Electronic oral presentation Scarborough DM, Berkson EM, McCunney RC, Oh LS. Kinematics of the Forearm at Ball Release and Its Influence on Shoulder Torques Encountered in Adolescent Softball Pitchers.  International Congress of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery (ICSES). Jeju, Korea. May 18-20, 2016.

What do you think is special about the PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences program here at the MGH Institute?
One primary reason I am proud to be enrolled in the PhD program is the opportunity to learn from researchers who are world renown and to have guidance from multidisciplinary faculty.

Why did you choose to come to this program rather than a doctoral research program in your specific profession?
In addition to the above statement and the reputation that MGH Institute holds, one of the key reasons I applied to this PhD program instead of others was the ability to pursue my degree while maintaining employment.

What are your goals for the future after you graduate?
I hope to continue to grow as a researcher, pursue research funding, lead studies while mentoring others who are also interested in clinical rehabilitation and movement control.

    Video of Dr. Mercier's Research