Bette Ann Harris, PT, DPT

Bette Ann Harris
Professor Emerita
Physical Therapy
Office Location: 
B39 - Faculty Emerita Office

Dr. Harris joined the MGH Institute faculty in 1985, having served in clinical, research and administrative positions at Massachusetts General Hospital Physical Therapy Services.

She was Program Director, Graduate Programs in Physical Therapy, from 1992 until 2002. From 2002–2007, she was the Special Assistant for New Initiatives, Office of the President, and was the Interim Associate Academic Dean for Academic Year 2007–2008. From 2008-2012 she was the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs. In 2011 Dr. Harris became the Interim Director of the newly created Center for Interprofessional Studies and Innovation.

Dr. Harris retired in December 2012, and was accorded Professor Emerita status by the Board of Trustees. She was honored at the 2013 Commencement.

Other Honors include:

  • The Massachusetts Chapter APTA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Research in 1988
  • The Nancy T. Watts Award for Teaching Excellence at the Institute in 2002
  • The Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006 from Simmons School of Health Studies and was the Pauline A. Cerasoli Lecturer, APTA Section on Education in 2006.

The Institute's Distinguished Alumni Award was renamed the Bette Ann Harris Distinguished Alumni Award in May 2006.

Research Interests

  • Effectiveness of Strengthening Programs in the Elderly and functional limited persons (Strong for Life)
  • Outcomes of Physical Therapy Interventions in selected patient populations (such as people with hip fractures, orthopaedic trauma, bone tumors and neurological deficits)


Latham NK, Harris BA, Bean JF, et al. Effect of a Home-Based Exercise Program on Functional Recovery Following Rehabilitation After Hip Fracture: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2014;311(7):700-708. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.469.

Michlovitz S.L., Harris BA, Watkins M.P.:  Therapy Interventions for Improving Joint Range of Motion: A Systematic Review.  Journal of Hand Therapy, April-June,118-131, 2004 

Harris BA, Watkins M.P.: Adaptations to strength training. In Frontera W.R., Slovik  D. (ed) Exercise in Rehabilitation Medicine, Human Kinetics, Champaign, Illinois,   Second   Edition, Chapter 3, pp 24-32, 2006.

Etkin,C.D., Prohaska,T.R., Harris, BA, Latham,N.K., Jette A.M.: The feasibility of implementing  the Strong for Life Program in community settings.  The Gerontologist, 46: No 2, 284-292 April 2006.

Harris, BA:  The 2006 Pauline A. Cerasoli Lecture – Interdisciplinary education:  what, why and when.  Journal of Physical Therapy Education, Vol 20, no. 2, fall 2006, 3-8.

See Curriculum Vitae for complete list of publications and presentations.


BS, and Certificate in Physical Therapy, Simmons College
MS, Physical Therapy, MGH Institute of Health Professions
DPT, MGH Institute of Health Professions

Curriculum Vitae