• Position: Professor, Program Director
  • Department: Physical Therapy Department
  • Campus Address: Health Professions Building 1232
  • Phone: 989-774-1337
  • Email: silkw1d@cmich.edu
  • Courses:
    PTH 666: PT Seminar II
    PTH 690: Motor Learning Theory
    PTH 746: Patient Care IV
    PTH 766: PT Seminar IV
    PTH 792N: Introduction to Hippotherapy
    PTH 85:0 Evidence Based Practice
  • Area(s) of Expertise: Hippotherapy, Multiple Sclerosis, Pediatrics 

Degrees and Universities:

Bachelor of Health Sciences (PT) - University of Kentucky
Master of Science - DePaul University
Doctorate in Health Sciences - Krannert School of Physical Therapy, University of Indianapolis

Honors and Recognitions:

- Board Certified Hippotherapy Clinical Specialist American Hippotherapy Association
- Volunteer Hall of Fame - Programs & Services - National Multiple Sclerosis Society
- Barbara Glasow - Therapist of the Year - American Hippotherapy Association

Professional Organizations:

- Member - American Physical Therapy Association
- Member - Michigan Physical Therapy Association
- Member - Michigan Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society
- Member - Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International
- Member - American Hippotherapy Association; Past Member Board of Directors, Past President    


Reubens R, Silkwood-Sherer D. Home physical therapy and hippotherapy in adolescent with cerebral palsy during time of accelerated growth.  Pediatric Physical Therapy [accepted]

Lindroth J, Sullivan J, Silkwood-Sherer D.  Does hippotherapy effect use of sensory information for balance in persons with multiple sclerosis?  Physiotherapy: Theory and Practice. 2015 [accepted]

Ustinova K, Silkwood-Sherer D.  Postured perturbations induced by a moving virtual environment are reduced with brain injury when gripping a mobile object.  Journal of Neurological Physical Therapy. 2014; 38(2):125-33.

Silkwood-Sherer DJ, Killian CB, Long TM, Martin KS. Hippotherapy: An intervention to habilitate balance deficits in children with movement disorders: a clinical trial. Physical Therapy. 2012; 92(5) accepted.

Silkwood-Sherer D. Hippotherapy as an Intervention to Improve Postural Control of Children with Movement Disorder. Developmental MedIcine and Child Neurology. 2009; 51(supplement 5):18-19.

McGibbon NH, Brenda W, Duncan BR, Silkwood-Sherer D. Immediate and long-term effects of hippotherapy on symmetry of adductor muscle activity and functional ability in children with spastic cerebral palsy. Archives
 of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2009; 90:966-974.

Silkwood-Sherer D. "Het effect van hippotherapy op je evenwicht" MSinfo, Publication of MS-Anders, Netherlands. December 2008. Translated article written to discuss published research on effects of Hippotherapy on Balance of Persons with MS.

Silkwood-Sherer D.  A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding Research. HIPPOTHERAPY. American Hippotherapy Association Magazine. Summer 2008.

Silkwood-Sherer D, Warmbier H. Effects of hippotherapy on balance of persons with multiple sclerosis: a pilot study. Journal of Neurological Physical Therapy. 2007; 31:77-84.

Silkwood-Sherer D.  The value of needs assessment in program planning.  Performance:  The Journal of Program Evaluation in Rehabilitation. The Center, Chicago, Illinois.  Spring/Summer 1990; Vol. 2, No 1.  

Research Areas:

Effects of hippotherapy intervention on various neurological diagnoses;
Efficacy of clinical interventions on functional outcomes in pediatric and adult neurological cases;
Motor learning and motor control on movement disorders.