Monica Rivera, PT, MS, DPTScAssistant Professor
|DPTSc||Infant Motor Development and Psychological Interaction, University of California, San Francisco, California 2012|
|MS||Masters in Physical Therapy: Advanced Neurology, Samuel Merritt College, 2005|
|Physical Therapy Certificate||University of California Los Angeles, Hospitals and Clinics, 1984|
|BS||Health Science, CSU Northridge, 1984|
Peer Reviewed Scientific Publications
Trueblood P, Rivera M, Lopez C, Bentley C, Wubenhorst N. Age based normative data for computerized posturography system that uses a virtual visual surround environment. Acta Otolaryngol. 2018:138(7); 597-602.
Anderson DI, Kobayashi Y, Hamel K, Rivera MJ, Campos JJ, Barbu-Roth, M. Effects of support surface and optic flow on step-like movements in pre-crawling and crawling infants. Infant Behav and Dev.42:104-110; 2016.
Belogolovsky I, Katzman W, Christopherson N, Rivera MJ, Allen D. The effectiveness of exercise in treatment of pregnancy related lumbar and pelvic girdle pain: A meta-analysis and evidence based review. J Wom Healt Phys Ther. 39(2):53-64; 2015.
Block V, Rivera MJ, Melnick M Allen D. Do physical therapy interventions affect incontinence and quality of life in people with multiple sclerosis? An evidence based review. Int J Mult Scler.17:172-180; 2015.
Gorman SG, Rivera MJ, McCarthy L. Reliability of the function in sitting test (FIST). Rehab Res Pract. Volume 1, 2014.
Engel HJ, Tatabe S, P, Mustille R, Rivera MJ. A physical therapist established intensive care unit early mobilization program: A quality improvement project for critical care at the University of California San Francisco. Phys Ther. 93(7):975-985; 2013.
Anderson DI, Campos JJ, Witherington DC, Dahl A, Rivera MJ, He, M, Uchiyama I, Barbu-Roth, M. The role of locomotion in psychological development. Front Psych. 4: 1-17; 2013.
Anderson DI, Campos JJ, Rivera MJ, Dahl A, Uchiyama I, Barbu-Roth M. The consequences of independent locomotion for brain and psychological development. In Sheperd R, ed. Cerebral Palsy in Infancy. Edinburgh, Scotland: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2013.
Rivera MJ, Radtka S, Anderson DI, Campos JJ. Spatial cognition in infants with myelomeningocele: transition from immobility to mobility. ProQuest Dissertations. 3353864; 2012.
Peer Reviewed Scientific Presentations
Rivera MJ. Yamagami T, Gomez SJ. Assessing postural control in Parkinson’s disease with Computerized Posturography. Poster Presentation. Combined Section Meeting, Neurologic Section. New Orleans, LA. Feb 2018.
Carranza M, Roos J, Rivera MJ. Is mirror therapy an effective adjunct to traditional impatient care for treating upper limb hemiparesis and spasticity in individuals post-stroke? A meta-analysis. Poster Presentation. California Physical Therapy Association Annual Conference. San Diego October 2017.
Taylor J, Rivera MJ, Roos J. Poster Presentation. Implementing lab values to guide physical therapy practice in restoring functional mobility of an individual with lupus nephritis. California Physical Therapy Association Annual Conference. San Diego October 2017.
Gomez SJ, Rivera MJ, Yamagami T. Poster Presentation. Whole body vibration and computerized dynamic posturography in Parkinson’s disease to achieve symmetrical gait: A case study. California Physical Therapy Association Annual Conference. San Diego October 2017.
Rivera MJ, Tan, A, Trueblood P. Podium Presentation. A pilot study on the effectiveness of task based activity and Yoga for persons with Parkinson’s disease. California Physical Therapy Association Annual Conference. San Diego October 2017.
Rivera MJ, Campos JJ, Anderson DI. Podium Presentation. Crawling onset facilitates spatial in Infants in Lumbar Spina Bifida. Spina Bifida World Congress Meeting. San Diego March 2017.
Rivera MJ, Campos JJ, Anderson DI. Podium Presentation. Belly Crawling Advances Infant Spatial Cognition. American Physical Therapy Association Combined Section Meeting. Anaheim CA. Feb 2016.
Rivera MJ. Campos JJ, Anderson DI. Poster Presentation. Crawling variability and spatial cognitive performance in typically developing and infants with myelomeningocele. Association University Centers on Disability Conference. Washington DC. Nov 2015.
Cook JA, Widener GL, Rivera MJ, Lam M. Using the International Classification of Functioning Disability and health model to guide outcome measurement choices for a 14 year-old adolescent with cerebral palsy: a case report. American Physical Therapy Association Combined Section Meeting, Indianapolis IN. Feb 2015.
Rivera MJ, Griep C,Phamle, Q, Allen D. Rotational vestibular therapy decreases hyperactivity in pediatric patients diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a meta-analysis. Combined Section Meeting, Indianapolis IN. Feb 2015.
Block V, Rivera, MJ. Melnick, Allen D. Do physical therapy interventions affect functional incontinence and quality of life in people with multiple sclerosis? An evidence based-review. California Physical Therapy Annual Conference. Oakland, CA Oct 2014.
McCants NS, Jaramillo T, Rivera MJ, Rawlins AN, Freidman L, Allen D. Prognostic indicators of post-concussion syndrome in children, adolescents and young adults: an evidence based review. California Physical Therapy Annual Conference. Oakland, CA. Oct 2014.
Rivera MJ, Campos, JJ, Anderson DI. Joint Visual Attention: Effects of Crawling in Typically Developing Infants and Infants with Spina Bifida. College of Health and Human Services: Celebrating our Engagement Showcase. California State University, Fresno. Sept 2014.
Anderson DI, Rivera MJ, Dahl A, He M. Locomotion and spatial cognitive development in Infants with and without spina bifida. Symposium Presentation. International Society of Infants and Children Conference. Berlin, GE. July 2014.
Rivera MJ, Theis R, Wilson M. The effect of experience on prone mobility in typically developing infants and infants with myelomeningocele. Poster presentation. American Physical Therapy Association Combined Section Meeting: Pediatric Section. Las Vegas, NV. 2014.
Rivera MJ, Anderson DI. Lost in Space: Effects of immobility on spatial cognitive development. Conference Lecture Pediatric Section. American Physical Therapy Association Combined Section Meeting: Pediatric Section. Las Vegas, NV. 2014.
Rivera MJ, Campos JJ, Anderson D, Radtka R. Spatial Cognition in Infants with Myelomeningocele: Transition from Immobility to Mobility. Platform Presentation. . American Physical Therapy Association Combined Section Meeting: Pediatric Section. Las Vegas, NV. 2014.
Gorman S, Mustille R, Petersen H, Abele J, Hutchinson N, Kramer R. Rivera MJ. A pilot study of the FIST as a functional outcome measure in a neurological acute care population. Platform Presentation. American Physical Therapy Association Combined Section Meeting: Acute Care. Las Vegas, NV 2014.
Rivera MJ, Campos JJ, Anderson D, Radtka R. Platform Presentation. American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Cerebral Palsy Annual Meeting. Milwaukee, WI .Oct 2013.
Powell A, Cory A, Rivera MJ. Effects of prone locomotion in infants. Poster Presentation. California Physical Therapy Association Annual Conference, Santa Clara, CA. 2012.
He M, Rivera MJ. Changes in visual proprioception in crawling to walking in typically developing infants. Platform Presentation. California Physical Therapy Association Annual Conference, Santa Clara, CA. 2012.
Rivera MJ. Infant Crawling Behaviors. Combined Sections Meeting American Physical Therapy Association: Pediatric Section. Platform Presentation. Chicago IL. 2012.
Rivera MJ. Spatial Cognition in Infants with Myelomeningocele. Poster presentation. American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine. Las Vegas, NV. 2011.
Membership in Scientific/Professional Organizations
- American Physical Therapy Association 1998–present
- California Physical Therapy Association 1998- present
- Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine 2010 to present
- Pediatric Section, American Physical Therapy Association 2001- present
- Neurology Section, American Physical Therapy Association 2001- present
- Education Section, American Physical Therapy Association 2011 - present
- Research Section, American Physical Therapy Association 2011 - present
- International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society 2015 – present
Honors and Awards
- CAL-PT Grant, California Physical Therapy Association, 12/2017
- Provost Faculty Scholarship Award, California State University, Fresno, Fall 2017
- CHHS Summer Scholar Program, College of Health and Human Services, California State University, Fresno, May 2017
- CHHS Summer Scholar Program, College of Health and Human Services, California State University, Fresno, May 2016
- Provost Faculty Scholarship Award, California State University, Fresno, Summer 2015
- Jack Walker Award: Clinical Paper of the Year, Journal of the American Physical Therapy Association, 2014
- San Francisco State University Scholastic Achievement Award, San Francisco State University, 2012
Courses Taught (entry-level DPT)
- PhTh 506 Motor Development (2 Units)
- PhTh 512 Pathology (3 units)
- PhTh 527 Applied Neuroscience (5 units)
- PhTh 529 Management of Neurological Disorders (3 units)
- PhTh 597 Evidence Based Practice (1 unit)
- PhTh 598 Doctoral Project (3 units)
Dr. Monica Rivera is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at California State University, Fresno. She received her Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy at the University of California San Francisco/San Francisco State University in Motor Development and a Master of Science with an emphasis in Neurologic Physical Therapy from Samuel Merritt College. Her entry level physical therapy certificate is from UCLA Hospitals and Clinics. She has 25 years of clinical practice across the continuum of care, specializing in the neonatal intensive care unit, pediatric (spina bifida, rheumatology, spasticity management), adult neurologic disorders and early intervention (preterm birth). She spent 15 years in the clinical training of physical therapy students and clinicians in skill development, clinical reasoning, and professional advancement. As a Fresno State professor, Dr. Rivera teaches in the neurology curriculum as is the course instructor for Motor Development, Applied Neuroscience, Physical Therapy Management of Adult Neurology II and Pathology.
Dr. Rivera’s research centers in two areas: development of a multimodal intervention program for individuals with Parkinson’s disease and has initiated the Infant Motor Perceptual Laboratory at Fresno State, which serves to document the interaction between motor skill acquisition and cognitive growth in typically developing infants and infants with motor disability. She has presented her research in both areas at the state, national and international level. Dr. Rivera serves as Academic Faculty for the Kaiser Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency Program and on research committees at the state and national levels. One of her passions is to provide pro bono services to adult and pediatric individuals with neurologic disability, integrating students/courses to serve various populations in Fresno County.
Dr. Rivera’s interests include opera, gardening, and wine making, and is cultivating a new vineyard, a small orchard, and seasonal vegetables. She appreciates history, especially ancient, and enjoys traveling to sites of antiquity and museums.