Joanne Rivard (Malerba)

Associate Professor of Practice

Dr. Rivard has been active in clinical practice for over 40 years in a variety of clinical settings including acute, subacute, and outpatient orthopedics and sports medicine. Her most recent clinical interests have focused on geriatrics and the care of community dwelling older adults. She has enjoyed teaching at Simmons University since 1991 due to the focus on small class sizes, self-directed learning, and collaboration. Her passion is to guide first year students in the art and science of physical therapy practice with primary teaching areas including fundamental patient care skills, geriatrics, kinesiology, and therapeutic biophysical agents. She is currently engaged in further study in gerontology to enhance her ability to promote health and quality of life for older adults. In her free time, she enjoys long walks, crocheting, and spending time with family.


  • Candidate for Interprofessional Graduate Certificate in Gerontology, University of Maine
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy, Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions
  • Master of Science, Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy, Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions
  • Bachelor of Science, Physical Therapy, Boston University


  • Licensed Physical Therapist, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Geriatric Physical Therapy
  • Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopedic Physical Therapy (emeritus)
  • APTA Academy of Geriatrics Certified Exercise Expert for Aging Adults

Area of Expertise

  • Orthopedics and geriatrics

What I Teach

  • DPT 632 Concepts and Skills in Physical Therapy I
  • DPT 633 Concepts and Skills in Physical Therapy II
  • DPT 622 Movement Science I
  • DPT 623 Movement Science II


Malerba J, Adam M, Harris BA, Krebs D. Reliability of dynamic and isometric testing of shoulder external and internal rotators. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 18:543-552;1993

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

  • American Physical Therapy Association
  • American Physical Therapy Association Academy of Geriatrics


  • Joan Drevins Commitment to Education Award, Simmons University, 2020