Robin R. Zappin, PT, Ed.D

Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy

My clinical experience over the last 29 years have shaped and continue to guide my teaching and scholarship. I have treated patients of all ages in different practice settings, and with a variety of diagnosis and disorders. Most of my clinic practice has focused on burn injuries in the intensive care unit and treating older adults in homecare. Both of these patient population often have multiple system involvement and associated psycho-social challenges. Over the years, I have developed a better understanding for the importance of two distinct areas within physical therapy practice; the integration of multiple body systems on movement and importance of patient communication and education through plain language. Each person has multiple systems within our body, and restoration of function can only be achieved when applying an integrated treatment approach. In addition, we all learn, communicate and synthesize information in our own unique manner. Our treatments will not be effective if we are not effective communicators, and our patients are not able to understand our messages. My overall teaching goal is challenge students to consider the whole patient, including their ability to learn and communicate.  


  • Ed.D Applied Physiology 2004 Teachers College, Columbia University 
  • MA Applied Kinesiology 1995 New York University 
  • BS Physical Therapy 1989, Boston University 


Clinical Experience/Expertise 


  • Crozer Burn Center – Crozer-Keystone Health System, Chester, PA - Present  
  • Abramson Center for Jewish Life Home Care, Elkins Park, PA – 3/2012-12/2014 
  • New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY - 9/1991 – 8/2003 

Program Coordinator Burn Rehabilitation Research  

Burn Research Physical Therapist  

Senior Burn Physical Therapist  


Scholarship/Research Interests 

My research focuses on health literacy within DPT curriculum and for practicing clinicians.  Only 12% of adults in the United States have proficient health literacy which has been linked to poor health outcomes. This implies that 9 out of 10 adults receiving physical therapy are unable to manage their exercise and education programs. How effective are Doctor of Physical Therapy programs in teaching the use of plain language and cultural and linguistic competency? Are these skills modeled by practicing physical therapist?  

Peer-reviewed publications 

Maritz CA, Zappin R. Creation of a Model to Promote the Development of Professional Behaviors in Students. J Faculty Dev, 2007, 21:3, 193-200.  


Silverberg, Robin. Lombardo Gateano, Gorga Delia, Nagler Willabald, Yurt Roger, Himmel Harvey. “Gait Variables following Burn Injuries to the Lower Extremity”. Journal of Burn Care Rehabilitation. Journal of Burn Care Rehabilitation 21(3) (2000):259-267.  

Gorga Delia. Johnson Joanne, Silverberg Robin, Bentley Anne, Nagler Willabald, Yurt Roger. “The Physical, Functional and Developmental Outcomes of Pediatric Burn Survivors (6 Months – 6 Years Old) One Year Post Burn”. Journal of Burn Care Rehabilitation 20(2) (1999):171-179.  


Silverberg Robin. Knothe Barbra.: Establishing Standards of Care in Burn Rehabilitation. In Serghiou M, Staley M (eds). Proceedings of the Physical and Occupational Therapy Special Interest Group Meeting: Journal of Burn Care Rehabilitation 19 (1998): 147-150.  


Silverberg Robin, Johnson Joanne, Moffat Marilyn. "The Effects of Soft Tissue Mobilization on Range of Motion, Scar Pliability, and Vascularity: Results of Pilot Study.” Journal of Burn Care Rehabilitation 17 (1996): 252-259.  


Johnson Joanne. Silverberg Robin. "Serial Casting of the Lower Extremity to Correct Contractures During the Acute Phase of Burn Care". Physical Therapy. 75 (1995): 262-266.  


Silverberg Robin. Johnson Joanne, Gorga Delia, Goodwin Cleon, Nagler Willabald. "A Survey of the Prevalence and Application of Chest Physical Therapy in the U.S. Burn Centers”. Journal of Burn Care Rehabilitation 16 (1995): 154-159.

Contact Info

Dr. Robin Zappin, PT, Ed.D

Assistant Professor

Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

Phone: 610-568-1546




Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Alvernia University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email:; website: If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 610-568-1546 or email

For more information regarding the process of accreditation, please contact the:

Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education
1111 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: 703-706-3245

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