Pamela A. Duffy, PT, PhD, MEd, OCS, RP, FAPTA

Assistant ProfessorDepartment of Public Health
Global Health
Assistant Professor, Master of Public Health ProgramStudent Research Mentors
Office Phone 515-271-7811
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Education, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
  • Masters of Education, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
  • Bachelor of Science in P.T. and PT Certificate, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
  • Bachelor of Science, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
  • Physical Therapy Licensure
  • Certified Professional Coder (CPC), American Academy of Professional Coders
  • Certified Clinical Instructor, American Physical Therapy Association
  • Adult CPR/First Aid
  • Gerontology Certificate, Iowa State University
  • Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist, American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties
  • Isernhagen Work Systems Functional Capacity Evaluations, Work Hardening, Functional Job Analysis, Pre-Work Screening.
Awards and honors

President’s Recognition Award, Des Moines University

Diversity Champion, Des Moines University Office of Multicultural Affairs

Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association

Lucy Blair Service Award of the American Physical Therapy Association

Olive Farr Distinguished Service Award of the Iowa Physical Association

Areas of Expertise

Professional Organizations, Committees and Boards
  • Association of Accredited Public Health Programs
  • American Public Health Association
  • Iowa Public Health Association
  • Association of Clinicians for the Uninsured
  • Community-Campus Partnership for Health
  • Gerontological Society of America
  • American Physical Therapy Association
    • Orthopaedic Section
    • Section on Geriatrics
    • Education Section
    • Private Practice Section
    • Women’s Health Section
    • Section on Health Policy and Administration
  • American Institute of Parliamentarians
  • Health Volunteers Overseas
  • Iowa Physical Therapy Association
  • National Association of Parliamentarians

  • Plymouth Congregational Church, Des Moines, IA, Moderator, Board of Membership
  • Dallas County, Medical Reserve Corp, Adel, IA
  • Iowa Statewide Emergency Registry, Volunteer
  • Special Olympics Iowa, Ames, IA, FunFitness
  • Free Clinics of Iowa, Des Moines, IA, Board of Directors
  • Continuum of Care Board of Directors of Homeless Coordinating Council, Polk County Iowa, Higher Education Representative


  • Iowa Physical Therapy Association
    • Chapter
      Delegate to House of Delegates
      Student Conclave Speaker
    • Section APTA Service
      Orthopaedic Section, APTA, Board of Directors
    • Private Practice Section
      Publications Review Taskforce
  • Association of Accredited Public Health Programs, Executive Board
  • Iowa Department of Public Health, Public Health Evaluation Committee


  • Learning Management System Advisory Taskforce
  • MPH Curriculum Committee
  • DMU Interprofessional Education Sub-committee representative for IPE-1 and IPE-2 for MPH and MHA programs
  • Research Mentor, Student Summer Research Program
  • DMU-MPH Representative to Association of Accredited Public Health Programs
  • College of Health Sciences Strategic Planning Committee, Member – Chair
  • Graduate Council, Chair and Member
  • Interprofessional Education DMU Forum Facilitator
  • Interprofessional Education, IPE-2 Sub-Committee
  • Faculty Organization Parliamentarian
  • Curriculum Management Applications Taskforce (CMAT)
  • Search Committee Chair, Director of Multicultural Affairs
  • Faculty Advisor, Gay Straight Alliance Student Organization
  • University Faculty Organization Bylaws Committee
  • Global Health Learning Collaborative, Faculty Advisor
  • Heartland Global Health Consortium

My three primary categories of research are 1. Effective methodology for teaching cultural competency skills to health professions students; 2. Health care disparities and access to health care and public health services, including delivering culturally sensitive care, to underserved populations; and 3. Measuring health care quality and efficiency.

2015 Research

Research project on comparison of state rankings of two health indices

2014 Research

Research study on comparison of basic health care access and insurance status

2013 Research

I am continuing work on immigrant and refugee health care access, student learning outcomes in Interprofessional Education, and adverse childhood events (ACEs) impact on adult health.

2011 Research

I have three primary categories of research interest: 1. Effective methodology for teaching cultural competency skills to health professions students; 2. Delivering culturally sensitive care to underserved populations; and 3. Measuring health care quality and efficiency. In 2011, I am developing my research agenda, and interested in a literature review of tools to measure cultural competency and transformational learning, as well as surveying and studying micropopulations seeking health care services at free clinics in Iowa.

2010 Research

I am researching changes in health professions students’ attitudes as a result of cultural diversity training as measured by the Global Perspective Inventory© with Dr. Yogesh Shah, DMU global health Initiatives. I am also collaborating with researchers from the University of Iowa (College of Public Health) and University of North Carolina (Sheps Center) on a comparison of direct access versus physician-referred physical therapy episodes of care.

Grant Awards

  • Duffy, P.A. (2011).  Des Moines University Iowa Osteopathic Educational Research (IOER-Research and Grants).  $9700.00 grant for “Pilot study of micro-populations in central Iowa and impact on public health services (working title)”
  • Duffy, P.A. (2011). Public Health Training for Oral Health Professionals (6 Modules).  In collaboration with the Bureau of Oral and Health Delivery Systems. $5000.00 grant from Iowa Department of Public Health.

Grant Proposals

  • 2015: Telligen grant proposal with Dallas County Public Health Nursing Services(pending):  Social return on investment analysis for county health department health navigation program
  • Duffy, P.A. (Project Director) & Geletta, S. (2013) 2013 Iowa ACEs Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Analysis and ReportingResponse to Request for Proposals by the Iowa ACEs Steering Committee of the Iowa Department of Public Health, Des Moines, IA.  Proposal selected as one of two finalist proposals.