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Dennis G O'Connell

Professor of Physical Therapy College of Health Professions Physical Therapy

Dr. Dennis O’Connell holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education from Manhattan College and a Bachelor of Science in physical therapy from The University of Texas Health Science Center-San Antonio. He has a Master of Arts degree from Kent State University, and a Ph.D. in exercise physiology from the University of Toledo. He has also earned a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from Hardin-Simmons University.

His research has focused on metabolic, cardiopulmonary, and neuromuscular responses to acute and chronic exercise. “DOC’s” teaching responsibilities include: Applied Physiology I & II, and Clinical Diagnosis and Management: Cardiovascular & Pulmonary, and Multiple Systems II. He currently serves as a reviewer for Medicine and Science in Sports, Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Journal of Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy, and Physical Therapy and selected published works can be found in the Journal of Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy, Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, The Journal of Strength and Conditioning, WORK: Prevention, Assessment and Rehabilitation, and Perceptual & Motor Skills Journal. He has authored Special Tests of the Cardiovascular, Pulmonary, and Gastrointestinal Systems (SLACK Publishing) with Drs. Janelle O’Connell and Martha Hinman.

He is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, and a member of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, the American Physical Therapy Association and the Texas Physical Therapy Association. He is past-president of The Texas Physical Therapy Education and Research Foundation, the American Heart Association-Region 16 and past chair of the Abilene Mayor’s Council on Physical Fitness.  Dr. O’Connell has served the American Physical Therapy Association as a member of the Exercise Physiology Task Force and the Movement Diagnosis committees.

In addition to being a licensed physical therapist, he is certified in Exercise Test Technology, Ergonomics, and Strength and Conditioning. He currently serves the community by providing educational programs to hundreds of individuals with diabetes annually as well as in the HSU PT Pro-bono clinic. He and his wife, Dr. Janelle O’Connell are co-founders of the HSU PT Ministries program and received the 2019 Humanitarian Award by the American Physical Therapy Association for their service.

Courses Taught

  • PHYT 7303 Applied Physiology I
  • PHYT 7204 Applied Physiology II
  • PHYT 7425 Clinical Diagnosis and Management II: Cardiovascular & Pulmonary
  • PHYT 7230 Clinical Diagnosis and Management VIII: Multiple Systems
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