Dirk deHeer, PhD

Dirk deHeer Assistant Professor
Northern Arizona University
Physical Therapy, Flagstaff Campus
Phone: 928-523-1499
Fax: 928-523-9289

Professional Interests

Hendrik ‘Dirk’ de Heer is currently assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training. Originally from the Netherlands, Dirk came to the U.S. in 2001, where he ran track and field and cross country at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). Dr. de Heer has since completed graduate training in industrial/organizational psychology (University of Groningen, the Netherlands), health psychology (UTEP), public health (University of Texas at Houston Health Science Center) and public health genomics (National Institutes of Health). He received a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Human Genome Research Institute Social and Behavioral Research Branch, where he worked from 2009-2011.

His main area of research expertise includes community based health promotion (physical activity) program implementation and evaluation. He also works as a consultant with several community organizations focused on prevention of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Recently, he has expanded his work to evaluation of large national datasets to evaluate the effectiveness of physical therapists on health outcomes. Through his research, he is currently an investigator or principal investigator on external grants funded by the American Physical Therapy Association, the Institute for Private Practice Physical Therapy, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the John and Sophie Ottens Foundation. Rooted in a personal interest in endurance sports (running, duathlon and triathlon), he is also the director of the Alter-g research lab, which evaluates the ability to use body-weight supported treadmill training for elite distance runners and patients with neurological conditions.

Through funding from the Ottens foundation and NCI, he has helped over 25 successful applications of Native American students to national summer internships, including placements at the Harvard four directions program, the National Institutes for Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases/Office of Minority Health, the National Cancer Institute, the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center among others.

Education and Certifications

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Public Health Genomics, National Human Genome Research Institute, 2011
PhD, Health Psychology, University of Texas at El Paso, 2009
Masters of Public Health (MPH), University of Texas at Houston Health Science Center, 2009
MS, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, 2005
BA, Psychology, University of Texas at El Paso, 2004

Teaching area/ Courses Taught

Health and Wellness for Physical Therapy practice, Evidence Based Practice, Pathophysiology

Recent Publications/ Professional Presentations

Google Scholar Profile: http://scholar.google.com/citations?user=71FSbX4AAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao

  1. McNeill D, de Heer HD,  Bounds R, Coast JR. Accuracy of unloading with the Alter-g anti-gravity treadmill. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (in press).
  2. Kline JR, Raab S, Coast JR, Bounds RG, McNeill DKP,  de Heer HD. A conversion table for running on a Lower Body Positive Pressure treadmill. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (in press).
  3. Shiloh S, de Heer HD, Peleg S, Hensley Alford S, Skapinsky K, Roberts J, Hadley DW. The Impact of Multiplex Genetic Testing on Disease Risk Perceptions. Clinical Genetics. (in press). PMID: 24720448.
  4. Persky S, de Heer HD, McBride C, Reid R. The Role of Weight, Race, and Health Care Experiences in Care Use among Young Men and Women. Obesity. 2014;22(4):1194-200. PMID: 24318861.
  5. Balcazar HG, Wise S, Hayden Redelfs A, Rosenthal EL, de Heer HD, Burgos X, Duarte MO. Perceptions of Community Health Workers (CHWs/PS) in the Border HEART CVD Study. International Journal of Environ Res Public Health.2014;10;11(2), 1873-84. PMID: 24518646.
  6. Hovick SA, Wilkinson AV, Ashida S, de Heer HD, Koehly LM. The impact of personalized risk feedback on Mexican Americans’ perceived risk for heart disease and diabetes. Health Education Research. 2014;29(2):222-34. PMID:24463396.
  7. de la Haye K, de Heer HD,  Wilkinson A, Koehly L. Predictors of Parent-Child Relationships that Support Physical Activity in Mexican American Families. Journal of Behavioral Medicine. 2014;37(2):234-44.PMID: 23203139.
  8. Rosenthal, E. Lee; Balcazar, H.G., de Heer, H.D., Wise, S., Flores L., Aguirre, M. (2014) Critical reflections on the role of CBPR within an RCT community health worker prevention intervention. Journal of Ambulatory Care Management, 37(3):241-9. PMID: 24887525.
  9. de Heer HD, Salinas J, Lapeyrouse L, Heyman J, Morera OF, Balcazar HG. Bi-national utilization and barriers to care among Mexican American border residents with diabetes. Panamerican Journal of Public Health, official journal of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). 2013;34(3), 147-154.PMID: 24233106.
  10. de Heer HD, Balcazar HG, Salinas JJ, Morera OF, Heyman J, Lapeyrouse L, Zambrana R. Access to care and comorbidities along the U.S.-Mexico border. Public Health Reports. 2013; 128(6). PMCID: PMC3804091.
  11. de Heer F, Morera OF, Warren M, Chaudhari L, de Heer HD. At risk or not: Comparing normative and criterion-referenced Body Mass Index standards among Mexican American children. Archivos de Latinoamericanos de Nutrición. 2013;62(3).
  12. Ayode D, McBride C, de Heer HD, Watanabe E, Schiller E, Gebreyesus T, Tora A, Tadele G, Davey G. A Qualitative Study Exploring Barriers Related to Use of Footwear in Rural Highland Ethiopia: Implications for Neglected Tropical Diseases Control. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 2013;25;7(4):e2199. PMID: 23638211.
  13. de Heer, H.D., Wilkinson, A.V., Strong, L.L., Bondy, M.L. & Koehly, L. (2012). Sitting time and health outcomes among Mexican origin adults: obesity as a mediator. BMC Public Health, 12, 896. PMID: 23092387.
  14. Ayode Alembo D, McBride C, de Heer HD, Tadele G, Watanabe E, Davey G. The Association of Beliefs About Heredity with Preventive and Interpersonal Behaviors in Communities Affected by Podoconiosis in Rural Ethiopia. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 2012;87(4):623-630. PMID:22826482.
  15. de Heer HD, Balcazar HG, Castro F, Schulz LO.  A path analysis of a randomized promotora de salud CVD-prevention trial among at-risk Hispanic adults. Health Education and Behavior. 2012;39(1), 77-86. PMID: 21680806.
  16. de Heer HD, Koehly L, Pederson R, Morera O. Everyone gets healthier: Effectiveness and spillover of an after-school health promotion program for Hispanic elementary school children. American Journal of Public Health. 2011;101(10), 1907-1913. PMID: 21852659.
  17. de Heer HD, Balcazar HG, Cardenas V, Rosenthal EL, Schulz LO. Ethnic Pride and Cardiovascular Health among Mexican American Adults along the U.S. – Mexico Border. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 2011;33(2):204-220. PMID: 2210060.
  18. Balcazar HG, de Heer H, Rosenthal EL, Aguirre M, Flores L, Puentes FA, Cardenas VM, Duarte MO, Ortiz M, Schulz LO. A Promotores de Salud Intervention To  Reduce CVD Risk Factors Among An At-Risk Border Population of Hispanic/Mexican Origin Participants. Preventing Chronic Disease. 2010;7(2):1-10. PMID: 20158973.
  19. Balcazar HG, Rosenthal EL, de Heer H, Aguirre M, Flores L, Vasquez E, Duarte MO, Schulz LO. Use of CBPR to showcase baseline results for building a cardiovascular risk profile for Mexican Americans living in a U.S-Mexico border community. Education for Health.2009;22(3):1-10. PMCID: PMC2865886.
  20. Ganem P,  de Heer H, Morera OF. Does body dissatisfaction predict mental health outcomes in a sample of predominantly Hispanic college students? Personality and Individual Differences. 2009;46(4), 557-561.
  21. Kong PW, de Heer H. Wearing an in-shoe pressure measuring system altered gait characteristics during running. Gait and Posture. 2009;29(1):143-145. PMID: 18621533.
  22. Kong PW, de Heer H. Anthropometric, gait and strength characteristics of Kenyan distance runners. Journal of Sport Science and Medicine. 2008;7(4):499-504. PMCID: PMC3761913.