Susan Magasi named professor and head of the UIC Department of Occupational Therapy

Susan Magasi

Susan Magasi ’02 MS OT, ’06 PhD DS, who develops mobile health (mHealth) technology to help people with disability overcome barriers to health care, was named professor and head of the Department of Occupational Therapy Sept. 21.

Magasi, also professor of disability and human development, works closely with the disability community and cancer survivors in a community-based, participatory approach to research.

“Dr. Magasi’s extensive research, teaching and community engagement experience is impressive,” said AHS dean Carlos Crespo.

Magasi led an mHealth project, funded by the Chicago Cancer Health Equity Collaborative, that developed an app to help cancer survivors manage long-term disabilities related to their illness and treatment.

She is principal investigator for a related project that is creating a peer navigator app to support people with newly acquired disabilities who are transitioning to independent living. That research is supported by National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research.

Magasi’s earlier mHealth research projects include an app to connect cancer patients with disabilities to disabled cancer survivors, and peer health navigation for Medicaid beneficiaries with physical disabilities.

Magasi has been honored as Researcher of the Year by both UIC and AHS. She is a fellow of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and chair of the Scientific Advisory Council for the American Occupational Therapy Foundation. She received the Meritorious Service Award from the American Occupational Therapy Foundation.

Magasi joined the UIC faculty in 2013. She succeeds Yolanda Suarez-Balcazar, who was OT department head from 2006 until 2022, when she stepped down to return to the faculty.