Dr. Margaret Danilovich is CJE SeniorLife’s Senior Director of the Leonard Schanfield Research Institute, our in-house research division. In this position, Margaret oversees all of the research and quality improvement efforts throughout CJE’s comprehensive network of programs and services for older adults and their families.
Margaret earned her BA in Exercise Science and Natural Science from Concordia University, a Doctor of Physical Therapy from Northwestern University (with board-certification in geriatrics), a PhD in Public Health Sciences-Gerontology from University of Illinois at Chicago and is currently an MBA candidate at Northwestern-Kellogg School of Management.
Margaret’s interest in older adults began in her formative years where she gained exposure to older adults through inter-generational programming at her school. Later, in college, she worked as a personal trainer at a retirement community. Following her Doctor of Physical Therapy training, she worked as a physical therapist at several retirement communities, nursing homes, and the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (formerly Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago) Arthritis Center cementing her passion for geriatrics.
Prior to coming to CJE, Margaret was a faculty member in Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School Medicine where she taught a geriatrics course, directed the dual-degree physical therapy and public health program (DPT/MPH), and conducted clinical research in geriatrics. In addition, she served as the assistant department chair for development and communications where she oversaw all social media channels, fundraising, and coordinated alumni weekend activities in the medical school. Margaret maintains a role as an adjunct assistant professor where she continues to direct the DPT/MPH program.
Margaret’s contributions to the field of geriatrics and gerontology have been recognized by numerous organizations. Her PhD dissertation was awarded “Best Doctoral Project in Aging” by the American Public Health Association. She was the recipient of the Gerontological Society of America Estes Award and the Douglas Holmes emerging scholar award. She also currently chairs the research committee for the Health Policy Section of the American Physical Therapy Association. The author of numerous research articles published in aging-related journals, she presents her research nationally and regularly conducts continuing education throughout the country on best practices in providing care for older adults. She has also been a columnist for CNN, The Huffington Post, Forbes, Crain’s Chicago Business, and The Hill on advocacy issues regarding Medicare policies and older adults.
The focus of Margaret’s research is on exercise and physical activity interventions for older adults with frailty. She has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Retirement Research Foundation, Third Coast Center for Aids Research, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, and the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).
Margaret and her husband live in Evanston. Outside of work, Margaret enjoys cooking, F45 exercise classes, and traveling.