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Our Team at the UPMC Moving Through Cancer Program

Our team can help get you moving before, during, and after cancer treatment at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center.

Image of Kathryn Schmitz, PhD standing in the EMUKathryn H. Schmitz, PhD

Dr. Schmitz, PhD:

  • Leads the UPMC Moving Through Cancer Program at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center.
  • Is a professor in the division of Hematology and Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
  • Studies technology-based supportive care treatments that include physical activity to improve outcomes among people with advanced cancer.
  • Is a past president of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).
  • Was the moving force behind two ACSM development processes for exercise and cancer guidelines for patients.

Founder of the Moving Through Cancer Program

Dr. Schmitz founded the Moving Through Cancer Program of the ACSM. The program has a bold goal of making exercise standard of cancer care by 2029.

Her book, "Moving Through Cancer," released by Chronicle Books in October 2021:

  • Aims to raise awareness about the importance of exercise for cancer patients and survivors.
  • Details all the ways exercise and strength training can help your physical and mental health.
  • Tells you everything you need to get started with this 21-day fitness program.

Dr. Schmitz's research

Dr. Schmitz has held National Cancer Institute funding consistently since 2001.

Her research focuses on:

  • People living with and beyond cancer.
  • The role of exercise in improving physical and psychosocial outcomes, including symptoms, treatment tolerance, and other chronic diseases.
  • Resistance exercise and breast cancer-related lymphedema. This well-regarded research lead to a physical therapy program called "Strength After Breast Cancer." Over 1,000 locations across the U.S. and beyond offer this program.
She and Dr. Schmitz has published more than 300 scientific peer-reviewed papers in prestigious journals such as:
  • JAMA.
  • New England Journal of Medicine.
  • Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Dr. Schmitz's awards

Dr. Schmitz has won numerous scientific awards, including the:

  • Distinguished Scientist Award from the Society of Behavioral Medicine.
  • Citation Award from the ACSM.

Image of Andrew Chongaway, DPT

Andrew Chongaway, DPT

Dr. Chongaway:

  • Is a physical therapist and cancer exercise specialist at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center
  • Earned his doctorate in PT from the University of New England.
  • Takes part in research projects in Dr. Schmitz's lab.
  • Has presented at state and national conferences on the benefits of exercise and rehab in people living with and beyond cancer.

Dr. Chongaway's certifications

  • Oncologic clinical specialist from the American Physical Therapy Association.
  • Vestibular physical therapist from the American Institute of Balance.
  • Exercise physiologist and cancer exercise trainer from the ACSM.

Contact the UPMC Moving Through Cancer Program

UPMC Hillman Cancer Center

5115 Centre Ave., Second Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15232

Phone: 412-623-3427

mtchcc@upmc.edu