Mary Sesto is an associate professor in the Department of Medicine and the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She holds affiliate appointments in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Industrial and Systems Engineering and the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center. She is also core faculty in the Center for Quality and Productivity Improvement and a member of the Systems Engineering Initiative for Patient Safety.

Mary Sesto

Sesto received a B.S. in Physical Therapy, and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering-Human Factors from the University of Wisconsin. Her training as a physical therapist and human factors engineer provides her unique abilities to translate and apply human factors engineering theory and research methods in health care.

Sesto has performed clinical research and information technology research working collaboratively with engineers and clinicians for more than 15 years. Her research interests include evaluation, design and implementation of information technology and decision support systems to improve care coordination, quality of care, and health outcomes of patients with chronic health conditions.

She is a federally-funded researcher and has authored or co-authored more than 60 publications. She teaches in the research track in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program.


Evaluating a Patient-centered, Web-based Intervention to Improve Work Ability of Breast Cancer Survivors

The purpose of this project is to evaluate the effects of a novel health information technology that incorporates symptom management and ergonomic strategies to improve work ability in breast cancer survivors. This project targets both symptom management of breast cancer survivors and modifiable workplace risk factors to minimize work disability.

Funding: National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation

Factors Affecting Work Limitations in Women with Advanced Breast Cancer

The purpose of this project is to identify factors that influence work limitations and employment in those with advanced breast cancer. This information will be used to develop resources to help women address employment challenges that they may encounter.

Optimizing Survivorship Care Coordination: A Sociotechnical Systems Approach

The overall goal of this proposal is to improve the fragmented and uncoordinated care experienced by cancer survivors. Human factors engineers, in conjunction with oncology and primary care clinicians, will re-engineer a survivorship care plan and surrounding work system in order to improve survivorship care.  

Funding: UW Carbone Cancer Center

Assessment of an Electronic Health Record Generated Survivorship Care Plans to Improve Health Outcomes in Cancer Survivors

The objective of this project is to evaluate the effect of an electronic health record-generated care plan on survivor health outcomes and clinical workflow in oncology, hematology and primary care.
Funding: UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research and UW Carbone Cancer Center

Active Living after Cancer: Building a Physical Activity Intervention into Clinical Care for Breast and Colorectal Cancer Survivors in Wisconsin

The purpose of this project is to evaluate the feasibility of a physical activity intervention that incorporates physical activity monitoring information in an electronic health record and a patient portal.
Funding: UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research

Designing Usable and Accessible Health Information Technologies

The purpose of this project is to research and develop innovative technological solutions for, and promote universal access to, current and emerging health information technologies and technology interfaces that promote a seamless integration of multiple technologies used by individuals with chronic illnesses or disabilities in the home, the community and the workplace.