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                                                                                                      Spring 2016 | Volume 12 Number 3 

Photograph of football practice at Varsity Stadium by Johnny Guatto. 
© University of Toronto. All Rights Reserved.


Message from the Chair

May is Physical Therapy month!  Our public lecture, Preventing Running Injuries: Separating Fact from Fiction” was a resounding success.  We are looking forward to providing future opportunities like this where we can discuss other hot topics with the community.  Thank you to Sue Ellison and Esther Waugh for a fantastic presentation and to Dina Brooks and the ACE Committee for their organizational efforts!
We are in the process of organizing a meeting with our professorial (status-only) faculty to talk about how we can build stronger relationships and better engage in research and educational opportunities together.  This is part of our continued effort to play a supportive role in the community.  We welcome your ideas for ways we can enrich opportunities for our broad array of faculty. 
Help us celebrate the accomplishments of our faculty and students at our upcoming Recognition Awards Ceremony and Research Day on July 20, 2016.  For the first time, student research projects will be featured in the morning followed by the faculty awards ceremony.  I encourage you to explore the excellent research our students are undertaking and to consider becoming involved as a project supervisor. 

Warm regards,

W. Darlene Reid, BMR (PT), PhD
Professor and Chair

CRHP Distinction Award

Dr. Sunita Mathur is the recipient of the 2016 CRHP Distinction Award bestowed by the Canadian Respiratory Health Professionals Leadership Council.  This award recognizes Dr. Mathur's engagement in the mentorship of other health-care professionals while serving as a role model of professionalism and volunteerism as well as her significant contributions to respiratory care.    
Dr. Sunita Mathur receiving her CRHP award with Dr. Dina Brooks

PT Link Profile: Dr. Sunita Mathur

Dr. Sunita Mathur is a physical therapist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto. Sunita joined the department in 2009 after completing her PhD from the University of British Columbia and post-doctoral fellowship from the University of Florida. She holds affiliate scientist positions with West Park Healthcare Centre and Toronto Rehab Institute - Mobility Team.
Sunita directs the Muscle Function & Performance Lab, which is located in the Department of Physical Therapy. The lab members include doctoral students, master’s students, research assistants and undergraduate student volunteers. Sunita’s research utilizes non-invasive measurement tools to examine muscle structure and muscle function such as imaging modalities (MRI, CT and ultrasound) and dynamometry to measure muscle strength, power and fatigue. Most of her research studies are focused on examining skeletal muscle dysfunction in chronic lung diseases including COPD, interstitial lung disease, cystic fibrosis and lung transplantation.
Lisa Wickerson, Sunita Mathur, Dina Brooks, and Tania Janaudis-Ferreira at the CRHP AGM on April 14, 2016 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.   
In 2013, Sunita and her collaborator, Dr. Tania Janaudis-Ferreira (McGill University) received a CIHR Planning Grant to hold a meeting on Exercise in Solid Organ Transplant (SOT). The meeting was very successful, bringing together over 40 researchers, clinicians and patient partners to discuss gaps and opportunities for research and clinical practice in the area of exercise for SOT. Their work resulted in the publication of a Meeting Report in the American Journal of Transplantation, which outlined top priorities in the area of exercise and rehabilitation. The success of this grant led to a new line of inquiry for Sunita and Tania, and in 2015 they received a CIHR Dissemination Grant to share the best available evidence for exercise in SOT to the largest multi-organ transplant centres in Canada. Over the past 18 months, they have presented at nine transplant centres from Halifax to Vancouver, and reached over 240 healthcare professionals. They also conducted a two-day workshop for transplant recipients in October 2015, which included educational sessions on exercise after transplant from clinical experts, as well as hand-on training in fitness and sports. The workshop was highly rated by over 90 participants.
Sunita and Tania have also worked together to co-found and co-chair the Canadian Network for Rehabilitation and Exercise for Solid Organ Transplant Optimal Recovery (CAN-RESTORE). Working closely with the CAN-RESTORE national steering committee, they work to promote the network’s vision of “healthy active living after transplantation”.  Sunita is also the lead of Project 7 in the Canadian National Transplant Research Program (CNTRP), which has an overall goal to improve long-term outcomes and quality of life after transplantation. Project 7 brings together a team of 18 investigators from across Canada and has brought in $1.5 million of funding to the CNTRP.
This summer, Sunita will be volunteering at the Canadian Transplant Games, which will be held at the University of Toronto from August 8-13, 2016. The Games highlight the success of organ donation and the ability of transplant recipients to engage in sports and attain an active lifestyle. In the long-term, Sunita hopes that her research will contribute to building the evidence-base for exercise training for SOT recipients and lead to more equitable access to rehabilitation programs for transplant candidates and recipients.
For more updates on CAN-RESTORE activities, follow Sunita on Twitter @SunitaMathur1 and Like us on Facebook

Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Awards

Congratulations to MScPT students Mujeeb Duranai and Julie Ardron who received The Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Awards from the University of Toronto Alumni Association (UTAA) and the Division of University Advancement. 

OPA Awards

At the Ontario Physiotherapy Association's Annual Conference, PT faculty and students from U of T were honored for their leadership and research.  Dr. Kelly O`Brien (pictured left with Dr. Nancy Salbach) was recognized with the Innovation & Advancement Award.  Chelsea Elvy, an MScPT Year 2 student, won The Student/New Grad Leadership Award. Class of 2015 students Anne Marie DeFaria and Stephanie Bognar took 2nd place in the Poster Competition, while Ghaith Dhaidan and Leanne Souza-Barros took 3rd. 

New Task-Oriented Exercise Program Aims to Improve Function Post-Stroke

Dr. Salbach and her colleagues have received a grant from the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada.  
The grant will enable Dr. Salbach to evaluate the feasibility of conducting a randomized controlled trial, in small and large urban centres, designed to evaluate the effectiveness of a 12-week group task-oriented community exercise program.
This trial will compare the program to usual healthcare in improving everyday function in people with stroke. It will target balance and mobility, and create a healthcare-recreation partnership that is unique compared to typical post-stroke care.

Preventing Falls One Step at a Time

Dr. Kristin Musselman has received an Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation and Rick Hansen Institute grant to study reactive balance training for spinal cord injury.

Knowledge Translation Model Adopted

Dr. Susan Jaglal developed a model for managing neurological conditions which is being adopted for use in a guide by Quebec's Ministry of Health and Social Services. Congratulations Dr. Jaglal!

Call for Research Projects!

Today is the deadline to submit a project outline for the MScPT Research and Program Evaluation for Physical Therapy Practice!  

MScPT Student Research Day


Wednesday, July 20, 2013
8:00 am - 11:30 pm Medical Sciences Building
Stone Lobby and MacLeod Auditorium
Followed by Lunch and 

Recognition and Exceptional Awards Ceremony 

12:30 - 1:30 pm Medical Sciences Building

The Department of Physical Therapy invites you to attend MScPT Student Research Day. This is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of students and advisors as we showcase their research projects in poster presentations.  We look forward to seeing you on July 20, 2016.

Department of Physical Therapy
Recognition Awards

We are now receiving nominations for the Department of Physical Therapy Recognition Awards!  Each year, the Department of Physical Therapy acknowledges individuals who have provided great learning environments, guidance, supervision, or have been inspirational to our students.  Recognition Award recipients can be faculty members, clinical instructors, small group facilitators, lab demonstrators, teaching assistants, or other educators.  Recipients can also be an entire site/team. The nominators can be students, clinicians or faculty.
For the first time, the Department of Physical Therapy Awards Ceremony will be held in conjunction with the Department of Physical Therapy Research Day on Wednesday July 20, 2016 at the MacLeod Auditorium, Medical Sciences Building (MSB), Room 2158 at the University of Toronto.  Poster viewing for Research Day will occur from 11:30 am - 12:30 pm in the Stone Lobby of MSB.  The Awards Ceremony will occur from 12:30 - 1:30 pm in the MacLeod Auditorium. 
If you would like to nominate an individual or site/team for an award, please complete the nomination form:
Nomination Form
The deadline for nominations is Friday May 27, 2016.   We look forward to receiving your nominations!
The Department of Physical Therapy Recognition Awards Committee


Dr. Kara Patterson published "The Relationship of Plantar Cutaneous Sensation and Standing Balance Post-Stroke" in the journal Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation.
PT Students at the OPA InterACTION Conference

Student Council Update

It has been an eventful couple of months for the PT students! Both classes are on placement for 5 weeks until the middle of May, with first-years in either the Musculoskeletal or Cardiorespiratory setting, and second-years in the Outpatient-Musculoskeletal setting. Upon returning to 500 University in mid-May, the first-year class will start their academic unit focusing on Neurological Physical Therapy practise, and the second-years will finish their Advanced Neuromusculoskeletal unit while also starting the data analysis phase for their research projects. Recently, a portion of our second-year students wrote the Physiotherapy Competency Exam, the first of two exams necessary to become registered physiotherapists.
Many students attended the Ontario Physiotherapy Association conference, InterACTION, where they had the opportunity to attend informative sessions, learn about new products, and network with physiotherapy students from other schools and practising physiotherapists. A small group of students will be flying out to Victoria, British Columbia at the end of May to attend the Canadian Physiotherapy Association Congress to continue expanding on their knowledge and professional development.
Coming up, we have a resume workshop planned for our second-year students in mid-May to help prepare them for their job hunt after graduation. A job fair has also been planned for the end of June, where numerous employers will attend and students will be able to inquire about job opportunities. Students are also looking forward to Grad Formal which will take place on July 21 at the Eglinton Grand.
Kind Regards,

Mujeeb Duranai
PT Student Council President 2015-2016

Continuing Education and Professional Development Courses


Exercise Training in Pulmonary Rehabilitation:

A Practical Approach

November 12 & 13, 2016

Taught by a group of internationally-recognized experts in pulmonary rehabilitation, this course will provide an evidence-based overview of pulmonary rehabilitation with a special focus on exercise that will be relevant for rehabilitation and exercise professionals. 

Advancing Diabetes Care Education (ADVICE)

Sept 26, 2016

The Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto is pleased to offer an online Continuing Education Program that focuses on the current knowledge of best practice in the area of diabetes education.

This program is designed to provide you with the tools you need to manage and educate your patients. It can enhance your knowledge on all aspects of diabetes management including disease process, glycemic targets, medication/nutritional management, diabetic complications as well as the education theory and self-management strategies that can enhance the education of all your patients living with or at risk for diabetes.

Learn More

OIEPB Program Updates

On April 6, 2016 the Ontario Internationally Educated Physical Therapy Bridging (OIEPB)   Program Class of 2016 celebrated their graduation with an awards ceremony and reception held at The University of Toronto Faculty Club.

Family, friends, faculty and honoured guests were in attendance to recognize these 26 internationally educated physical therapists as they celebrated their successful completion of the Comprehensive Bridging Program. 

Dr. Sharon Switzer McIntyre, OIEPB Program Director and Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy welcomed guests Dr. Allan Kaplan, Vice- Dean, Graduate and Academic Affairs, Professor Susan McCahan, Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education and Christina Martins, Parliamentary Assistant to Honourable Michael Chan, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. Each esteemed guest shared thoughts, words of wisdom and offered congratulations to the graduates.

Then on behalf of the graduates, Class President Rodolfo Lastimosa expressed gratitude and appreciation to all those who have supported the Bridging Program. As well, several graduates representing their source countries of Brazil, Columbia, India, Iran, Pakistan, Philippines and the United States described how the program impacted and changed their lives both personally and professionally in a series of moving speeches. Following the speeches, a reception was enjoyed by everyone. Congratulations to the graduating Class of 2016!
The Ontario Internationally Educated Physical Therapy Bridging (OIEPB) Program welcomes the Class of 2017. Classes started with Academic Residency Week on April 25, 2016. The 35 internationally educated physical therapists were excited to begin the 10 month Comprehensive program. It was a busy week for them; immersed into many aspects of the curriculum, clinical education and university life. To end the week, the OIEPB traditional Cultural Potluck was held on the last day of residency week. Everyone shared one of their favourite dishes from their country of origin. It was a gastronomic feast enjoyed by all!

OIEPB Online Course and Workshop Registration Updates:

Registration for the Fall Session of Physical Therapy and the Canadian Health Care System online course is now open. This 6 week course is offered from September 22, 2016 to November 3, 2016. Enrollment is limited. Register and apply now to confirm your spot.

The next full day Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) Exam Skills Preparation Workshop will be on June 11, 2016. Registration is open and will close once maximum enrollment is reached. Apply now to confirm your spot.
We are now accepting registrations for the FALL Series of Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) Exam Skills Preparation Workshops: OSCE A and OSCE B Workshops.

OSCE A Workshop will be a full day held on Saturday, September 24, 1016. Apply now as spots fill quickly.

OSCE B Workshop – New for October 2016, we are offering 2 banks of different Practice Exams stations. Choose either or both the Blue or Red Bank of practice stations. Visit our website for further details and registration information.  Apply now as these workshops fill up months in advance.

Mini-Physio School


Be a physiotherapist for 6 weeks!

October 11 to November 15, 2016 - Tuesdays 6:30-8:30 pm

The Department of Physical Therapy is offering you the opportunity to learn about physiotherapy.  A 2 hour session on important topics will be held each week from October to November, 2016.  Participants will have access to taped lectures and handouts, so there is no need to worry if you miss a session!
Topics will include: 
  • The Importance of Physical Activity
  • Balance, Resistance, and Aerobic Training
  • Exercise and Disease, including:
    • Arthritis
    • Cancer
    • Cardiovascular Disease
    • Osteoporosis
  • Common Sports Injuries
  • Understanding Medical Studies
For more information, contact Dr. Dina Brooks at (416) 978-1739 or
2016 Toronto ABI Network Conference
Date: November 10 & 11, 2016
Location: Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre Hotel
Phone: 416-597-3422 ext. 3448
Registration will open in June. 

The Call for Abstracts is now open.

Event Website:
Call for Abstracts:
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