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 PT Link                             July 2018
Chair's Message

Summer has arrived!  I hope that you are enjoying this beautiful weather and some of your favourite outdoor activities.
2018 has been a very exciting time for The Department of Physical Therapy.  This edition of PT Link highlights the successes of the excellence and dedication of our faculty over the past six months.

First and foremost, I would like to express congratulations and best wishes to our highly esteemed faculty members: Drs. Katherine Berg, Cathy Evans and Cheryl Cott, on their recent retirement.  A celebration took place at Hart House in June, to honour their accomplishments and contributions to the Department of Physical Therapy and the University of Toronto.  Please join me in wishing Drs. Berg, Evans and Cott the very best in their retirement and the years ahead. 

Congratulations also to the faculty, administrators, and students of our Ontario Internationally Educated Physical Therapists Bridging (OIEPB) Program! After reviewing its successes thus far, the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration has awarded the OIEPB Program another three years of funding.

I am proud to be working with such a talented physical therapy community, and I wish you all a safe and happy summer.


W. Darlene Reid, BMR (PT), PhD
Professor and Chair
Drs. Cheryl Cott, Katherine Berg, and Cathy Evans retired on July 1st, 2018

A celebration in their honour took place on Thursday, June 21st at Hart House and was attended by many past students, colleagues, family, friends and students.

Drs. Berg, Cott and Evans have been an integral part of Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto, and have played an important role in advancing the education, research and practice mandate of the Department. We are very thankful for all their contributions and their lasting legacy.
Awards, Grants & Honours

Congratulations to faculty on their exceptional achievements and contributions.
Barb Gibson  -  Full Professor
Janet Parsons - Associate Professor
Sharon Switzer-McIntyre - Associate Professor

CIHR Competition
Kelly O’Brien and Stephanie Nixon

Mentorship Event:
Dina Brooks, Sharon Gabison and Martine Quesnel


Sunita Mathur
Awarded the Faculty of Medicine Early Career Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Mentorship.

Kristen Musselman
Received the RSI Early Career Award in Supervision/Mentorship

Barb Gibson 
1.  Continuing/Sustained Excellence in Graduate Supervision and Mentorship Award from the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute. The award, recognizes RSI faculty members who have made a sustained contribution to graduate student mentorship and supervision.
2.  Received the 2018 Continued/Sustained Excellence in Graduate Supervision and Mentorship award from the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute at the University of Toronto

Nancy Salbach
Recipient of the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada Ontario Mid-Career Investigator Award. This is a salary award that provides $80,000/year for 4 years to protect 75% of Nancy’s time to conduct her proposed research program entitled: “Improving mobility and physical activity through stroke prevention and rehabilitation interventions”.

Brittany McEachern
Received a Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Award

Professor Darlene Reid in the News
Prof. Reid's article: ‘Exercise should work out the brain and the body’ was featured in the Toronto Star on Monday, June 18, 2018.
Darlene notes that research shows Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease — or COPD — can affect more than your ability to breathe. It can also affect your ability to multi-task.  Please follow link to read full story:

You can watch her talk: ‘How doing two things at once can affect people with COPD’ here:
Congratulations to Susan Jaglal on the approval of the CIHR grant: An online self-management program for spinal cord injury: feasibility study of SCI&U

Persons with spinal cord injury (SCI) are at risk for many chronic health conditions like diabetes, heart disease and cancer and health complications such as a urinary tract infection, pressure ulcer or pneumonia. One-third are rehospitalized each year.  Recently, shorter lengths of stay in rehabilitation facilities have led to individuals with SCI re-entering the community with fewer self-care skills to prevent health complications.  There is a need to bridge the gap between the hospital and the home by developing and implementing strategies that increase patients’ self-care skills and involvement in and control of their care.  One strategy is to develop a targeted self-management program for individuals with SCI. Previous work by our team has confirmed the need for a self-management program for persons with SCI delivered online with peer facilitation. We are currently testing the prototype called SCI&U that was developed by a diverse team of researchers, persons with SCI and clinicians from all over Canada using a participatory design approach which includes users with SCI both as co-designers and experts. While safety and feasibility of peer-led, telephone based self-management programs for the SCI community have been recently established, there has been no rigorous study to date that examines effectiveness of an online self-management program. Such evidence would justify widespread implementation and provide a basis to advocate for program funding. In order to provide evidence, a study is needed to evaluate the impact of SCI&U on self-management skills, quality of life and hospital use. Prior to launching a large scale study however, a feasibility study is needed to inform issues with recruitment, data collection and follow-up. It is anticipated that such a program would not only reduce health complications and hospital visits, but also improve quality of life for individuals with SCI.
The Rick and Amanda Hansen Fellowship
in  Partnership with the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation and the Rick Hansen Institute

Application Deadline: August 24, 2018, 5 pm EST

In partnership, the University of Toronto, the Rick Hansen Institute and the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation are pleased to provide a two-year postdoctoral fellowship made possible by the support of the Government of Ontario.
The Rick and Amanda Hansen Fellowship, in partnership with ONF and RHI, will be awarded to a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, at the University of Toronto, who has an interest and focus in spinal cord injury research. The intended outcome of this fellowship is to increase capacity in Ontario in the area of spinal cord injury research.
Since the historic Man In Motion World Tour over 30 years ago, Rick and Amanda Hansen opened the eyes of the world to the potential of people with disabilities and have made tremendous contributions to spinal cord injury research and care. This fellowship is in support of a dedicated individual who wants to make a positive contribution in the field of spinal cord injury research.
Funding Available
The fellowship provides an annual stipend of $75,000, including benefits, for a term of two years. One fellowship will be awarded. The two-year term will begin January 1, 2019.
The fellowship application guide can be found on the Department of Physical Therapy website on the Employment Opportunities webpage under Current Post Doctoral Opportunities using the following URL:
Department of PT MOOC (Massive Open Online Course)
Managing Your Health: The Role of Physical Therapy and Exercise"
Congratulations to Dina Brooks, Brenda Mori and Euson Yeung on the creation of the first Department of PT MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) entitled:
"Managing Your Health:The Role of Physical Therapy and Exercise”.

Please feel free to encourage anyone who may be interested to sign up. It's free!  Please follow the link for more information:

About this course: Managing Your Health: The Role of Physical Therapy and Exercise will introduce learners to the concepts and benefits of physical therapy and exercise. Over six weeks learners will explore: Why physical activity and exercise are important, Exercise and Cardiovascular Disease, Exercise and Osteoporosis, Exercise and Cancer, Common Sports Injuries, Exercise and Arthritis.
MScPT Students lend a hand for FUNfitness
and Special Olympics

Every year, PT students from the University of Toronto volunteer for the FUNfitness screening event. It is clear the U of T students take pride in providing opportunities for athletes with intellectual disabilities to experience the excitement, joy and personal fulfillment associated with participating in sport. This is a very rewarding opportunity and an amazing experience to work with high school students with intellectual disabilities to improve their overall health and fitness and most importantly, add value to their participation in sport. All the PT students who volunteered were very professional and worked well with the athletes.  They communicated well with the athletes and their families and adapted the screenings as needed as was noted by the PTs who volunteered to support the students and athletes.  These student volunteers are setting an excellent example of the importance of Physical Therapy and, making a difference in the lives of athletes and their families.
           Sharon Gabison, Melanie MacKinnon, Dina Brooks, Brenda Mori, Sharon Switzer-McIntyre,                              Stephanie Nixon, Anne Agur
PT2 Grad Formal
The PT2 Grad Formal took place at the Eglinton Grand on July 19th.  This event was part of the celebrations as the second year students approach the end of their program.  Several faculty attended the event to support the students (see photo).  The event consisted of cocktails, dinner, student awards and a slide show created by the students.             
Congratulations Class of 2018!
Greetings from the PT Graduate Students Association!

Over the past few months, our team has prepared fun events for students and faculty, and we’ve raised funds for many charitable organizations in the process! Here are a few things that we’ve done over the last few months:

Movember Dodgeball Charity Tournament - November 2017 – As part of our philanthropic initiative of the month, students organized a dodgeball tournament to raise money for the Movember foundation. Thanks to students and several generous donors, we were able to raise $1060 for the foundation to promote men’s health and awareness.

Fix The 6ix Clothing Drive - December 2017 – As part of our annual Festivus event, PT students teamed up with Fix The 6ix to organize a mitten and toque drive for the homeless population around Toronto. Fix The 6ix is a charity organization that seeks to humanize homelessness and address poverty issues in Toronto. A very special mention goes to Deanna Lentini, a first year UofT PT student, who founded Fix The 6ix in 2016 and distribution of new mittens and toques to those less fortunate just as the first snowflakes started to fall.

interACTION Conference – April 2018 – Several first and second year PT students attended this year’s OPA interACTION conference in Toronto. Students were introduced to the latest technology and opportunities in PT as well as numerous educational sessions throughout the weekend. Our OPA student representatives were also on hand to vote on key advocacy issues related to the Ontario Physiotherapy Association.

Most recently, our second year PT students have completed their final research projects and are ready to begin their final clinical internship before their graduation! Our first year PT students are currently preparing for the arrival of the incoming class of 2020, and are excited to introduce them to our program with an Orientation Month of exciting activities across Toronto.

Want to know what our PT classes have been up to? Please consider following us on our social media channels!

Instagram: @UofTPT_Students (
Student Research

Exploring Mentorship from the Perspective of Physiotherapy Mentors in Canada
Lucia Yoon, Taylor Campbell, Wesley Bellemore, Nadine Ghawi, Pauline Lai, Laura Desveaux, Martine Quesnel, Dina Brooks

Purpose: This study explored the factors that influence mentors in the profession of physiotherapy (PT) in Canada when engaging in a mentorship relationship. Methods: We conducted a quantitative, cross-sectional, Web-based survey. The target population consisted of Canadian physiotherapists who had experience as mentors. We used a modified Dillman approach to disseminate an online questionnaire to members of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association and its divisions using their respective e-blasts.

Read it at PTC Online
Department of Physical Therapy
MScPT Research Day and Awards Ceremony

Wednesday July 25, 2018

We had another successful MSc.PT Research Day at the University of Toronto. Once again our students presented informative and engaging posters. The keynote address presented by Dr. Cathy Evans, traced the development of our profession and research achievements within the University of Toronto. Our Breathe in Life Poster Award this year went to two outstanding presentations. First place was Susan Bowman for her poster entitled, “ I’m not the only one: parents’ perceptions of a multi-disciplinary group therapy program for children with physical disabilities under two years” with Cathy Evans as advisor.  Second place went to Erica Zurawski, Kirsten Behm, Charlotte Dunlop and James Koo for their poster, “Inter-rater reliability for the Modified Ashworth Scale with standardized movement velocities: a pilot study” with Chris Boulias, Shannon Reid and Chetan Phadke as advisors.

On behalf of the research co-ordinators for the MSc.PT, I would like to thank our physical therapy colleagues for their support of the research curriculum.  

For the third consecutive year, Research Day was held in conjunction with the Department of Physical Therapy Recognition awards.  The awards ceremony recognizes individuals that contribute to teaching within 500 University and at our many clinical sites for excellence in teaching and clinical education.  We would like to congratulate our 148 individual award recipients and 8 team award recipients. Additionally, we awarded 4 individuals with Exceptional Achievement Awards for their long-standing commitment and dedication to the advancement of Physical Therapy. This year’s award recipients were:
  • Stephanie Lurch for Education
  • Charlotte Anderson for Practitioner
  • Denise Scott for Professional Development
  • Kristen Musselman for Research
On behalf of the Recognition Awards Committee, the Department of Physical Therapy (MScPT and OIEPB), we would like to congratulate all award recipients for their valued contribution to teaching and clinical education. For a full list of award recipients and acknowledgments, please see the attached link to the program: Recognition Award Recipients Program 2018
Continuing Education
in Physical Therapy
Upcoming Offerings

Introduction to Clinical Research to Support Evidence-Based Practice in Manual Therapy
A 9-Week Online Course Presented James Braithwaite, MScPT, FCAMPT, CIDN, CSCS
October 1-December 3, 2018
Early-bird rates available until September 10, 2018!
Participants will evaluate current research and apply research evidence in their clinical setting, through online course readings, recorded lectures, discussion board participation, a critical appraisal, and a case report. By the end of this course, you will be able to find, appraise, and apply research evidence appropriately and effectively in your own practice.

NOTE: The CPA Orthopaedic Division now requires all course participants who first registered AFTER January 2014 in their course program (L1 exam), to register in this course BEFORE registering to take the 2019 Advanced Exam. This course is now a requirement of the curriculum.

For further information or to register: Click here.
Functional Assessment: The Six-Minute Walk Test for Clinical Researchers and Clinicians
A 15-Hour Online Course Presented Lisa Wickerson, BScPT, MSc
October 3-November 14, 2018
Early-bird rates available until September 19, 2018!
Designed for both researchers and clinicians, this course provides a practical, skills-based, online overview of best practices in administering and interpreting the six-minute walk test, a common outcome measure used with many patients, including cardiorespiratory, neurological, and geriatric populations. Participants may complete the course requirements at their own pace and at any time.
For further information or to register: Click here.
Exercise Training in Pulmonary Rehabilitation: A Practical Approach
An 8-Week Online Course Presented by Dr. Sunita Mathur, PhD
Course Development/Delivery Team: Dr. D. Reid, Dr. D. Brooks, Dr. M. Nokoyama, Dr. S. Mathur, L. Wickerson
October 17-December 13, 2018
Early-bird rates available until September 30, 2018!
Participants will receive practical, skills-based, instruction on exercise testing and training in pulmonary rehabilitation. Learners will administer and interpret the results of various exercise and functional tests. We also cover aerobic, resistance, and balance training, as well as prescription based on results of exercise tests. This course makes use of online discussions, self-guided practice exercises, case studies, multiple-choice quizzes, and a reflective writing exercise. Additional course resources include online lectures, video demonstrations, selected readings, and more.
For further information or to register: Click here.

Suctioning Skills and Clinical Decision Making for Physical Therapists
A 10-Day Hybrid Online/On-site Course Presented by Lindsay Beavers, PT, BScKin, MPT and Erin Miller, PT, MScPt
October 18-28, 2018 (On-site workshop 27 October, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.)
Early-bird rates available until October 1, 2018!
This course builds on foundational physical therapy skills using clinical best practices, review, and the application of the psychomotor skills of suctioning in a variety of clinical scenarios. We welcome all PTs who wish to advance their knowledge and skills related to suctioning and clinical decision making in the adult population. Online pre-course learning includes narrated lectures, readings, and supplementary resources. The on-site workshop uses simulation manikins and equipment in real-world scenarios to provide for different types of suctioning with real-time feedback from facilitators.
For further information or to register: Click here.
Oxygen Administration and Titration for Physical Therapists and Regulated Health Professionals
A 2-Week Online Course Presented by Lindsay Beavers, PT, BScKin, MPT and Lisa Wickerson, BScPT, MSc
November 14-28, 2018
Early-bird rates available until October 24, 2018!
Participants will gain theoretical and practical knowledge and skills required to provide safe and effective oxygen administration and titration to patients across the continuum of care. We will explore pathophysiological causes of respiratory conditions and complications such as hypoxemia in the context of physical therapy interventions including oxygen titration, exercise, and mobilization.
For further information or to register: Click here.
Functional Electrical Stimulation in Neurorehabilitation
A 6-Week Online Course Presented Dr. Kristin Musselman, PhD
February 13-April 3, 2019
Early-bird rates available until January 27, 2019!
Functional electrical stimulation (FES) is a valuable therapeutic tool for physical and occupational therapists alike. Both will benefit from the evidence-based, clinically focused approach to FES provided in this fully online course, which includes six weeks of instruction comprised of pre-recorded lectures, live weekly webinars, self-directed hands-on activities, additional readings, and online quizzes. The course is designed for therapists based nationally and internationally to advance their knowledge and practice in the use of FES.
For further information or to register: Click here.

Diabetes Educator Certificate Program
A 13-Week Online Course Presented Mireille Landry, PT, MSc, and Nicola Farnell, NP
February 14-May 23, 2019
Early-bird rates available until January 27, 2019!
This fully online certificate program is designed to provide regulated health care professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to manage and educate patients with Diabetes. This course reflects competencies described in the Canadian Diabetes Educator Certification Board (CDECB) Handbook and as such will help prepare health care professionals and educators to write the Canadian Diabetes Educator Examination to become certified in Canada to work as a diabetes educator.

If you have questions about any of the courses, please contact

Hope to see you there!

The Continuing Education Team.
Class of 2019 Updates
This past spring, the bridging program welcomed their 7th cohort, the Class of 2019. These internationally educated physical therapists have immigrated from Bangladesh, Brazil, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Mauritius, Nigeria, Philippines, UAE and the United Kingdom.
            Absent: Hashmee Sumser
They were excited to start the program at the end of April with Residency Week. The week was designed to familiarize them with all aspects of the program’s online and onsite curriculum, clinical education and life at a Canadian university. The class became fast friends electing Ayodele Elugbaju and Vasanth Rajan as Co-Presidents of the class. The week ended with the OIEPB traditional cultural potluck lunch. Photos below.
                           Co-Presidents: Ayodele and Vasanth
Top Chefs for the Potluck Lunch
Term 1 is well underway with the class completing the cardiorespiratory and musculoskeletal modules.
Now onto neuro fundamentals online and labs at the end of the month. All areas of practice will be consolidated in August and all look forward to their first clinical internship in September. Have a happy and safe summer!

Find more photos and class updates in the summer edition of the OIEPB Newsletter.
Follow OIEPB on Twitter for the most up to date news and events.
Watch 8 new OIEPB Videos on YouTube. Subscribe here UTorontoPT for notifications.
OIEPB Comprehensive Program Admission

We are now accepting applications for 2019-2020. Visit our website to learn more about the admissions process or click here to apply.
Information Session
Learn more about the bridging program by signing up for the next Information Session on Wednesday, November 14, 2018 from 6:30 - 8:30pm held at 500 University Ave, Toronto, ON M5G 1V7. This is a great opportunity to meet faculty, staff and alumni. These sessions are free! Fill out the registration form to confirm your spot.
Register here.


Physiotherapy Practice within the Canadian Health Care Context

Registration is now open for the Fall Session: September 22, 2018 – October 21, 2018 

This 6 week online course fills the knowledge gap of the context of physiotherapy practice within the Canadian health care system as required by the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators.
Internationally educated physiotherapists (IEPTs) will gain an understanding of the Canadian health care system, culture and context for practice.  A diverse range of topics are covered including cultural competence, the role of the federal and provincial governments, acts and regulations guiding PT practice and client-centered care in a variety of PT roles and settings. 
Visit our website for course details and registration.

Exam Skills Preparation Workshops
Written Component Workshop:
The Written Component workshop is an exam skills development workshop to assist participants in preparing for and completing a competency-based multiple choice examination. These skills are valuable for those who are preparing for the written component of the Physiotherapy Competency Exam (PCE). Practice tests during the workshop will be conducted on a computer-based platform. The focus of the workshop is on exam-taking preparation.
Next Workshop Date- Saturday, November 3, 2018
Register here.


Clinical Component Workshop A:
Workshop A assists participants in identifying a study plan, study strategies, and knowledge or skills that are required for successful completion of an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) such as the Clinical Component of the PCE. The workshop is focused on performance tips and study strategies; is very popular and fills up quickly.

Next workshop date: Saturday, September 22, 2018
Register here.

Clinical Component Workshop B:
Workshop B builds on your skills learned in Clinical Component Workshop A. This half day session cycles through multiple written and practical stations. You will be timed at each station similar to the PCE and each station will have a simulated patient and an experienced Canadian physiotherapist as the Examiner providing valuable feedback.
We have added more dates for Workshop B. Registration is simple. Choose your day then choose a morning or afternoon session. These workshops are very popular and fill up months in advance. Sign up early to secure your spot.
Next workshop dates: Oct 13, Oct 14 and Oct 20, 2018

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Department of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto · 160-500 University Avenue · Toronto, ON M5G 1V7 · Canada

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