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PT Link                            
                                                                                                                                             January 2017

Message from the Chair

Happy New Year friends!

This is an exciting year for our department, as we celebrate 100 years of physical therapy at University of Toronto! 2017 will be a year of celebration, reflection and honouring those who have made our program what it is today. These celebrations, which we will be announcing throughout the year, will bring together our students, alumni and community.

To kick-off our 100th anniversary, we are asking for your help. Our department is recognizing notable physiotherapy alumni, and we are hoping you will consider nominating a graduate. This issue of PT Link highlights Joan Pape, who graduated from our program in 1946. Her efforts and dedication to physical therapy have made a huge impact on our profession, and I hope you enjoy reading her story as much as I did.

This issue’s PT Profile features Dr. Sheila Ritcey, president of the University of Toronto Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Alumni Association.  Sheila has a long history with the University of Toronto beginning in 1957 with a Diploma in Physical and Occupational Therapy. She remains an integral part of our department, and we are grateful for her commitment to our alumni.

Bundle up, stay warm, and enjoy our first PT Link issue of 2017!


W. Darlene Reid, BMR (PT), PhD
Professor and Chair
Nominate a Notable Alumni!

As part of the 100th anniversary of physical therapy at the University of Toronto in 2017, we are recognizing notable physiotherapy alumni.

Please consider nominating a notable graduate.

What do we mean by “notable”? These are outstanding physiotherapists that have made a significant impact in related practice, education, research, advocacy or in the public domain. Selected notable graduates will be featured on our website and through other communication channels including Twitter and PT Link Newsletter.

If you know of a physical therapy graduate who has made a difference, please complete this very brief nomination form.

Follow us on Twitter @UofT_PT
Notable Alumni: Joan Pape

Graduation Year: 1949

Joan Pape has devoted nearly 70 years of her life to the profession of physiotherapy as a dedicated pioneer, advocate, leader and archivist. Joan has held various roles: staff physiotherapist,  Director of Physiotherapy (Orthopeadic and Arthritic Hospital; WSIB Hospital), founding member and President of the Ontario Physiotherapy Association and Executive Director, President, Lifelong Member and founding archivist of CPA.

In her early work, Joan advocated for direct access for physiotherapists. Joan was awarded the prestigious Arbor Award from University of Toronto in 2014 for exceptional volunteer work.  She has been a volunteer at Providence Healthcare helping to serve mass in the Houses of Providence (a long-term care home) for almost 20 years. The staff of Providence Healthcare were honoured to have Joan share her legacy with them as the opening speaker for the annual PT Practice Day in 2015. 

In addition to these pursuits, Joan is an avid opera fan who has travelled the world to hear opera performed in several continents. She continues to stay busy, helping the CPA work towards their centenary celebrations in 2020 by collaborating on CPA archival projects.

PT Link Profile: Dr. Sheila Ritcey

Dr. Sheila Ritcey is president of the University of Toronto Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Alumni Association.  Sheila has a long history with the University of Toronto beginning in 1957 with a Diploma in Physical and Occupational Therapy and continuing with a BSc.PT in 1976, a MA in 1979 and a PhD 1986.
Sheila has enjoyed a diverse career that has included clinical service in acute and rehabilitation settings, and supervisory roles for rehabilitation services at provincial and municipal levels of government and the private sector.
Education has been a primary focus of Sheila’s career, with a focus on practical experience in the delivery of a variety of rehabilitation models in institutions and the community. Sheila has emphasized the collaborative role of physiotherapy and the changing role of rehabilitation professionals. She is a strong advocate of client-focused care and goals based on client needs.
Sheila’s teaching opportunities have involved lecturing and providing training to students from varied vocations in universities, community colleges and private corporations. In 2006, her passion for quality education was acknowledged by the Educational Excellence for Community Care Award, presented by the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto.
Sheila has given many presentations reflecting the significant influence of physiotherapy across our society including PT World Congress:“Meeting the Ethical Challenges of Community Work” June 2007; International Symposium on Global Rehabilitation Trends:“City of Toronto Case Study” 1997; Occupational Health and Safety Canada:“Psychological Job Matching: Designing Effective Return to Work Programs” 1996; and OACCAC Conference: “A Learning Model to Facilitate the Transfer of Knowledge Into Practice: Introducing An Ethical Review Record Into Performance Review” June 2011.
Competence in the Institutionalized Elderly: “The Golden Dialectic” was the subject of Sheila’s dissertation and she has maintained an interest in the challenges of the aging process. She believes the skills of physiotherapists are ideal for today’s aging demographics and the prevalence of chronic disease.
Physiotherapy offers hope and practical options for those who wish to retain optimal function and improve quality of life as they age.
Sheila continues to work with Personal Support Workers to emphasize the importance of mobility and to reinforce the collaborative role between physiotherapists and support personnel. This collaboration is essential to improve the quality of care provided by the 100,000 Personal Support Workers delivering service in Ontario.
As the 100th anniversary of physiotherapy at University of Toronto approaches, Sheila looks forward to celebrating a profession that has enriched her life, and those of so many patients. Her interest in education and the aging process will continue to be reflected in her teaching and involvement with alumni and colleagues. 
Four daughters and eight grandchildren will demand mobility and optimal function as she navigates the life of an octogenarian.
Doctor's Notes

Dr. Barabara Gibson tells Toronto Star readers it is time to stop portraying childhood disability as tragic or inspirational.

By actually listening to disabled people, we realize they are “disabled by” their worlds more than by their bodily differences.

Read more
PT in the News
Students Giving Back: Thusheinth Sivarajah
Thusheinth uses karate as a platform to give back to his community.

Students Giving Back: Kiera McDuff
Kiera is committed to helping people in Toronto who lack access to food.

Autism Services Advocate: Off the Clock with Sharon Gabison
Prof. Gabison shares her work as the director of the Ontario Autism Coalition.

Students and Faculty Celebrate the Holidays!
Students and faculty celebrated our annual Festivus!

Privilege and Oppression: Two Sides of the Same Coin
Dr. Stephanie Nixon is facing difficult questions head-on.

A Bridge to Practice
OIEPB alumna Tathiana Santana Shiguemoto shares her journey to becoming a licensed physiotherapist in Canada. 

Congratulations Class of 2016!
The MScPT Graduating Class of 2016 celebrated in a series of Convocation events.
Awards & Grants
Students volunteered to create packages for the homeless.

Student Council Update

Happy New Year from Student Council!


It was a sprint to the end of the year for both classes with the PT1s finishing off Unit 1/2 and the PT2s closing off 10 weeks of clinical placement; but with all of us back in the building, 500 University Ave is bustling with energy!


On December 8, 2016, faculty and students gathered to celebrate Festivus- an annual holiday celebration organized by Student Council with lots of food, ugly Christmas sweaters and hilarious performances. The faculty performed their own take on "The Rick Mercer Show", substituting Dina Brooks for Rick. Students gave musical performances and presented festive videos (one of them was even featured on Physiogram!). Over the course of the evening, the room was full of laughter and cheer. Festivus was a fantastic way to end the year with our PT family.


With the holiday season being a special time of year, both classes came together to make our philanthropic initiatives a huge success. In December, the PT1 students came together as a class to raise $600 in only 2 days for those experiencing homelessness in Toronto. During one lunch hour, over 30 packages were created, including: food, hats, mittens, granola bars, water, fruit snacks and pudding. The remainder of the money raised was donated to our second initiative: giving back to the many therapists at The Hospital for Sick Children (Sick Kids) for their continued support of our structured clinical sessions, clinical placements and expertise in labs. A total of $1,260 was raised through different initiatives including a Go-Fund Me account, a Zumba class, and donations from PT1 students.

With the funds raised, a significant amount of equipment was bought for the rehab team at Sick Kids including basketball nets, bean bags, yoga cards, dumbbells, chairs, tables, balls and toys, to name a few. To say the least, as Student Council we are very proud of the compassionate student body that surrounds us, and those specific individuals who worked hard to make these fundraisers a huge success! It is true that many hands make light work.


There are many events for students to look forward in the upcoming weeks, including Frost Week (a week full of friendly spirited competition between the two classes) and a weekend-trip to Blue Mountain in early February. Intramurals will be up and running shortly and students are eager to bring home even more Championship banners and T-shirts this semester. Last semester, we were able to capture 6 Championships!


Over the next month, the PT1 students will be busy with Unit 3 (Musculoskeletal) content while also getting eager to enter their first clinical placement come February. PT2 students are quickly getting into Unit 8 (Advanced Neuromusculoskeletal) material and will be starting the data collection portion of their research projects shortly.

Kaela Newman
President, PT Graduate Student Association, 2016-2017

Program Updates

The Ontario Internationally Educated Bridging Program continues to introduce innovative methods of delivering the 10 month Comprehensive Bridging Program, courses and workshops through integrating the use of audio/visual technology in the classrooms and labs. The Bridging Program has been successful in reaching out to Internationally Educated Physiotherapists (IEPTs) across Ontario, Canada, and the world. 

As we are funded by the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, our faculty, staff and clinical partners are committed to continuing to improve the accessibility of the OIEPB Program for IEPTs in Ontario, to assist them in their journey to becoming Registered Physiotherapists in Ontario.
The employment rate for graduates of the 10 month Comprehensive Bridging Program is 100% once they are registered to practice in Canada. Graduates are successfully employed either in the Greater Toronto Area of Ontario or choose to work in other cities. You will find alumni in Ontario cities such as Barrie, Bolton, Cornwall, London, Marathon, Midland, Milton, North Bay, St. Catharines and Terrace Bay.

As well, OIEPB alumni have moved across Canada to start their physiotherapy careers in provinces such as British Columbia, Alberta and Nova Scotia. Whichever province our graduates choose to start their professional career in Canada, they will always remain connected to Ontario and to the Bridging Program at the University of Toronto.  Here are a few excerpts from emails we received from our learners:

“I would like to inform you [of my] happy news that I received a full time Physiotherapist position with [name of physiotherapy corporation] in Nanaimo, B.C. I am so proud of myself to be part of Canada's privately owned  leading  healthcare provider and one of Canada's 50 best managed companies… Also, I will be connected to a large network of PTs across Canada. Without [the] OIEPB Program and each of your support, guidance and help…this would not have happened. I am (as well as my family) excited and preparing for this big move”.       
(OIEPB Alumni Class of 2015, Mar 2015, Ontario)
“I am glad to let you know that with what I have learned during the program and with all your support, I could join the team of Physiotherapists at St. Michael's Hospital and it is now two days that I am officially an employee at St. Michael's.  But our success did not stop here. Last week, after the grad ceremony day, I received a phone call from Southlake Regional Hospital about the job offer at Southlake Regional Hospital that I had applied and attended the interview. [It] was my second interview in my job search. I would not have been able to do this without the Bridging Program and I believe in the strength of your team. I am passionate about physiotherapy and I always wanted to work in an environment that will help me grow professionally. Now I am on the way towards my dream. I have done this with the help of an amazing team and to pursue my dream, I will need your continuing support and encouragement. Thank you all for your enthusiasm, time, support and for sharing your knowledge and experience with us.”         
(OIEPB Alumni Class of 2015, Mar 2015, Ontario)

“I just wanted to let you know, I've been called in for a casual position with Alberta Health Services! It was the Bridging Program that helped me [to be] considered for this position here. The PT-Manager, [name of manager at Regional Hospital] …contacted me last Friday with regards to meeting him and I went in to meet him. He called me with the news of HR approval today. I'm really truly blessed and honored to have been a part of this wonderful Bridging Program. Thanking you and the program will never ever be enough, and I really mean it.                   
(OIEPB Alumni Class of 2016, Nov 2016, Alberta)
“I wanted to update you on our Physiotherapist recruitment.  We are pleased to be able to say that [name of OIEPB Alumni from the Class of 2016] accepted a full-time position with us. It was a difficult decision as both of the candidates from the Bridging Program did well in the interviews.  However, we are very excited to have [name of OIEPB Alumni from the Class of 2016] come and work with us. We cannot thank you enough for all of your assistance in our recruitment process.  If there is anything that we can do to assist you in promotion of the program, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you again!          
(Employer, Director of Human Resources/Chief Operating Officer, Oct 2016, Terrace Bay and Marathon, ON)
We are happy to announce that our Physiotherapy Practice within the Canadian Health Care Context course is on the top of the list of approved courses that meets the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulator’s credentialing requirements. This course provides  knowledge of the practice of physiotherapy within the Canadian Healthcare System and helps to expedite their journey to becoming registered to practice in Canada. 

IEPTs in the process of immigrating to Canada can register and participate in this online course from their source country. This course is also immensely popular with Canadian students studying physiotherapy abroad seeking to return home to practice in Canada.

We are very excited about the wide array of educational programming we have developed and continue to develop to meet the learning needs of both internationally and Canadian educated physiotherapists for this upcoming year!

For more information regarding the Ontario Internationally Educated Physiotherapy Bridging Program please visit our website at: or contact Sharon Switzer-McIntyre ( directly.

Continuing Education & Professional Development Courses


Congratulations to all PTs who completed a Fall, 2016 Continuing Education course including:

  • Oxygen administration and titration for physical therapists
  • Electrophysical agents: an evidence informed clinical review and update
  • Exercise training in pulmonary rehabilitation

Upcoming Winter Courses
Functional Electrical Stimulation in Neurorehabilitation
An Online Course for Physical and Occupational Therapists
Instructor: Dr Kristen Mussleman
Now accepting applications
April 1, 2017 to May 12, 2017

This course provides an evidence-based, clinically focused approach to functional electrical stimulation for Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists. The program is a fully online course that provides an opportunity for therapists across Canada to advance their knowledge and practice in the use of FES.
Suctioning Skills and Clinical Decision Making for Physical Therapists
Online Learning
Participants should expect to devote 2-3 hours on pre-course learning
Pre-course materials will be released 1 week before (February 4, 2017)
Onsite Workshop: February 11, 2017
8:00 am-1:00pm
Instructors: Lindsay Beavers, Erin Miller, Lisa Wickerson

This course is intended for Physical Therapists who wish to advance their knowledge and skills related to suctioning and clinical decision making in the adult population. The course is designed to include online pre-course learning and a half-day on-site workshop using simulation.

Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Department of Physical Therapy
Department of Speech-Language Pathology

The Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, Department of Physical Therapy, and Department of Speech-Language Pathology are currently accepting applications for INITIAL AND RE-APPOINTMENT for Status-Only and Adjunct Appointments for the term beginning July 1, 2017. We invite you to apply.
The academic goals of the Rehabilitation Sciences Sector cannot be met without the participation of talented individuals from many institutions and agencies outside of the university.  The aim of Status-Only and Adjunct Appointments is to recognize the participation of highly qualified and dedicated researchers, practitioners and members of the community in the academic and clinical education components of the programs.  These appointees augment the efforts and expertise of the full-time departmental faculty. We are seeking appointees who:
  • maintain a high level of expertise and competence in their disciplines;
  • are skilled at communicating expertise to members of their respective disciplines and the broader health care community;
  • can stimulate, challenge and develop the scholarly and clinical capacity of students; and,
  • contribute to the growth of the discipline by building the body of knowledge or advancing the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of practice.
If you are interested in applying:
For Status-Only, click here.
For Adjunct, click here.
Should you have any questions, please refer to the 2016-2017 Status-Only and Adjunct Sector Guidelines, also provided on the website or contact Annmarie Riley at the applicable email address listed below:
Physical Therapy:

Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy:

Speech-Language Pathology:
The Department of Physical Therapy invites applications for the Acting Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education.   
The appointment term is from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018.  Salary will be based on qualifications and experience.
Essential criteria:
  • Holds post-professional master's degree in physical therapy, education, clinical specialty, or other related field of study
  • Currently registered for independent practice in Ontario
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience as a registered Physical Therapist
  • Membership in the Canadian Physiotherapy Association
  • Experience in teaching and/or coordination and clinical instruction
  • Exceptional communication, organizational, interpersonal, problem-solving, and counseling skills 
  • Excellent skills in facilitating discussion, planning and chairing meetings
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills with individual and groups
  • Experience responding to unexpected situations and demands using productive, positive solution-finding strategies
  • Displays a positive attitude in clinical education activities and is an advocate for the Department of Physical Therapy, its students, program and faculty
  •   Works collaboratively to strengthen academic and clinical partnerships
Desired skillset:
  • Participate in curriculum planning (develop and evaluate curriculum with the MScPT curriculum)
  • Excellent leadership skills to promote physical therapy, clinical education and capacity building in clinical education
  • Foster an atmosphere of mutual respect with stakeholders involved in clinical education
  • Able to work independently and collaborate with colleagues, students and peers
  • Excellent mentorship and consultation skills with students and clinical faculty
  • Exceptional organizational skills in coordinating the clinical education program
  • Efficient at compiling reports using data from a variety of sources
  • Proficient knowledge of Word, Excel, database management
  • Able to travel within the clinical education catchment (GTA and also includes Barrie, Mississauga and Pickering) as needed.
  • Models professional and ethical behaviours consistent with our Regulatory College and Professional Associations
DEADLINE for Applications: January 20, 2017
START DATE:  July 1, 2017
Please submit (email preferred) a cover letter clearly addressing how you meet the essential criteria and desired skillset, CV, and the names of three potential referees to:
Amanda Patterson
Business Manager
Department of Physical Therapy
Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
160-500 University Avenue
Toronto, ON M5G 1V7
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Department of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto · 160-500 University Avenue · Toronto, ON M5G 1V7 · Canada

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