Rehab Sciences, MPAS grads celebrate first convocation on Bannatyne campus

Scott Coley had a lot to celebrate when he put on his cap and gown for the University of Manitoba fall convocation on Oct. 26 for College of Rehabilitation Sciences and Master of Physician Assistant Studies programs.

In addition to his Bachelor of Respiratory Therapy (BRT) degree, 28-year-old Coley received a Gold Medal award for attaining the highest degree grade point average in the program, and did so while balancing a very busy home life. Three weeks before graduating, he and his wife, Katherine, became first-time parents.

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Illuminate series sheds light on timely topics

The College of Rehabilitation Sciences in the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences hosted two presentations at the Bannatyne campus this month as part of its Illuminate speaker series.

On Oct. 9, Dr. Justyn Pisa, coordinator of the University of Manitoba’s Surgical Hearing Implant Program, discussed the evolution of audiology in Manitoba over the last decade.

Dr. Mary Forhan (pictured above, centre), an associate professor at the University of Alberta’s department of occupational therapy, visited the campus on Oct. 16 to discuss methods of providing quality care for patients with bariatric care needs in both hospital and community settings. “Bariatric care needs are a human rights issue,” Forhan said.

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Homecoming event welcomes alumni, explores possibilities

A “world of possibilities” was the theme at the College of Rehabilitation Sciences’ Homecoming dinner and reception held Sept. 28 at Canad Inns Health Sciences Centre. The evening included presentations focusing on technology’s evolving role in health care, including robotics and virtual reality.

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21 students take part in inter-professional practice opportunity

Lisa Mendez, in her role at the Office of Interprofessional Collaboration, organized the second annual two-week inter-professional practice opportunity for students in the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences. 

Twenty-one students representing eight professions participated, including four students from occupational therapy and one from each of physical therapy and respiratory therapy. The students learned from, about and with each other in one of five communities: Fisher River Cree Nation, Lake Manitoba First Nation, Misipawistik Cree Nation, Norway House Cree Nation and Pinaymootang First Nation.

Lisa Diamond-Burchuk (occupational therapy), Moni Fricke (physical therapy) were two of the on-site facilitators who supported the students during their time in the communities.

How does your engine run?

A program teaching children with sensory processing issues how to self-regulate has been adapted by the department of occupational therapy and Bridgecare Clinic for immigrant and refugee children who have experienced trauma.

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Wheelchair skills boot camp preps OT students for practice

An innovative “boot camp” designed to train occupational therapy students in wheelchair skills has increased the learners’ capacity in manual wheelchair use as well as their confidence to train and assess wheelchair skills, a study by three Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) students at the University of Manitoba has found.

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Dr. Leanne Leclair named new OT department head

On July 1, Dr. Leanne Leclair assumed the role of department head for the occupational therapy department after completing a six-month research study leave. She takes over from Dr. Pam Wener, who completed her term as acting department head on June 30.

The department thanks Pam for her leadership over the past two-and-a-half years.

Dr. Tony Szturm

Physical therapy professor Dr. Tony Szturm recently set up a formal research collaboration with Dr. Amitesh Narayan, a physiotherapy professor at Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University in Mangalore, India in the area of neuro-pediatrics and child development. This is in addition to two other research collaborations Szturm established in India with help of research exchanges led by Dr. Anuprita Kanitkar with Dr. Sanjay Parmar in neuro-pediatrics and child development and Dr. Dorcas in the area of adult strokes. Szturm also has two other India research collaborations in the works, one in Bangalore and one in Pune.

Dr. Moni Fricke

Department of physical therapy assistant professor Dr. Moni Fricke recently received two appointments – to the Shared Health Manitoba Provincial Clinical Team, Geriatrics and Rehabilitation and the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators’ board of examiners. Fricke also recently received the RFHS-CCA Educator Award for the College of Rehabilitation Sciences.

Roland Lavallée

In July, physical therapy chair of admissions Roland Lavallée was the chief examiner at the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA) orthopaedic division’s Intermediate Practical Examination in Paris, France. Physiotherapists in Paris have been following the division’s level system for the past six years and are working toward the Canadian advanced clinical certification. Once they earn this recognition they will be able to join the international federation’s group of countries that have advanced clinical practice around the world. Canada is the only country to have ever shared its orthopaedic intellectual property to advance another country’s clinical practice.

Mike McMurray

Mike McMurray, who was recently promoted to senior instructor with the physical therapy department, will travel with Skate Canada to the Rostelecom Cup as the team’s sports physiotherapist. The senior Grand Prix figure skating event takes place Nov. 13 – 19 in Moscow, Russia.

Dr. Mark Garrett

Physical therapy academic coordinator of clinical education Dr. Mark Garrett was recently elected as chair of the National Association for Clinical Education in Physiotherapy (NACEP) and co-chair for the College of Physiotherapists of Manitoba (CPM) council.

Dr. Jacquie Ripat

Dr. Jacquie Ripat was appointed research lead for the College of Rehabilitation Sciences and director of the Applied Health Sciences (AHS) PhD program for the period of July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2022. Ripat is on research study leave until Jan. 1, 2019, but will continue as research lead and director of AHS during that time.

Maureen Walker

Physical therapy instructor Maureen Walker recently received the College of Rehabilitation Sciences Graduating Class Teaching Award for physical therapy).

Lisa Diamond-Burchuk

Lisa Diamond-Burchuk was hired into a full-time continuing senior instructor position in the occupational therapy department.

Dr. Amine Choukou

Dr. Mohamed (Amine) Choukou joined the department of occupational therapy on Oct. 1 in the role of assistant professor, with a specific focus on Ambient Assisted Living. Dr. Choukou holds a PhD in Human Kinetics from the Université de Paris Sud and recently completed a post-doctorate at Laval University in Quebec City with a focus on rehabilitation and assistive technology. He comes to us from Quebec where he served as the research and development director at TOPMED.

Dr. Ed Giesbrecht

Dr. Ed Giesbrecht has received tenure and was promoted to associate professor in the occupational therapy department. He has a strong focus on wheelchair mobility.

Margaret Anne Campbell-Rempel

Margaret Anne Campbell-Rempel was recently promoted to senior instructor in the occupational therapy department. She graduated with a master of science degree in October.

Lisa Mendez

Lisa Mendez was recently promoted to a senior instructor position in the occupational therapy department.

Alison Pagsuyuin

Alison Pagsuyuin joined the faculty in August with a term position as instructor for both academic years in the respiratory therapy bachelor’s program.

Ken Chambers

Ken Chambers will be steeping down as department head of the respiratory therapy division at the end of this calendar year. The college has formed a search committee for a replacement.

Denise Mackey

Denise Mackey is pursuing her master’s degree this fall at Lakehead University, in the field of Public / Indigenous Health.

Dr. Patty Thille

The physical therapy department recently welcomed Dr. Patty Thille as assistant professor for primary care and rehabilitation research.

Students support underrepresented adults in First Nations community

OT students Francis Diaz (left) and Taya Palmeruk (centre) completed work placements at Pinaymootang First Nation Health Centre, a small facility with a staff of about 30 that serves Pinaymootang and surrounding communities. The students were supervised remotely by Lisa Diamond-Burchuk.

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Advanced placements in India for four OT students

We had four OT students complete their advanced placement in India at Amar Seva Sangam. This placement is part of a national collaboration between Canadian OT programs and Amar Seva Sangam.

Access centres welcome PT clinical opportunities

This year the physical therapy department created two clinical education opportunities at Access Fort Garry and Access River East, which do not currently have a physiotherapist on staff. Supervision of the eight students was led by Liz Harvey  with assistance from by Maureen Walker and Mike McMurray from April to June.

New sites at IERHA and WRHA

We also had the opportunity to work with other new sites: Alisia Roos, Behaviour Resource and Consultation Team, and Allison Ficzycz, Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Mobile Crisis Services in the Interlake Eastern Regional Health Authority (IERHA); and Randi Vandale and Kaitlin Braun at Priority Home Services in the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA).

Ebb and Flow First Nation

Pam Becker (OT) and Melanie Sheldon (PT) of the Rehabilitation Centre for Children supervised an inter-professional placement for pair of students (one MOT2 and one MPT2). This placement occurred at Ni-Niin-Jaan-Is-Ag in Ebb and Flow First Nation with on-site support provided by Vanessa Hunter, Case Manager. Lisa Mendez was instrumental in spearheading this placement through the Office of Interprofessional Collaboration.

Marymound Pelletier Hope Centre

Christina Rambarran supervised our first placement at Marymound Pelletier Hope Centre. Lindsey McCormick supervised our first full-time placement with Stony Mountain Institution

My Health Teams

There were a number of new placements on My Health Teams supervised by Jessica Van Loon (River Heights/Fort Garry), Lucette Lemoine (St. Boniface/St. Vital), Kayla Maubert (Downtown/Point Douglas) and Shirley Ramos (Seven Oaks Inkster).

Deer Lodge Centre

Carolyn Klassen supervised two MOT2 students who completed a role-emerging placement at the Operational Stress Injury Clinic at Deer Lodge Centre with onsite support from Dr. Pamela Holens (psychologist). This placement resulted in an occupational therapy position after the placement was completed.

Nicole Springer supervised a role-emerging placement at Deer Lodge Centre in the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program with onsite support from Dana Kliewer (PT).


Julie Huish supervised a role-expanding placement with two students at Specialized Services for Children and Youth - Rehabilitation Centre for Children (SCCY-RCC) looking at assistive technology and mobility for children. The primary focus of this placement was on program development and implementation of an early power mobility program to engage preschool children ages 1-6 in driving skills. 

Several recent publications feature contributions from our faculty. Among these are:

Ahmadi, S., Sepehri, N., Wu, C., Szturm, T. (2018). Sample Entropy of Human Gait Center of Pressure Displacement: A Systematic Methodological Analysis. Entropy

Beauchet, O; Sekhona, H; Barden, J ; Liu-Ambrose, T; Chester, Vl; Szturm, T; Grenier, S; Leonard, G; Bherer, L; Allali, G; Canadian Gait Consortium (2018) Association of Motoric Cognitive Risk Syndrome with Cardiovascular Disease and Risk Factors: Results from an Original Study and Meta-Analysis. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease

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Faculty members received several grants and awards over the past months. The following were among those funded:

College of Rehabilitation Sciences Endowment FundWebber, S.C., Cooper, L., MacDonald, L., Parsons, J., Strachan, S., Wener, P.. Effect of Curriculum Changes on Wellness in Master of Physical Therapy Students. ($3,510)

College of Rehabilitation Sciences Endowment FundWebber, S.C., Garrett, M., Parsons, J., Ryan-Arbez, N. Developing Quiz Questions to Enhance Formative Assessment in MPT1 Courses. ($3,362)

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Illuminate Speaker Series:

Treating Older Adults Like Masters Athletes

Nov. 9, 2018

Christina Prevett will be the featured speaker. Prevett graduated with a masters in physiotherapy from McMaster University in 2013. She is a believer in the strength of exercise for rehabilitation, especially with older adults. She obtained her Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist accreditation in 2014 and is the owner of a physiotherapy-gym hybrid facility advocating for health and fitness, as well as the role of physiotherapists in that discussion.

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