Message from the Dean

When the COVID-19 pandemic reached Manitoba in March, it significantly changed our lives and the way we educate. Working from home and online exams became reality and we quickly had to adapt. The resilience of our faculty and staff was impressive, especially as the pandemic hit right as exams were about to start. The physical therapy department, for example, had only days to develop and implement a plan to use video demonstrations for clinical exams, a unique experience that offered students a fresh perspective on what they’ve learned. 

Our occupational therapy department had to revamp its schedule to allow first-year students to do their fieldwork in the fall, as it wasn’t possible in the spring/summer. Thanks to an impressive team effort, fall courses were offered online months earlier and everyone persevered. Final-year MOT students are currently in their advanced placements and will be finished in September, thanks to great support from our clinical community. Final-year respiratory therapy students received active practicing graduate licenses after completing their program so they could join the fight against the novel coronavirus. The pandemic highlighted the importance of their role in critical care, and all RT graduates have found jobs during this unprecedented time. Research related to the practice of our professions and related areas is also an important part of this college, and much of it was shut down temporarily. Thankfully, we are able to get our research underway again, not only in our labs but in the community as well.

Thank you to all those in the clinical community who have supported our students in their training, and the professional associations and regulatory bodies for supporting our efforts. I also extend my sincere gratitude to our faculty and staff for your exceptional work during this unprecedented time. Together we will get through this.

Pandemic-inspired guide to physical therapy at home helpful any time

A small team of faculty and students from the department of physical therapy has created a guide to help people find online resources to assist with their physical therapy needs at home.

Read the full story on UM Today.

Online conference highlights smart technologies

Technology that can make eating utensils and clothing “smarter” took top prizes at the 2020 Augmented Human Conference, hosted by the College of Rehabilitation Sciences on May 27 to 28. The event, hosted in Canada for the first time, was originally scheduled to be held at Fort Garry campus but had to be moved to an online format due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Read full story on UM Today.

Respiratory therapy students receive graduate licenses amidst COVID-19

Third-year students in the respiratory therapy program at the College of Rehabilitation Sciences received active practicing graduate licenses from the Manitoba Association of Registered Respiratory Therapists (MAART) in April after completing their program during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more in UM Today.

Physical therapy department revamps clinical exams to ensure graduation

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Manitoba in March, UM students were soon facing a “new reality” of online exams from home. For some health-related programs, where students also needed to be tested on practical skills to graduate, it was particularly challenging.

Read more in UM Today.

Read new issue of RadyUM magazine online

The summer 2020 issue of the RadyUM magazine is digital only and now available online. This issue features profiles on Dr. Cara Brown, assistant professor of occupational therapy, and physical therapy alumna Caitlin Trakalo.

Read more on UM Today.

Lisa Mendez highlighted for interprofessional work with Indigenous communities

Lisa Mendez, interprofessional practice coordinator with the Office of Interprofessional Collaboration (OIPC) at the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, was spotlighted this month in the University of Toronto’s Centre for Interprofessional Education newsletter, highlighting her work in collaborating with rural/remote Indigenous communities to develop immersive interprofessional community engagement experiences.

 Read more on UM Today.

Cara Brown receives funding from CFN

Dr. Cara Brown recently received $84, 614 from the Canadian Frailty Network (CFN), for her initiative Addressing Frailty with Community-Directed Physical Activity Programs in Manitoban First Nations Communities.

Read more.

Thille to discuss new book chapter in August

Dr. Patty Thille, assistant professor in the department of physical therapy, will be doing a public talk via the international Critical Physiotherapy Network in August, to discuss her and co-authors’ forthcoming book chapter in Mobilizing Knowledge: Critical reflections on the foundations and practice of physiotherapy, to be published in October 2020 by Routledge. Those interested in attending can contact Patty, who will forward the webinar info.

Scruby, L. (PI), Alessi-Severini, S., Fricke, M., Whetter, I., Harder, N. & Isse, A.  Designing Interprofessional Simulation Based on Student Feedback and Evidence in the Practice of Refugee Health Care Provision. Manitoba Centre of Nursing Health Research Collaborative Research Grant ($7,500).

Pachu, N., Strachan, S., Ripat, J., McMillan, D., & Webber, S.C. (in press). University students’ knowledge, self-efficacy, outcome expectations, and barriers related to reducing sedentary behavior: A qualitative study. American Journal of College Health

Thille, P., Frank, A., Sudmann, T.S. (in press) Finding the right track: Embodied reflecting teams for generous physiotherapy. In D. Nicholls, KS Groven, EA Kinsella & RL Anjum (Eds.) Mobilizing Knowledge: Critical reflections on the foundations and practice of physiotherapy, to be published in October 2020 by Routledge.

Collaborating for Health and Wellness

Virtual Conference

Hosted by the College of Rehabilitation Sciences with the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management and School of Rehabilitation Science, University of Saskatchewan.

Keynote speaker: Catherine Donnelly

Catherine Donnelly is an associate professor at the School of Rehabilitation Therapy and director of the Health Services and Policy Research Institute at Queen’s University. Her clinical research is focused on team-based primary care with an emphasis on understanding how interprofessional primary care teams can support older adults and individuals with chronic conditions. Donnelly’s educational research explores interdisciplinary education and the integration of theory to practice. She continues to work as an occupational therapist at the Queen’s Family Health Team – Belleville site one day/week. 

October 1 - 2, 2020

For information, contact


60th Anniversary

1960 - 2020

This year marks the 60th Anniversary of the opening of the School of Medical Rehabilitation, now the College of Rehabilitation Sciences. Homecoming in September will mark the start of our 60th anniversary celebrations throughout the upcoming year. Watch your email for more details.