Message from the Dean

This edition of the College of Rehabilitation Sciences newsletter acknowledges our new world situation with COVID-19. We are now working and living in a remote world for many activities. Our educators are working online and face-to-face in skills labs to ensure our students receive the highest quality education, while our staff work tirelessly from home in conditions that are not always remote-friendly. Many of our students are learning in challenging and novel ways, with some volunteering to help those in the community directly or indirectly affected by the pandemic. And many of our faculty are also fostering research to blunt the pandemic’s effects on vulnerable people, such as the GO-OUT study and our work with telepresence robots.

I recognize that many colleagues are on the front lines of service at this time. We’re all in this together, and must continue to work together to do our part to stem the tide sweeping over our province during the pandemic. I applaud you and commend you for your commitment to others. This college will do everything it can to support you in your work. Do not hesitate to contact me with ideas or suggestions on how we can accomplish this.

Students celebrate virtual convocation

On Oct. 22, students at the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences participated in a virtual convocation, viewing the celebration with their family and friends online rather than receiving their degrees in person as they normally would at this time. In total there are 49 students graduating from the occupational therapy program, 50 from the physical therapy program and 17 from respiratory therapy.

Read more on UM Today.

Student awards ceremony goes virtual

The College of Rehabilitation Sciences honoured 17 of its 116 Class of 2020 graduates at its Convocation Awards ceremony, held virtually on Nov. 26. Thirteen of the students were in attendance, along with several faculty members and industry presenters. 

Read more on UM Today

Bachelor of Respiratory Therapy student a double medal winner

When the UM’s double medal winner daydreams, she is lounging in a sunny Tuscan piazza enjoying the chef’s special of the day. But until travel is more of an option, Rachel Veitch, who won both the 2020 University Gold Medal and the University Program Medal will be celebrating in Manitoba.

Read more on UM Today.

Excellence in Teaching: Instructors honoured by students

Three faculty members at the College of Rehabilitation Sciences were recently recognized by their students with Excellence in Teaching awards, which are given annually to one faculty member in each of the college’s three main programs.

Read more on UM Today.

Study to help improve financial well-being of Manitobans with cognitive issues

Financial empowerment for Manitobans living with brain injuries is the focus of a new study by Occupational Therapy assistant professor Lisa Engel that recently received a boost in government funding.

Read more on UM Today.

Effects of pandemic on health care discussed at virtual conference

The effects of COVID-19 on health services was a running theme at the Collaborating for Health and Wellness Virtual Research Conference, hosted by the College of Rehabilitation Sciences, with the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management, the Applied Health Sciences doctoral program and School of Rehabilitation Science, University of Saskatchewan.

Read more on UM Today.

Projects explore dementia and frailty in First Nations communities

Physical and occupational therapy students from the College of Rehabilitation Sciences put their skills to work this summer to help Elders and those with dementia, as well as caregivers, in First Nations communities. The projects are part of the college’s Kiga mamo anokimin onji minoayawin initiative.

Read more on UM Today.

Telepresence robots to assist people with dementia, caregivers

Some individuals living with dementia will soon have a new way to interact with their caregivers, no matter where they are, with the help of telepresence robots being developed by the College of Rehabilitation Sciences. The research project received $360,000 in funding from a new partnership between Research Manitoba and the Victoria General Hospital Foundation announced Sept. 24 during World Alzheimer’s Month.

Read more on UM TodayCTV News and Canstar Community News.

PIKE-Net interns adapt to at-home research

Student interns in Prairie Indigenous Knowledge Exchange Network (PIKE-Net) this summer, had a slightly different experience than they would have had any other year, due to the office closures and social distancing measures that came with the global COVID-19 pandemic. Nichol Marsch, a Metis UM fine arts graduate, was part of the program for her second summer, as she prepares to enter the occupational therapy program in the College of Rehabilitation Sciences.

Read more on UM Today.

New students experience unique orientation in 2020

Unlike years past when socializing and getting to know new classmates were the norm during orientation, first-year students in the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences started their 2020/2021 school year in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry/dental hygiene and rehabilitation sciences with orientation activities and welcoming ceremonies in mostly virtual settings.

Read more on UM Today.

Pam Wener was recently appointed co-chair of the Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative (CIHC) Competency Revision Working Group.

Through October 2020, the following CoRS researchers contributed to our stated College of Rehabilitation Sciences mission, that is: To create, communicate and advance knowledge, skills, and behaviours in health, quality of life, and participation in collaboration with communities through research, education, and service to the people of Manitoba, Canada, and the world through the following research and scholarly activities:


Choukou, A. Implementation of a validated home tele-rehabilitation intervention for geriatric patients: perspectives of stakeholders. Mitacs: $15,000

Engel, L., Hrabi, G., Yamashita, S., Ripat, J., Khan, M., Bottari, C., Hunt, A., & Poncet, F. and the Manitoba Brain Injury Association. The financial empowerment and security of Manitoban adults living with acquired brain injury. Employment & Social Development Canada, Social Development Partnerships Program – Disability: Financial Security for Persons with Disabilities (Government of Canada): 2020-2023, $382,204 

Woodgate, R.L., Balshaw, R.F., Barriage, S, Bennett, M, Bronwell, M., Edwards, J.M., Koltek, M., Martin, D., Mcdougall, A., Mcdougall, G., McPherson, A., Rocke, C., Snow, W., Thomson, M., Wener, P., Wilson, M., Witt, J., Wood, A.  Abinoonjees Nikanenim: Delivering Mental Health Services to Youth Living in Island Lake Anishininew Nations. Canadian Institutes of Health Research: 2020-2025, $1,296,676


do Prado T, Ripat J., Parsons J.L. Evidence-based practice for non-specific low back pain: Canadian physiotherapists’ adherence, beliefs, and perspectives. Physiotherapy Canada. In press.

Parsons J.L., Ripat J. Understanding the experiences of girls using a high school weight room. Physical and Health Education Journal. In press.

Wittmeier K., Parsons J.L., Webber S.C., Askin N., Salonga A. Operational considerations for physical therapy during COVID-19: A rapid review. Physical Therapy 2020. In press.

Conference presentations

Akinrolie O., Webber S.C., Salbach N., Barclay R. Validation of an adapted questionnaire for outdoor walking among older adult: The CHAMPS-OUTDOORS. Collaborating for Health and Wellness, University of Manitoba Virtual Research Conference, Oct 1-2, 2020.

Crawford T., Parsons J.L., Webber S.C., Fricke M., Thille P. Strategies to increase access to outpatient physiotherapy services for community-dwelling adults: A scoping review. Collaborating for Health and Wellness, University of Manitoba Virtual Research Conference, Oct 1-2, 2020.

Faieta J., Best K., Miller W.C., Routhier F., Giesbrecht E. (2020). An overview of health education delivery via smart personal devices: current developments and future opportunities. American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, Oct 21-24, Atlanta, USA.

Scheller C., Parsons J.L.,  Webber S.C.Thille P.,  Arnott T, Bauer A, D’Errico D, Fillion J, Giesbrecht J, Loewen A, Tse J. Users of private physiotherapy services do not reflect the overall population in an urban centre. Collaborating for Health and Wellness, University of Manitoba Virtual Research Conference, Oct 1-2, 2020.

Thille P.Webber S.C., Parsons J.L., Prabhu D. Mapping access (in)equities to physiotherapy in Winnipeg: An environmental scan. Collaborating for Health and Wellness, University of Manitoba Virtual Research Conference, Oct 1-2, 2020.

Webber S.C., Thille P. , Cain P., Wittmeier K., Harvey L., Lui K. Attitudes towards fatness and healthy living in physical therapy clinicians and students. Collaborating to inform health system planning. Collaborating for Health and Wellness, University of Manitoba Virtual Research Conference, Oct 1-2, 2020.

Wittmeier K., Parsons J.L.Webber S.C., Askin N, Salonga A. Operational considerations for physical therapy during COVID-19: Collaborating to inform health system planning. Collaborating for Health and Wellness, University of Manitoba Virtual Research Conference, Oct 1-2, 2020.

Changes in outdoor walking and physical activity in older adults during COVID-19 restrictions

Speaker: Dr. Ruth Barclay, associate Professor, department of physical therapy, College of Rehabilitation Sciences

The ‘Getting Older adults OUTdoors’ (GO-OUT) study is a multi-centre trial evaluating interventions to improve outdoor walking in older adults who have self-described limitations in outdoor walking. We asked participants in the study about their experiences with outdoor walking and physical activity during the COVID-19 social distancing restrictions. The experiences of the participants will be presented.

Thursday, December 3
2:30 – 3:30 p.m.

Free to attend, registration required: