Author Archives: tmyerscough

OS&OT Alumna Named YMCA Woman of Excellence

Michelle Quintyn (‘81) is the President and CEO of Goodwill Industries, Ontario Great Lakes, and one of eight leaders recognized in 2017 as a YMCA woman of excellence in the category of Business and Professionals. These titles only begin to describe Michelle’s many accomplishments, as her passion for building and supporting inclusive communities began long before Michelle became an OT.

Michelle grew up in Southwestern Ontario, near London. While in high school, she worked in a nursing home where she first encountered marginalized populations. Michelle went on to study nursing at Ryerson University and worked in this role for a few years at Wellesley Hospital. As a nurse, Michelle was exposed to variety of practice settings and professionals, including OT. Over time, Michelle found herself increasingly fascinated by interior design and creating inclusive spaces and communities for people living with disability. Michelle soon returned to Toronto to pursue a degree in OT, with the intention of working in an administrative role after graduation.

Upon graduating, Michelle first worked as a clinical OT for a short time. In this role, she had a client with Parkinson’s and realized that there were no available support groups for this population. In collaboration with her client, Michelle became the founder of the Parkinson Society of Southwestern Ontario. Early in its origin, Michelle began to experience frustration that the organization was not earning anywhere near its capacity. In response to this realization, Michelle took it upon herself to learn about fundraising and development for healthcare to help the Society reach its full potential.

Although Michelle continued to volunteer with the Society for 9 years, she found herself moving on to a new role in 1986 as the founding Executive Director, University Hospital Foundation and Vice-President of Development of the Hospital in London, Ontario. In this role, Michelle was able to integrate her knowledge of OT, nursing, healthcare, and fundraising to help facilitate health and community development projects. More than a decade later, Michelle moved on to spearhead the re-development of London’s Covent Garden Market. Michelle’s OT background was particularly beneficial as she worked with 52 small businesses on various vocational pursuits. After the successful rebuild and launch of the market, Michelle found herself in her current role at Goodwill Industries.

Michelle described herself as ‘coming home to her OT career’ upon transitioning to Goodwill. This organization is one of the world’s largest social enterprises and the largest employer of individuals living with disabilities, per capita, in Ontario. Michelle’s background makes her the perfect fit to be President and CEO of Goodwill Industries. Goodwill emphasizes vocational employment for disadvantaged populations facing barriers to employment, including physical, mental, social challenges. Goodwill also supports functional planning of communities to enable equality and social inclusion. Michelle is able to use her OT background to consider a broad perspective of clients and better understand the barriers they face within their social contexts. Not only does Michelle’s OT background perfectly align with the missions of the organization, but she has also led Goodwill from an old, tired thrift business to a place of prosperity and community by using her functional planning and entrepreneurial skills. In the time Michelle has been with Goodwill, revenue has increased to $27 million and the number of employees have grown from 160 to 650 – many facing barriers such as disability and social disadvantage.

Michelle’s passion for her role stems from seeing clients’ lives transform through the power of work. Michelle’s clients are her inspiration, as she is able to witness individuals who began with little self-worth, minimal education, and limited social opportunity become productive citizens and leaders in their own right. Michelle plans to continue to help facilitate this transformation for individuals beyond Southwestern Ontario. She is now leading the charge to expand Goodwill into Toronto, and will strive to create over 900 jobs within the next 5 years.

We are so privileged to have such an accomplished woman as an alumni of our Department. She is a motivating force to all, and has helped transform the lives of many individuals. We can only wait to see what amazing things she will inspire in the future!

Best Presentation Finalists

Award Winners at Thelma Cardwell Research Day

The Department held it’s annual Thelma Cardwell Research Day, June 28 at O.I.S.E., to present the work of Year 2 MScOT students.

It was a highly successful day and thanks go out to all who made it possible!

Pictured are the winners of the “Best Presentation”, as voted by conference attendees, Anita Mohan and Leah Allerdings, along with the OCT 1220 Research Course instructor Jill Cameron. Anita’s and Leah’s presentation was titled “Exploring How Occupational Therapists’ Lived Experience Shapes the Therapeutic Alliance.”

Congratulations to all of the students whose hard work and dedication made this year’s Research Day an exemplary event!

See a list of all award winners and abstracts for all presentations >>

Ashley Graham

OT Alumna Ashley Graham Wins Scientific Award

Ashley Graham’s (MScOT 2009) presentation, “Beyond survival: Developmental outcomes of young children post ventricular assist device support,” was a scientific award winner at the 2017 International Pediatric Transplant Association meeting in Barcelona, Spain. Ashley was the only allied health professional to win this award at this transdisciplinary conference. Ashley has been working at Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, since she graduated from our program. Ashley and her colleagues have developed an innovative transdisciplinary therapy protocol for young children who are awaiting heart transplantation and are using a ventricular assist device (VAD). These children have challenges in establishing full oral feeding and developing new gross motor skills. These challenges are likely related to the mechanical presence of the VAD. Ashley described the protocol that her team have put into place and the successes and positive outcomes that they’ve had with it over time.

We congratulate Ashley on contributing to evidence-based practice in this highly specialized field and representing the OT profession so capably.

Dr. Emily Nalder ACRM Award Recipient

Dr. Emily Nalder will be receiving the 2017 Deborah L. Wilkerson Early Career Award from the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM).
Supported by CARF International, the award recognizes the contributions Emily has made to the field during her early career work.

Emily will present the Deborah Wilkerson Award Lecture during the ACRM 94th Annual Conference in Atlanta where she will receive her award. The conference will take place in October 2017.

More information >>

R. Renwick, Y. Hamdani, B. Gibson

Dr. Yani Hamdani Wins Bloorview’s “Pursuit Award”

Dr. Yani Hamdani has won a 2017 Bloorview Research Institute Pursuit Award for her doctoral dissertation: “Problematizing Transition to Adulthood for Young Disabled People.”

This prestigious award is presented following an international competition. The award acknowledges and supports “outstanding achievements in the field of childhood disability research”.

Dr. Hamdani completed her PhD studies and research in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. Her proud supervisor and committee members are Dr. Rebecca Renwick (OS&OT Faculty), Dr. Barbara Gibson (Dept. of Physical Therapy), and Dr. Cameron Norman (Dalla Lana School of Public Health).

Yani is also an Occupational Therapist, and a guest lecturer and member of the Professional Curriculum Committee in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy.

Congratulations, Yani!

Dr. Lisa Richardson

Thelma Cardwell Research Day

The keynote speaker for this year’s Thelma Cardwell Research Day is Dr. Lisa Richardson, from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. Dr. Richardson’s address, “Good Medicine: Lessons from Indigenous Health Education” will draw on her expertise as co-lead in Indigenous Medical Education.
 
We are thrilled to have Dr. Richardson as our guest and eagerly anticipate her presentation on a topic of such importance.
 
The Annual OS&OT Thelma Cardwell Research Day, a presentation of our 2nd year students’ research, will be held on Wednesday June 28th at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (O.I.S.E.), 252 Bloor Street West.
 
We look forward to seeing you there!
 
More information about the 2017 Program >>
More information the Thelma Cardwell Research Day >>
 
 

Alex Mihailidis Addresses Standing Senate Committee

On March 9, 2017, Dr. Alex Mihailidis made a presentation to the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology. The committee has been examining the role of robotics, 3D printing and artificial intelligence in the health care system. Alex was representing AGE-WELL, the Network of Centres of Excellence of which he is a Scientific Director.

Alex’s presentation and his answers to questions from the committee may be read in the Senate of Canada website.

Tsering Wangmo

Colleen Tate Memorial Bursary

On January 30, the Department presented the annual Colleen Tate Memorial Bursary to Year 1 student Tsering Wangmo after receiving several nominations from her classmates. The award is presented to the student, chosen by his/her classmates, who is in good academic standing and who best exemplifies the qualities that Colleen was known for. These include being generous, kind-hearted, accommodating, and outgoing.

Congratulations Tsering!