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OT Alumni Special Event: Focus – OT and Advocacy
April 27, 2016
On April 27, 2016, over 70 alumni, guests, and student volunteers attended our OT Alumni event, which featured Dr. Bonnie Kirsh (OT’77) sharing highlights from her 2015 Muriel Driver Lecture, Transforming Values into Action: Advocacy as a Professional Imperative. Bonnie argued for increased OT involvement in political and systemic advocacy, and gave examples from her own work which has addressed the stigma experienced by injured workers. Following Bonnie’s rousing lecture our audience was treated to inspiring stories of advocacy from a panel of OT alumni, moderated by Karen Goldenberg, CM. Panelists, Beth Linkewich (OT’02) described her efforts to advocate for advanced stroke care in Ontario; Jenny Hardy (OT’13) shared her successes with advocating for services for seniors and seniors’ mental health; and Robin Mazumder (OT’11) joined the panel via Skype to describe his innovative and novel approaches to developing healthy, vibrant communities in Edmonton, Alberta.
A wine and cheese social followed the panel, and guests enjoyed networking with former classmates, colleagues and friends. There was quite a buzz about what OTs are currently doing and what they ‘could’ be doing to advocate in their respective workplaces and communities.
The University of Toronto’s Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy would like to thank everyone who attended the event and made it such a success. We thank Susan Rappolt, Chair of the OT Department, for introducing Bonnie and the panel. Special thank-you’s to: the event’s planning committee – Mallory Ryan, Karen Goldenberg, Lorraine Fairbloom, Siva Balaskantha, Claudia Bloomberger, Janine Farragher, Patty Rigby, Nella Rupp and work-study students, Patricia Han and Mallory Rotman; and our student volunteers and who worked hard at the event.