We are extremely proud of the many achievements of our grads. In this section, we are pleased to profile OT alumni making a difference in their workplace, their communities and our profession through leadership and innovative initiatives.
Hand Therapist, Teacher, Advocate
I’m so pleased to be in a position to tell stories about therapists – both physical and occupational – all of whom have played a part in changing the world in ways that may be small but are important to all of us. These thoughts are swirling as I’m beginning to write about Susan Hannah.
Rebecca Solnit (she gave us the term mansplaining) has a useful way of packaging social and cultural forms and shares with Margaret Mead the notion that individuals can change the world – think of Greta Thunberg. In her latest book Whose Story is This? she appraises who gets to shape the narrative of our times and how emerging voices are beginning to change that narrative… now back to Susan.
Graduating from University of Toronto with a BScOT in 1988 and an MEd from OISE in 2008, Sue’s career has been marked by sharing her work with colleagues through conferences, publications and teaching students. She served as Student Placement Lead for OT and PT students across 12 sites of Altum Health and has received a number of awards for her outstanding contribution to Occupational Therapy education at the University Health Network and the University of Toronto. She was appointed to the faculty of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy in 2019.
We met in the early nineties when she joined the Hand Program at the Toronto Western Hospital, a source of fascination for me. I was impressed by the easy collaboration of OT’s and PT’s in the specialized treatment of patients following devastating upper limb injuries. Working in psychiatry at the time, I was also struck by the awareness and attention paid to the psychosocial aspects presented by each individual following complex reconstructive surgeries. Sue developed her clinical expertise with hands – assessing, case managing and teaching – at the Toronto Western from 1992 to 2011, qualified as a Certified Hand Therapist and currently serves as vice president of the Canadian Society of Hand Therapists.
In 1994 Sue’s relation to the wider world began when she left work in Canada to travel extensively through Southeast Asia, India, Nepal, China and New Zealand. As her children grew older, she began to renew this interest, volunteering at a community based program in Haiti teaching rehabilitation therapists. She joined a group of therapists in 2018 with a WFOT program at Ukrainian Catholic University; training the first OT’s in Ukraine.
Public Health and Social Justice: Guiding Principles
Leadership in Community Healthcare
Leading with Care
OS&OT Alumni: Dream Weavers
OS&OT Alumna Named YMCA Woman of Excellence
Advancing OT Role in Responsive Behaviour Initiatives
OS&OT Alumnus Demonstrates Passion for Community Mental Health Services
Margaret Bahen Gold Medalist at the Pencer Brain Tumour Centre
Return to Work Expert Shows Leadership in Northern Ontario
OS&OT Alumna is a Dedicated Geriatric OT
Dance Ability Movement Helps Fulfill Kids’ Dreams
Jade and Mallory Ryan
Jade (MScOT’13) and Mallory (MScOT’11)
Psychotherapy Expert Co-authors Resource Compendium for OTs Practicing in Mental Health
World Expert in the Field of Inclusive Design
Dr. Nick Reed and Fellow Alumni are Leading Efforts to Improve the Lives of Kids and Youth Who've Experienced Concussion
Left to right: Nick Reed (’07), Stephanie McFarland (’14), Talia Dick (’11), Katie Mah (’11), Andie Hickling (’14) and Melissa Paniccia (’13)
Dr. Nick Reed (MScOT’07) is a kids concussion guru who spends his time developing, implementing and evaluating research, educational and clinical programming for kids with concussion and their families. Nick grew up playing sports and experienced a fair share of sports-related injuries and such exposure developed his initial interest in sports medicine and physiotherapy. While attending a joint physiotherapy and occupational therapy information session, he was immediately drawn to occupational therapy’s view of seeing injury as part of “a bigger picture that includes the person, their environment and the occupations that bring meaning into individuals’ lives.”
Talented Young Alumni Make Us Proud
OT Alumni Leadership with the Ontario Society of Occupational Therapists (OSOT): Profiling Recent Members of the Board of Directors
President-Elect (2014 – present), Director (2004-2007)
Director (2014 – present)
Director (2007–2009), President-Elect (2012–2013), President (2013–2014)
Director (2011-2012, 2014)
Director (2010 – 2014)
President-Elect (2008-2009), President (2009-2011),
and Past President (2011-2013)
Doctoral Candidate, Rehabilitation Science Institute,
University of Toronto.
Examples of OT Alumni Leadership
Katie Churchill | MScOT, OT. Reg. (Ont.)
Senior Practice Lead, Occupational Therapy, Alberta Health Services
Angela Colantonio | PhD, OT. Reg. (Ont.)
Professor, University of Toronto
CIHR Research Chair in Gender, Work and Health
Senior Scientist, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute,
University Health Network
Mandy Lowe | MSc, BSc(OT), OT Reg. (Ont.)
Congratulations Mandy on your appointment as Director of Education,
Co-Director, University Health Network (UHN) International Centre for Education,
Associate Director, Centre for Interprofessional Education,
University of Toronto.