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Call for nominations for Alumni Achievement Awards!

Nominations are now open for the University of Toronto Occupational Therapy Alumni Achievement Award.

Please consider nominating a U of T OT alumni who exemplifies excellence in education, practice, scholarly activity and/or service. Nominees will be considered for the following categories:

  • Early Career (10 years or less since graduation from the U of T Occupational Therapy program)
  • Mid Career (11-29 years since graduation from the U of T Occupational Therapy program)
  • Legacy (30 years or more since graduation from the U of T Occupational Therapy program)
The award recipient will be announced and celebrated at the OS&OT Graduate Research Day and Thelma Cardwell Lecture on Wednesday, June 19, 2024.

To nominate a member of your alumni community for this prestigious award, OT Alumni Award Nomination Form to complete the online nomination form and upload the nominee’s abbreviated CV/resume (5 pages maximum).

You do not have to be a graduate of the program to nominate, so please share this call widely with those in your network.

The deadline for submission is June 3, 2024. For more information, visit the award page or contact Mary Forhan at

Thank you for contributing to this process and for acknowledging the achievements of our alumni. We look forward to celebrating this year’s winner with you.

Congratulations to Armineh Babikian, Yani Hamdani and Janet Parsons

collage photos of Armineh Babikian, Yani Hamdani and Janet Parsons

Congratulations to Armineh Babikian, Yani Hamdani and Janet Parsons on being the global recipients of the Thelma Cardwell Foundation Award for Research 2024 from the World Federation of Occupational Therapists. 

Armineh Babikian is an occupational therapist and PhD candidate in the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute at the University of Toronto, specializing in global health. Under the supervision of Yani Hamdani, an assistant professor in the department of occupational science and occupational therapy, Armineh will conduct research for her project titled, “Leave No One Behind: Centering People with Disabilities in Armenian Occupational Therapy Development.” 

By centering lived experience and the perspectives of people with disabilities, Armineh aims to better understand how disability is understood and addressed in Armenian rehabilitation, and how occupational therapists can prioritize the human rights of people with disabilities. 

Armineh will be leading focus group discussions with adults and caregivers of people with disabilities who use Armenian rehabilitation services and working alongside a community advisory committee of Armenian disability advocates, making this the first disability-inclusive research project in Armenian rehabilitation.    

Janet Parsons, an associate professor in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, and Garry Aslanyan, adjunct professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, are on Armineh’s supervisory committee. 

Celebrating 106 years of occupational therapy at the University of Toronto

This week marks 106 years since the Occupational Therapy program was established at the University of Toronto. 

The department, as we know it today, has grown and evolved a lot since its early days. 

In 1918, during the first World War, the number of injured soldiers returning to Canada was increasing each day. More – and better trained ward aides were needed to help these soldiers on their long road to recovery and so the ward aides course at U of T was established. 

The ward aide course was established by Professor H.E.T. Haultain, a mining engineer in the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, to help injured soldiers returning from the war. Haultain, who also served as the Vocational Officer for Ontario, organized the first courses and arranged for classes to be held in the Mining Building. 

The Mining and Chemistry Building on College Street circa 1906

The Mining and Chemistry Building on College Street circa 1906 

Credit: University of Toronto Archives 

On February 20, 1918, four students – Miss Stupart, Miss Trent, Miss Bruce and Miss Challis – commenced the ward aide course run by the Department of Soldiers’ Civil Re-establishment. The initial course was just six weeks long, but there was an expectation that the students would return for additional instruction when the course had been further developed.  

Haultain with Senior Ward Aides (the Girls in Green) of the Military Hospitals of Ontario, June 1919

Haultain with Ward Aides (the Girls in Green) of the Military Hospitals of Ontario, June 1919 

Credit: University of Toronto Archives 

By March 21, 1918, the course had been extended to three months and the second class of ward aides began their studies – bringing the course enrolment to 24 ward aide students. 

In 1926, after much advocacy from the Ontario Society of Occupational Therapy (OSOT) and its members, U of T established a new two-year long diploma course described as for “young ladies who are anxious to be of service in the healing of the sick and maimed and convalescent” in an early promotional brochure. 

Class photo of the first occupational therapy diploma course in 1928

Class photo of the first occupational therapy diploma course in 1928 

Credit: Department of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy at the University of Toronto 

In 1946, the course was extended to three years, and in 1950, occupational therapy and physical therapy were combined into one program and brought into the Faculty of Medicine as part of the Division of Rehabilitation Medicine. 

Years later, the programs separated again to become individual degree programs, with the first students graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy degree in 1974.  

2001 was another year of transformation for the department. The department moved from its home at 256 McCaul St. to the Rehabilitation Sciences Building and the occupational therapy program was further developed into a graduate program. Today, the program admits 130 students each year – with 90 students enrolled at our St. George Campus, and 40 students enrolled at UTM’s Mississauga Academy of Medicine, which launched in 2018.  

Today, we continue to create leaders in occupational therapy through the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degree program amid a growing demand for occupational therapists in Ontario. 

Note: Special thank you to Judith Friedland, professor emerita in the department of occupational science and occupational therapy, for her research on the history of the department, which is included in her book, Restoring the Spirit: The Beginnings of Occupational Therapy in Canada, 1890-1930, published by McGill-Queen’s University Press in 2011. 

photo of Shlomit Rotenberg

Occupational therapy key to early dementia diagnosis and support

Dementia is a condition that affects nearly a million Canadians and their families – a number that is expected to double by 2030.

While there is no effective drug treatment for the progressive disease, much progress has been made over the last decade on interventions to prevent or delay dementia in people at risk. But what if we could recognize the symptoms earlier? 

This is the focus of research by Shlomit Rotenberg, an assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy with the Temerty Faculty of Medicine. Rotenberg studies those at risk of developing dementia and aims to help them stay engaged in meaningful activities that can improve their well-being here-and-now and support their cognitive health in the long term. 


Brain health through social and leisure activities: occupational therapy for dementia prevention

One of the early risk factors associated with dementia is subjective cognitive decline, which appears in otherwise healthy individuals who may begin noticing subtle changes in their daily functioning – like forgetting to pay a bill – but these symptoms are too mild to be detected in a cognitive screening test. 

Not everyone who experiences subjective cognitive decline will develop full dementia, but some will continue this trajectory of cognitive and functional decline, which can make it challenging to complete basic activities and carry on with daily living. 

With an occupational therapy lens, Rotenberg explores everyday functioning in people with subjective cognitive decline in depth. Because the two key components of a dementia diagnosis are significant cognitive decline and decreased independence in everyday functioning, it is important that both aspects are explored in people at risk for dementia. 

Rotenberg’s latest study, a scoping review, finds that the body of research on everyday functioning in older adults with subjective cognitive decline is small and tends to focus on their ability to manage their finances and health, manage a household and use technology, while overlooking their participation in social and leisure activities. 

“While older adults with subjective cognitive decline are, by definition, independent, we found that they withdrew from many of their social and leisure activities. This is concerning because participation in social and leisure activities is linked with better cognition functioning, better physical health, and greater well-being, and may delay the onset of dementia,” says Rotenberg. “To be more effective in preventing dementia, we need to be proactive in asking older adults about their daily functioning, including social and leisure activities.”    Continue reading

Rhona Anderson Appointed Director of Clinical Education

photo of Rhona Anderson

The Department of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy is pleased to announce that Rhona Anderson is the successful candidate of the recent search for an Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, and appointment as the Director of Clinical Education. 

Anderson joined our department more than 20 years ago as status-only faculty, as part of her full-time clinical position in an affiliated teaching organization. Since then, she has held a variety of roles, including teaching assistant, lab coordinator, sessional instructor, and Acting Director of Clinical Education while continuing education leadership roles within the clinical community. She became a part-time faculty member in 2021 while working on a doctoral degree.  

In this role, Anderson will continue to work with students and clinical education partners (including site fieldwork coordinators, preceptors, and education leadership) to guide the planning and implementation of high-quality teaching and learning experiences related to clinical education. 

“I’m excited and thrilled to be working with an incredible, skilled fieldwork team, and I’m looking forward to seeing what we will achieve together in the support of students’ practice learning,” she says. 

With this full-time appointment, she anticipates having more opportunities to work on research. Anderson’s research interests include student leadership development, particularly in collaborative interprofessional clinical contexts.  

Anderson is also currently collaborating with other faculty members on research related to the learning experiences of students who identify as having a disability, as well as research that uses an equity, diversity and inclusion lens to understand dialogue that occurs between preceptors and students. “Overall, student learning in the field, or during clinical education, is an understudied area and these areas of research will help to fill that gap,” she says. “And that is so important, given that student occupational therapists spend more than 1000 hours learning in the practice setting.” 

photo of Staff Impact Award ceremony

Sandra Sokoloff receives Staff Impact Award

The Department of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy is proud to announce that Sandra Sokoloff has received the Temerty Faculty of Medicine Staff Impact Award for Administrative Excellence. 

This award recognizes Sandra’s commitment to excellence in her role as the Executive Assistant to the Chair & Academic Appointments Coordinator in our department. 

photo of Sandra Sokoloff with award

Sandra began working at the University of Toronto in 2008 at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and was later hired by Angela Colantonio in 2009 to work in her research lab. She eventually joined our department in her current role in 2016. 

“Receiving this Staff Impact Award in Administrative Excellence is really special to me, not only that my contributions are deemed worthy of this recognition within Temerty Medicine, but that my colleagues in the department saw fit to nominate me,” says Sandra. 

While she spends most of her time on administrative support, she is known to go above and beyond to support our department – she is involved with several departmental and extra-departmental committees, helps with event planning and is our go-to person for updating our website. You may even spot her behind the camera at our next event as she acts as our unofficial department photographer! 

Christie Welch nominated Sandra for the award after watching her step in and take on additional roles in the past year. “Sandra is hard working, professional, and supportive. Her dedication to excellence and attention to detail benefit the department on a daily basis, and while she would be a contender for this award in any year, last year our department was in need of an Interim Program Manager and Sandra rose to the occasion. She took on many new tasks and responsibilities and carried our department through a challenging time,” she says. 

While Sandra admits that taking on this new role was a bit overwhelming, she is grateful to have received help from colleagues who answered questions and were there to support her along the way. She notes, “It was a great experience to learn more about this role, and get to know our students more.”

“I am constantly rewarded in the work I do. Supporting faculty members as they succeed in their academic milestones gives me great pleasure and a great sense of accomplishment. Other moments of pride include supporting my administrative colleagues in the department and being considered a credible resource to my counterparts across the Rehabilitation Sciences Sector and in Temerty Medicine,” says Sandra. “I can’t imagine working with a better, more fun, kind and generous group of people.” 

The Award in Administrative Excellence is given out each year to honour an employee who has consistently shown exemplary dedication, exceptional performance, responsiveness and empathy, and have also made a significant impact on the success and growth of their department.

Congratulations, Class of 2023!

Congratulations to the Class of 2023 on completing your Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degrees! We celebrate your perseverance and dedication, which have led you to this momentous achievement, and we know you will have a great impact on the world as you enter the next chapter as occupational therapists.

Six of our graduating students from our UTM and St. George campuses reflect on two years in the program and what they have planned for the future.

Riya Shah, co-valedictorian, UTSG

image of Riya Shah

Seeing clients go from a vulnerable, guarded state to laughing and engaging in meaningful activities again that is the true beauty of occupational therapy and it’s what I love about this profession.  

In school, I was astounded by the need to collaborate with my interprofessional peers and to learn that occupational therapy can be used in all areas of life. Most importantly, I reflected on the need for more people of colour in the health care community, and I am happy to contribute in a meaningful way through occupational therapy. 

I have been inspired by so many occupational therapists, all in different areas of work, and have had opportunities to advocate for the profession and vulnerable communities with the help of my faculty and peers. It has been so inspiring to learn and grow with my peers over the past two years. 

I plan on continuing to advocate for my clients and marginalized communities, and engage in a variety of occupational therapy roles, both clinical and non-clinical, to demonstrate the true essence and need for occupational therapy in my community.  

Antonia Bellefleur, co-valedictorian, UTM

image of Antonia Bellefleur

I was inspired to pursue occupational therapy because I appreciate the value placed on holistic care and addressing the person factors when providing therapy. Our occupational therapy lens is what makes us unique. 

I’ve learned so much these past couple of years. I didn’t know I had ‘spare parts’ — hurray for palmaris longus! I remember nervously preparing for our first initial interview with a mock patient. It’s wonderful to reflect on how far we’ve come since then. 

Now that I’ve graduated, I am currently working as an occupational therapist in acute hand therapy at a hospital and am excited to continue my learning in this field. 

Zoë Avril Smith, UTSG

image of Zoe Avril Smith

I was inspired to pursue a career in occupational therapy after working alongside several fantastic occupational therapists at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. I loved how their work was so tangible, holistic, and client-centered. 

During my time in the program, I was surprised to learn how many settings an occupational therapist can work in and how the number of opportunities continues to grow. 

I completed one of my clinical placements at Amar Seva Sangam, a non-profit rehabilitation centre founded and run by people with disabilities in rural South India. My experience here was so memorable and enriching. 

Since completing the program, I have taken some time to travel and visit family in Scotland. I’ve recently started looking for a job in mental health. Most of my career has been within the mental health and social service sectors, and I am passionate about supporting individuals with mental health issues. 

Kaitlyn Wagner, UTM

image of Kaitlyn Wagner

I was several years into a different career when I learned about occupational therapy and I immediately knew that it was the career for me. I wanted to work with people and use my skills to empower them to do the things they need to and want to do in their daily lives. Since then, I’ve been surprised to learn about how broad the scope of occupational therapy is and how many different settings occupational therapists can work in.  

During the past two years, I was extremely fortunate to have a variety of placements including acute stroke, community paediatrics, forensic mental health and a geriatric outpatient clinic, where I had the privilege of meeting many different clients. There is no better feeling than working with a client to help them overcome barriers and reach their goals.  

I am currently working for FunctionAbility in the community with clients who have traumatic and acquired neurological injuries and severe orthopaedic injuries. I find this work to be extremely meaningful and I look forward to continuously improving my clinical skills in this role.  

Niki Odorico, UTSG

image of Niki Oderico

I was drawn to occupational therapy because it’s multifaceted; addressing the physical, mental, cognitive, emotional and social aspects of people’s lives. I appreciate the diversity within the field and the opportunities to work with people from various backgrounds and age groups. 

While occupational therapy is often associated with hospitals and rehabilitation settings, I have learned that occupational therapists are equally well-suited to work with individuals, businesses, and communities to create safe environments that enable people to participate in their meaningful activities. 

Some of the most memorable moments in the program have been my fieldwork placements. I worked in the emergency department in a level one trauma hospital, in medicine and oncology inpatient units, in a men’s prison, and in a children’s hospital in Melbourne, Australia. Each of these placements pushed me to apply what I had learned in our lectures in distinct and innovative ways. 

Currently, I am a first year PhD student in the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute under the supervision of Nick Reed. Throughout my PhD studies, I am hoping to develop return-to-play concussion guidelines for children aged 3 to 12. Following my PhD, I would like to work as a clinician scientist and a professor in the field of occupational therapy. 

Kaila Jodoin, UTM

image of Kaila Jodoin

I have had the privilege of learning about occupational therapy from a young age as my mom has been an occupational therapist at my hometown hospital for over 30 years. I was inspired by her work growing up and the meaningful impact she has on her clients, so when it came to choosing my own career, becoming an occupational therapist was an easy choice to make.  

During the program, I have been able to work with amazing peers, many of whom I now call my closest friends. I will never forget the many hours spent working with my study group members throughout the program. These experiences have helped me to grow into the clinician I am today. 

The program, alongside Northern Ontario School of Medicine University, supported me in completing three fieldwork placements in my hometown in Northern Ontario. These opportunities allowed me to build connections in my home community and have led to my current job at my local hospital.  

My final fieldwork placement was a student-initiated Leadership, Emerging, Advocacy and Program Development (LEAP) placement at my local Community Paramedicine Program. Here I was able to create a new permanent occupational therapy role with hopes to expand this to other community paramedicine programs across the province.  

Mentorship Course Connects Students with Occupational Therapists


Shone Joos, assistant professor, teaching stream, is part of a team which instructs the Mentorship and Interprofessional Education Course in the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program, connecting our students with experienced occupational therapists who share their insight into the profession and support learner professional and interprofessional development.

“I was a mentor myself years ago and I’m still in touch with some of my mentees. I found the experience very transformative for me. You create a significant bond with your students – you get to hear their stories and watch them grow. I was so proud to see their development over their two years in the program,” says Joos.

About the Mentorship and Interprofessional Education Course

All students in the MScOT program are enrolled in this two-year course where they meet with an assigned mentor every two weeks during their academic terms. Mentors are experienced occupational therapists who work in varying practice areas – private practice, hospital, community organizations, research, etc. – and volunteer their time to support small groups of students.

One unique aspect of the mentorship course is the amount of time our students engage with their mentors. “There are other mentorship courses in different health care programs, but I really haven’t seen another one where mentees and mentors meet every two weeks across the whole program,” says Joos. Mentors spend two years watching our students grow – from their first days in the program to their final fieldwork placement.

Our mentor groups function like communities of practice where members feel a sense of belonging and safety. By creating a space for students to engage with experienced practitioners, students are better able to develop their professional identity.

Response to the course

The response to the course has been overwhelmingly positive from mentees and mentors alike. Our students appreciate the time spent with their mentors reflecting on their experiences, what they have learned and how they have evolved professionally throughout the program.

Working with a mentor allows our students to start building a network and a community. It helps our students to feel more connected to the profession and socializes them, so they are better prepared to begin working in the field.” says Joos.

If you are a practicing occupational therapist and are interested in mentoring our students, you can email Shone Joos at to learn more about the Mentorship and Interprofessional Education course.

headshot of Judith Friedland and the cover of her book: There Was A Time For Everything

Judith Friedland reflects on her life and career in new memoir

Judith Friedland has worn many hats throughout her life. After earning her diploma in physical and occupational therapy from the University of Toronto in 1960, she went on to work as an occupational therapist, marry and become a mother, earn a PhD, and teach in the department of occupational therapy at U of T, moving through the ranks from lecturer up to professor and department chair.

In her recently published memoir, There Was a Time for Everything, Friedland reflects on her life and career, and how she has spent her time post-retirement. She spoke with writer Rachel LeBeau about the book and some of its themes, and the process of writing and editing.  

What inspired you to write There Was a Time for Everything? 

After I published my book on the early history of occupational therapy in Canada (Restoring the Spirit), I realized that I had more to say and that writing a book was doable. I thought that my life was a bit unusual and thought it could be good to write a memoir. The editor of that first book agreed and suggested I start by writing some vignettes about what I had found to be significant in my life. I started writing in 2014 and then the book took on a life of its own. I got into all these themes – my mother dying when I was very young and the issue of feeling “other” from that point on, being Jewish in non-Jewish schools and work communities, and my education and work in a little-known profession. But there was also a theme that was common to many women of my generation. After marrying young and supporting my husband in his academic career and enjoying motherhood, I soon wondered, “Where am I going to be after all this?” That story seems to resonate with many women but is one that we never read about. We know about women who’ve done amazing things, but we don’t know about ordinary women and all the things that we do in our lives. So, I thought my story was worth telling. 

In your memoir, you write about having it all – what does “having it all” mean to you? 

In my view, the part that follows “having it all” is “just not all at once.” Anyone trying to have it all has to give up something. I was lucky in the way my life unfolded. I really thoroughly enjoyed being a wife and mother, building a home and all that went with it. I would not have given that up for a minute. But once my three children were all in school, I was able to go back to work part-time and back to school part-time, and, after about five years of clinical work, start my academic career. It all just seemed to work out so that at the end of the day, it seems to me that I’ve had it all.  

What did you learn about yourself as you went through the process of reflecting on your life to write this memoir? 

I think I learned more about myself as I was editing than when I was writing. In those later stages of editing, I had to keep asking myself, “Is this an important part of my story, does it add to what I want to say, is it necessary?” For example, in describing my time in high school, I had initially named a teacher and at the end, I took his name out. It wasn’t necessary to name him, and it could be hurtful. That was an interesting exercise. I also thought some of the stories I wanted to tell weren’t the most flattering about me, either, but I thought I should share them anyways because they are real life, so I left them in. And I wrote about getting knocked down and getting back up and that made me realize that I knew how to persevere. So that was a good thing I learned about myself. 

How do you think your career as an occupational therapist has shaped your life? 

Most of my practice, my teaching and my research have been within the mental health and psychosocial field, and I carry a lot of that around with me. The other day I went for coffee with a friend who had just had a fracture from a fall. The fact that we were out doing something social was good for her because she can’t go out by herself right now and I know how important it is to her recovery to have social support and not feel isolated. Adjusting to whatever life has in store is something I guess I picked up early on and I think it has stayed with me, no matter what I’ve done in my life and career. 

The other thing I learned, especially working in mental health, is the importance of interpersonal relationships. You don’t really get anywhere in health care without having a good relationship with the person you’re trying to help. That mindset has always stayed with me in my role as an administrator when I was the chair of my department, and in my interactions with family. 

What advice do you have for young women entering the workforce, especially health care, today? 

My advice is to try to find a job that you think will engage you; something where you can learn and grow. If it’s in health care, you need to go in with an open mind and try to understand the system – but when you do see what you perceive as unjust, do what you can to change it. Throughout my career, I have seen the undervaluing of women and their work and it’s something that needs to be challenged.  That has been true whether I was in health care or academia. There have been salary inequities, promotion inequities, funding inequities, and so on. Health professions, in general, are amazing professions – they’re stimulating and you learn something new every day. You are also signing on to help make change – not only in the world of the patients you are working with but also in the larger society. 

I would encourage women not to worry too much about taking on multiple roles or changing roles. You can get a lot of satisfaction from experiencing different things in life – whether that’s pursuing a career, continuing in school, being a wife and mother – these can all lead to fulfillment. It’s ok to do different things. You don’t need to take a linear approach to life. 

How has occupational therapy changed over your career, and what trends do you see emerging in the future? 

Occupational therapy has changed in some ways – and not at all in others. Our roots became firmly established during World War I and are now stronger than ever. We still focus on the centrality of occupation, on what people need to do and want to do in their lives to bring or maintain meaning. We still work with patients to help them find ways to cope and manage after illness, injury, or disability. Medicine and health care have changed throughout my career in so many wonderful ways, especially in acute care, but at the same time, I think we’ve lost some of the broader picture and don’t appreciate the importance of helping people adjust to their altered circumstances and prevent further health issues. I like to think that the health care system will soon understand the essential roles played by various members of the health care team, including occupational therapists, in facilitating that adjustment. 

There is a lot of great progress being made within occupational therapy. I’m particularly proud of my profession and how it is taking on broader social issues, for example, how our occupational lens is helping to address homelessness or mental health in the workplace. Occupational therapy students are learning more about health inequities and how our work contributes to improving lives of vulnerable populations.   

Is there anything else you want readers to know about your book? 

I want them to know that the content will be of interest not only to occupational therapists but to a wide variety of readers. Some will enjoy the historical look at life in Toronto in the 1940s and 50s and what it was like for me growing up in that time. Others may be interested in my years at the university as a student and faculty member, or my stories of married life. I think many will be interested in the gender issues at play and the feminist lens I have used in describing my life. I’ve had feedback on the book from women old and young who seem to relate to my story, and also some from husbands who admit they didn’t realize the impact of the imbalance in their relationships. There’s a lot about aging and so-called retirement and travel and gardening, and, of course, family.   

You can find Judith’s book, There Was a Time for Everything: A Memoir, through the University of Toronto Press and in bookstores and libraries. 

Inaugural International Forum on COVID Rehabilitation Research

The Rehabilitation Science Research Network for COVID held its inaugural International Forum on COVID Rehabilitation Research on Friday, April 21, 2023 at the University of Toronto. 

The Network, co-led by Jill Cameron and Kelly O’Brien, led the planning and implementation of this Forum. This hybrid (online and in-person) event brought together over 250 people from over 20 countries to hear from more than 20 guest speakers who presented emerging evidence in COVID rehabilitation, spanning acute COVID to Long COVID.  

Attendees included persons with lived experiences, clinicians, researchers, policy stakeholders, representatives from community-based organizations and funders who contributed to the rich discussions. 

The Forum aimed to exchange knowledge of COVID rehabilitation research and practices between international experts and disseminate knowledge far and wide. The Forum also provided opportunities to establish new and strengthen existing research collaborations and partnerships in the field of COVID rehabilitation. Throughout the course of the day, attendees engaged in discussions about perspectives on emerging issues and research priorities in COVID rehabilitation.  These priorities will help to guide the future activities of the Network in the year ahead. 

The Forum included a keynote presentation from Todd Davenport, Professor and Vice-Chair in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, on his instrumental work on safe rehabilitation for people living with Long COVID. A second keynote included a discussion panel comprised of community leaders who shared their experiences in COVID rehabilitation research. Embedded within the keynotes were two research evidence sessions, with five speakers each, who shared current research related to disability, rehabilitation approaches and interventions, and models of care in the context of acute and Long COVID. 

This Forum, funded by Temerty Faculty of Medicine, was a collaboration with the multiple partners and members of the Network who have been instrumental in advancing evidence and practice in COVID rehabilitation, including Long COVID Physio, the Rehabilitative Care Alliance, Patient-Led Research Collaborative, and FISIOCAMERA. 

Find more information about the Forum, including links to the video recordings from the speaker sessions, online.