Author Archives: Mary Clark

Spring 2012 Rehabilitation Science Online Programs Graduates

Please join us in congratulating this Spring’s graduates.

Receiving their Master of Rehabilitation Science degree:

  • Sabrina Li
  • Rebecca Shook
  • Sarah Strickey

Read their research abstracts and those from previous graduation classes on the program website.

Receiving their Graduate Certificate in Rehabilitation:

  • Lisa Aquilino Haley
  • Paul VanWiechen

The program professors, instructors, staff, alumni and current learners wish them all the best in pursuing excellence in rehabilitation practice.




Valedictorian Speech of May 2012 Master of Rehabilitation Science Grads

Spring 2012 Grads: L-R: Physical Therapist Rebecca Shook, Physical Therapist Sarah Strickey and Occupational Therapist Sabrina Li

On Wednesday, May 23 these three therapists joined the growing number of Master of Rehabilitation Science graduates. Although only Vancouver-based Rebecca Shook was able to cross the stage at convocation, her colleagues Sabrina Li in Hong Kong and Sarah Strickey in Cary, North Carolina in the U.S. were in touch to share the occasion and prepare the traditional joint valedictorian speech. Please join us in congratulating these graduates and enjoy their celebratory words.

It is both thrilling and surreal to be submitting these remarks as we complete our MRSc journey! This program has followed us all through a multitude of life changes from new jobs to new babies to new countries. This program has remained the constant through all these events. It goes without saying that the nature of this program has allowed us to balance the other aspects of our lives while providing us with an invaluable way to stay current, grow as professionals, and develop practical skills to apply to our clinical practices.

Collectively, we have learned some valuable lessons throughout the course of our studies that are worth sharing.

  • Organization pays off
    Without good organization of notes, journal articles, to-do lists and references lists from the beginning, we’re not sure we would be completing this now- at least not with our sanity relatively intact!
  • No man (or woman) is an island
    Completing research in isolation without input from others may seem attractive at first (I get to do it my way, all the time!), but it makes for an inferior product in the end.
  • Research’s spill-over effect
    Through the process of completing this degree we have also internalized knowledge on evidence-based practice, literature searching, writing and referencing and have gleaned a much greater appreciation of what is required to support new ideas and initiatives in practice.
  • Research is fun
    There is an inherent thrill in discovering new information (or confirming your own hypotheses) and then writing about it in a manner that makes it accessible for other clinicians. And the fun doesn’t stop there; research findings lead to more questions which drives us all to keep studying!
  • Research is challenging
    As novice researchers it is easy to underestimate the complexity of conducting research. The amount of discipline and planning that is required to ensure that the integrity of the research is maintained cannot be under-valued.
  • Research takes time
    It is not a process that can be rushed. Allow more time than seems reasonable for every step and attempt to plan for every foreseeable obstacle
  • Buy-in is essential
    When developing or improving rehabilitation services, research is important, but ‘buy-in’ from stakeholders is also important! We need to ‘think outside the box’, then try to understand the stakeholders’ needs and use ‘their’ language.
  • It’s a small world after all
    The greatest advantage of this program is that it can be literally completed from anywhere in the world. The three of us are a testament to that as we cover three countries and two continents. The value of learning from colleagues around the globe has been paramount to our experience.

From our first (admittedly tentative) posts to our final assignments the faculty and staff associated with the MRSc program have encouraged and motivated us to succeed. Without their unwavering support, it would not be possible to complete a program of this magnitude from afar. We would specifically like to thank our major project supervisors, Dr. Lesley Bainbridge, Alison Gerlach, and Sue Stanton, whose guidance and encouragement were instrumental to the success of our major projects. Finally, we wish to thank our families, our friends and our colleagues who supported us in countless ways throughout this experience!

While we have looked forward to completing this degree for quite some time, we also know that we will greatly miss the stimulating discussions we have shared over the years with our fellow learners. Their enthusiasm has continually pushed us to think beyond the boundaries. To all our colleagues who are considering embarking on this journey – go for it; it is a challenging, yet rewarding experience.

Best of luck to all current and future MRSc learners; may you continue to set goals that inspire you!

Sabrina Li, Hong Kong

Rebecca Shook, Vancouver, BC, Canada,

Sarah Strickey, Cary, NC, USA

Wray and Mortenson Win CAOT 2012 Golden Quill Award

Ellie Wray and Patricia Mortenson received exciting news last week from the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT). They have received the Golden Quill Award for the publishing an exceptional article in the Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy. The paper, Cultural competence in occupational therapists working in early intervention therapy programs, was published in 2011. It was based on the major project research conducted by Ellie as part of the requirement for completing her Master of Rehabilitation Science degree at UBC. Patricia Mortenson was Ellie’s research supervisor.

According to the criteria published on the CAOT website, an exceptional article is one that:

  1. Is rigorously designed or argued,
  2. Demonstrates a high level of scholarship and critical thinking,
  3. Enhances the empirical and/or theoretical foundation of the profession, and
  4. Provides a model for excellent scholarly writing in the field.

Ellie is now an instructor in RHSC 503: Reasoning and Decision Making and Patricia continues to teach in RHSC 501: Evaluating Sources of Evidence in the MRSc program.

Congratulations to both!

UBC Research Relay Webinars Begin Next Week

RESEARCH RELAYS for rehabilitation practice

Relay – either as a noun or a verb may involve passing information from one person to another — one practice to another — one location to another — often with a goal or destination in mind. Also associated with ensuring good connections and speed. All of these we hope to accomplish with this new webinar series brought to you by the UBC Rehabilitation Science Online Programs.

Please join us for one or all of these FREE webinars where graduates from the Master of Rehabilitation Science Program present their major project research. By relaying their results and any further work they have done in the area, we invite you to pick up the ‘virtual baton’ and discuss how it could influence your practice and work setting. Make new practice connections in just one hour!

CLICK HERE to register at least one week prior to session date

February 10 – noon to 1 pm PST
Parents’ Experience in Role Negotiation in the Family Centered Care Model of Infant Services
Presenter: Karen Hurtubise

February 24 – noon to 1 pm PST
Comparison of the Norwich Regime to the Static Splinting Protocol for Extensor Tendon Injuries
Presenter: Clare Faulkner

March 2 – noon to 1 pm PST
Development of a Points-based Caseload Measure for Community Based Pediatric Therapists
Presenter: Kathy Davidson

April 20 – noon to 1 pm PDT
Successful Intraprofessional Relationships between Therapists and Therapist Assistants
Presenter: Jennifer Stephenson

May 4 – noon to 1 pm PDT
Processing Strategies Parents Use to Synthesize Healthcare Data Related to their Child
Presenter: Karen Hurtubise

May 25 – noon to 1 pm PDT
Pediatric Feeding
Presenters: Janice Duivestein & Astrid St. Pierre

CLICK HERE to register at least one week prior to session date

Reception Honours the Fall 2011 Graduates from the UBC Rehabilitation Science Graduate Programs

Heather Burrett (left) and Anne Leclerc, Master of Rehabilitation Science Fall 2011 grads

The tradition of holding a reception honouring the most recent graduates from the UBC Rehabilitation Science Graduate programs is well established now and serves as an opportunity for the graduates, the faculty, family, and the ever expanding rehabilitation community to celebrate their accomplishments.  On November 24, Sue Stanton, Director of the Master in Rehabilitation Science program and Associate Professor in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy (OS&OT) was the MC for the evening and began the formal speeches with the following:
“People with disabilities have it… Marathon runners have it… and graduates also have it — in spades. What is it? Persistence and determination to get a fix on a goal and work as hard as they know to reach that target. Tonight we are here to honour all of the graduates and to recognize the result of these important attributes.”

The Fall 2011 graduates include:  Rick Celebrini receiving his Doctor of Philosophy, Sandra Hale, Sarah Neil and Jeanie Zabukovec , their Master of Science, and Marjorie Berry, Heather Burrett, Delicia Jackson, Anne Leclerc and Elaine Widgett, their Master of Rehabilitation Science.

Also present at the reception were honoured guests from the UBC Faculty of Medicine: Dr. Peter Leung, Associate Dean for Graduate and Post Doctorate Education, Dr. Brenda Loveridge, Associate Dean of Health Professions, and Dr. Jayne Garland, Head of Department of Physical Therapy.

Dr. Leung offered a few words on behalf of the Dean of Medicine, who was unable to attend. He began by expressing how deeply honoured he was to be present and proud of the accomplishments of the graduates and the growing reputation of the programs as the best in North America and in the world. Dr. Leung described the grads as the best ambassadors for the programs, given they were leaders in rehabilitation science whether their studies advanced science, theory or found solutions to workplace problems. He suggested that their studies may be some of their most treasured memories of their professional lives, and that the relationships established will continue in the future helping to support and celebrate future accomplishments. Dr. Leung concluded with commendations of the graduates’ hard earned achievements and looked forward to their further contributions to the advancement of the science of rehabilitation and promotion of physical, mental and social well being among people of all levels of ability.

Dr. Lyn Jongbloed, who is also a member of the OS&OT Department and oversees the Phd and MSc programs, introduced Sandra Hale, who spoke on behalf of the MSc graduates. In addition to expressing the shared happiness of completing their degrees, Sandra paid special tribute to the research participants because, in Sandra’s words, “without them, we would not be able to do what we do.”

Rick Celebrini, who was the sole recipient of the Doctor of Philosophy degree, admitted that he had no idea of what he was getting into 7 years ago but can probably be described as not only a marathon runner but a tri-athlete. While completing his PhD, Rick recounted other dear and important mileposts. He became a husband, father of three kids, chief therapist for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic games, and dealt with the emotional impact of the death of his father. Rick notes that although these don’t act as credits in accomplishing a Phd., he credited and named many people who were part of his support team and who helped him balance family and career goals.

The final words were given by MRSc graduate Heather Burrett with Anne Leclerc at her side. She shared that all the graduates took on the MRSc seeking an academically challenging program with very practical workplace applications. Although the other graduates were unable to attend, they had sent their thoughts about ‘connecting dots’ to Heather who relayed them to those present. Please listen to her full speech.

MC Sue Stanton concluded the formal speeches of the evening with four principles Rick Hansen offered in this book Going the Distance: Seven steps to personal change.
1.    Recognize that goals are both objective and subjective; objective in that you accomplished them and subjective in terms of how you feel about them;
2.    Take responsibility for your success – recognize that your actions actually created this end project;
3.    Celebrate your success [as we are doing this evening]; and
4.    Identify the ingredients of your success so can you apply the recipe to your next goal.

Many thanks to Andrea Walus and Sally Clark for a successful reception that was memorable for the graduates and all the members of their support teams.

World Occupational Day Online Conference on October 26

The Online Technology 4 Occupational Therapy group is sponsoring a 24-hour conference on World Occupational Therapy Day. Check out the program and consider viewing one or more sessions. Recent (2010) UBC Master of Occupational Therapy grad Doug Herasymuik is presenting on his international fieldwork experience.

The program site has a link to an international clock so you can schedule your time. Last year, the sessions were very stimulating and it was interesting to see how well the technology worked around the world. Although I couldn’t participate in many of the sessions due to work priorities, I did stay ‘tuned in’ for the day – was like having the radio on and tuned to a station just for OT! It’s definitely worth a try.

September Starts with few Glitches

Another hectic September is drawing to a close and despite some glitches everyone seems to have survived and is settling into the term. We experienced the fewest Vista difficulties so kudos to everyone at UBC IT Services for both pro-active strategies and quick fixes. They work long hours and many weekends to help deliver a trouble-free learning environment.

Thanks to everyone for accepting the Permanent ULRS (PURLS) into your studies. Respecting UBC copyright we no longer post PDFs of e-readings in the courses but if logged into the UBC library with our CWL ID the readings are just a click away with the PURLS. More kudos to Administrative Manager Andrea Walus, work study students Michael Haack and Judy Cu, and librarian Charlotte Beck for the countless hours spent finding and testing the PURLS, especially for off-campus access.

This Fall we admitted 26 new learners to the online programs: 8 Master of Rehab Science Learners; 6 Graduate Certificate learners (many we hope will transfer into the MRSc or MSc program) and 12 McMaster learners. We also welcome McMaster instructor Aileen Costigan who brings her enthusiasm and a keen interest in augmentative communication into her teaching in RHSC 501/ RS 705 Evaluating Sources of Evidence – all the way from Ithaca College in New York State. She joins returning instructors: Sandra Bressler, Dale Graham, Wilma Jelley, Ben Mortenson, Karen Pontello, Sue Stanton and Darene Toal-Sullivan.

Congratulations to the 30th MRSc Graduate Lori Marsh

Although Lori was not able to attend this Spring’s convocation, she takes a special place in the history of the program as our 30th graduate. Lori is a physical therapist on acute orthopaedics at the Ottawa Hospital – Civic Campus. Her reasons for taking a master’s were to be ready for new opportunities created by the expanding scope of physical therapy practice.

At the grad reception held on Tuesday, May 24, Lori’ s research supervisor Dr. Lesley Bainbridge read the following message sent by Lori who is currently on holidays in Ireland.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to say a few words while I’m out of the country.

From my very first post in my first course, Evaluating Sources of Evidence, to sending off my final revision of my major project, this has been an amazing journey. As with any journey, there have been challenges, both academically and personally. Since the fall of 2007 when I started, deadlines have come and gone, and courses were completed, one by one. I have watched two children graduate from high school and one from college. I have said goodbye to my grandmother, a nephew and my father-in-law, and celebrated my 25th wedding anniversary. In addition to my very patient husband, the one constant throughout the four years has been my laptop. While not occupying half of our dining room table, it has traveled to England, France, and New York City. Now on its last legs, it has been replaced by a much lighter, cooler iPad.

In addition to all that I learned through the course of my degree, I learned a few truths.
1.    Don’t leave submissions until the last minute: the server may be down!
2.    Having tech support in the guise of teenagers is invaluable.
3.    Back everything up-twice! USB sticks do die!
And finally,

4.    What an amazing world we live in, where I can sit in my pajamas in my dining room in Ottawa and discuss common issues with a classmate in Hong Kong!

I would like to thank Lesley Bainbridge for her invaluable support and guidance over the past year while I completed my final project.

Thanks must also go to Sue Stanton who regularly checked in during the final course even when she was south of the equator and to Andrea Walus who answered questions no matter how silly they seemed. Finally, I would like to recognize all the learners and instructors I met, worked with and learned from during this degree.

It has been an amazing four years and I have highly recommended this program to my colleagues. One actually listened to me and began her own journey in the fall of 2010!

Lori’s research entitled Isolation and the Older Adult: Best Practices for Physiotherapy Interventions suggests that physiotherapy intervention should be frequent, aimed at preventing loss of function, and started early within a patient stay to prevent de-conditioning in older adults on isolation in acute care. For the full abstract, visit the program website.

Congratulations Lori – may you seize, as a master of rehabilitation science, the new opportunities that await you.

Check Out the Latest CATS

Learners who completed the course Evaluating Sources of Evidence last Fall, are starting to post their Critically Appraised Topics (CATS). CATS begin to provide direction for practice by asking a clinical question, reviewing the literature and summarizing the best available research evidence on the subject. Download any of the following or previously posted CATS on the Master of Rehabilitation Science program website.

Brown, J. (2010). The Effectiveness of Removable Walking Casts and Total Contact Casting in Decreasing Healing Time of Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Evans, A. (2010). Support for aerobic exercise training in heart failure (HF) patients.

Holuboff, B. (2010). Does mobilization of the acutely ill elder on day of admission decrease their risk for developing delirium?

Richter, A. (2010). Is BAT or mCIMT more effective in producing improvement in affected UE ADL performance post stroke/CVA?

Shah, M. (2010). There is evidence to suggest that inpatient rehabilitation helps improve functional outcomes for elderly patients with hip fractures

Back to School and Contemplating a Master’s

A common New Year’s Resolution among health professionals is to consider some type of upgrading or new learning. Each January there is a jump in the number of emails requesting information about the Master of Rehabilitation Science program. Although the application deadline isn’t until April 30 it is wise to start contemplating a master’s early, as the paper work itself can take a few weeks.

In addition to the information for prospective learners on the MRSc program website, I recently came across an article that captures many of the same experiences and pay-offs that our graduates report. It is written by a neurosurgeon who returned to do a professional master’s in bioethics.
Back to School Days by Mark Bernstein in Academic Matters, October/November 2010.

It’s definitely worth a read.