Tag Archives: innovation

A Community of Practice: O.T. & Indigenous Health

Are you interested in Aboriginal health in Canada? Do you have practice, educational or research experience in Aboriginal health? Do you have thoughts, ideas, perspectives related to Aboriginal health?

‘Partnerships for Change’ is an emerging international community of practice focused on occupational therapy and indigenous health. It is a virtual gathering place for practitioners, educators and researchers involved or interested in  issues related to the significant health disparities that continue to be experienced by many indigenous peoples in Canada and worldwide.

‘Partnerships for Change’ utilizes a wikispace platform. Currently there are two ‘Hot Topics’ as starting points for generating a sharing of viewpoints. Here is our first ‘hot topic’ –

Occupational therapy purports to have a holistic core to services provision, yet is historically grounded in western notions and mainly provided through western health care systems. What does occupational therapy have to offer indigenous peoples? How meaningful is occupational therapy for indigenous peoples who may have an alternative worldview of health and wellbeing?

Maintaining the silence is an effective way of maintaining the status quo. This community of practice provides an opportunity for occupational therapists internationally to have a voice. Join or visit by going to:


The creation for this community of practice was a collaborative one between myself, and a Maori O.T., and non-Maori O.T. in New Zealand. Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions at agerlach@hawaii.rr.com

Alison Gerlach, MSc, OT(C)

Sue Stanton Awarded Innovation in Education Award

If you ask the right questions and listen carefully, you might get it right. But it takes much more to develop and deliver online graduate studies. It requires leadership, innovation, determination and perseverance — qualities that Sue has in abundance and encourages in others.

When the news broke that she had received the UBC Faculty of Medicine’s Continuing Medical Education/Continuing Professional Education Award (CME/CPD Award, it was cause for great celebration. Very few Faculty of Medicine (FOM) awards are presented publicly each year and Sue will receive her award at the UBC FoM Annual Awards Ceremony on May 31st, at 5pm at the UBC Golf Course.

Upon receiving the news, Sue wrote, “I am delighted! It is an honour to receive this award from the Faculty of Medicine especially in the 5th anniversary year of the MRSc.”

The Rehabilitation Science Online Programs began in 2002 with less than 15 learners enrolled in the Graduate Certificate in Rehabilitation and now includes the Master of Rehabilitation Science (MRSc) with over 100 learners representing 8 different health professions.

As a life long learner herself, Sue has made it her mission to support health professionals’ desire to learn. She carefully listens to and researches their needs, develops and provides courses to meet these needs, and navigates the higher educational systems to ensure access through the use of innovative technology.

Without Sue’s vision, accessing these quality programs would only be possible to those health professionals who live within commuting distance of UBC, and who have both the time and resources to study full-time. Sue has brought the programs, the research and the knowledge process to their workplaces, and her vision, now a reality, is having a positive impact on rehabilitation practice and patient outcomes.

Please join us in congratulating Sue on receiving this prestigious award.