Mark your calendars for the Connect + Learn Physiotherapy Alberta Conference today!










Friday, October 18

6:30-8:30 Optional Pub Night
Location TBD                                                                                    

Saturday, October 19

7:15 - 8:00 Continential Breakfast
8:00 Welcome Remarks
8:15 - 9:15 Indigenous Reconciliation: Finding Common Ground Through Dialogue
Waneek Horn-Miller
9:15 - 9:30 Break
                        Toolkit Topics Condition-Specific Professional Issues
9:30 - 10:30 Predicting and Preventing Decline in Older Adults: Tools to Optimize your Practice
Todd Wolansky, BScPT, Clinical Specialization Senior's Health and Cathy Harbidge, PT
Alberta Cancer Exercise Program: Exercise Training in Adult Survivors of Cancer
Margie McNeely, PT, PhD
What Kind of Interprofessional Collaborator Am I?
Lesley Bainbridge, BSR(PT), MEd, PhD and Liz Harrison, PhD, BPT, Dip Sport PT
10:30 - 10:45 Break
10:45 - 11:45 Sport-Related Concussion: An Update on the Evidence
Kathryn Schneider, PT, PhD, DipManipPT
Parkinson’s Disease: Current Trends, Evidence to Support Them
Marguerite Wieler, PhD and Cari Cooke, PT
Medical Cannabis, Sorting “doobie”-ous Claims from “high”-level Evidence
Joey Ton, BScPharm, PharmD
11:45 - 1:00 Lunch/Awards
1:00 - 2:00 How to Stay Interested in Your Career
Peter Katz
2:00 - 3:00 Benign Paroxymal Positional Vertigo
Bernard Tonks, PT
Pregnancy-Related Diastasis Rectus Abdominis: State of the Science
Sinéad Dufour, PT, PhD
More than Touch: Integrating Trauma-Informed Care into Daily Practice                     
Candice Schachter, PT, PhD and Carol Stalker, MSW, PhD
3:00 - 3:30 Coffee
3:30 - 4:30 Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: Can you Recognize it? Do you Know How to Treat it?
Janet Holly, BHSc P.T., MSc, Clinical Specialist in Pain Science
Exercise, a SMART Tool to Decrease Burden in Pediatric Cancer
Carolina Chamorro-Viña, PhD
Physiotherapy EMR: Don't Miss the Forest While Saving the Trees
Jeremy McAllister, PT, MHA
4:30 - 4:35 Transition
4:35 Short Snapper #1
Various speakers
Short Snapper #2     
Various speakers
5:15 Cocktails and Networking Reception

Sunday, October 20

7:30 a.m. Breakfast
7:40 - 8:05 Supporting You and Your Patient's Recovery
Riikka Niemelainen, PT, Ph.D
8:00 Welcome Back Comments: Council President/Registrar
                                        Tookit Topics                     Condition-Specific Business Bootcamp
8:15 - 9:15 Physiotherapists' Hero Complex
Jim Millard, BSc(PT) MClSc (PT) FCAMPT                                                            
Unraveling the Current Evidence to Managing ACL Injuries
Linda Truong, PT, PhD Trainee
Let's Start Your Business Plan
Kiran Sagoo, B. Com Accounting
9:15 - 9:30 Break  
9:30 - 10:30 Lifestyle Interventions: The Case for Health Coaching
Sinéad Dufour, PT, PhD
Back from the Brink... Why Patient-Centered Care Matters Most!
Marilyn Rose and Holly Frances
Business Bootcamp: Accounting Basics for Business Owners and Startups
Shannon Stewart, CPA, CGA
10:30 - 10:45 Coffee  
10:45 - 11:45 Failure to Thrive: Exploring Frailty in Older Adults
Jennifer Russil, BScPT
Scared to Move: Kinesiophobia Following a Knee Injury
Christina Le, PT, PhD Candidate
Creating Social Media Content That Converts
Beverly Theresa
11:45 - 12:00 Coffee
12:00 - 1:00 Ordinary to Extraordinary
Martin Parnell
1:00 Box Lunch and Goodbye

Speaker: Margaret McNeely, PT, PhD

The presentation will start with a review of the evidence supporting exercise training for adult survivors of cancer, followed by an update on the Alberta Cancer Exercise program, a hybrid effectiveness-implementation study that is being rolled out across the province.


Speakers: Marilyn Rose and Holly Frances

Shortly after giving birth, Holly was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome. She spent over four months in the hospital, completely paralyzed. She relied on her family to be her voice, and the medical team to help her get back to her life. Holly and her mother Marilyn share the challenges and breakthroughs they encountered throughout their ordeal. Together they share the heart wrenching experiences that brought them and the hospital teams together. Their goal is to inspire a genuine understanding of patient-centered care and individual treatment strategies.


Speaker: Bernard Tonks, PT

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is the most common cause of vertigo arising from the vestibular system. Treatment maneuvers have a very high success rate and can be performed in most clinical settings as well as in the community. This session will provide participants with an understanding of how to diagnose and effectively treat this common yet frequently misunderstood pathology.


Speaker: Shannon Stewart, CPA, CGA

As a small business owner, Shannon will teach some of the accounting basics for business owners and startups that she feels are important for those that are taking on a new venture. We will explore the differences of sole proprietors vs incorporated companies. She will also discuss what to look for when it comes to bookkeeping and accounting services to help support your business.


Speaker: Janet Holly, BHSc P.T., MSc, Clinical Specialist in Pain Science

This interactive workshop will expand the information provided in Physiotherapy Alberta College and Association’s Toolkit for chronic pain. Using case studies, front line clinicians will be given the opportunity to apply the diagnostic criteria for CRPS and develop holistic management plans for treatment of patients affected by this diagnosis. Realistic prognosis expectations will also be shared. Together barriers and facilitators to recovery will also be explored. Clinicians will be empowered to have the confidence to effectively manage this complex condition. Standards on when to seek specialty care for this population will also be shared.


Speaker: Beverley Theresa

Using social media can be a pain the neck. In this session, attendees will learn not only how to streamline the social media marketing process to save time but will learn from real life examples what kind of content gets engagement and new clients. Beverley will also show attendees the tools and apps needed to elevate their digital marketing.


Speaker: Jennifer Russill, BScPT

Learn about what frailty is, how to identify frail clients, and what physiotherapists can do to prevent or reverse frailty.


Speaker: Carolina Chamorro-Viña, PhD

Currently, 80% of pediatric patients affected by cancer will survive. However, this is not without setbacks or late effects. Research showed that 75 % of young adult affected by pediatric cancer will develop a chronic health condition that might impact a participant’s quality of life. There is a growing body of evidence that emphasize the benefit of exercise during and after cancer treatment to diminish the prevalence and severity of side-effects. This presentation summarizes the evidence supporting exercise during and after cancer diagnosis, reviews exercise safety considerations and highlights where we are at regarding exercise guidelines.

Speaker: Kiran Sagoo, B. Com Accounting

Want to start your business but have no idea where to begin? In this session, we will outline key areas to consider when developing a well-rounded business plan as a beneficial tool for your business. In this session you will learn the most essential sections to include in a business plan, the importance of doing research for your industry, competition and customer, what details should be included in your marketing plan, and how to format your financial plan. We will also discuss resources that can be used if you need additional help building out your business plan.


Speaker: Sinéad Dufour, PT, PhD

In this session, delegates will be taken on a journey to various content areas of physiotherapy practice to better understand the state of the science related to lifestyle interventions. Given that lifestyle interventions cannot be prescribed as they are dependent on the enactment of specific behaviours, the concept of health coaching becomes very relevant and important for physiotherapists in the 21st century and beyond. At the end of this session delegates will have an understanding of the what, why and how related to health coaching that can be applied across all content areas of physiotherapy practice.


Speaker: Joey Ton, BScPharm, PharmD

During this session, we will review the evidence for medical cannabinoids that was found during the creation of the cannabinoid primary care guideline. Additionally, speak to the challenges that are present in the medical literature around cannabinoids and then progress to discuss the limited evidence for a number of medical conditions. There will be a focus on four conditions for which there is reasonable evidence: neuropathic pain, cancer pain nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy and spasticity. With this information, we will reflect on the recommendations from the guideline and discuss practical aspects such as cost.


Speaker: Candice Schachter, PT, PhD and Carol Stalker, MSW, PhD

The high prevalence of traumatic events such as sexual abuse, sexual assault, and physical abuse suggests that all physiotherapists work knowingly or unknowingly with trauma survivors on a daily basis. This presentation will provide participants with tools to reflect on ways to make their daily practice more “trauma-informed.” We will review the principles of trauma-informed practice and explore consequences of not embracing it. Responses to disclosure of past trauma and steps to take if a patient is triggered by physiotherapy will be discussed. Emphasis will be placed on providing information that can be readily applied to practice settings.


Speaker: Jeremy McAllister, PT, MHA

When physiotherapists speak of moving from the traditional file folder chart to electronic medical records (EMR) they often say they are “going paperless.” Certainly, reducing paper through EMR adoption has many benefits and creates opportunities for efficiency, cost reduction, and better environmental stewardship. But if paper elimination is physiotherapy’s sole reason for EMR adoption, we are missing the greater significance of its role as the backbone of digital health care transformation. This session will provide an overview of the potential “big picture” benefits of EMR for local clinics and physiotherapy as a profession for both now and the coming years.


Speaker: Jim Millard, BSc(PT) MClSc (PT) FCAMPT

Given the frequency and duration of our interactions with patients, the means by which we communicate should not be viewed as passive but as a fundamental strategized form of care that is thoughtfully selected for each patient in a similar manner to other interventions. Coaching is a communication intervention strategy that improves patient outcomes by empowering autonomy, competence, relatedness and behaviour change. Coaching helps move patients from speculation to motivation and from passive to pro-active. Coaching creates action and can better serve our patients long-term health behaviours. Acquisition of coaching skills by physiotherapists should not be overlooked.


Speakers: Todd Wolansky, BScPT, Clinical Specialization Senior's Health and Cathy Harbidge, PT

This will be an interactive session designed to bring to life tools for identifying modifiable indicators of early functional decline for community-dwelling older adults. The speakers will present tools and their related evidence, as well as demonstrate how easily they can be used in practice. An overview of common comorbidities and medical conditions associated with the indicators will be provided.


Speaker: Linda Truong, PT, PhD Trainee

An overview of the current evidence on managing anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries will be presented. The objectives of this session are to improve an understanding of criteria-based rehabilitation and the importance of focusing on improving both short-term (i.e., return to sport or activity) and long term (i.e., delaying post-traumatic osteoarthritis and promoting life-long health-related quality of life) outcomes after ACL injuries. Surgical and non-surgical approaches will also be discussed as well as clinical strategies and resources to improve management of ACL injuries.


Speaker: Lesley Bainbridge, BSR(PT), MEd, PhD and Liz Harrison, PhD, MSc, BPT, Dip Sport PT

As physiotherapists we consider ourselves good collaborators. Reflecting on your performance how do you think others would rate your collaboration? In your experience, do different practice contexts change the way you collaborate? As an individual clinician what can you influence that will contribute to high-quality patient centered collaborative care? As an administrator and/or policy maker how can you create an environment that supports interprofessional collaboration? In addition to introducing recent research findings on the topic, the session will engage participants through a “world café” interactive small group discussion format.


Speaker: Christina Le, PT, PhD Candidate and Josh Kennedy, BSc KIN Student

Many physical, psychological, and social consequences are associated with suffering a knee injury, such as an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear. Physiotherapists are well-equipped to tackle physical consequences but may feel less confident treating psychological consequences. This session will focus on kinesiophobia: an irrational fear of movement or re-injury. Heightened fear of re-injury is one of the most frequently reported reasons for quitting sports after sustaining an ACL injury. We will describe kinesiophobia from a research and clinical perspective, provide patient examples and experiences, and discuss how to better manage kinesiophobia during knee injury rehabilitation.


Speaker: Riikka Niemelainen, PT, Ph.D

Alberta wants to lead the way in providing rehabilitation support to injured workers, ensuring they have the best access to services and supports to help them recover and return to work. A notable rise in injured workers with secondary psychological issues, at a rate of 16% per year, has introduced new challenges to rehabilitation and service delivery. This is where we need to work together. This presentation focuses on the benefits of an open communication between you and WCB and outlines the additional services available through WCB for workers to help them in their recovery journey.


Updates & Insights: AHS Physio Teleconsult Service for Chronic Pain

Speaker: Kate Gerry

Join Kate for an update on the AHS Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation Chronic Pain Teleconsult Service. The program has a dual purpose, to ascertain the needs of health-care professionals while helping to support best practice. Learn what have been the trends in the data thus far and how accessing this service may help to support & optimize your management of your chronic pain patients.


MDT With and Without Steroid Injections for Lumbar Radiculopathy

Speaker: Audrey Long and Geoff Bostick

This feasibility study compared the effects of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), with and without steroid injection, in people with lumbar radiculopathy. Participants were randomly allocated into a control group (steroid injection only) and the intervention group (MDT with or without a steroid injection). In the intervention group, participants were initially screened to determine response to MDT. Responders continued with MDT while non-responders received a steroid injection, followed by MDT. All participants were evaluated at baseline, 2 weeks, 6 weeks and 3 months for leg pain intensity, disability and global perceived effect. Preliminary findings are presented.


Can Physiotherapists Screen for Psychosocial Factors in Patients with Low Back Pain

Speaker: Karin Eldred, Krista Shore & Jason Daoust

As part of the AHS Research Challenge, our team investigated the feasibility of North Zone physiotherapists’ ability to screen outpatients with low back pain for psychosocial risk factors using the StarTBack Tool. PTs were asked to use the StarTBack Tool with appropriate patients over a 3-month period. The PTs were then interviewed about their experience. We will share the themes that emerged and discuss opportunities for and barriers to broader implementation.


A New Post-Sternotomy Movement Strategy: Keep Your Move in the Tube

Speaker: Lauren Park

There is little evidence to support the movement restrictions associated with sternal precautions post-sternotomy. An alternative, evidence-based, approach is needed. We are prospectively comparing sternal precautions to a new strategy called Keep Your Move in the TubeTM (KYMITT) using a before/after cohort design. We have recruited 100 patients into the sternal precautions group and another 100 patients will be recruited into the KYMITT strategy group. Patient-oriented outcomes (e.g., return to function, pain, wound healing, health services use) will be measured over 12-weeks post-operatively. Study results should confirm KYMITT is a useful evidence-based movement strategy for post-sternotomy patients.



Does Inspiratory Muscle Training Change Pelvic Floor Muscle Function?

Speaker: Meaghan Evans, Kristen Grovue, and Jessica DeMars

This study aimed to establish whether there is a change in pelvic floor muscle (PFM) function following an inspiratory muscle training (IMT) breathing intervention in women with and without stress urinary incontinence. Method: 10 healthy controls and 10 women with stress urinary incontinence were assessed by physiotherapists trained in each respective field for changes in pelvic floor muscle function before and after an IMT breathing intervention. Hypothesis: There would be a change in pelvic floor muscle function – specifically resting muscle tone, excursion and coordination - after an IMT breathing exercise intervention.


Kinematic and Stability Changes in Women Using a Sacroiliac Belt

Speaker: Magali Robert

A case control study of five women with PGP were matched to women without pain will be presented. Stability was measured with 95% confidence ellipse of centre of pressure during standing with the belt off and on. Kinematic studies were performed during standing and the stance phase of walking with and without the belt. The CoP data showed improved stability in all women with application of the belt (p = .005). Similar stability and kinematic changes were seen in women with and without PGP.


A Physiotherapy Research Experience from a Clinician Perspective

Speaker: Meaghan Evans, Kristen Grovue and Jessica DeMars

Having collaborated on a physiotherapy research project, we learned a lot about the actual research we were performing in trying to answer some of our clinical questions. In addition, we learned about what was involved in trying to do clinical research while maintaining regular "day jobs" as clinical physiotherapists and balancing busy family lives.



Horn-Miller’s public life began in 1990 at the age of 14. During the Oka Crisis, she protested the planned development of condos and a golf course on traditional Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) lands and burial grounds near Montreal. After nearly 80 days of stand-off with the RCMP and armed forces, she was stabbed in the chest by a Canadian soldier wielding a bayonet. The image of her wounded, holding her young sister, was shared across national media—and further galvanized Canadians to better understand, and care about, Indigenous issues. This near-death experience marked a turning point in her life. Instead of succumbing to very real traumas, including PTSD, she found the strength to pursue, and achieve, incredible things. One of Horn-Miller’s greatest achievements has been in athletics. After winning gold with her water polo team at the Pan Am Games in 1999, and after winning MVP of the Canadian Senior Women’s Water Polo National Championships, she became the first Mohawk woman from this country to ever compete in the Olympic games, co-captaining Team Canada in Sydney in 2000. That same year, she appeared on the cover of TIME magazine. She went on to win bronze at the 2001 FINA World Championships and became a torchbearer for the Winter Olympics in Turin. She has been named one of Canada’s most influential women in sport by the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity.

Katz has evolved from a nervous first-timer at an open mic night into to a JUNO Award, Canadian Screen Award, and two-time Canadian Folk Music Award nominated singer-songwriter with five albums under his belt. He has toured the world for the past decade in support of his music, sharing the stage and studio with legendary musicians like Academy Award winner and Grammy nominee Glen Hansard, and Garth Hudson (from The Band). A gifted storyteller, Peter infuses his presentations with songs which inspire audiences to create their own path, overcome obstacles, and find success in whatever they desire.

In 2010, following a 25-year mining career, Martin Parnell started his "Quests for Kids" initiative. Over the next five years he completed 10 "Quests". These included running 250 marathons in one year, setting five Guinness World Records in endurance events and summiting Mount Kilimanjaro in 21 hours. At the end of 2014, he had raised over $1.3m for the humanitarian organization Right To Play and 27,000 children had been given the gift of hope. Martin's first book "Marathon Quest" was published by Rocky Mountain Books and CBC Radio listed him as one of Alberta's top five authors, for 2014. His second book, “Running to the Edge”, was released in November 2016. The final book of The Marathon Trilogy, “The Secret Marathon-Empowering women and girls in Afghanistan through sport” was published in 2018.

Session: Short Snapper #1

Audrey Long is a physical therapist and Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT) instructor. She is an internationally known MDT instructor and has co-authored a highly cited randomized controlled trial of MDT treatment for low back pain.

Session: Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

Bernard is a Physiotherapist who graduated from the University of Toronto in 1986. He has extensive experience in neurological and orthopaedic rehabilitation. Since 1993 he has worked in the private sector and in 1997 became a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Therapists. He has completed numerous courses in Vestibular Rehabilitation and in 2001 successfully completed a competency-based certification course in Atlanta, Georgia. He has been assessing and treating clients with vestibular dysfunctions since 1995. Since 2000, he has instructed courses in Vestibular Rehabilitation throughout Canada as well as internationally.

Sessions: Creating Social Media Content That Converts

Beverley Theresa began her career freelancing as a social media manager and went on to start the social media department at one of Alberta’s largest digital marketing agencies. Now she uses her hands-on experience to work with select businesses which have included Rogers Communications and the United Nations Association in Canada. She undoubtedly has the know-how, but audience members also love her humour, authentic viewpoint, and real-life examples that clearly illustrate what to do and what not to do. She’s consistently recognized as a crowd favourite speaker and has been featured in publications such as Forbes and Business News Daily.

Sessions: More than Touch: Integrating Trauma-Informed Care into Daily Practice

Candice Schachter is adjunct professor, School of Rehabilitation Science, University of Saskatchewan. She received physiotherapy training at USask and doctorate at Western University. She led the Sensitive Practice Project that generated research-based guidelines on trauma-informed care for health-care providers and co-authored The Handbook on Sensitive Practice for Health-Care Practitioners. Candice is currently a consultant on an NIH grant to train cancer care providers to implement sensitive practice guidelines, with faculty at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City. She believes trauma-informed care can foster more positive health-care experiences for survivors and more positive survivor-clinician relationships.

Session: Parkinson's Disease: Current Trends, Evidence to Support Them

Cari Cooke is a physiotherapist who has spent the last 16 years working specifically with persons with PD. Previously as a Deep Brain Stimulation Coordinator, Research Assistant, and clinician at the Movement Disorders Program in Edmonton, she has worked with clients and families at all stages of the disease. She currently consults for the Parkinson Association of Alberta, running group and individual exercise and education sessions. Cari has obtained certifications in NDT, LSVT BIG, PWR Moves, and Urban Poling.

Session: More than Touch: Integrating Trauma-Informed Care into daily Practice

Carol practiced social work in mental health settings before her appointment to the Faculty of Social Work, Wilfrid Laurier University in 1994. She worked intensively with women survivors of childhood sexual abuse, and her PhD dissertation explored factors contributing to resilience in survivors. She was a co-investigator in the research that culminated in the Handbook on Sensitive Practice for Health-Care Practitioners. She invites health-care providers to examine not only the degree to which their practice conforms to the principles of trauma-informed care, but also whether the cultures of the organizations where they work are informed by these principles.

Session: Exercise, a SMART Tool to Decrease Burden in Pediatric Cancer

Dr. Carolina Chamorro-Viña completed a Masters in Exercise and Chronic diseases and a Ph.D. in Biomedicine and Health, at the University Europea de Madrid in Spain. She completed her Post-doctoral appointment at the Health and Wellness Lab in the University of Calgary. Dr. Chamorro-Viña has been working in the field of pediatric cancer and exercise since 2004. She created the Pediatric cancer patients and survivors Engaging in Exercise for Recovery (PEER) program, a community-based exercise program for children with cancer and the Pediatric Oncology Exercise Manual (POEM), an exercise guideline for children with cancer.

Session: Predicting and Preventing Functional Decline in Older Adults: Tools to Optimize your Practice

Cathy Harbidge is a physiotherapist who has been working as the Calgary Fall Prevention Clinic Coordinator/Physiotherapist within Specialized Geriatric Services, Alberta Health Services for the past 18 years, and worked for 10 years prior to that in geriatrics in acute care. Cathy became a certified FallProof™ Balance and Mobility Specialist in January 2008, a certified Master Instructor in 2011, and she successfully completed the Vestibular certification course at Emory University in 2014. Her passions are both providing direct clinical care to older adults who fall and providing education on how others can improve their practice in this area.


Session: Scared to Move: Kinesiophobia Following a Knee Injury

Christina Le is a MScPT graduate (University of Alberta) and current PhD candidate (Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta). After working for over 8 years and frequently treating individuals with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries, Christina decided to pursue research to better understand knee injury rehabilitation. Her research goals include identifying factors that impact health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and developing strategies to improve long-term HRQOL in injured, young athletes. Christina continues to work part-time as a physiotherapist at the Glen Sather Sports Medicine Clinic.

Session: Short Snapper #1

Geoff Bostick is an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Alberta. His research interests are in the areas on entry-to-practice pain education and pain assessment.

Twitter: @hollyaftergbs

Sessions: Back from the Brink…Why Patient-Centered Care Matters Most!

Holly Frances is the author of Happily Ever After, her comeback story as paralyzed new mother that overcame the impossible, learned to walk again, and is now in the best shape of her life. Holly's incredible recovery videos have inspired over 200 million people around the world.

Twitter: @innerchildca

Session: Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: Can You Recognize It? Do You Know How to Treat It?

Janet is a Clinical Specialist in Pain Science with 27 years experience in complex pain. As a Clinician Researcher at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, her projects include: Virtual reality as a treatment for CRPS and the use of big data analytics to study ´The language of the autonomic nervous system’. She is an assessor for the CPA Specialty Program and Chair-elect of the Pain Science Division. She has participated in the International Association for the Study of Pain CRPS COMPACT group and Physiotherapy Alberta's Chronic Pain working group. She is a member of the International Research Consortium for CRPS.

Session: Short Snapper #1

Jason Daoust is a Physiotherapy Clinical Lead for the North Zone of Alberta Health Services. Prior to this role, Jason was the sole charge Physiotherapist providing acute care, continuing care, and outpatient services to the communities of Smoky Lake, Radway, and Redwater. Jason completed his undergraduate Kinesiology degree at the University of Calgary, leading to a 4 year career as a Kinesiologist before completing his Masters of Physiotherapy degree at the University of Alberta. Outside of work, Jason volunteers as a community basketball coach and a Clinical Director for the FUNfitness health screening program with Special Olympics Alberta.

Twitter: @jenrussill

Session: Failure to Thrive: Exploring Frailty in Older Adults

A physiotherapist for 20 years, Jennifer Russill has been working in the field of Geriatrics since 2006. Her current role in home living involves completing Comprehensive Geriatric Assessments for older adults with complex medical, functional, social, and cognitive concerns. Jennifer has presented on exercise for the frail elderly and has been involved in implementing the Edmonton Frail Scale in community-based clients in the Edmonton Zone.

Session: Physiotherapy EMR – Don’t Miss the Forest while Saving the Trees

Jeremy graduated from UBC in 1996. After 15 years of clinical practice, he completed a Master of Health Administration degree at UBC. It was during this time that he developed a strong interest in digital health and its potential application to physiotherapy in Canada. He subsequently developed the Physiotherapy EMR Adoption Toolkit which was adopted by the Physiotherapy Association of BC and then CPA. Jeremy is currently eHealth Manager for PABC and Project Manager for UBC's Program for Excellence in Telerehabilitation Education and Research. He also continues to work in orthopaedic physiotherapy practice and management in Chilliwack, BC.

Session: Short Snapper #2

Jessica DeMars is a private practice physiotherapist with an expanded skill set in assessing and treating dysfunctional breathing patterns in a variety of populations, including women's health.

Over the past 12 years I have been dedicated to investigating the role of dysfunctional breathing in individuals, having traveled around the world to be trained by experts in the field, as well as taking numerous courses in women's health. I have engaged in previous research looking at the role of inspiratory muscle training in children with asthma, and clinically use inspiratory muscle training on a daily basis.  I have also collaborated clinically with my co-presenters, which is what inspired us to engage in the current research project.

Twitter: @bodymechjim

Session: Physiotherapist Hero Complex

Jim graduated with a BSc(PT) from UWO in 1991 and a MClSc from Western in 2010. He is a founder of Compass Interactive, a teaching group whose goal is to improve and enhance communication skills for clinicians in health care. Jim is passionate about relationship centered-care and translating current communication science knowledge to the clinical world. Jim believes we are truly in the people business serving physiotherapy as clinicians and that coaching skills should be a standard part of clinician training. He lives and works in London, Ontario.

Sessions: Medical Cannabis, Sorting “doobie”-ous Claims from “high”-level Evidence

Dr. Joey Ton currently works as Clinical Evidence Expert with the PEER team and the CFPC (College of Family Physicians of Canada). He is a pharmacist by background and his work involves the development and delivery of physician education programs and primary care guidelines that utilize evidence-based medicine. Joey was one of the authors on the simplified guideline for prescribing medical cannabinoids published in 2018.

Session Title: Scared to Move: Kinesiophobia Following a Knee Injury

Josh Kennedy is a current 4th year BSc KIN student (Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation, University of Alberta) who has been a research assistant with the Alberta Prevention of Youth Early Osteoarthritis (PrE-OA) Cohort for the past 2 years. Josh's research focus within the study has involved assessing kinesiophobia in relation to knee function and physical activity levels in youth after a sports-related knee injury. Using this experience, Josh's current career aspiration is to become a physician specializing in the musculoskeletal aspects of health.

Session: Short Snapper #1

Karin Eldred is a sole charge physiotherapist working at Seton-Jasper Healthcare Centre. Since graduating with her BSc from the University of Alberta in 2003, she earned an MSc in Rehabilitation Science (2008) and a Graduate Certificate in Pain Management (2018). She practices in all areas of physiotherapy including outpatients, inpatients, and supported living. She is passionate about physiotherapy, hosting over 20 PT students at her site and serving as a council member for Physiotherapy Alberta College and Association. Outside of work, Karin enjoys skiing, biking and hiking with her family and friends in Jasper National Park.

Session: Short Snapper #1

Kate Gerry holds a BSc PT from U of Alberta and a B of Physical Education in Outdoor Pursuits from U of Calgary. She is a physiotherapist and yoga teacher at the AHS Chronic Pain Centre in Calgary, AB. Kate launched the AHS CPC Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation Teleconsult Pilot Service province-wide in 2017. This service provides consultations for health professionals, in both the private & public sectors, to enhance the knowledge of existing services, provide professional support and help optimize chronic pain service access & delivery. Kate has physiotherapy experience in Hawaii, Ethiopia & Haiti.


Sessions: Sport-Related Concussion: An Update on the Evidence

Kathryn Schneider is an Assistant Professor and Clinician Scientist (Physiotherapist) at the Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre, University of Calgary. Her research focuses on the prevention, detection and treatment of concussion. She is a Clinical Specialist in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy, a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Physiotherapists and has expertise in vestibular rehabilitation. She was received the 2018 JOSPT Award for Excellence in Research.  Invited speaking highlights include the 4th and 5th International Consensus Conferences on Concussion in Sport, International Olympic Committee (IOC) medical meetings at the Sochi, Rio and PyeongChang Olympic games.

Twitter: @AWEBusiness

Sessions: Let’s Start Your Business Plan

Kiran Sagoo is currently the Financing Specialist with Alberta Women Entrepreneurs (AWE). Since 2016, she has helped start, build and grow businesses through one-on-one advising with entrepreneurs, facilitating business workshops and providing loans to qualified businesses all across Alberta. Along with completing her Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting at the University of Alberta, Kiran's various experiences of crunching numbers as a project accountant for a construction company to a customer service & sales trainer at a major retail company also give her a unique skill set and perspective to bring to her role at AWE.

Session: Short Snapper #1

Krista Shore is a physiotherapist living in Jasper and working in the neighboring community of Hinton at the Hinton Healthcare Centre. Krista works in a mixed caseload seeing both inpatients and outpatients, with a special interest in Vestibular Rehabilitation and Concussion Management. Krista is passionate about physiotherapy, loves her carpool, and enjoys skiing and biking in Jasper with her family and friends.

Session: Short Snapper #2

Kristen Grovue is a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist who works at the AHS Pelvic Floor Clinic as well as The Downtown
Sports Clinics in Calgary, Alberta. Kristen took her rst Pelvic Health course in 1993 and has actively worked in this eld for 15 years. Her orthopeadic background serves her well in addressing the relationship of the pelvic floor to other parts of the body. Clinically, she notes that the diaphragm can have a signicant impact on pelvic oor and she has often collaborated with Jessica DeMars when treating patients which inspired her to engage in the current research project.

Session: Short Snapper #1

Lauren Park received her MScPT from the University of Alberta in 2008. Since then she has developed a passion for the critical care patient. She started working at Foothills Medical Centre, initially in the ICU and then in CVICU (U94). For the past 10 years her focus has been cardiac surgery patients. Recently in addition to her clinical work, she is happy to have taken action with her colleagues to amend movement guidelines for post-sternotomy patients to an evidence-based practice.

Session: What Kind of Interprofessional Collaborator Am I?

Lesley Bainbridge is a retired faculty member from the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of BC. She served as Associate Principal of the College of Health Disciplines and Director of Interprofessional Education for the Faculty of Medicine for 10 years. As a member of the Western Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative (WCIHC), lead for BC Health Canada IPE projects, and a member of national/international interprofessional networks, she has published and presented widely on the topic. She was co-author of the National Interprofessional Competency Framework and assisted with the WCIHC on-line modules for internationally educated health professionals on interprofessional collaboration.

Twitter: @lktphysio

Session: Unraveling the Current Evidence to Managing ACL Injuries

My clinical experience and PhD work specifically focuses on ACL injuries. I currently serve as the lead physiotherapist for the Multi-Disciplinary Knee Team at the Glen Sather Sports Medicine Clinic where I work with surgeons, sport medicine physicians, and physiotherapists to improve the efficiency of diagnosing and managing traumatic knee injuries. I am a PhD trainee at the University of Alberta and teaching assistant with the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Alberta. My personal research focuses on the impact of psychological, social, and contextual factors on overall recovery following a traumatic sport-related knee injury.

Session: What Kind of Interprofessional Collaborator Am I?

Liz Harrison is a PT faculty member in the School of Rehabilitation Science, University of Saskatchewan. Her healthcare team experiences over the past 40 years in acute care, outpatients, neurological rehabilitation, seniors care and sports physical therapy ignited her research interests related to interprofessional collaboration. As a member of the Western Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative (WCIHC) research team, lead for Saskatchewan’s Patient-Centered Interprofessional Team Experience project, and a member of national/provincial Interprofessional networks/organizations she has published and presented on the topic. Most recently her WCIHC team developed on-line modules for internationally educated health professionals interested in advancing interprofessional collaboration competencies.

Session: Short Snapper #2

Dr. Magali Robert is the principle investigator on this project. It received ethics approval. The research was carried out at the University of Calgary, Department of Kinesiology Human Performance Laboratory.

Twitter: @margiemcneely

Sessions: Alberta Cancer Exercise Program: Exercise Training in Adult Survivors of Cancer

Margaret (Margie) McNeely is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. She currently holds a joint appointment in the Department of Oncology (Division of Radiation Oncology) and performs clinical research in the Rehabilitation Medicine Department at the Cross Cancer Institute.

Sessions: Parkinson’s Disease: Current Trends, Evidence to Support Them

Dr. Wieler’s research primarily focuses on investigating and understanding the underlying mechanisms and potential treatments for people living with Movement Disorders (Parkinson disease, Huntington disease, dystonia, essential tremor) and other central nervous system disorders. Her administrative and academic leadership was instrumental in developing an internationally recognized Centre of Excellence in Movement Disorders in the Division of Neurology, building an interdisciplinary team of clinicians and researchers. More recently, she was involved with the cutting-edge application of novel radioisotopes for the diagnosis and treatment of multiple cancers.

Sessions: Back from the Brink…Why Patient-Centered Care Matters Most!

Marilyn Rose is the mother of Holly Frances, the author of Happily Ever After, her comeback story as paralyzed new mother that overcame the impossible, learned to walk again, and is now in the best shape of her life. Holly's incredible recovery videos have inspired over 200 million people around the world.

Session: Short Snapper #2

Meaghan Evans is a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist who works within Alberta Health Services at the Pelvic Floor Clinic and the Chronic Pain Centre in Calgary, Alberta.

Session: Supporting You and Your Patient's Recovery

Riikka is a Physiotherapist with a graduate degree from University of Alberta. Currently she works with WCB-Alberta. Her team develops partnerships to ensure injured Albertans have the right services in place to recover from their injuries to return to work and life quickly and safely.

Sessions: Business Bootcamp: Accounting Basics for Business Owners + Startups

Shannon has been working in Accounting for over 15 years. She completed her CGA designation in 2008, which then merged to CPA in 2012. She has worked in many different industries in a variety of positions within the full-cycle of accounting. She started in health care in Nova Scotia in 2012 with a focus on seniors and mental health. She moved to Alberta in 2015 to find challenging opportunities, which also include owing her own Sole Proprietor Consulting Company that has grown to over 400 clients in four years. Shannon also works as the Manager of Corporate Services with Physiotherapy Alberta.

Twitter: @Worldofmybaby

Sessions: Pregnancy-Related Diastasis Rectus Abdominis: State of the Science and Lifestyle Interventions: The Case for Health Coaching

Sinéad currently works as an academic clinician. She holds faculty appointments in both the Schools of Medicine and Rehabilitation Science at McMaster University. When not at McMaster, she is busy at her clinical practice, the World of my Baby (the WOMB), a family of perinatal care centers in the GTA. Her earlier academic work focused on health-care system design related to team-based primary health-care models and models of empowering individuals to become successful self-managers. Her current academic pursuits align with the areas of women’s health and pelvic health.

Session: Predicting and Preventing Functional Decline in Older Adults: Tools to Optimize your Practice

Todd Wolansky is a clinical physiotherapist currently working in Canmore, AB. His areas of passion and expertise are in seniors’ health, chronic disease management and health behavior change. Todd has achieved the designation of Clinical Specialist in Senior’s Health through the Canadian Physiotherapy Association. More info regarding his bio can be found here (

Accommodation and Location

The Connect + Learn conference will be held at the Coast Canmore Hotel and Convention Centre in Canmore, Alberta. Attendees can reserve a room(s) at or by calling central reservations on 1.800.716.6199 and referring to group name “Physiotherapy Alberta College & Association” or group code: CCM-GFC4029

511 Bow Valley Trail
Canmore, Alberta


Round trip bus transportation from both Calgary and Edmonton is available at a fee of $45. For those interested, be sure to select this option when registering. Bus users are asked to arrange to be at the pick-up location 15 minutes before departure time, and to be aware of and comply with any relevant parking restrictions. Physiotherapy Alberta is not responsible for any loss or damage to vehicles left at bus pick-up and drop-off locations.

Where: Bus departs from Southgate Mall, Southwest corner of the parking lot (Whitemud Drive and 111 Street)
When: 4:30 p.m. Friday, October 18
Departs: 1:30 p.m. Sunday, October 20 from Canmore

Where: Bus departs from Beacon Hill Costco, Southwest corner of the parking lot by Costco Gasoline (11588 Sarcee Trail N)
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, October 18
Departs: 1:30 p.m. Sunday, October 20 from Canmore

We know it’s not always easy to convince your boss or get the support of your employer to attend a conference, or the time off to do so. And sometimes, you need a little convincing yourself! There are many reasons to attend Connect + Learn, but here are some big reasons to join us this fall!

1. Value

Priced below other conferences, and with lower travel and accommodation costs than other events to boot, Connect + Learn is priced to be accessible to front-line clinicians.

2. Quality

While cost is important, it only matters if the quality is still there. On this point Connect + Learn really delivers! Attendees of past events reported that the conference addressed their learning needs (91% agreed) and provided actionable learning (100% agreed). We continually seek out credible speakers to discuss topics of interest and importance to you.

3. Broad Applicability

While some professional development offerings promise to teach you a new skill you can use with a few patients, Connect + Learn provides you with new skills and approaches that are broadly applicable and relevant to a wide range of patients, regardless of the setting or population you work with.

4. Up-to-Date Clinical Content

Are you still rehabbing ACL injuries the way we did back in ’95? What’s changed in concussion management in the last year? We bring you up-to-date, clinically-relevant content that will impact your practice now.

5. Addressing Future Trends

The world is changing. Health care is changing. Physiotherapists need to change too. Whether we are talking about the physiotherapist’s role in health coaching for chronic disease management, what patient-centered care looks like from the patient’s perspective, or the implications of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on practice, we are looking at the big picture, and how to position physiotherapy for success now and in the future.

6. Alberta Focused

Connect + Learn is a by Albertans, for Albertans conference, so we make sure that the content is relevant to physiotherapy practice within our local context.

7. Steal from your neighbors! (In a good way…)

Part of Connect + Learn is getting to hear from other clinicians about how they are innovating to make patient care better. Whether that’s from our Short Snapper Sessions highlighting local clinical research or from conversations over breakfast or cocktails, sharing of information and networking is a big part of this jam-packed event!

8. Bring the team!

Being local and low cost means there’s the opportunity to bring the whole gang and spend some time team building in the beautiful Rocky Mountains before, during, or after the event.

High-quality clinical content, at a reasonable price, in the beautiful Rockies? Pack your suitcase!
Register today!

Still on the fence about Connect + Learn 2019? There is so much in store for you in Canmore this October. In addition to the excellent clinical content typically found at Physiotherapy Alberta conferences, this year we are also going to spend time discussing professional issues and practice trends that may be "out of the box" but are currently garnering a lot of attention.

Medical Cannabis, Sorting "doobie"-ous Claims from "high"-level Evidence

Do you have patients asking you about using cannabis for pain relief? Maybe you’re curious about what the evidence says. Joey Ton, pharmacist and co-author of the recently published Simplified Guideline for Prescribing Medical Cannabinoids in Primary Care will discuss what we know and what we don’t know about the use of cannabinoids to manage neuropathic pain, cancer pain, spasticity, and nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy.

What Kind of Interprofessional Collaborator am I?

For many clinicians, the concept of interprofessional practice seems like old news, but are we as good at collaboration as we think? Speakers Lesley Bainbridge and Liz Harrison will engage the audience in discussions about how to facilitate interprofessional collaboration and the research that supports the importance of doing so. Whether you are a front-line clinician, an administrator, or a policy maker, you will leave this session with ideas about how to contribute to high-quality patient care by facilitating or enhancing interprofessional practice in your setting!

More Than Touch: Integrating Trauma-Informed Care into Daily Practice

Sensitive practice. Trauma-informed care. What do these terms mean and, more importantly, what does it mean when a physiotherapist incorporates these concepts into their practice? Due to the high prevalence of traumatic events, all physiotherapists work with trauma survivors daily, whether they realize it or not. Vanguards in the field of sensitive practice, Candice Schachter and Carol Stalker will review the principles of trauma-informed practice, its relevance to physiotherapy, and how to apply the principles in practice.

Physiotherapy EMR: Don't Miss the Forest While Saving the Trees

Recent years have seen the adoption and optimization of electronic medical record (EMR) systems in both public and private health-care organizations. The move to electronic medical records promises significant benefits for both patients and providers. Jeremy McAllister, member of the task force that developed the PABC EMR Toolkit, will discuss the benefits of EMR adoption and the importance of EMR adoption to advance the digital transformation of health care. How will EMR adoption advance the profession as a whole? How will it benefit private practice clinics? Attend this session to find out.

The time to register is now! Join us in Canmore to learn more and leave with the tools to tackle these issues and a renewed energy to do so. See you in October!

It’s no secret that Canmore is a great place to visit. Whether you are new to Alberta and never been, or a long-time Alberta resident and frequent visitor, there is much to discover and do. Combined with all this and great scenery, Canmore is an excellent backdrop for Connect + Learn 2019. Be sure to schedule some time discovering the area, as Physiotherapy Alberta staff have put together a list of suggestions for down time at Connect + Learn.

  1. Take in the scenery: Staffer and east-coaster, Shannon Stewart, is still in awe of the mountains after moving to Alberta. “I have visited the mountains 6 or 7 times in the last 15 years and they still take my breath away,” says Shannon.
  2. Candy and fudge shops: Get a sugar rush and bring some home for the family and friends who weren’t lucky enough to tag along with you to Connect + Learn.
  3. Shopping on main street: Check out some of the local shops. “A 'must do' activity when visiting Canmore is to check out all the independent stores on the main street. I'm always on the look-out for a new pair of shoes but easily side-tracked if I see a unique outfit,” says staff member Joyce Vogelgesang.
  4. Local beer, spirits and soda: Try some locally made beer and soda from Grizzly Paw Brewery or local spirits at Wild Life Distillery.
  5. Great food: With so many great restaurants, be sure to bring your stretchy pants. A few staff suggestions include the Iron Goat Pub & Grill, Summit Café, Rocky Mountain Bagel Co and Murietta’s.
  6. Take a hike: When in Rome…errr Canmore, you hike. There are many options depending on trail conditions, how much time you have, and level of difficulty you’re comfortable with. One hike that was mentioned among staff members is Grassy Lakes.
  7. Elevation place: “Great for families,” says Leanne Loranger. This facility includes a swimming pool and facilities, climbing gym, library and the Canmore Art Guild.
  8. Golf Course and Curling Club: While it’s too late in the season to golf, tis the season for curling. For more info, check out their website:
  9. Get active on trails in town: Can’t commit to a whole hike? Cycle, jog or walk the trails along the river through town.
  10. Quarry lake: While it may be too cold for a swim, the park offers great views and picnic areas. Did you bring Rover? There’s an off-leash dog park as well.
  11. Art galleries and museums: Still room in your brain after a day of sessions at Connect + Learn? Then check out the Canmore Museum and Geoscience Centre or one of the many art galleries such as Carter Ryan Gallery.
  12. Hit the spa: Relax and reset at a local spa. Leave Canmore feeling refreshed.
  13. Theatre Canmore Ghost Walk: Halloween is just around the corner, why not check it out? Learn some local history and maybe you’ll even see something spooky.
  14. Hit the pool and hot tub: The host hotel, Coast Canmore Hotel & Conference, has a pool and hot tub. Why not swim a few laps then relax in hot tub?
  15. Saturday reception: Join Physiotherapy Alberta staff and Council, as well as other Connect + Learn attendees, for drinks, networking and conversation when sessions are done for the day before heading out to explore Canmore and enjoy dinner on your own.

Ready to join us in Canmore for a weekend retreat of learning and networking?

Register today!