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










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
10:30 - 10:45 Break
10:45 - 11:45 Concussion Update
Kathryn Schneider, PT, PhD
TBA 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 Snappers
5:15 Cocktails and Networking Reception

Sunday, October 20

7:30 a.m. Breakfast
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
TBA Creating Social Media Content That Converts
Beverly Theresa
11:45 - 12:00 Coffee
12:00 - 1:00 Life is a Relay
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.

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: 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.

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.

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.

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.

Sessions: Concussion Update

Kathryn is an Assistant Professor and Clinician Scientist in the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary.  Her research focuses on the assessment and treatment of individuals with dizziness, neck pain and headaches following concussion. She has served as a member of the Expert Consensus Panel at the 4th and 5th International Consensus Statements on Concussion in Sport. Kathryn is a Clinical Specialist in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy. She has completed her Advanced Diploma of Manual and Manipulative Therapy (2004); holds certificates in Vestibular Rehabilitation (Emory University, 2003) and Advances In Vestibular Rehabilitation (Duke University, 2009); and a Doctor of Science degree (DSc) (Andrew’s University) (2008).

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.

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.

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: 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.

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

Complete the registration form below to register for Connect + Learn!

Saturday + Sunday: $425
Saturday only: $300
Bus: $45