Wednesday, 26 October 2016

cOnnecT with Giovanna Boniface

In celebration of CAOT-BC’s 5th birthday: An interview with CAOT-BC Managing Director, Giovanna Boniface. 

Why did you choose OT as a career?
My path to become an occupational therapist was pretty methodical. I always knew I wanted to work in health-care, however, I wasn’t sure which profession I was most interested in. During my undergraduate degree at UBC (Zoology), I volunteered at UBC hospital for several years in different departments including physiotherapy, social work, nursing and in the ER. But, at the end of the day, it was my work with the occupational therapist that captured my attention and was most aligned to my personal values. Following completion of my Science degree I applied to the OT program at UBC and the rest is history.

What is your favourite thing about working for CAOT-BC?
I feel very privileged to have been able to serve our profession for the past 19 years. While still a student at the OT program, I was invited to join the professional association (then BCSOT) as a board member and have never turned back. I had volunteered for the profession through BCSOT for the first 14 years of my career in one capacity or another and when the opportunity to work for CAOT to develop the BC chapter came up, many of my colleagues suggested I apply as it was right up my alley. Today, it is almost 5 years since I began my work with CAOT and I consider it an honor to serve the profession in my full-time role. I love every aspect of the work with CAOT-BC but meeting with and talking to our amazing occupational therapy community is my favorite part.

What do you like about occupational therapy?
When I first volunteered with an occupational therapist, what resonated most with me was the client-centred nature of the profession as well as the focus on engagement in occupation despite illness or disability. Today, that hasn’t changed much at all. Our profession is uniquely positioned to be a “game changer” in the health care system. With our focus on function, engagement in occupation despite barriers and systems approach to solving problems, I think we are the most effective solution to help the government deliver better health care--delivering better health outcomes, better client satisfaction and cost-effective to boot. It’s great that recent evidence supports  our position to make a difference in the system too (Alvarez, Garrido, Tobar, Prieto, Vergara, Briceno and Gonzalez, 2017; Rogers, Bai, Lavin and Anderson, 2016; Szanton, Leff, Wolff, Roberts and Gitlin, 2016;

What is your personal philosophy about volunteering and giving back to the profession?
As a profession who serves individuals, communities and society, it seems very natural to me that one would give back to the profession. In addition, when I reflect on my path to becoming an occupational therapist, so many OT volunteers have been part of my journey—from my first experience as a volunteer with an occupational therapist to my fieldwork supervisors and colleagues to my current mentors who support me today. I feel a sense of duty to give back to the profession that has given me so much and helped me become the person who I am today.

What do you think will change/shape practice over the next five years?
I think there are many factors that will influence practice in the near future. Probably the most critical factor is the impact of the rising costs of delivering healthcare in the current service delivery model. As a result, meaningful health care transformation is mandatory (and underway), and we will need to be part of the change to stay relevant. OTs will need to articulate and demonstrate their value proposition to the health care system in the context of improved health outcomes, improved client satisfaction and of course, cost effectiveness. Showcasing innovative and successful programs is one strategy to demonstrate the difference OT can make. Another factor to consider is the aging demographic and the services needed to help seniors live independently and safely at home as well as manage chronic health conditions. The government knows that it costs less to deliver heath care at home compared to the hospital, and what better professional to address this than OTs? Other notable factors include government policies and priorities and the influence of technology on health service delivery.

What might someone be surprised to know about you?
I live in a boat-access only community in North Vancouver. We have lived in the Indian Arm for 12 years and our family commutes to town by boat every day.

What do you do in your free time?
When I’m not working,  I spend my time on completion of my Master’s of Rehabilitation Science degree, I volunteer with the Canadian Society of Association Executives and spend time with my kids and husband (also an OT) travelling and exploring the world as a family.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Save the Date: HME Home Medical Equipment Fair

What: HME Home Medical Equipment Fair
When: Tuesday, April 11, 2017; 8:00 AM - 4:00PM
Where: Abbotsford Tradex; 1190 Cornell Street, Abbotsford

The HME Home Medical Equipment Fair is open to therapists and the general public and features FREE admission and parking; multiple vendor exhibits and education sessions. Complementary snacks, refreshments and lunch will also be provided.

Full program (including education sessions) and registration details to follow!

Monday, 24 October 2016

CAOT-BC Awards Nominations

CAOT-BC Outstanding Occupational Therapist of the Year
Know a CAOT-BC colleague who would be a candidate for this award? Read more about the selection criteria and submit a nomination by December 1, 2016.

CAOT Citation Award, British Columbia
This award is an opportunity to acknowledge the contributions and/or accomplishments to the health and well-being of Canadians by an agency, program or individual who is not an occupational therapist. If you would like to submit a nomination for this award, please review the nomination package. The deadline for submission is December 1, 2016.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Evidence for your Practice: Additional Weekend Therapy and Average Length of Stay in an Inpatient Rehabilitation Setting

Article for Review
English, C., Shields, N., Brusco, N.K., et al. (2016). Additional weekend therapy may reduce length of rehabilitation stay after stroke: A meta-analysis of individual patient data. Journal of Physiotherapy 62(3), 124-129.

This individual patient data meta-analysis aimed to investigate the effectiveness of providing additional weekend therapy services (PT and/or OT) to people with stroke, compared to usual care in an inpatient rehabilitation setting. Pooled analysis was completed for two randomized controlled trials, one in which participants received additional therapy on Saturdays, and another in which participants received additional therapy on Saturdays and Sundays.

Unadjusted pooling of individual patient data from existing trials does not identify a significant improvement in length of stay. When the analyses were adjusted for important patient-related factors and hospital site, there was significantly shorter average length of stay in the rehabilitation hospital for people receiving additional weekend therapy.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Pediatric SIG Meeting: November 9, 2016

Pediatric Special Interest Group Meeting

Topic: Tell us about your favorite activity you use in your OT practice. Describe the benefits of this activity, and if possible, instructions for the activity and/or where to source the materials

November 9, 2016

Teleconference & In- Person 

Cost: $15 (Free for members)


How to register:

1. Click on registration link
2. Log in to your profile
3. Click "Register"
4. Click "Add to Cart"
5. Click "My Cart"
6. Click "Checkout"
7. Click "Place Order"

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Advisory Committee: A Heartfelt Thank You and Warm Welcome

October 2016 marks a new term for the CAOT-BC Advisory Committee. 

Join us in thanking our outgoing volunteer advisory committee members (2014-2016). Their dedication to our profession is key to the success of CAOT-BC and their commitment to our association is priceless.

Andrea McNeill (Chair), Catherine Backman, Margherita Jess, Charlene Gilroy, Emily Grant, Alison Gerlach, Les Smith, Mary Glasgow-Brown, Laura Bulk, Richelle Emery, Linda Oddo, Suniti Seth, Gabrielle Trepanier, Darren Weibe, Jennifer Querques, Nima Nassouti, Wendy Wright, Iris Tung

We would also like to welcome to our incoming advisory committee members who started their volunteer positions on October 1, 2016 (2016-2018):

Laura Bulk (Chair), Gabrielle Trepanier (Vice Chair), , Emma Smith (Secretary), Andrea McNeill, Margherita Jess, Flora To-Miles, Sharon Campbell, Les Smith, Allison Patterson, Chelsey Gowan, Anica Villamayor, Kayleigh Youngman

Interested in learning more about the CAOT-BC Advisory Committee? Visit the CAOT-BC website for member bios, meeting schedule, minutes, and more.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Art Matters: Findings from the Art Studios Impact Study

Image Credit:

The Art Studios is a community psychosocial rehabiliation program that uses art-making as the medium to engage clients living with mental illness in learning and practicing life skills. The program is run by occupational therapists, rehabilitation assistants, art instructors, peer support workers and volunteer. 

The Art Studios Impact Study is a one-year program evaluation to begin to document the benefits of the program. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the impact of participation in the Art Studios program on members' psychosocial recovery, well-being, and achievement of goals specific to engaging in everyday life activities. 

CAOT-BC was present for Art Matters - an evening of findings presentation, sharing of individual perspectives, networking and discussion at the Art Studios. 

Image Credit:

Key messages from the study...

Art Studios participants demonstrating measurable and meaningful improvement in their capacity to engage in practice and relevant life activities 

Art Studios participants showed stability in measures of psychosocial recovery, self-esteem, and health/disability. 

The positive impact of the Art Studios on its members' lives is profoundly apparent in narrative data, indicating that participants attribute achievement of recovery goals to a learning environment that is safe and non-judgmental, with abundant feedback. This enables them to gain confidence and a sense of self-worth to move into increasingly challenging roles and responsibilities and contribute to the community. 

For more information about this study and the status of academic papers, please contact: 
Catherine Backman, Professor/Principle Investigator or Natasha Damiano, Research Coordinator 

Monday, 17 October 2016

Medical Legal Reports: The Essentials

Saturday, November 26, 2016  (9 am–4 pm)

Does writing medical legal reports cause you stress? Not sure what to write when asked about prognosis? Need help figuring out how much you should be billing for your reports? What to do when patients have subjective complaints? 

This course will outline:
  • The essential components of a medical legal report
  • How to clearly narrate the patient's history, physical examination findings, diagnosis and prognosis 
  • The steps to complete a medical legal report efficiently
  • How to streamline the payment/invoicing for medical legal reports
  • How lawyers, juries and judges identify the good, bad and ugly medical legal report
  • Common challenges with medical legal reports and how to easily resolves them

Cost: $490/course
For information: 604-525-8604 or

Location: UBC Robson Square 800 Robson Street Vancouver, BC V6Z 3B7

This post is a paid advertisement 

Friday, 14 October 2016

Have a Say in Canada's Planned Accessibility Legislation

The Government of Canada is seeking your input to inform the development of new accessibility legislation. All Canadians have an opportunity to provide feedback on:
  • overall goal and approach;
  • whom the legislation should cover;
  • what accessibility issues and barriers it should address;
  • how it could be monitored and enforced;
  • when or how often it should be reviewed;
  • how and when to report to Canadians on its implementation; and
  • how to raise accessibility awareness more generally and support organizations in improving accessibility.

This public consultation is open until February 2017. Feedback can be provided through an online questionnaire or other accessible options.

More information and instructions for participation available from the Government of Canada website.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Promote Occupational Therapy with the HSA Video Contest

Are you a member of the Health Sciences Association
This is your chance to spread awareness about occupational therapy, and a shot at winning up to $5000! 

Enter to win by submitting a 3 minute video that highlights the unique skills of our profession and our important role in the health care system. Get the word out about the worsening impact of shortages and workload, and the urgent need for more resources. Deadline for submission is January 31, 2017.

Full contest rules available here.

Interested? CAOT-BC will support efforts in any way we can. Send us an email with your ideas.