Board of Directors
The Canadian Physiotherapy Association’s (CPA) board of directors is comprised of eight members who represent physiotherapists and physiotherapist assistants. Two external directors are appointed by the board for their expertise in fields other than physiotherapy.
Questions for the President or Board can be emailed to President@physiotherapy.ca
Viivi Riis, President
Viivi took up her the role of President of CPA at the CPA AGM on June 29, 2019, for a two-year term.
Viivi has been a CPA member for over 35 years and has worked as a clinician, manager, business owner and more recently as a health policy and research consultant. She is a graduate of the University of Toronto’s Pysical Therapy program and received a master’s degree from the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences in 2008. She holds a status appointment as adjunct lecturer in the Department of Physical Therapy at U of T. More recently Viivi has returned to clinical practice on a part-time basis delivering home care services to a largely elderly population in the south Georgian Bay region.
As CPA President, Viivi is the CPA Board representative for the World Confederation of Physical Therapy (WCPT) and the North American Caribbean Region of WCPT, as well as being an ex-officio member on all Board Committees. She is also Board Liaison to the Branch President’s Forum (BPF), and the CPA Board Representative on the National Physiotherapy Advisory Group (NPAG).
Sarah Marshall, Past President
Sarah moved into the Past President role at the CPA AGM on June 29, 2019. She remains on the Board of Directors for another year. Sarah graduated from McGill University in 1984 with a BSc (PT) and subsequently completed an MSc (Rehab Sci) in 2006. Having been a physiotherapist for 30 years, her experience as a clinician ranges from tertiary care hospital to orthopaedic/sports private practice, to long-term care and short-term psychiatry. Sarah was the first SPC Diploma Sport Physiotherapist from Québec, and she is the co-author of a sports taping textbook. She was involved in SPC for 25 years. Currently, she is on the faculty at McGill’s School of Physical & Occupational Therapy as the Director’s Academic Associate and teaches in the physiotherapy program.
Sarah is currently Chair of the CPA Board Governance Committee; as well as a member of the CPA & PFC Finance Committees.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Sandra was elected to the Board in 2015 as the Physiotherapist Assistant Board Director. She was re-elected to a second three-year term at the CPA AGM in June 2018.
Sandra was the President of the National Physiotherapist Assistants Assembly (NPAA) from 2008-2015. She was also the PTA representative on the International Health Division (now Global Health Division) from 2004–2008, and volunteered as a PTA in India (1992) and Bangladesh (2002). She has worked as a physiotherapist assistant in Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) for over 15 years, and co-chaired its Rehabilitation Assistant Council in physiotherapy from 2006-2012. Sandra has been a member of the Capilano University Rehabilitation Assistant Diploma Program Advisory Committee since 2005, and represented PTAs through initiatives including the Essential Competency Profile for Physiotherapist Assistants in Canada, the OTA/PTA Accreditation Standards Development, and the College of Physical Therapists of BC's PT Support Worker Registration Working Group.
Sandra currently sits on the CPA Board Governance Committee. She is also the Physiotherapy Foundation of Canada Board Chair.
Dr. Sandy Rennie
Sandy was elected to the Board in 2016. He graduated with a Diploma in physiotherapy in 1972 and did a one-year degree completion (BPT) in 1976 at the University of Alberta. He then completed his MSc in 1985 (Physical Education) and PhD in 2002 (Educational Administration and Leadership) at the U of A. He began teaching physiotherapy in Australia in 1977; he then taught physiotherapy at the University of Alberta from 1981-2004. He taught at the University of Toronto for 2 years, and from 2007-2012 he was Director of the School of Physiotherapy at Dalhousie University in Halifax. Currently he is an Adjunct Professor of Physiotherapy at Dalhousie University and the University of Toronto, and a part-time professor in the PT program the University of Ottawa. He has been active volunteer in the Canadian Physiotherapy Association as a Division Chair (Sports Physiotherapy) and as a member of the Board of Directors in 1992-93 and 2003-2004. He was awarded Life Membership in CPA in 2010, and the Enid Graham Memorial Lecture in 2014.
Sandy is currently a member of the CPA Board Risk Committee. He is also the CPA Board Representative on the Awards Review Committee, and the Advocacy Council.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Jason was elected to the Board in 2017. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in biology from St. Francis Xavier University in 1997 and completed his Bachelor’s degree in physiotherapy in 2002 from Queens University. Jason has been very active with his provincial association first as a board director starting in 2009 and then completed 4 years as President of the Physiotherapy Association of British Columbia in 2017. He has been in private practice orthopaedics his whole career in the communities of Surrey and now in Vancouver, BC. Jason has worked with athletes of all ages and is proud to have been part of the New Westminster Salmonbellies senior men’s lacrosse team for the past 10 years. In the world of business, he has been co-owner of three clinics for the past 10 years as well. Jason is proud to be a part the CPA Board and is currently the Board Liaison to the National Physiotherapist Assistants Assembly (NPAA) and sits on the Finance Committee for CPA.
Jason is currently Chair of the CPA Board Risk Committee, and a member of the CPA & PFC Finance Committee; and CPA Board Liaison to the National Physiotherapist Assistant Assembly (NPAA).
Dr. John Spirou
John was elected to the Board in June 2017.
Dr. Spirou has been a practicing physical therapist and clinic owner for 20 years. He graduated from Western University (London, Ontario) with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy. He completed his Clinical Doctorate from A.T. Still University at the Arizona School of Health Sciences (Mesa, Arizona) and completed his Masters of Business Administration in 2010 at Oakland University (Detroit, Michigan). He has worked in every sector of physiotherapy practice including outpatient, hospital, home care and long-term care and understands the issues facing the physiotherapy profession.
As Past President and elected member of the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario, Dr. Spirou oversaw the practice the over 9000 physiotherapists in Ontario. He understands the regulatory and advocacy issues involved in the health sector. He also served as board member and executive officer for the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators, a national entity that establishes credentialing and examination standards for clinicians seeking entry to practice in Canada. He has led the physical therapy profession in establishing innovative models of care and lobbied for enhanced scope of practice opportunities which have recently become a reality for Canadian physical therapists, including Diagnostic imaging and Laboratory tests. Dr. Spirou has led many ‘ground up’ initiatives in physiotherapy practice that have elevated the profession’s credibility and status, establishing physiotherapists at the forefront of national and provincial health care reform.
John currently is a member of the CPA & PFC Board Finance Committee, Governance Committee and is CPA Board Liaison to the Division Chairs Committee (DCC). He is also CPA Board Liaison to the CCPUP group (Canadian Council of Physiotherapy University Programs).
Click here to email John.
Dr. Alain Bélanger
Alain was elected to the Board in June 2017.
Dr. Bélanger holds a BSc in physiotherapy, an MSc in kinesiology and a PhD in neuroscience. He is a retired Full Professor, from Laval University, within the rehabilitation department, physiotherapy program. During his academic career, he had the opportunity to teach, do research, publish scientific articles and write textbooks. He is the solo author of the textbook titled Therapeutic Electrophysical Agents: Evidence Behind Practice. 3 Ed, LWW. Dr. Belanger had the honor to serve on multiple occasions at the CPA over the years. For example, he served as President (1997-1999) and Scientific Editor of Physiotherapy Canada. He now acts as a consultant. He is currently involved in the delivery of continuing education courses here in Canada and in the USA. He also acts as Mentor Education for the WCPT in Senegal. Dr Belanger sits on various committees, like the Comité de révision of OPPQ and Comité de discipline of OIIQ. To find out more about him, please visit his website.
Alain currently is a member of the CPA Board Risk Committee.
Richmond, British Columbia
John was elected to the Board in June 2018. Co-owner of Reid Hurst Nagy Inc. Chartered Professional Accountants, John brings a wealth of knowledge and creative thinking in business and financial planning to the CPA Board. He graduated with a Magna cum laude Diploma of Technology in Accounting at the British Columbia Institute of Technology in 1977, and received his Certified General Accountant designation in 1980. The company he co-owns works with several not-for-profit organizations in various sectors such as education, health or social services.
John also served on a number of volunteer boards, and in this capacity he participated in developing and maintaining accounting standards in Canada. He served on the boards of CGA BC and CGA Canada rising to the chair of both organizations. In addition, he served on the board of the newly created Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada.
John is currently Chair of the CPA & PFC Board Finance Committee.
Amanda de Chastelain
Amanda was elected to the board in June 2018. Her post-graduate education started at Queen’s University, from which she completed a BA in Life Sciences while working towards her bilingual BSc (PT) at l’Université d’Ottawa, graduating Suma Cum Laude in 1992. She then returned to Kingston, Ontario working in various settings (hospital, University sports fields, mentoring students and guest lecturing at Queen’s University) for several years prior to returning to academia, obtaining a Masters in Kinesiology from the University of Calgary in 1998. Following some time working as a casual PT at the Rockyview and Alberta Children’s Hospitals, consulting for the College of Physical Therapists of Alberta, and a family move to the USA, she returned to Canada, re-certified and returned to work at the Alberta Children’s Hospital working full-time treating patients from many clinics including orthopaedics, complex pain, oncology and burns. She is passionate about the physical therapy profession and excited to serve on the Board and make a positive impact on the profession and its highly skilled members.
Amanda is currently a member of the CPA Board Governance Committee, as well as the CPA Board Risk Committee. She is also CPA Board Liaison to the National Student Assembly (NSA).