Amanda Ager is a practicing physiotherapist since 2011, where she began her career as a military Physiotherapy Officer with the Canadian Armed Forces. As such, she was an active serving military member as well as a clinician. This has provided her with a strong background in leadership, clinic management as well as ethical practices within an organisation. Amanda has treated a wide range of patients, mostly affected by orthopaedic or neurological pathologies of the upper extremities. In 2015, she left the military to complete a research Master’s in Experimental Medicine at Université Laval in Canada and later began her doctoral studies in Rehabilitation Medicine at Ghent University in Belgium in 2018. Her doctoral thesis focuses of shoulder proprioception and how it can be measured in clinical practice.
Amanda has great experience mentoring students, collaborating internationally with colleagues as well as presenting her scientific interests at professional congresses. She has lived in Canada, Romania and the United Kingdom and is presently completing her doctoral studies while also working with Physiopedia. One of her passions is contributing towards the accessibility of evidence-based knowledge for clinicians on a global scale.
You can learn more about Amanda here.
Kendra Jones McGrath
Kendra volunteered for the secretary position of the Global Health Division as the COVID-19 pandemic first gripped Canada. Sitting on her couch, unable to work at her job as a private practice physiotherapist, she was inspired by the connectivity of health around the world and wanted to learn more. While she considered jumping into further education in public health, the position of GHD Secretary seemed like a more logical first step.
Kendra has a BSc. in Kinesiology (2006) as well as her MPT (2015) from the University of Saskatchewan. Her interest in equitable access to health care was heightened while her MPT research team, under the direction of Brenna Bath, examined the regional supply versus demand of physiotherapy in Saskatchewan. After graduation, she loved working in public practice in her long-time home of Lloydminster, SK/AB, before family commitments brought her to private practice and B.C.’s Okanagan Valley. She has a knack for working with older individuals and youth as well as dancers of all ages. More than 20 years in Highland dance first opened her heart to Canada and the world. Now, she is looking forward to broadening her understanding of global health surrounded by the members of the CPA’s Global Health Division.
Shelly is a neuro physiotherapist based in Vancouver, BC. She has worked with adult and paediatric populations in various neurological settings and is a strong believer in equal access to health care. She has advocated for the role of physiotherapy and exercise in health promotion and has been involved in several public health initiatives targeting access to health care issues in the community, both nationally and internationally. These include setting up a Parkinson’s exercise group for those living on the outskirts of the Metro Vancouver area, setting up a rehabilitation programme for the Silver Lining Foundation in rural China and working with Crisis at Christmas to improve health care access for people who are homeless. In addition to achieving honours in her Physiotherapy degree, Shelly holds a ‘Foundations of Global Health Specialization’ certificate from Johns Hopkins University and hopes to complete a master’s in public health in the future.
Ali studied physiotherapy in Bristol, England, graduating in 2016. Whilst at university she became interested in physiotherapy in a global context and completed two clinical practicums in Lapland, Finland in 2015. She enjoyed the challenge of providing physiotherapy to a population with different expectations and needs of physiotherapy to those in the UK. Upon graduating, she worked for the British National Health Service in hospitals as well as for a charity providing physiotherapy for people with neurological conditions before moving to Kelowna, BC in 2019.
Since moving to Canada, she has trained to become a Pilates instructor and currently works as a physiotherapy assistant teaching clinical Pilates. Despite always being keen to take a holistic approach to healthcare, she has felt the clinical Pilates has enabled her to empower patients with chronic pain and musculoskeletal issues to use the mind-body connection to improve their health and quality of life.
Having grown up with free universal healthcare, Ali is passionate about global health equity and is excited to take on the role of Education Officer for the GHD. She is currently preparing for the BC practical exam and is looking forward to getting back to practicing physiotherapy in BC.
Engagement and Communications Officer
Nirushan Guruparan completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Biology from the University of Toronto, a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology from York University, and a Master’s of Science Degree in Physical Therapy from Queen’s University. His awareness of inequalities and disparities in healthcare came from taking courses in sociology and sociocultural studies across his undergraduate degrees which include sociology of health, sociology of AIDS, and the influences of gender, race, and sex in sports and health. Furthermore, his academic pursuits allowed him to contribute to literature on topics such as concussions in athletes as well as the effects of race, sex, gender, and class in sports and health. Outside of school, he has volunteered for “Friends with MSF (Doctors without Borders)” where he recognized the impact of severe shortage of resources and healthcare resources across the world. He also volunteered for a Toronto-based ethnoracial mental health centre where he understood the importance of cultural diversity and sensitivity in the healthcare setting. These experiences have remained close to him years after he completed physiotherapy school in 2019 and he intends to address gaps in healthcare and resources among national and global communities with his role on the GHD Executive Team and through future global health projects.
Advice: “Do it all. Do Everything You Can. Experience Everything.”
Indigenous Health Co-Representative
Allana completed both her Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) and Master of Science in Global Health at McMaster University. She went on to complete her Master of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Toronto in 2014. She considers herself to be a generalist, having worked with clients that have a variety of musculoskeletal, neurological, and cardiorespiratory conditions. She is currently working at Community Therapy Services in Winnipeg, MB, in the Home Care and Northern Outreach programs. Through this agency, she provides fly-in consultative PT services to First Nation communities in northern Manitoba. She is passionate about addressing health inequities and the underpinning unequal power relations in society that create them.
If you have any questions about the Indigenous Health Sub-Committee or are interested in becoming involved, please send us an e-mail at email@example.com.
Mona is a graduate of McMaster University’s School of Rehabilitation Science and has worked
as a physiotherapist in Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta for over 30 years. Her experience
includes acute care, rehabilitation, and community health work in all age groups. Her passion is
neurology (with a special interest in traumatic brain injury) and paediatrics. Mona currently
lives in Red Deer, AB, and her private practice, Up and Running Physical Therapy Services, has
her consulting and providing therapy services to children and their families in clinics, schools,
homes, and in the community. She is a strong advocate for accessibility, inclusion and adapted
For the past seven years, Mona has been volunteering on the rehabilitation team of A Better
World Canada, a humanitarian organization based out of Lacombe, AB. Working with A Better
World Canada has been an exceptional opportunity for personal and profession growth in many areas including global health.
Mona has been a Canadian Physiotherapy Association member and a member of the Global
Health Division for many years.
I am an internationally trained physiotherapist, graduated in India from the Nizam’s Institute of
Medical Sciences with a Masters of Physiotherapy degree (Musculoskeletal Sciences). Have
worked in Acute Care, outpatient, and home care setting, with work experience in different
areas of expertise including Geriatrics, Internal Medicine, Medicine/Respirology, Orthopedic,
Neurology, Cardiopulmonary, Rheumatology and Plastic Surgery in various countries like India,
USA and Canada. This has given me the opportunity to work with, understand and respect the background, culture, and beliefs of the people. My travels have exposed me to the various
natives of the lands, their rich culture, beliefs, and the challenges that come with it. This
interest has encouraged me to be a part of the Global Health division team, to not only
contribute but to also have a deep understanding of the healthcare resources around the globe.
I also enjoy travelling and horse riding.
My name is Dusan Calic. I completed my Bachelors Degree in Kinesiology from York University and then went on to get my Masters Degree in Physical Therapy from Queens University. Throughout my undergraduate years I have volunteered for many different organizations including working with preschool children with developmental disabilities at the Centennial Infant and Child Centre in North York. I have also volunteered for 4 years for the Kin Kids program at York University and completed my thesis project looking at the role of guided active play in enhancing physical activity and motor skill development in early childhood. All these experiences have made me understand the importance of health equity. Stepping into my role as part of the GHD Team, I look forward to collaborating with like-minded professionals in addressing the current gaps in healthcare access to various demographics across Canada and in an international context.
Knowledge Translation Representative
Vanitha Arumugam is an internationally trained physiotherapist. She graduated from the Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University in Chennai, India with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy followed by a Master of Physiotherapy. She completed her PhD at Western University in the field of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (2016) based at the Roth McFarlane Hand and Upper Limb Centre (HULC) at St. Joseph Health Care, London, Ontario. She has worked as a physiotherapist with the Squash Racket Federation of India with professional squash players and is a certified wheel dance classifier volunteering with Wheel Dance, Canada.
Vanitha currently practices at St. Joseph Health Care, London,Ontario in the chronic pain clinic and is also a certified pelvic health therapist. Her research interests are cross-cultural adaptation and translation of outcome measures in Tamil and evidence-based practice of health care professionals involved in pain management. She actively listens to her patients and believes holistic well-being is crucial to good health. Vanitha is excited to be part of the GHD Executive Committee and to actively engage and be a part of the Global Health Division’s research and initiatives.
Research and Engagement Officer
Derek is a Hong Kong-born Canadian who was raised in Vancouver. He completed his Master of Physiotherapy at the University of Queensland in 2015. After that, he has worked primarily in private practice in musculoskeletal rehabilitation in both Melbourne and Vancouver. His clinical experience, ranging from persistent pain, occupational health, concussion and the athletic population, sparked his curiosity to interrogate systemic inequalities and cultural factors related to disability and non-communicable diseases within physiotherapy care. This led him to complete a Master of Public Health in Global Health at Thammasat University in Thailand in 2022, aiming to expand his understanding of “what is healthy living” beyond an eurocentric lens.
Moving forward, Derek believes that integrating social determinants of health and intersectionality into the physiotherapy curriculum can help improve health equity. He is passionate about developing intersectional strategies to address non-communicable diseases for different population groups. Understanding and amplifying these lived experiences can help build spaces that integrate a more diverse definition of health within Canada’s multicultural society. Outside of work, Derek enjoys exploring the outdoors in whichever way possible (hiking, skiing, trail running), having board game nights and continuing to diversify his reading lists.
Indigenous Health Co-Representative
Priscilla completed her studies in Bachelor of Physical Education at the University of Manitoba in 2015 and continued her education there to complete her Master of Physical Therapy in 2018. Since graduation, Priscilla has been working at Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre (MFNERC) in Winnipeg, MB. This organization provides physiotherapy service to school-age children in Manitoba First Nations communities. From growing up in a northern isolated community, Priscilla shows interest in Indigenous and global health.
GHD Executive Role Descriptions
ALL Global Health Division (GHD) executive members are expected to:
- Attend regular virtual meetings and not miss more than three (3) meetings per year. In the event of needing to miss a meeting, the executive member will inform the secretary in advance and provide a written update regarding their position and an update on all relevant outstanding action items prior to the meeting.
- Regularly send information related to their position for posting on social media to the Canadian Physiotherapy Association’s (CPA) Communications Specialist or the GHD Executive or Sub-Committee member responsible for posting on the GHD social media channels.
- Assist in recruiting new GHD Executive, Sub-Committee, and general members.
- Engage in public speaking about the GHD as opportunities arise.
As of April 2022, we are accepting Letters of Intent and CVs for the following positions
- Actively network with GHD members, national and international expert clinicians, researchers, universities, global health organizations, provincial groups/associations, and other relevant stakeholders to build capacity for a mutually beneficial community of practice that supports the development of ethical global health rehabilitation knowledge and clinical practice.
- Collaborate with the GHD Knowledge Translation (KT) Representatives and other GHD Executive Committee Members to develop educational guidelines, videos, webinars (e.g. Embodia), lunch & learns, workshops, courses (e.g. online via Embodia, in-person pre/post Congress courses) and/or conferences.
- Identify learning needs based off of Member Surveys, global health competencies frameworks/toolkits, etc.
- Create outline & timeline, source and manage key presenters/contributors, build content, edit.
- Collaborate with CPA Staff (e.g. Professional Development Manager, Conference and Events Manager, Marketing and Communications Officer) to market and deliver said educational opportunities to GHD members.
- Complete proposals/applications, including budgets.
- Manage logistics and technical aspects.
- Determine marketing strategy and follow-up/evaluation.
- Coordinate payments as required with GHD Treasurer and CPA Staff.
- Collaborate with other CPA Divisions for inter-Division educational opportunities.
- Collaborate with Canadian entry-level physiotherapy programs to advocate for global health education for all physiotherapy students prior to engagement in clinical placements, especially those planning an international placement, a placement in a rural/remote or low-resource setting in Canada, or a placement working with marginalized/vulnerable populations in Canada or abroad.
- Liaise with NSA (National Student Assembly), Clinical Coordinators and others through emails, letters, phone calls, lunch & learns, etc.
- Participate in Education and Abstract proposal call-outs and reviews for building the GHD content streams for CPA Congresses.
- Provide written and verbal updates for monthly GHD Executive Committee Meetings (online via Skype).
- Assist the Chair and Chair-Elect/Past Chair and other executive members with other tasks as needed.
Indigenous Health Subcommittee Student Position
The Indigenous Health Sub-Committee (IHS) is a group of Indigenous PTs and allies. We engage in discussion about disrupting the status quo, decolonization and health equity.
We are looking for a student in a physiotherapy or PTA or bridging program to help with the administration of the IHS (i.e., scheduling meetings, taking meeting minutes, posting on social media, etc.). You would need to be a member of the CPA’s Global Health Division, have a sincere interest in Indigenous health and align with our Sub-Committee’s goals.
This is an opportunity to critically reflect on the PT profession and learn about how to take action toward reconciliation in Canada.
Deadline: May 1st, 2022.
- Anna Asefa, Western University
- Katelyn Brooks, Queen’s University
- Olivia Cardillo, McGill University
- Joel Genyk, University of Manitoba
- Allison Hamilton, University of British Columbia
- Leigh Jeffries, Western University
- Jasmine Kwan, University of British Columbia
- Sophie Laurin, University of Ottawa
- Emily Lyseng, University of Alberta
- Kajal Neto, McMaster University
- Ryan Pinto, Western University
- Claire Romani, University of Toronto
- Matthew Silva, Western University
- Sabrina Tamburri, Western University
- Christine Wang, McGill University
- Ali Afshar Zanjani, University of British Columbia
- Priscilla Flett
- Allana Beavis
- Moni Fricke
- Sarah Oosman
- Sarah Brown
- Amanda Fortin
- Simone Gruenig
- Katie Gasparelli
- Lisa Arcobelli
- Robin Roots
- Matthew Bonk
- Joanna Miller
- Susan Czyzo
Take a look at our 2020-2022 Goals!
- Sara Abassbhay
- Vanitha Arumugam
- Kyle Curtis
- Ryan Pinto
- Isabelle Proulx
- Jennifer O’Neil
- Sara Abassbhay
- Susan Czyzo
Read more about the GHD Executive Sub-Committee Roles.
We are currently accepting new members to all sub-committees. If you are interested in joining a sub-committee, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.