Laura Brunton – Chair
Laura completed a combined MPT/PhD in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences from Western University in 2014. Since graduating, Laura worked as a community PT in Toronto and in early childhood rehabilitation at Alberta Children’s Hospital. Laura is now an Assistant Professor at Western University in the School of Physical Therapy. Her main research focus is exploring and understanding fatigue and pain experienced by individuals with cerebral palsy and possible relationships with physical activity. Laura is looking forward to connecting with the Paediatric Division members of CPA.
Melissa Cursons – Chair-Elect
Melissa Cursons graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 2000 with her B.A. in Psychology and in 2003 with her B.Sc. in Physical Therapy. During her undergraduated clinical experiences, Melissa travelled with a multidisciplinary team to Mozambique to learn and provide services in a developing country. This experience guided Melissa to promote access to paediatric rehabilitation in rural and remote regions of Saskatchewan. Melissa currently works with a comprehensive paediatric team (PT, OT, SLP, ECP, SW & ASD services). This team of publicly funded professionals works in rural Saskatchewan specializing in services for children before entering Kindergarten. Melissa is passionate about providing a team approach to services and providing care that specifically focuses on the family's priorities.
As family is most important to Melissa, she spends her time outside of work taking her comedic boys to activities and colunteering on the Board of Directors for Yorkton United FC (soccer club). Other activities that keep her out of trouble are her love of photography and gardening.
Ruth Taubman – Treasurer
Ruth Taubman graduated from her Master's in Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto in 2017. Since then, she has been working full time at North York General Hospital as well as working at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. As part of her Master's program, she completed a research project in conjunction with Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital concerning exercise programs for children with cerebral palsy and this paper is in the process of being published. In the future, she is interest in learning more about working with children in home and community settings.
Andrea Harrison-Hercun – Secretary
Andrea graduated in 2003 with a B.Sc. in Physical Therapy from The University of Western Ontario. She began her career in private practice in adult orthopaedics and then made a switch to paediatric physiotherapy in 2006 where she worked at the school board under the Children's Treatment Network of Simcoe York. She continued to work part-time at the school board and then started working as an infant and pre-school physiotherapist at Southlake Regional Health Centre in 2012, where she specializes in treating infants with torticollis, hypotonia, and delayed gross motor skills. She now divides her time between working in private practice and at the hospital, where her passion is working with infants and families, seen at the neonatal follow-up clinic.
Andrea lives in Georgina, ON, with her husband, Sean (also a physiotherapist!), and their two boys who keep her very busy with their rep hockey and baseball schedules. She loves spending time outdoors in the garden and is a huge hockey fan. Andrea is excited for the opportunity to connect with the Paediatric Division members across Canada.
Breagh MacInnis - Communications Officer
Breagh MacInnis is a physiotherapist with the inpatient team at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, NS, with a focus in acute cardiorespiratory therapy. She completed her MScPT from Dalhousie University in 2016, where she sat on the CPA Paediatric Division executive as Student Representative. She is also a graduate of Université Sainte-Anne with a BSc and Health Science Diploma in 2013. A proud East Coaster, Breagh is an avid highland and Cape Breton step dancer and she also loves to travel. She believes that making the hospital experience fun and positive is one of the most important aspects of patient care and has been spotted dancing down the hallways on more than one occasion! Breagh is looking forward to returning to the Paediatric Division in her new role as Communications Officer.
Amanda Brown - Communications Officer
Amanda graduated from the University of Ulster in Belfast in 1992 with a B.Sc. Degree in Physiotherapy and went on to completed a M.Sc. through the University of Greenwich in 2002.
Since graduating, Amanda has worked in the UK and Canada, mainly in paediatric settings. For the past 16 years, Amanda has been working within the Early Learning and Development program at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto with a focus on early intervention, child development and community integration. Additionally, she has experience in the acute, rehab and community care areas and has also spent many years providing hippotherapy and aquatic therapy.
Amanda recently relocated from Toronto to the Ontario cottage country of Kawartha Lakes with her family and is enjoying exploring her new community.
Amanda is looking forward to working with the Paediatric Division and connecting with her colleagues across Canada.
Jo-Anne Weltman - Education Officer
Jo-Anne Weltman graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy. Jo-Anne's objective has always been to provide the best services to the children that she works with. Jo-Anne opnened S.M.I.L.E. (Sensory Motor Integrated Learning Experience) Therapy (Physiotherapy) for Kids in Vaughan, Ontario, a private practice that specializes in child development, to meet the demand for physiotherapy in children. Jo-Anne's other side interests include being involved with various paediatric charities and organizations that support children with special needs. She has an open-door policy and has had many therapists, nurses,m doctors, high school and university students view her therapy sessions. She is currently working with the University of Toronto, Queens University and Dalhousie University Physiotherapy departments, hosting student placements. Jo-Anne is an advocate for children with special needs and their families and works hard at trying to make changes in many areas to help these children.
Katie MacFarlane – Education Officer
Katie MacFarlane graduated from Dalhousie University. She has worked in Orthopaedics and Paediatrics, most recently in Alberta. She looks forward to contributing to the work of the Paediatric Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association and liaising with colleagues from coast to coast!
Kyra Kane - Knowledge Translation Committee Representative
Kyra Kane is a Senior Physical Therapist in the Children's Program at Wascana Rehabilitation Centre in Regina. She completed her BScPT at Queen's University, an MSc (Kinesiology and Health Studies) at the University of Regina, and her PhD (Health Sciences) at the University of Saskatchewan. Kyra's clinical and research interests include evidence-informed individualized prescription and tuning of ankle-foot orthoses, paediatric gait analysis and biomechanics, hip surveillance for children with cerebral palsy, and promoting community participation and physical activity for children with mobility limitations.
Lauren Holcomb - Knowledge Translation Committee Representative