Rising Star Distinction Winners: 2015/2016

Colleen Barbalinardo


Colleen graduated from the University of Toronto’s Physical Therapy Program (MScPT) in 2015 in the top 10% of her class. Her goal when applying to physiotherapy was to work with children with both physical and intellectual exceptionalities, a goal which evolved from her passion and experiences working with children with special needs as Director of Integration for the Town of Aurora Summer Camps, as a Respite worker, as a Student Intern in a Special Education School, and coaching Special Olympics. From the beginning of her physiotherapy program, she expressed a keen interest in working with children and pursuing a career in paediatric physical therapy and actively pursued opportunities to interact with children and families during her studies. She participated in two paediatric based clinical internships; in both, her clinical instructors highly praised her knowledge, skills, professionalism and sensitivity noting her exceptional interpersonal skills and ability to forge and maintain effective working relationships with children, families, staff and fellow students. She was recognized for her leadership qualities, independent ability to manage busy, complex caseloads, and most strikingly, her ability to work sensitively with children, and establish an atmosphere of trust, caring and respect that she adapted for different children’s unique personalities and behaviours. Both her academic and clinical instructors agree that Colleen will be a valued member of any clinical team as she embarks on her professional career and her obvious interest and skills in pediatrics will allow her to pursue a successful career in paediatric physiotherapy. Since graduation, Colleen moved to Windsor, Ontario for a full time paediatric position at the John McGivney Children’s Centre. Here, she works primarily with children and families on an outpatient basis, as well in the school system. Her clientele are children with a wide range of paediatric neurological and orthopedic diagnoses. In her own words, Colleen states, “as a new physiotherapist at one of the 21 Children’s Treatment Centre’s across Ontario, I look forward to learning as much as possible about paediatric physiotherapy to help the children and families I’m working with to achieve their goals”.

 

Tia Kiez


Tia graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Rehabilitation – Physical Therapy (BMR-PT) in 2011. She just recently graduated (October 2015) with a Master of Science degree (MSc) in Rehabilitation Sciences from the University of Manitoba. In four years she has made an outstanding impression on the pediatric physiotherapy community in Winnipeg and afar. She is currently registered with CPA and is a member of the pediatric and orthopedic divisions. She demonstrated consistent interest in pediatrics during her BMR-PT studies. She excelled in her cardiorespiratory placement here at Winnipeg Children’s Hospital. This prompted us to hire her as a staff physiotherapist when the opportunity arose. Since April 2014 Tia has been working full time in our department and has exemplified outstanding clinical skills and compassion in various clinical patient care areas. She continues to support student education by supervising physiotherapy students during their clinical visits and placements. She has previously volunteered numerous years on the Manitoba Sport Physiotherapy Committee and the College of Physiotherapists of Manitoba PT Standards Committee, as well as volunteered at the Winnipeg Teddy Bear Picnic as a student, and provided physiotherapy care at multiple sporting events as a student and a therapist. Over the past year she has also been the staff representative from pediatrics for National Physiotherapy Month promotional events at Health Sciences Centre. She assists with professional development courses as part of the CPA – MB section committee. She has demonstrated commitment to her community by also volunteering at inner city initiatives hosted at Rossbrook House in Winnipeg.