Transformative commitment:

Inclusivity, reconciliation & rehabilitation

It has been a year of growth here in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine — growth and change. We are indeed getting bigger, with expanded enrollment in all of our professional programs and the (re) establishment of our satellite programs at Augustana Campus in Camrose. We are also growing personally and professionally, so that we can do our very best to meet the shifting needs of the communities we serve.

This year, we have focused on building upon our specific commitment to Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples as well as broader commitments to equity, diversity, and inclusion in everything we do.

Full message from the dean »

Celebrating our impact 2022-23

Who are we? The Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine is a diverse group of educators, researchers, students and clinicians who come together as a community time and time again to overcome barriers and create meaningful change in the world.


Thank you! This year, through gifts, grants, sponsorships, pledges and bequests, donors gave $2,780,091 to the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine. Your generosity changes lives through education, research and rehabilitation!

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rom left to right: Ahmed Shehata, a principal investigator in Blinc lab, Adam Parker, PhD student and Patrick M. Pilarski, Parker's supervisor.

PhD student Adam Parker’s educational journey took a surprising turn when he had the opportunity to play guitar at the Junos using a robotic hand developed by Blinc Lab, through research funded by Amii ( Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute).

The Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine participated in Pride Parade

The Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine took part in the University of Alberta’s Pride Week, helping kick off the festivities March 13 by joining the Pride Parade. Every day, we honour and celebrate the contributions of the 2SLGBTQ+ folks that are part of the U of A's vibrant community!

Partnership and the reconciliation efforts underway at the U of A’s Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine’s special ceremony to commemorate the beginning of this exciting partnership, Oct. 11.

Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta and the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine have partnered to develop educational activities for Albertan high school students in Treaty 8 and increase their access to physical, occupational and speech therapy programs, meeting a need for greater Indigenous representation in those professions.

Jeff Vela

Growing up below the poverty line, physical therapy instructor Jeff Vela was unable to access therapy for his sport-related injuries as a youth. Now, he is one of Edify’s Top 40 Under 40 for his dedication to providing physiotherapy to low-income families whenever he can.


Graduates, preceptors, students, faculty, staff and special guests of Rehabilitation Medicine’s Calgary Satellite Campus celebrated its 10th anniversary in June. In September 2012, recognizing the shortage of trained physiotherapists and occupational therapists in southern Alberta, the faculty opened the satellite campus to train more students and fill those gaps.

  • 1,006 graduate students
  • 29 administrative and support staff
  • 37 faculty members
  • 11 post-doctoral fellows
  • 25 academic teaching staff
  • 5 research associates
  • 6 clinicians
  • Tier 1 Canada Research Chair
  • Tier 2 Canada Research Chair
  • 1 Endowed Chairs

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Research Impact

Research in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine tackles the challenges of today and tomorrow in neuroscience and mental health, children’s health and wellness, and chronic conditions — leading with purpose to improve people’s quality of life. Here are some research highlights from 2022-23.


total research revenue in the last year for the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine


peer-reviewed research publications

Dave Jamieson

Cancer exercise study helps local broadcaster rebuild his body and his life after cancer surgery

After having a cancerous tumour removed from his neck, local sports broadcaster Dave Jamieson regained his strength and rebuilt his life with help from principal investigator and physical therapy professor Margie McNeely and the Alberta Cancer Exercise study.

Meet our featured researchers

Occupational therapy researcher Ada Leung is studying how neuroimaging might help OTs understand when and how their clients’ brains are processing information and responding to interventions. She sees great promise in the potential of this tool to understand the fundamental neural mechanism of different rehabilitative treatments.


Physical therapy researcher Eric Parent began his research career focused on the effects of exercise on children with scoliosis and currently is working on programs for the adult segment of the population living with scoliosis, who he says have never really been offered scoliosis-specific exercise treatment.

Andrea MacLeod uses participatory research, working alongside families and community agencies to determine the best approach to speech-pathology treatment for bilingual children. While designing appropriate therapeutic approaches is her main focus, she also enjoys helping to build a sense of pride in children whose first language is not English.

Rehab Med research news

New national network brings together expertise and experience to tackle long COVID

Professor Doug Gross was co-principal applicant on a five-year, $20M grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research that will support a new national network of researchers and patients coming together to explore the best ways to diagnose, assess, manage and treat long COVID.


Repairing relationships through forgiveness may help people recover from moral injury

A team of researchers from the Heroes in Mind, Advocacy and Research Consortium (HiMARC) have found that helping veterans and military service members to build their capacity for forgiveness can help them in their recovery from moral injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.

U of A study sheds new light on how GABA affects nervous system

Rehabilitation researchers including Dave Bennett and Ana Lucas Osma made a major discovery that rather than inhibit the function of muscles as was long thought, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) actually increases their function. This discovery could lead to better medications that don’t have undesirable effects on nerve cells.

Samuel Tsang’s mentorship in robotics lab creating a positive culture for younger students

PhD student Adam Parker’s educational journey took a surprising turn when he had the opportunity to play guitar at the Junos using a robotic hand developed by Blinc Lab, through research funded by Amii (Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute).

“When I started a PhD in rehabilitation science I did not have ‘play guitar with a robot hand at the Juno awards’ on my list of expectations. All in all, it was an incredible experience and I’m so glad to have been able to participate.” - Adam Parker

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Teaching and Learning

Learners in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine have a bright future, thanks to our community of dedicated instructors. With career paths in speech language pathology, physical therapy, occupational therapy and rehabilitation science, our students will go on to lead with purpose, building upon the strong foundation begun here.

Thank you to our wonderful clinical educators who volunteered 346,760 hours to provide our students with invaluable hands-on learning in 2022-23. Learn about mentoring a student!

Meet our students

Jessica Harasym

Jessica Harasym, a speech-language pathologist and PhD candidate, is studying the impacts of concussion on how young people communicate, and how challenges with communication have a broad impact on their quality of life. She hopes this research will increase awareness of the positive impact speech pathology can make in concussion treatment.

Carina Siu

During her summer studentship, Carina Siu studied how brain-computer interfaces (BCI) could meet the needs of children with physical impairments regarding access to play. Previous research in this area has focused on adults, so the hope is that this study might open possibilities for BCI use in children.

Find out what drew our students into the profession!

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Continuing professional education

In 2022-23 the faculty's Continuing Professional Education (CPE) office continued its partnerships with Alberta Health Services (AHS), Canadian Lymphedema Framework (CLF) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to offer professional development programming.

As part of a Government of Alberta grant, the CPE office also developed 10 new online micro-credential courses (short courses), which have attracted a national and international audience. The CPE office now offers three graduate-level certificate programs, 17 micro-credential courses, and other offerings for health-care professionals. Several new micro-credential courses and other projects are planned for 2023-24.

Learn more about all of our professional development programs »


people participated in a Continuing Professional Education course or program in 2022-23.

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Community Impact

We offer invaluable rehabilitation support — and unmatched clinical experience for learners — through student-run and community-based clinics in communities in and around Edmonton. The focus of these programs is broad, tied together by the common theme of helping remove barriers to access, serving military members and veterans, rural residents, Indigenous communities and Edmonton's underserved populations.

Rehab Med in action

Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs of Canada

New initiative helps military members and veterans equitably access education

The Canadian Military, Veteran & Family Connected Campus Consortium (CMVF3C) was launched at the University of Alberta in February 2023. This new initiative supports Canadian Armed Forces members, veterans and their families as they pursue college and university education. The CMVF3C is leading the way towards enhanced collaboration among postsecondary institutions, the Canadian Armed Forces, Veterans Affairs Canada and partners.

Andrea Menard, LL.B, LL.M

The Meaning of Indigenizing to ᐊᑎ ᒥᔭᐧᔭᐃᐧᐣ ati miywayawin Rehabilitation Medicine

More than 200 members from the rehabilitation medicine community took part in “The Meaning of Indigenizing to ᐊᑎ ᒥᔭᐧᔭᐃᐧᐣ ati miywayawin Rehabilitation Medicine,” led by Andrea Menard, LL.B, LL.M, she/they/ᐃᐧᔭᐋᐧᐤ wiyawâw, Lead Educational Developer, Office of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic), Centre for Teaching and Learning. This interactive virtual workshop provided a space for self-reflection and a path to understanding our personal responsibilities and roles in responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) Calls to Action ᒥᔪᐃᐧᒉᐦᑐᐃᐧᐣ miyo-wîcîwitowin with Indigenous Peoples and communities.

Making the world make sense for those with hearing loss

The webinar “Communication, hearing loss and aging: Improving social interactions” reached more than 300 attendees. Attendees gained a better understanding of age-related hearing loss, ways to communicate in the presence of hearing loss and the impacts age-related conditions such as stroke can have on communication. Experts Tammy Hopper, Bill Hodgetts and Esther Kim shared how we can all advocate for a communication-friendly society.

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Celebrating our Donors and Alumni

The Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine is fortunate to be part of a large and very involved alumni community. We are proud to see the successes of all of our graduates as you help make life better and easier for so many Albertans and others around the world. Thank you all for your daily contributions to the future of rehabilitation medicine.


total alumni

3,557 alumni live in Edmonton
1,718 live in Calgary
4,094 live all over Canada and around the world, including the USA, U.K., Australia, China and more!

Magdalena Manoli

Institute for Stuttering Treatment and Research (ISTAR)

Soon after the Manoli family arrived in Edmonton from Moldova, they noticed changes in their eight-year-old daughter Magdalena. The normally outgoing girl was nervous about going out and was being bullied at school. With some funding from the Institute for Stuttering Treatment and Research (ISTAR) and their supporters, Magda took part in programming that has seen her blossom into a more confident, outgoing child who is thriving socially and achieving better academic results at school.

Joanne Fodchuk

U of A Alumni Council

This year we welcomed a new representative to the University of Alberta’s Alumni council. Joanne Fodchuk, ’01 BEd, ’04 MSLP, has been a speech language pathologist for more than 15 years and currently runs a Government of Alberta Early Childhood Services program and teen and adult programs for autistic individuals. She has also spent six years as a council member for the Alberta College of Speech Language Pathology and Audiology (ACSLPA), serving as president for four.

U of A Days

The Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine was excited to host our alumni in the first in-person celebration since the pandemic at the inaugural U of A Days.

Now more than ever, rehabilitation is essential to enhancing lives. Give to Rehab Med today.

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Let Us Know

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This report highlights achievements from the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine’s 2023 fiscal year: April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023


To support research, teaching and service in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, contact John Voyer, Assistant Dean, Development, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine at or 780-248-5781.

For general inquiries, contact