Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine welcomes national leaders in rehab to its executive team

The Departments of Occupational Therapy and Communication Sciences and Disorders welcomed two new chairs on July 1

Amanda McCarthy, with files from the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine - 09 July 2019

The University of Alberta's Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine is excited to welcome Mary Forhan, chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy and Andrea MacLeod, chair of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders in to their new roles.

Forhan, who joined the Department of Occupational Therapy as an assistant professor in 2013, is currently leading a program of research focused on improving the care and rehabilitation outcomes of patients with obesity. She completed her occupational therapy degree at the University of Toronto and her MSc and PhD at McMaster University.

In addition to her academic background, Forhan has a strong record of clinical experience both as an occupational therapist and as a case manager. She has also served as chief of Occupational Therapy and Allied Health Services at the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health in Toronto.

MacLeod makes her way to the University of Alberta from l'Ecole d'orthophonie et d'audiologie of Université de Montréal (UdeM) and CHU Sainte-Justine Research Centre (CHUSJRC), where she held the positions of professor, program director and researcher. She obtained her speech-language pathology training from the University of Vermont, her doctorate from the University of Washington and completed her post-doctoral fellowship at McGill University.

As a researcher, MacLeod held a Canadian Research Chair in Bilingual Acquisition and Communication Disorders and has received major grants as a principal investigator from organizations such as CIHR, SSHRC and the US National Science Foundation to study speech and language development in bilingual children. She is also an active co-investigator on several pan-Canadian grants. Her work with bilingual children led her to co-find a non-profit organization to support bilingual language development in young refugee children, which has provided activities for more than 100 children since 2016.

A new welcome from 2018

The Department of Physical Therapy also recently welcomed a new chair in July 2018, Marguerite Wieler.

For 25 years, Wieler's research focused on investigating and understanding the underlying mechanisms and potential treatments for people living with movement and other central nervous system disorders. Her administrative and academic leadership was instrumental in developing an internationally recognized Centre of Excellence in Movement Disorders in the Division of Neurology at the University of Alberta, building an interdisciplinary team of clinicians and researchers.

Prior to joining the Department of Physical Therapy as a professor, Wieler worked as the director of clinical radiopharmaceutical research in the University of Alberta's Department of Oncology, where she was involved with the cutting-edge application of novel radioisotopes for the diagnosis and treatment of multiple cancers.

Her academic credentials include a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Winnipeg, and a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy, a Master of Science in Experimental Medicine and a PhD in Experimental Medicine from the University of Alberta.

A leader in her field, Wieler continues her clinical and research efforts, focused mainly on movement disorders, as well as the expanding role of rehabilitation in oncology.

A warm welcome to all three of our new department chairs!