The Department of Physical Therapy relies on the support and dedication of alumni and friends who share in our commitment to excellence. Donating to the Department allows physical therapy professionals and scientists of the future to conduct research to improve care, treatment, and health delivery, and to educate and inspire the next generation of physical therapy professionals.
Your generous contributions, no matter the amount, make an enormous difference to the Department and our students. All gifts are deeply appreciated, 100% of your gift will be used to directly support Department of Physical Therapy initiatives geared toward maintaining its place as a leader in physical therapy education and research in Canada for aspiring and practicing physical therapists.
We have options for giving to the ongoing campaigns listed below but you can also contact the Head of the Department 604-822-7414 if you would like to discuss other options
Support for Our Students
The UBC Rehabilitation Sciences Alumni Bursary
Established in 1982 by the Rehabilitation Student Council led by Nancy Cho (President). Prior to 1982, all rehabilitation science students were provided a government stipend for their work in the hospitals while on their placements. This helped students with the costs of their education. This government stipend program was discontinued for allied health professions in 1982, and the bursary was founded in its place in order to assist students in financial need. On this 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Bursary, Nancy is again providing leadership toward raising $30,000 towards this endowed bursary, which will be awarded to two students (One Masters of Physical Therapy and one Masters Occupational Therapy) each year. Please make a gift to help us reach our goal of $30,000.
The NRC Travel Award in Physical Therapy
In 2012, UBC established the Northern and Rural Cohort (NRC) to give Master of Physical Therapy students greater access to province-wide learning and to encourage these trainees to settle in locations that are currently underserved by health professionals. With support from physical therapists currently practicing throughout Northern and Rural BC, NRC students are getting a taste of what our province’s rural and remote communities have to offer.
Elizabeth MacRitchie, UBC Rehabilitation Sciences graduate of 1970 and longtime Prince George physiotherapist, has seen the health care struggles of northern BC first hand. After her husband Donald completed his medical residency, both Elizabeth and Donald travelled to Prince George with the intention of practicing in the north for two years – and they never left. “There is a huge need for physical therapists in the north, and we like living here,” Elizabeth says, “It is an honour to give back to a community that has become our home.”
Today, Elizabeth is dedicated to helping UBC inspire students to practice in underserved areas and resolve our communities’ health care divide. Together with fellow alumni Lesley Schwab, Vicki Laverdure, and Johanna Jenkins, Elizabeth established the NRC Travel Award in Physical Therapy. The award offers one or more NRC students up to $1,000 toward their travel expenses during rotations, when students spend at least five months in rural communities like Dawson Creek, Fort St. John, Prince George, Quesnel, Terrace, and Prince Rupert. It encourages students in greatest financial need to pursue their passion for care and to explore some of the province’s most remote areas. As the NRC Travel Award in Physical Therapy broadens the horizons and expertise of health professional students, it encourages many of them to continue their practice outside of Canada’s major cities.
“With the costs of education rising, we knew that the travel and accommodation costs associated with placements outside the Lower Mainland might be a barrier to some students who were interested in practicing in rural communities after graduation,” Elizabeth explains. “This award is a small way for us to help students to offset those costs.”
Support for Teaching and Research
In an effort to ameliorate the shortage of Physical Therapists in BC the Department has undergone considerable growth over the last few years. Our community has generously supported these efforts with donations that have allowed us to acquire and renovate academic spaces. The Department currently has the basic equipment needed to educate students on site including three video-equipped teaching laboratories and multiple small teaching and conference rooms. Many of these spaces are also video-connected to sites around BC which allows provision of educational opportunities to physical therapy professionals outside the UBC Point Grey campus walls. Department faculty members are also lacking adequate research space to continue their cutting edge research and program development. Improvements in stroke and spinal cord rehabilitation, such as Janice Eng’s Graded Repetitive Arm Supplementary Program (GRASP), Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Evidence (SCIRE) project and Fitness And Mobility Exercise program (FAME) were possible because of suitable research space. Research by Teresa Liu-Ambrose which provided a better understanding of the use of exercise in reducing cognitive decline was only possible because of access to hi-tech equipment and lab space. Funding is needed for acquisition and renovations of spaces that will allow all our faculty members to become and remain leaders in their fields of research. Donations to this fund will allow us to keep up with the rapidly changing technology needs for teaching and research, upgrading and replacing equipment as needed.
The Harold Robinson Chair
The Harold Robinson Chair in Arthritic Diseases was established in 1991 to promote research excellence in arthritis rehabilitation. Dr. Robinson, a past director of the Canadian Arthritis and Rheumatism Society in British Columbia and Professor Emeritus at UBC, was awarded the Order of Canada in 1983 for creating an innovative model of care for people afflicted with long-term illnesses. By integrating the efforts of governments, institutions, professionals, and volunteer groups, Dr. Robinson created a program of treatment, research, and education. Dr. Robinson was renowned for the lectures he gave all over the world, and the Harold Robinson Chair seeks to honour his accomplishments by continuing his passion for education and for improving health delivery.
The current Harold Robinson Chair, Dr. Linda Li has completed research on health delivery and arthritis care that has challenged the traditional role of the rehabilitation therapist in arthritis care, and allowed for innovative health models to be developed. In order to ensure the sustainability of the Harold Robinson Chair, we need visionary donors who will make an investment to allow Dr. Li to continue her work to improve the delivery of effective medication to people with rheumatoid arthritis. Dr. Li and the Department of Physical Therapy hope to build community support for this goal to ensure that people with arthritis have access to appropriate, effective and properly evaluated treatment.