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Distinguished recognition

[Stephen Archer]
Stephen Archer, Head of the Department of Medicine at Queen’s, is the 2016 recipient of the Distinguished Scientist Award from the American Heart Association. (University Communications)

Stephen Archer, Head of the Department of Medicine at Queen’s, recently received a prestigious award from one of the world’s leading organizations for cardiovascular health and research.

Dr. Archer is the 2016 recipient of the Distinguished Scientist Award from the American Heart Association. The award, created in 2003, honours American Heart Association members who have made extraordinary contributions to cardiovascular and stroke research.

The award recognizes Dr. Archer’s lifetime of ground-breaking research and a long list of discoveries that have advanced care for patients with pulmonary hypertension and cancer.

A world-renowned cardiologist and scientist, Dr. Archer first arrived at Queen’s to study medicine and graduated in 1981. He then completed his Internal Medicine Residency and Cardiology Fellowship at the University of Minnesota before becoming a Faculty Cardiologist at the University of Minnesota for 10 years.

Moving back to Canada in 1998, Dr. Archer served as Chief of Cardiology at the University of Alberta for nine years before moving on to the University of Chicago. After four years as Chief of Cardiology there, he returned to Queen’s as Head of the Department of Medicine.

“Dr. Archer is not only an outstanding scientist and cardiologist, but he is also an outstanding leader,” says Richard Reznick, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences. “Here at Queen’s, he has had a transformational impact on the Department of Medicine and its research portfolio. In just a few months, the Queen’s CardioPulmonary Unit, a state-of-the-art international research unit spearheaded by Dr. Archer, will open its doors on campus.”

Dr. Archer holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Mitochondrial Dynamics and Translational Medicine and recently received a $4 million CIHR Foundation Award to support a project examining the mechanism of mitochondrial fission with a focus on understanding the interaction between an enzyme called dynamic relate protein 1 (Drp1) and its four binding partners.

His clinical interests include pulmonary hypertension, persistent ductus arteriosus, strategies for improving cardiovascular care, and training the next generation of physician-scientists. He has published 200 papers and his translational cardiovascular research has been recognized with numerous awards.

Dr. Archer is also the president of the Canadian Association of Professors of Medicine (CAPM), which promotes academic medicine and its sub-specialties through the effective management of academic Departments of Medicine along with the advancement of research, education and patient care.

End of life communication

Queen’s professor says family’s wishes often aren’t reflected in end of life medical treatment.

There’s a disconnect between patients’ and families’ stated values about end of life, and the medical treatments they choose when the time comes to make those hard decisions, reveals a new study by Queen’s University professor Daren Heyland.

“The driver behind our study was our belief that patients or their families aren’t well enough prepared to make those ‘in the moment,’ decisions about specific treatments or procedures at end of life that are in keeping with their overall values,” says Dr. Heyland (Medicine and Epidemiology) who also serves as the director of the Clinical Evaluation Research Unit at Kingston General Hospital (KGH).

His study, which surveyed 513 patients and family members at KGH and 11 other hospitals across Canada, showed that what patients and families say they want at end of life – for example, to be comfortable and suffer as little as possible – often isn’t reflected in their preferences for medical treatments at the end of life.

Because they aren't medically trained, it's difficult for patients and families to translate their values or preferences.

The study also showed that, even among the 85 per cent of patients and families who felt they had made the best possible decision about care, 57 per cent of that group also said they felt conflicted or uncertain while making their decision. Dr. Heyland confirmed the main source of this conflict was lack of knowledge about the risks, benefits and alternatives of various treatment options.

“Because they aren’t medically trained, it’s difficult for patients and families to translate their values or preferences – which are usually made in isolation of a clinical context – into specific treatments,” he explains. “Also, they may not understand that in choosing treatments, there are tradeoffs that may be in conflict with their values.”

The answer, he says, is to improve the quantity and quality of tools and resources used by patients and families to plan for a time when they can’t make decisions for themselves. The study also showed health care professionals must assist in that process by talking to patients and families about their values, helping them resolve competing or conflict values, addressing their fears and concerns, and by guiding them towards the best decision that is right for them.

Dr. Heyland will discuss the results of this study and offer advice for those who wish to prepare for end of life decisions when he addresses the Kingston chapter of Dying with Dignity on Wednesday, Dec. 7. The event, To Die Well, Plan Well: Quality Communications at End of Life takes place at the Seniors’ Centre, 56 Francis Street, Kingston.

Dr. Heyland is chair of the Canadian Researchers at the End of Life Network (CARENET), which has developed numerous tools and resources for advance care planning, including the Speak Up Campaign and Just Ask Campaign.

An eye on young specialists' success

Research shows practice opportunities for recent ophthalmology graduates are diminishing.

Graduates from several medical and surgical specialties are having difficulty securing practice opportunities, especially in specialties dependent upon limited resources, according to new research from Queen’s ophthalmologist Robert Campbell.

Specifically, recent ophthalmology graduates performed many fewer cataract surgery procedures after total provincial surgical rates plateaued in Ontario. In 2007, cataract surgery volume entered a period of government-mandated zero growth, impacting cataract operations performed by recent graduates. Established doctors secured the majority of surgery opportunities.

“The magnitude of the results we report suggest a pressing need to evaluate similar policies across many resource-intensive specialties in Canada,” adds Dr. Campbell.

Dr. Campbell and his research team used population-based data from Ontario from Jan. 1, 1994 to June 30, 2013 to compare health services provided by recent graduates and established ophthalmologists. He discovered that between 1994 and 2006, the total number of cataract operations performed in Ontario grew steadily. However, from 2007 onward, the number of operations performed by recent graduates declined sharply while the number performed by established physician continued to grow.

“In many nations, including Canada, cataract surgery, a highly technology-dependent procedure, is the most common operation performed,” says Dr. Campbell. “Consequently, practice opportunities are sensitive to overall constraints on health system resources and serve as an exemplar of issues facing many resource-intensive specialties.”

Dr. Campbell says these numbers are worrying in regards to the future of ophthalmology graduates.

“In these challenging times our findings draw attention to another layer of complexity. As health care resources become increasingly strained, we not only need to worry about today's patients, but in light of our findings, we obviously need to worry about tomorrow as well,” says Dr. Campbell. “While all physicians are affected by health system funding constraints, our unique study of a highly technical and resource-intensive specialty identified a clear link between worsening system constraint and the lack of opportunities for young specialists – the future of our system.”

Dr. Campbell says he wants to use these results to help shape policy in regards to effective career counselling, specifically in the field of ophthalmology, and for use by the Ontario Provincial Vision Strategy Task Force, a group charged with creating a new framework for the eye care system. Current recommendations aim to improve surgical opportunities for recent graduates. “We'll need to take care to be sure we have systems that provide for steady renewal of our highly-trained physician workforce. Our study suggests that much progress remains to be made in this direction.”

The research was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Continuing research excellence

A Queen’s University researcher’s funding through the Canada Research Chairs program has been renewed it was announced on Friday.

As the Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity Promotion and Disability, Amy Latimer-Cheung, an associate professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, will once again receive $500,000 in funding over the next five years.

[Amy Latimer-Cheung]
Amy Latimer-Cheung's research focuses on promoting participation in physical activity, particularly among people with a disability.

Her research focuses on promoting participation in physical activity, particularly among people with a disability. Through this research, Dr. Latimer-Cheung aims to increase access to and engagement in quality physical activity opportunities for the millions of Canadians with a disability.

Dr. Latimer-Cheung was first named as a Canada Research Chair in 2010.

“Over the past five years, holding a research chair has allowed my research program to grow exponentially” says Dr. Latimer-Cheung. “With my reappointment, I am looking forward to continuing this tradition of research excellence.”

Developed in 2000, each year the CRC program invests up to $300 million to attract and retain some of the world’s most accomplished and promising minds. Universities receive $200,000 per year over seven years for each Tier 1 Chair and $100,000 per year over five years for each Tier 2 Chair. Tier 2 Chairs are recognized as emerging leaders in their research areas.

“By supporting the accomplished leaders and promising researchers, the CRC program facilitates cutting-edge research and advances Canada’s position as a world leader in discovery and innovation,” says Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research). "It also allows the university to both attract and retain leading researchers in their respective fields”

Queen’s distinguishes itself as one of the leading research-intensive institutions in Canada. The mission is to advance research excellence, leadership, and innovation, as well as enhance Queen’s impact at a national and international level. Through undertaking leading-edge research, Queen’s is addressing many of the world’s greatest challenges, and developing innovative ideas and technological advances brought about by discoveries in a variety of disciplines.

Taking the lead

Queen’s Family Medicine department head named President of Ontario College of Family Physicians.

Queen’s Department of Family Medicine Department Head Dr. Glenn Brown has been appointed President of the Ontario College of Family Physicians (OCFP). As President, Dr. Brown will champion the vital role family physicians play in the delivery of primary care to Ontario’s patients and families.

“Family doctors have an opportunity to drive the vision of what primary care should look like – a system based on the needs of our patients and grounded in the caring and collective wisdom of family medicine,” says Dr. Brown. “I am very proud of the OCFP and our strong track record of advocacy and education. It is a privilege to support our members and to witness first-hand the good that occurs when committed and passionate family physicians dedicate themselves to working for a common cause.”

Dr. Brown was formally named the College’s 61st President at the OCFP’s President’s Installation and Awards Ceremony in Toronto on November 24. In his inaugural address, he emphasized the importance of the physician-patient relationship and fostering a culture of collaboration. Further, he called on family physicians to help shape the changing landscape of family medicine to ensure that every Ontarian receives high-quality, co-ordinated, comprehensive and continuing care.

In response to the announcement of the appointment, Richard Reznick, Queen’s Dean of Health Sciences and Director of the School of Medicine, said “Dr. Brown is highly respected by his colleagues and brings tremendous leadership experience and wide breadth of knowledge to this new role. I wish him my congratulations on being appointed to this important position.”

In his capacity with the OCFP, Dr. Brown will draw on his 33 years of experience in providing comprehensive family practice and academic leadership. His clinical practice has included comprehensive family medicine including management of inpatients, obstetrics, GP anesthesia and occupational medicine. He served as the Director of Emergency Medicine at the Lennox and Addington County General Hospital in Napanee, where he was also Chief of Staff. He also served as founding Chair of the Primary Health Care Council in the south-eastern region of Ontario. 

“The board is really pleased to welcome Dr. Brown to this leadership role with the College – the first two-year president term in our College’s history,” says OCFP Past President Dr. Sarah-Lynn Newbery. “Dr. Brown’s experience as a community-based general family physician, educator and researcher is a terrific combination to help guide the future of family medicine in Ontario.”

The OCFP is the provincial chapter of the College of Family Physicians of Canada. It is the voice of family medicine representing more than 10,500 family physicians who provide patient care across communities throughout the province. Its mandate is to support members by providing evidence-based education and professional development, by promoting and recognizing leadership excellence in family medicine, and by advocating for the role family physicians play in delivering the highest quality care to patients and families across Ontario.

Recovering, with a twist

Queen’s researchers examine whether physio improves ankle sprain recovery.

A new study, published by researchers at Queen’s University, has found that there is no significant difference in recovery rates and degree of recovery between ankle sprain patients who received a simple medical assessment and instructions on home management of the injury to those who, in addition, received physiotherapy for their injuries.

Dr. Brenda Brouwer, Dean of Graduate Studies and a researcher in the School of Rehabilitation Therapy, has co-authored a new study on the effectiveness of physiotherapy for ankle sprains. (Supplied Photo)

“The findings indicate that there’s no added value of physical therapy for everyday ankle sprains,” says Brenda Brouwer (Rehabilitation Therapy/Dean (Graduate Studies)), the co-principal investigator on the study. "Proper assessment and instruction about PRICE (protection, rest, ice, compression and limb elevation) may, however, be important to the recovery process."

Ankle sprains are one of the most common musculoskeletal injuries, accounting for nearly 10 per cent of injury-related hospital visits in Kingston. Despite their prevalence, there remains a great deal of debate regarding the best methods of treatment for these injuries.

The study recruited 503 patients from two Kingston-based acute care hospitals, presenting with mild or moderate ankle sprains. The participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups – one group was instructed to treat the sprains using the PRICE method (consisting of protecting the ankle, rest, icing the joint to reduce inflammation, the application of compressive bandages and elevating the joint), the other received up to seven supervised physiotherapy sessions in addition to instructions on self-management.

Dr. Brouwer and her colleagues examined the patients’ ankle function at one, three and six months after their injury. Their findings showed that both groups recovered at similar rates – calling into question the utility of physiotherapy in general populations for simple ankle sprains. The study notes that a significant portion of both groups – 43 per cent of patients in the physiotherapy group and 38 per cent in the control arm – did not return to an “excellent” level of recovery indicating that residual loss of function six months post-injury is a significant problem.

“The lack of benefit of physiotherapy paired with the high number of people reporting functional deficits attributable to an ankle sprain incurred half a year earlier suggests the need for alternative interventions to promote better outcomes,” she explains.

In addition to Dr. Brouwer, the study was co-authored by Robert Brison (Emergency Medicine/KGH), Andrew Day (Public Health Sciences/KGH), Lucie Pelland (Rehabilitation Therapy), William Pickett (Emergency Medicine/Public Health Sciences), Ana Johnson (Public Health Sciences), Alice Aiken (Now of Dalhousie University) and David Pichora (Orthopaedics).

The full study, titled Effect of early supervised physiotherapy on recovery from acute ankle sprain: randomised controlled trial, was published in The BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal) and is available online.

Celebrating contributions to their fields

Queen’s faculty members awarded university’s Prize for Excellence in Research.

Five Queen’s professors have been named the 2016 recipients of the university’s Prize for Excellence in Research.

The award, which includes a $5,000 prize and the opportunity to deliver a public lecture on the topic of their research, is given in recognition of research during the recipient’s time at Queen's. Up to five prizes are awarded each year – one each in the Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Health Sciences, and Engineering.

This year’s recipients are Gauvin Bailey (Art History and Art Conservation), James R. Cordy (School of Computing), Janet Hiebert (Political Studies), Steven Vanner (Medicine) and Virginia Walker (Biology).

“As one of Canada’s leading research-intensive universities, the quality of faculty nominations for these prizes serves as a testament to the important and impactful research taking place across all faculties here at Queen’s,” says Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research). “The five faculty members who will receive this year’s prizes are internationally-recognized researchers who have made significant and important contributions to their disciplines and continue to conduct research at the cutting-edge of their respective fields. My sincere congratulations to each of them.”

Gauvin Bailey (Art History and Art Conservation)

[Gauvin Bailey (Art History and Art Conservation)]A world-renowned expert in the arts and architecture of early Modern Europe, Latin America, and colonial Asia, Dr. Bailey is recognized as a leading expert on art and Catholicism, especially art of the Jesuit missions. He was the first researcher to undertake a systematic study of these styles in Asia and relate them to Latin America. His research examines the art of different regions in new ways, using multidisciplinary methodologies to pursue the viewpoint of non‐European cultures.

James R. Cordy (School of Computing)

[James R. Cordy (School of Computing)]As software systems continue to take on larger and more complex tasks – such as vehicle safety systems that can keep your car in its lane – the code necessary to control them grows more complex as well. Dr. Cordy’s research has led to the development of methods and tools that make the management of today’s large software code bases possible. His work has been used to safely make systematic modifications to large code bases – notably used by Canadian banks to solve the Year 2000 (Y2K) problem – and for identifying trouble spots in other complex programs. His work is used in industrial and academic settings around the world.

Janet Hiebert (Political Studies)

[Janet Hiebert (Political Studies)]An internationally-celebrated scholar of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Dr. Hiebert is the foremost authority on how bills of rights influence Westminster parliamentary democracy. Hiebert has published nine books, 20 peer-reviewed articles, and 20 book chapters. Her expertise has led to invitations to provide briefs, advice, and expert testimony for governments in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as the International Bar Association.

Stephen Vanner (Medicine)

[Stephen Vanner (Medicine)]Recognized for his innovative research into the causes of, and treatments for, the pain associated with irritable bowel syndrome, Dr. Vanner has made a tremendous impact on both his field and the research environment here at Queen’s. He has led the growth of the Gastrointestinal Diseases Research Unit (GIDRU), in addition to his leadership role serving as Deputy Head of the Department of Medicine. Dr. Vanner is recognized by his colleagues and peers as a scientific and research mentor, as well as his prominence as a leader in academic gastroenterology on the national front.

Virginia Walker (Biology)

[Virginia Walker (Biology)]A prolific researcher with an international reputation, Dr. Walker has contributed more than 150 publications to top science journals in her nearly 40-year academic career. Not limited to one area of inquiry, her research includes the full range of biology from cell and molecular biology, physiology, ecology and evolution and she has worked on mammals, plants, insects and most recently fish. Her excellence in research is only surpassed by her exceptional contribution to teaching where she has won the Queen’s Alumni Excellence in Teaching Award, Departmental Teaching Award, TVO Lecturer of the year “Top10”, and Queen’s University Graduate Teaching Award.

In addition to receiving their prize at this year’s fall convocation ceremonies, the winners will also present public lectures in 2016. More information on the public lectures will be made available closer to the date.

Consultations held on fall term break

Task Force hosts town hall to gather input on fall break.

  • Deputy Provost and Chair of the Fall Term Break Task Force, Teri Shearer, welcomes attendees and explains the role of the task force in examining the implementation of a fall term break.
    Deputy Provost and Chair of the Fall Term Break Task Force, Teri Shearer, welcomes attendees and explains the role of the task force in examining the implementation of a fall term break.
  • Deputy Provost and Chair of the Fall Term Break Task Force, Teri Shearer, responds to an inquiry from a student with regards to the implementation of a fall break.
    Deputy Provost and chair of the Fall Term Break Task Force, Teri Shearer, responds to an inquiry from a student with regards to the implementation of a fall break.
  • Students line up to pose questions and discuss the implementation of a fall term break.
    Students line up to pose questions and discuss the implementation of a fall term break.

The Queen’s Fall Term Break Task Force held a town hall on Nov. 10 to allow students the opportunity to have their say on the implementation of a fall term break.

The meeting, led by Deputy Provost and Chair of the Fall Term Break Task Force, Teri Shearer, examined topics including student priorities, the current pre-exam study break, orientation week and other details. 

The town hall is one part of the consultation process, which has included a survey open to all members of the Queen’s community and various other consultation sessions. The Task Force, formed by Principal Daniel Woolf, has been asked to consider the best way to introduce a fall term break for direct-entry undergraduate students in Arts and Science, Engineering, Commerce, and Nursing. It will deliver a comprehensive recommendation to Principal Woolf in February 2017.

More information about the work of the task force can be found on the University Secretariat’s website.

A leader in rural medicine

Queen’s lecturer named one of Canada’s most exceptional family physicians by College of Family Physicians of Canada.

In recognition of her role as a mentor to rural physicians and commitment to education, Queen’s physician Merrilee Brown (Family Medicine) has been named one of 10 recipients of the Reg L. Perkin Award from the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC).

The annual award recognizes one family physician from each of the college’s provincial chapters who best exemplifies, “the guiding principles of family medicine.”

Dr. Merrilee Brown has been named one of 10 recipients of the Reg L. Perkin Award by the College of Family Physicians of Canada. (Supplied Photo).

“Dr. Perkin is a phenomenal resource for family physicians in Canada and, as the first director of the CFPC, set a shining example of what it means to be a family doctor,” Dr. Brown says. “It’s a tremendous honour to be recognized by my peers and to be a recipient of this award in his name.”

Since receiving her Certification in Family Medicine from the college in 1997, Dr. Brown has been devoted to supporting rural medicine through education and practice. Like many rural physicians, her scope of practice tends to exceed that of an urban family practitioner – requiring her to take on roles such as emergency rotations, hospital inpatient care, even making house calls. Dr. Brown explains that being involved in a greater scope of activities allows her a much more thorough insight as to what her patients’ need.

“In this era of super specialization, I think there is still an important role to be played by a generalist who knows the patient well,” she explains. “The advantage I have now with my patients is I’ve known many of them for two decades. I’ve delivered their babies and taken care of their grandparents. It’s a context that’s very different. Good comprehensive care by a family physician who knows you well is probably about the most efficient and effective care you can get.”

Dr. Brown says her style of practice has helped shape her approach to teaching. As a lecturer at both Queen’s and the University of Toronto, she has been at the forefront of introducing medical students, residents and other allied health care practitioners into the community for their training. The value in this, she explains, is the broader skillset the students will develop, as well as providing them with a wider context in which to consider their treatments.

“Certainly, being able to provide training by family doctors for things such as hospital inpatient care, emergency, and palliative care – rather than specialists from other fields – means that our students and residents can see how they can incorporate these lessons into their own practices,” she says.

The Reg L. Perkin Award is presented annually to 10 family doctors across Canada by the CFPC in recognition of those who provide exceptional care to patients and contribute to the health and well-being of the community. The recipients will be honoured at an award ceremony on Nov. 11, as part of the 2016 Family Doctor Week in Canada celebrations.

For more information, please visit the website.

Rehabilitation initiative celebrates 25th anniversary

Queen’s International Centre for the Advancement of Community Based Rehabilitation (ICACBR) celebrates 25 years as leader in inclusion and human rights.

  • Principal Daniel Woolf speaks at the 25th anniversary celebration for the International Centre for the Advancement of Community Based Rehabilitation (ICACBR)
    Principal Daniel Woolf speaks at the 25th anniversary celebration for the International Centre for the Advancement of Community Based Rehabilitation (ICACBR)
  • Founder and former executive director of the ICACBR, Dr. Malcolm Peat reflects on 25 years of the centre's work - helping individuals with disabilities around the world.
    Founder and former executive director of the ICACBR, Dr. Malcolm Peat reflects on 25 years of the centre's work - helping individuals with disabilities around the world.
  • Dr. Richard Reznick, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, congratulates the centre on their 25 year anniversary and speaks to the centre's past and future projects.
    Dr. Richard Reznick, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, congratulates the centre on their 25 year anniversary and speaks to the centre's past and future projects.
  • Dr. Heather Aldersey, Director of the centre's Access to Health and Education for all Children and Youth with Disabilities in Bangladesh (AHEAD) program, thanks the centre's past and present researchers, as they set their sights on the next 25 years of community based rehabilitation work around the globe.
    Dr. Heather Aldersey, Director of the centre's Access to Health and Education for all Children and Youth with Disabilities in Bangladesh (AHEAD) program, thanks the centre's past and present researchers, as they set their sights on the next 25 years of community based rehabilitation work around the globe.

Queen's in the World

Researchers, students and faculty from the Faculty of Health Sciences and the School of Rehabilitation Therapy gathered on Oct. 27 to celebrate the milestone 25th anniversary of the International Centre for the Advancement of Community Based Rehabilitation (ICACBR). The event featured past and current members of the centre, and presented an opportunity to look back on past projects as well as ongoing efforts to expand community based rehabilitation (CBR) practices in communities around the world.

The international cohort of Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholars  in the School of Rehabilitation Therapy deliver brief Pecha Kucha presentations on their work.

“Just as (founder and former executive director of the ICACBR) Malcolm Peat and the other founders envisioned, the Centre has advanced the knowledge and practice of CBR, and has provided a platform for training the next generation of practitioners and researchers,” says Terry Krupa, Professor and Associate Director (Research and Post-Professional Programs) in the School of Rehabilitation Therapy. “The Centre has demonstrated how the resources of a university can be harnessed and structured to make a real difference in the world, responding in a timely, effective and collaborative manner to issues of disability, health and well-being in low resource settings, and in settings impacted by conflict, political upheaval and natural disasters.”

Past and present ICACBR researchers and students gathered to celebrate the centre's 25th anniversary.

The centre currently manages three projects – the Access to Health & Education for all Disabled Children & Youth (AHEAD) project in Bangladesh, the Queen Elizabeth II Scholarships for Excellence in International Community Based Rehabilitation, and a participatory project on stigma and intellectual disability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The AHEAD program works in concert with the Centre for the Paralyzed (CRP) and Bangladesh Health Professionals Institute (BHPI) to improve access to health and education services for children and youth as a means of reducing poverty and promoting inclusion. The QE II project supports Canadian OT and RHBS students to research and train in Bangladesh, India and Tanzania, as well as provides opportunities for CBR leaders from low- and middle-income countries to pursue PhDs in RHBS at Queen’s. The Congo project is focused on reducing the stigma around intellectual disabilities in the capital, Kinshasa. 

“The anniversary is an important milestone, in that it marks 25 years of international collaboration with people with disabilities, their families, and the organizations that serve them,” says Heather Aldersey, Director of the AHEAD Project and a Queen’s National Scholar in International Community Based Rehabilitation. “The ICACBR has always placed great emphasis on working directly with communities on issues of greatest priority to them. The future will be no different, and we will continue to work in close collaboration with our partners to build community capacity for inclusion.”

Past and present researchers and students watch a slideshow presentation on the centre's 25 years of service, working to bring community based rehabilitation to areas in need around the globe.

In addition to the centre’s ongoing projects, ICACBR researchers have played a crucial role in the development of CBR as a tool to provide rehabilitation services in conflict and post-conflict zones. The centre was a leading player in post-war health and social reconstruction after the conflicts in the Balkans, providing training for over 500 local healthcare practitioners and creating over 40 accessible CBR health centres. Over 200 researchers and practitioners – including professionals from the Canadian rehabilitation and disability communities, as well as Queen’s students and faculty – have been involved in ICACBR projects and research.

“The 25th anniversary is a really great opportunity for both the School of Rehabilitation Therapy and for ICACBR, because it’s a chance to recognize the progression from the early work the centre did that was so foundational to development of community-based rehabilitation internationally,” says Rosemary Lysaght, Associate Director (Occupational Therapy Program), School of Rehabilitation Therapy. “There’s much to reflect on from our past as we look ahead to the next 25 years. There’s so much opportunity and still, sadly, so much need in the world. The ICACBR provides a lot of leadership and it’s a real opportunity to solidify how we move forward as the early leaders retire and as new opportunities arise.”


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