THE OPACC STORY
Our goal was simple. We wanted to create an open platform with an online conversation to promote collaboration, and establish a setting in which the PT/OT community could have an ongoing discussion to explore topics, issues and questions.
In the Fall/Winter of 2017, we came together to discuss how we could connect our professions nationally as well as globally. We identified that there continued to be a lack of education and knowledge of the PT/OT assistant role and how PT/OT assistants can be utilized more effectively when working with physical and occupational therapists. As we unpacked uncertainty, we noticed misconceptions, decreased awareness and silos which included inconsistent competencies.
Our roles continue to evolve. It is our hope that through this online forum we can deliver an open environment of sharing diverse knowledge which will enhance dynamics within our unique community of allied health professionals.
ABOUT THE CO-FOUNDERS
Naomi Hazlett, BSc., MScOT, OT Reg. (Ont.)
Naomi received her bachelors of science in cognitive science and psychology in the 2013, and her masters of occupational therapy in 2017. Her interest in collaboration and system-level perspectives lead her to become an advocate for increased OTA&PTA presence and scope.
Naomi currently works as the Managing Editor for Occupational Therapy Now, the practice magazine of the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists. She also teaches in the OTA&PTA program at Centennial College in Toronto.
Naomi can be reached directly on Linkedin or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Caity Heath, BSc., OTA/PTA
Caity received her bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from McMaster University in 2012, and then her diploma for the Occupational Therapist Assistant/Physiotherapist Assistant program from Humber College in 2015. She currently works mainly as a physiotherapist assistant at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Ontario since September 2015. Caity has experience in a variety of inpatient clinical areas, including: orthopedics, neurology, cardiovascular surgery, gastroenterology, general surgery, hematology and oncology and respirology. Caity will be starting in a newly created position this October in the medical/surgical intensive care unit in coordination with the Provincial Early Rehabilitation in Critical Care project. Caity is the treasurer for the Physiotherapy Professional Development Committee and the PTA Vice Chair of Practice and Education for the OTA/PTA Council at St. Michael’s Hospital. In her role as treasurer, Caity helped to develop an equitable funding process for the repayment of professional development opportunities for the physiotherapy team, and she helped to establish the OTA/PTA council in March 2017 which lead to her appointment as PTA Vice Chair. Alongside her OTA co-vice chair, Caity represents OTA/PTAs at St. Michael’s Hospital as a member of the Health Disciplines Advisory Committee which has been a great step forward in educating her colleagues about and increasing awareness of the OTA/PTA role. Caity has been a strong advocate for the utilization of the OTA/PTA role throughout her career.
Jeena Parmar, OTA&PTA,
Co- founder (2017-2019)