SPA Awards of Excellence

Recognizing contributions to the physical therapy profession through awards is a highlight for the SPA. We are thankful to be able to celebrate those amongst us who embody and inspire excellence in leadership and outstanding service in education, clinical practice, and research.

Award of Merit for Clinical Excellence

Must be a member in good standing with CPA and SPA. Must have shown a history of high professional standards in their chosen field(s) over a significant period of time, gaining respect of his/her peers along the way. In addition, one or more of the following will be taken into consideration:

  • Has shown a history of pursuing continuing education within his/her physiotherapy career, and/or has been responsible for organizing or promoting continuing education.
  • Has shown a history of innovation with the physiotherapy profession; i.e., formation of new programs or services.
  • Has shown some uniqueness in their dedication to their physiotherapy career.

Terms of Reference

2022: Ainsley Oliver
2021: Travis Eveleigh
2020: Elise Gray
2019: Paula Anderson
2016: Kregg Ochitwa
2015: Denise Cherkas, Regan Coulter
2014: Julie Schick
2012: Jean Mitchell
2011: Anne-Marie Graham
2009: Ivy Hodgins
2008 :Jeff Brousseau, Blaine Mackie
2007: Sue Meyers
2006: Deb Gunther-Hansen
2005: Kate Spencer, Jason Pylatiuk
2004: Christina Gokavi
2003: Julie Landeryou
2002: Brenda Collacott
2001: Perry Kimber
2000: Margaret Guest, Cec Molnar
1999: Bruce Craven
1998: Betsy Brown, Richard Bourassa

New Member Professional Contributions Award

To recognize the contributions of recent graduates and newer members of the SPA, with 5 or fewer years of experience in the profession.

  • Must be a member in good standing of CPA and SPA.
  • Must have 5 or fewer years of experience in physiotherapy.
  • Must have demonstrated professional involvement and/or leadership within the profession and SPA on a provincial level.
  • May be recognized for outstanding promotion of the profession in their area/region/facility.
  • May be recognized for development of new or innovative programs or initiatives in their area/region/facility.

Terms of Reference

2022: Chad Magee
2021: Halee Bridgeman
2019: Amanda Fortin
2015: Katie Crockett
2014: Dean Watson
2012: Devin Mann
2010: Chantale Nightingale
2009: Crystal Showers
2008: Nichole Brown
2007: Daysha Shuya
2006: Kathryn Gorectke
2005: Tara Mercier
2004: Juliet Sarjeant
2003: Marilyn Debnam
2002: Rick Doyle
2001: Lorena Friesen

Award of Merit for Student Initiative and Professional Engagement

To recognize a student SPA member who has demonstrated initiative and professional involvement in the rehabilitation sciences.

  • Must be a member in good standing of CPA and SPA.
  • Ongoing student engagement with national or provincial associations through participation in events, lunch and learns, conferences, etc.
  • Has demonstrated initiative and professional involvement in the rehabilitation sciences through:
    • Outstanding promotion of the profession.
    • Development of new or innovative programs or initiatives.
    • Involvement in development of research or knowledge translation in the area of rehabilitation sciences.
  • Student initiative and professional engagement could be represented by the following activities; the student should have demonstrated a minimum of 2 of these:
    • Effort to go “above and beyond”; demonstrates dedication to the profession.
    • Enthusiasm to promote new learning  opportunities, create reciprocal relationships with groups that benefit health care clients, and demonstrate innovation within the rehabilitation sciences.
    • History of volunteer activity within the profession.
    • History of being regarded as a good spokesperson for the profession, representing the interests of all physiotherapists.
    • Considered by peers to be a role model of professional behaviour, and motivates others to become involved in professional activities.
    • Seeks opportunities to engage with the professional community outside of the classroom.

Terms of Reference

2022: Lauren Gleed

Award of Merit for Clinical Education Award

Awarded to a SPA member for outstanding contribution to the clinical education of physical therapy students. This award is meant to recognize and honour an individual who contributes expertise and time to support and promote the clinical education of students, with direct student supervision and/or program development in clinical education as an ongoing focus in their professional life.

  • Must be a member in good standing with CPA and SPA.
  • Must have a history of high professional standards in the clinical education of physical therapy students over a period of at least 5 years, gaining respect of colleagues and students along the way.

In addition the following will be considered. The ideal candidate:

  • Will be a person who has demonstrated high standards of professionalism and commitment to students in the role of professional mentor and/or leadership in promoting quality clinical education programs for students in health service delivery programs.
  • Has demonstrated a spirit of cooperation and collaboration with the School of Rehabilitation Science (formerly the School of Physical Therapy), University of Saskatchewan.
  • Is committed to excellence and/or innovation in clinical teaching and/or administration in a health service agency (i.e., clinical practice, research, publishing, managerial).
  • Has demonstrated willingness to apply innovative models of clinical education.
  • Works collaboratively with the School of Rehabilitation Science in curriculum and/or program development. This may be demonstrated in a variety of activities such as:
    • Clinical Education Committee meetings.
    • Other School of Rehabilitation Science committees.
    • Clinical education policy development.
    • Advisory capacity for clinical education program processes.
    • Development and implementation of a clinical education program in a service agency.
    • Engagement in planning and implementation of other School of Rehabilitation Science programs.
    • Serving as a positive role model for students and demonstrating productive and
    • Positive student-mentor relationships as attested by students.

Terms of Reference

2022: Michelle Newton (Rural), Tasha Descottes (Urban)
2021: Melissa Cursons (Rural), Renee Walker (Urban)
2020: Tamara Kapell (Rural), Bonnie Yake (Urban)
2019: Jody Rice (Rural)
2018: Curtis Newton (Rural), Lisa Zurburg (Urban)
2017: Devin Mann
2016: Alison Matsyk
2015: Jason Pylatiuk
2014: Joelle Birkham
2013: Sherry Gunderson (Rural), Jo Ann Walker Johnston (Urban)
2012: Moira Stoll (Rural), LifeMark Health (Daniels Kimber) (Urban)
2011: Liz Rackow & PT’s (Cypress Health Region) (Rural), Linda Michkalishen (Urban)
2010: Wascana Rehabilitation Centre (Urban)
2009: Betsy Brown (Rural), Curtis Kucey (Urban)
2008: Deborah Gunther-Hansen
2007: Cherie Illingworth

Joyce Manton Award for Leadership & Professional Involvement

Awarded to a SPA member who has shown outstanding dedication to the profession through their leadership and/or professional involvement.

  • Must be a member in good standing with CPA and SPA.

One or more of the following will be taken into consideration:

  • History of volunteer activity with SPA or CPA (e.g., executive or related committees).
  • Demonstrates unselfish dedication to the  profession as a whole, over and above personal interests.
  • History of being regarded as a good spokesperson for the profession, representing the interests of all physiotherapists.
  • Considered by other physiotherapists to be a role model of professional behaviour, or motivates others to become involved in professional  activities.

Terms of Reference

2022: Daysha Shuya
2021: Cathy Cuddington
2020: Dr. Susan Tupper
2019: Stacey Lovo Grona
2018: Louise Ashcroft
2016: Allison Stene
2013: Bruce Craven
2012: Peggy Proctor
2010: Angela Busch
2009: Lorna Clarke
2008: Bonnie Yake
2007: Graham Fast
2006: Ken Dornstauder
2005: Cathy Watts
2004: Gale Pryznyk
2003: Peggy Bacon
2002: Marilyn McPherson
2001: Judy Weenk
2000: Karen Barber
1999: Paul Leech, Arlis McQuarrie
1998: Lesley Stamatinos, Liz Harrison

Continuing Education in Rehabilitation Science (CERS) Award of Merit

Awarded annually to a Saskatchewan physical therapist who has demonstrated extraordinary commitment of time, energy, and effort to promote continuing education for the physiotherapy profession.

  • Must be a member in good standing with the SCPT. 
  • PT’s holding membership in CPA and SPA will be given preference.

One or more of the following will be taken into consideration:

  • Has shown a history of pursuing continuing education within his/her physiotherapy career.
  • Has been responsible for organizing or promoting continuing education.
  • Has been a volunteer within the CERS program (committee member, on-site manager, etc).
  • Has been an instructor for continuing physical therapy education courses.

Terms of Reference

2020: Christine Epp
2019: Mitch McInnes
2017: Regan Coulter
2016: Sarah Oosman
2015: Vince Cunanan, Angela Busch
2014: Rhonda Shishkin
2013: Lynn Kuffner
2012: Cathy Sajtos
2011: Jerilyn Sim
2010: Ken Redl, Julie Palmer-Redl
2009: Linda Mickalishen
2008: Peggy Bacon
2007: Karen Barber
2006: Angela Busch
2005: Louise Ashcroft Marilyn McPherson
2004: Richard Bourassa

Special Recognition Award

To recognize an organization, association, agency or member of the community whose goals reflect those of our profession.

  • Any SPA member may make nominations.

Terms of Reference

2021: Adrianne Vangool
2020: Jodi Williams and Laurel Shafer
2019: Michelle Coels (One Tough Mama)
2016: The Lymphedema Association of Saskatchewan
2016: Jeannie Coe, along with The Lighthouse Project (including others nominated with the project – Garnette Weber, Lacey Nairn Pederson, Sarah Oosman, Brenna Bath, Nycole Pataki, Lindsay Tasker, Ryan Fehr, Cara McDougall, Maegan Marshall, Sherry Gunderson and Morenike Ogunsan)
2015: Kelly Froehlich and Julie Gerwing
2014: Ryan Fitzpatrick and Ryan Dueck
2013: Pat Tremaine
2010: Physical Activity for Active Living (PAAL)
2009: The Sport Medicine & Science Council of SK for Sports Medicine
2008: Prevent Alcohol and Risk Related Trauma in Youth (PARTY) Program
2007: U of S School of Dance
2006: Living with Stroke Program (Heart & Stroke Foundation of SK)
2005: Acquired Brain Injury Program
2004: SK Abilities Council
2003: Lung Association of SK
2002: The Arthritis Society (SK Division)
2001: Breast Cancer Action SK
2000: Trans Canada Trail
1999: First Step Program (Saskatoon)
1998: Pat Prokopchuk (Holistic Health Team)

Unique Initiative Award

Awarded to a physical therapist or group of physical therapists that have shown initiative to contribute to health care in an innovative or unique way. This award is meant to be considered when an opportunity to recognize an extraordinary effort has presented itself, not necessarily on an annual basis.

  • Must be a member or group of members in good standing with CPA/SPA.

For groups, at least 50% of the representatives must be CPA/SPA members and must be actively participating in the field of physiotherapy. One or more of the following must apply:

  • Has/have shown an effort to go “above and beyond” in order to create new projects providing health care to individuals who normally could not receive benefits.
  • Has/have shown enthusiasm to promote new learning opportunities for health care providers or for health care clients.
  • Has/have created new, reciprocal relationships with groups that benefit health care clients or their providers. This can include fundraising or mentorship. Some examples include: Shinerama, Jingle Bell Run, Joints in Motion.

Terms of Reference

2021: Julia Koop
2020: Dale Pitura, Brandy Green, Liz Rackow
2019: Pelvic Health Mentorship Program
2016: Garnette Weber
2015: Rochelle Yelland, Matt Mazurik
2010: Joann Nilson, Jo Ann Walker Johnston
2009: Dr. Liz Harrison, Peggy Proctor (P-CITE)
2008: ADAPT
2007: Jan Haffner
2006: SWITCH
2004: Jocelyn Chandler

Award of Merit for Research

A current SPA member, who has (individually or in conjunction with other personnel) initiated and/or participated in research as stated above. This research may be in published or presented form. Qualifying research can be done by faculty members, graduate students, administrators, or clinicians. The committee will attempt to informally ensure that the award be rotated among these groups from year to year when this opportunity presents itself.

The spirit of this award is to particularly recognize research that has the potential to affect clinical practice. In addition, special consideration will be given to those individuals who have done one or both of the following:

  • Pursued research over and above their usual job duties.
  • Participated in a formal process of evidence-based practice and shown willingness to share results with the profession in a written or presented form.

Any SPA member may make nominations.

Nominations must be submitted in written form and must include:

  • Name and contact information of nominator.
  • Name and contact information for nominee.
  • Name and contact information of a seconder who would support the nomination.
  • One letter from the nominator outlining how the individual meets the criteria as stated above.
  • Outline of the nature of the research, an abstract of the research or a copy of the publication, if the research is published.
  • CV or resume of the nominee (optional).

Terms of Reference

2020: Dr. Sarah Donkers
2019: Dr. Sarah Oosman
2018: Dr. Soo Kim
2014: Brenna Bath
2011: Shane Kachur
2010: Dr. Vanina Dal Bello-Haa
2009: Cathy Arnold
2007: Melanie Funk
2006: Liz Harrison
2004: Flo Wagner
2002: Michelle Ehrlich and Camille Poulin
2001: Kathy Arnold and John Marshall
2000: Angela Busch
1999: Candice Schachter
1998: Suzanne Sheppard

Research Previous Winners

2020: Dr. Sarah Donkers
2019: Dr. Sarah Oosman
2018: Dr. Soo Kim
2014: Brenna Bath
2011: Shane Kachur
2010: Dr. Vanina Dal Bello-Haa
2009: Cathy Arnold
2007: Melanie Funk
2006: Liz Harrison
2004: Flo Wagner
2002: Michelle Ehrlich, Camille Poulin
2001: Kathy Arnold, John Marshall
2000: Angela Busch
1999: Candice Schachter
1998: Suzanne Sheppard