Welcome to the Northern Ontario District of the Ontario Physiotherapy Association. We are currently a group of physiotherapists from various communities in the NE LHIN. We meet bi-monthly via teleconference. Please contact us if you are interested in participating.


Physio North 2023

September 30, 2023 in Sault Ste. Marie! Find out more below.

Thank you to our Sponsors!

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Physio North 2023

The Northern Ontario District of the Ontario Physiotherapy Association (OPA) is hosting a biannual conference in Sault Ste. Marie on September 30, 2023.

Join us for a day filled with connection and learning with the physiotherapy community!
OPA Member – Register here $150+HST
Non-member – Register here $200+HST
OPA Student/PTA Member – Register here $75+HST
Student/PTA Non-member – Register here $90+HST
Registration includes breakfast & lunch
OPA Members: Login before registering for member pricing

You’ve reached Practice Advice – How Can We Help? Tales from the Practice Advice Frontline at the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario

Speaker: Mary-Catherine Fraser Saxena


The use of humor in Oncology

Speaker: Dr. Oren Cheifetz, PT, PhD

9:45am-10am Break

Physiotherapy in eldercare – what’s it all about?

Speaker: Amanda DalcourtPT, Dip MDT

11am-12pm Surgical Spine Care

DrAdrienne M. Kelly, MD, FRCSC

12pm-1pm Lunch
1pm-2pm Beyond advanced practice physiotherapy: where to from here?

Speaker: Susan Robarts, BSc, BHScPT, MSc

2pm-3pm Evidence based assessment and treatment of concussion

Speaker: Dr. Venkadesan Rajendran, PT, MPT (Neurology), PhD

3pm-4pm Discover the keys to success in operating a private physiotherapy practice

Speaker: Andy Wang, PT, R. Ac, Dip. TCM Acupuncture, Dip. Manip. PT, BScPT, MTS, FCAMPT, CAFCI, DSc(c) PT

Dr. Oren Cheifetz, PT, PhD

Oren-Cheifetz-pictureDr. Oren Cheifetz has completed his physiotherapy degree at Queen’s University, Master’s at the University of Western Ontario, and oncology-related doctorate studies at McMaster. He has been working at Hamilton Health Sciences since 1996 in various positions including orthopedics, oncology/hematology, amputee and geriatric rehab, and now management. He is a CPA-certified Clinical Specialists in Oncology, and has served as a Director on the CPA Board of Directors 2014-2017. Currently, he is on OPA Board of Directors and serves as the President. Oren has been an Executive member on the Oncology Division and has been instrumental in creating the World Confederation Oncology Section.

Amanda Dalcourt, PT, Dip MDT

Amanda-Dalcourt-pictureAmanda Dalcourt is Co-Founder, Vice President of Eldercare at Novo Peak Health. With 30 years of clinical experience, Amanda’s strong orthopedic background changed into a passion for the elderly, creating innovative programming, and efficient systems and procedures that have allowed for Novo Peak to thrive in the eldercare industry. As Northern Ontario Business Association’s Entrepreneur of the Year (2011), Co-Author of 5 books, professional speaker and businesswoman, Amanda continues to work as a clinician in eldercare, maintaining direct contact with seniors, so as to have continued experience with the growing and changing needs of the industry

Dr. Adrienne M. Kelly, MD, FRCSC

Adrienne-Kelly-pictureDr. Adrienne Kelly was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie and returned to practice general orthopedics and adult spine surgery in 2015. She completed medical school at Western, orthopedic residency in Halifax, and spine fellowship in Vancouver. She is an Executive Member at Large of the Canadian Spine Society and actively recruiting patients to the observational cohort of the Canadian Spine Outcomes Research Network, a national registry of spine surgery. In her spare time she enjoys working outside, going to camp, boxing, playing hockey and lacrosse, and teaching skating.

Dr. Venkadesan Rajendran, PT, MPT (Neurology), PhD

Venkadesan-Rajendran-pictureDr. Venkadesan Rajendran is an advanced practice physiotherapist in the internal medicine and acute stroke unit at Health Sciences North. He is also a clinical lecturer at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine and an adjunct professor at Laurentian University’s School of Health Sciences. In 2021, Dr. Rajendran was awarded centenary medals of distinction by the Canadian Physiotherapy Association, and, in 2023, received the Innovation and Advancement Award from the Ontario Physiotherapy Association. In addition, Dr. Rajendran founded Ontario Neurological Rehabilitation. He has published 25 research articles in peer-reviewed international journals.

Susan Robarts, BSc, BHScPT, MSc

Susan-Robarts-pictureSusan Robarts developed a model of care at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre that changed the status quo. The model of care includes centralized referral intake and assessment by advanced practice physiotherapists, of which she was the first, reducing wait times and improving access to care for people with musculoskeletal conditions. As an advisor to the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care, she was instrumental in scaling up the team approach and implementing 53 Rapid Access Clinics for people with hip and knee arthritis across the province with over 100 new advanced practice providers. Previously, she developed a funded community-based rehabilitation initiative in the Mushkegowuk Territory with Weeneebayko Area Health Authority and Queen’s University to increase care capacity. Susan has co-authored over 20 publications in peer-reviewed journals. She is a member of the Board of Directors for the Ontario Physiotherapy Association. Susan has a B.Sc. in Psychology, B.H.Sc. in Physiotherapy (McMaster University), M.Sc. in Rehabilitation Science (Queen’s University), and certificates in Lean for Healthcare (Michigan University) and Patient Safety Quality and Leadership (Johns Hopkins School of Medicine). Her work has been acknowledged with the Sunnybrook Schulich Award for Clinical Excellence, 3M Health Care Quality Team Award and Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care ACE Award for Achievement, Commitment, and Excellence. In 2022, she received a Distinguished Alumni award from Queens University, School of Rehabilitation.

Mary-Catherine Fraser Saxena

Mary-Catherine-Fraser Saxena-photoMary-Catherine received her Bachelor of Science (Physiotherapy) from the University of Ottawa and a Masters in Rehabilitation Science from the University of Toronto. She has worked as a physiotherapy clinician and clinic director in private and public facilities in Ontario, Manitoba and the United States. In 2020, Mary-Catherine joined the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario (CPO) as a Professional Practice Advisor. She advises all stakeholders in physiotherapy in Ontario, including physiotherapists, patients and their families, PTAs, academics and students. Her role also includes developing educational content for physiotherapists in the form of monthly newsletters, blog posts, educational videos and other continuing professional education opportunities related to the CPO’s Professional Standards. In addition, Mary-Catherine has the privilege of meeting students from across Ontario during their first year of physiotherapy training to help them better understand the College’s role in their future profession, as well as to meet graduating students to review and apply the standards of practice. Mary-Catherine also volunteers with the Physiotherapy Education Accreditation Canada.

Andy Wang, PT, R. Ac, Dip. TCM Acupuncture, Dip. Manip. PT, BScPT, MTS, FCAMPT, CAFCI, DSc(c) PT

Andy-Wang-pictureAndy graduated from the School of Physiotherapy, Queen’s University in 1983. He has been an anatomical acupuncturist with the Acupuncture Foundation of Canada Institute (AFCI) and a Registered Acupuncturist with the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario (CTCMPAO) since 1995 and 2015 respectively. He is also a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Physiotherapists (FCAMPT) since 1999.


Water Tower Inn

360 Great Northern Rd, Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6B 4Z7

Discounted rate: mention “Physio North 2023” when booking

Rates as follows:

  • 2 Queen: $134+tax
  • 1 Queen: $124+tax
  • 1 King: $134+tax
  • 1 Queen with 2 person hot tub tub: $149+tax
  • Top of the Inn King Size: $149+tax
Email Sponsor
  • Logo with link on Northern Ontario District website page (this page)
  • Logo with link in 3X Northern Ontario District emails sent to over 100 members
  • Table at Physio North on September 30, 2023, in Sault Ste. Marie

Buy Now

Website Sponsor $200+HST

Buy Now

Your District Team:

Venkadesan Rajendran – President-Elect & Education Coordinator

Andy Wang – Past-President

Jody Lemieux – Secretary

Rhonda Matthews – Treasurer & Communication Coordinator


Post-Physio North 2023 Course

Introduction to Acupuncture

Sunday, October 1, 2023 from 8:00am-4:00pm
683A Great Northern Rd Unit 2, Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6B 5A1

Acupuncture has been a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine for over thousands of years. You will learn the risks, benefits, and practice of using the most common 20 acupuncture points for your patients with various pain syndromes.

Course Instructor: Andy Wang, PT, R. Ac, Dip. TCM Acupuncture, Dip. Manip. PT, BScPT, MTS, FCAMPT, CAFCI, DSc(c) PT



Clinical Updates on Total Knee Arthroplasty

Thursday, September 8, 2022 from 6:00pm-7:00pm on Zoom

Free for OPA members; $25+HST for non-members. Registration is now closed.

Course instructors: Erin Thibeault, APP & Dr. Venkadesan Rajendran, PT, PhD

About the Instructors

Erin Thibeault is an advanced practice physiotherapist at the Northeast Joint Assessment Centre (NEJAC). She holds a degree in Human Kinetics and a Master of Physical Therapy. Her work experience has focussed on orthopedics. In 2018 she began at NEJAC (Rapid Access Clinic) where she completed her training as an advanced practice physiotherapist in 2018. Her role includes assessment and treatment of knee, hip and shoulder arthritis, ordering and reading imaging and referring patients to surgical consultation if appropriate. She is also a clinical lecturer at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine teaching orthopedic assessment and interprofessional education.

Dr. Venkadesan Rajendran, PT, PhD is an advanced practice physiotherapist, Internal Medicine and acute stroke at Health Sciences North. He provides home based physical therapy to TKR patients. He is a clinical lecturer at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and an adjunct professor at the school of health sciences, Laurentian University, Sudbury. He is also the President and an education coordinator of the Northern Ontario District of the Ontario Physiotherapy Association.

Learning Objectives:

  • Clinically diagnose knee osteoarthritis
  • Effectively perform subjective and objective assessments of knee osteoarthritis
  • Using imaging in diagnosing knee osteoarthritis
  • Understand different types of knee arthroplasty
  • Evidence based recommendations for physical therapy management of knee arthroplasty

Contact Us

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