OPA Special Awards2019-05-16T08:21:45-04:00



Congratulations to OPA members for their years of commitment to the profession by maintaining a membership in the Association for 50 & 60 years. In 2019, we congratulated six 50 year members at OPA’s annual conference: Trudi Douglas, Atiq Farooqui, Janet George, Lucie Labenski-Blench, Carol Moore, and Gail Mulzer. Two 60 year members, Shirley Lupton and Lynne Stacey (both pictured center), joined us at InterACTION’s Awards Dinner & Gala and delighted attendees with their inspirational speeches.


GREG SPADONI | Innovation and Advancement Award

The Innovation and Advancement Award recognizes a member who has been a trailblazer within physiotherapy and advances the science of the profession through innovating approaches in clinical practice, research, technology and education.

“Greg has consistently been an excellent ambassador for the physiotherapy profession. He is well respected, trusted, and well known in Hamilton and beyond.”

DEREK DEBASSIGE | Leadership and Advocacy Award

The Leadership and Advocacy Award recognizes a member who has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to the profession by increasing the awareness and value of physiotherapy to the public and/or health care community.

“In my forty (40) plus years of health care, I have met countless health care professionals in all fields, and settings. However, I have met few true leaders and visionaries. Derek Debassige is the epitome of professional leadership, and vision, by any criteria, that you would care to use. He is bold in his thinking, committed to finding solutions, and where others see obstacles, he sees opportunity.”

ROBERT CUSINATO | Outstanding Volunteer Award

The Outstanding Volunteer Award is given to an individual in recognition of their significant contribution to the profession, in a volunteer capacity, at a national, provincial or district level.

“Rob has been part of the Windsor District Executive since 1999. He has served as treasurer for the Windsor District for 19 years. He has been very committed to the Windsor District executive almost always attending meetings and functions. He is committed to advocating for our profession both within the health care field and with the general public.”

TRUDY MASON | OPA Special Board Award

The Board is pleased to award Trudy Mason with this honour in recognition of her endless efforts as an outstanding volunteer spanning several years at the District level and her involvement with multiple OPA committees. This award acknowledges Trudy’s volunteerism, passion and energy related to Association activities and her positive and enthusiastic professional spirit.


The Awards committee revised the awards program in 2016 to align with the Association’s priorities related to leadership development and innovation within the profession.