As a physiotherapist (PT) working in an academic setting these last six years I have come to appreciate the impact of saying ‘Thank you’, and not only after a colleague has given a lecture, which has taken countless hours of preparation, reflection and commuting, but also, a proper acknowledgement in front of peers. This “Thank You” enables others to appreciate the award winner’s achievements and their contribution to the bigger picture of integration, and collaboration. It can also inspire others to act in turn in their community and nominate someone that motivates them.

The University of Toronto, Department of Physical Therapy acknowledges individuals who have provided great learning environments, guidance, supervision, or have been inspirational to their students with Department of Physical Therapy Recognition Awards. The Awards ceremony takes place in July and it is a day of celebration, starting with Graduate and Masters Research Posters and lunch, followed by inspiring speeches by the nominees and the award recipients. The OPA Member Services, Practice and Policy team of Amanda Smart, Kate McLeod and Sarah Grace Bebenek were recognized for their continued support and involvement in the PT Bridging Program (OIEPB). They drove home the message of community and professionalism to internationally trained PTs who may not have experienced such support or realized the important role OPA will play in their future.

Paulette Gardiner Millar, OPA Board Member, was also recognized for her participation in the OIEPB Program Employer’s Day where she single-handedly recruited a class of 26! Well, not seriously, but her depth of PT knowledge, perspective on the business of PT and her enthusiasm for the profession enabled those lacking in confidence to move forward and open those doors! Teaching would be a boring place without our bigger community of PTs.

The really inspiring result of recognizing our colleagues is then witnessing the diversity in our practice and the excitement amongst us that exists for future opportunities – from clinic models to client access, from how we are addressing healthcare challenges by evolving our practice, to collaborating for efficacy. When you get a group of people in a room in order to recognize their value to the growth of the profession you get inspired and the enthusiasm is infectious.

There are numerous regional and provincial, hospital, private and public awards. Look around at your peer group – do you see someone who inspires you? Acknowledge them! OPA has provided an opportunity to say ‘Thank you’ and share a story of inspiration – we just have to take the step to nominate someone, which is rewarding unto itself.

So stop being so humble… speak up and recognize who inspires you!

By Alison Bonnyman, MScRS, BScPT

OPA Special Awards Nominations are now open