Get inspired by these amazing physiotherapist leaders.

Learn more about their role in leading change in Ontario health care.

Jeffrey Andrion ♦ Derek Debassige ♦ Caroline Gill ♦ Jennifer Howey

Bahram Jam ♦ Deborah Kennedy ♦ Judy KingAgnes Makowski

Monica Maly ♦ Stephanie Nixon ♦ Denise Taylor ♦ Sarah Wojkowski


Jeffrey Andrion, PT, PhD(c), MA, BScPT

Jeffrey completed his equivalency studies in physiotherapy at McGill University and his MA in Critical Disability Studies at York University where he is completing his PhD in Health. At the University of Toronto, he is the Chair of the Philippine Working Group of the International Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation and a faculty of the Ontario Internationally Educated Physiotherapists Bridging Program. He is a physiotherapist at the Sunnybrook Holland Orthopaedic & Arthritic Centre and Adviser of the Society of Physiotherapists with International Credentials. His research interests include critical theory; comparative health human resources; and disability/human rights.

Derek Debassige, BKin., BHScPT

Derek Debassige is a member of the M’Chigeeng First Nation, on Manitoulin Island and recently served in local governance as an elected councilor for the M’Chigeen First Nation Council. He is the owner of Manitoulin Physio Centre. He is a graduate of both the Kinesiology Program and the Physiotherapy Program at McMaster University.  The development of his career has taken him to Perth, Australia to study with the world-class leaders in Orthopedic Manual Therapy, and back to McMaster to earn a Contemporary Medical Acupuncture certificate (adding to training from the Acupuncture Foundation of Canada Institute).  Derek served two terms on the Board of Directors for the Northern Ontario School of medicine and as both a Board member and Chair of the National Aboriginal Health Organization (NAHO).

Derek is a varsity volleyball alumnus at McMaster.  He has also contributed to the sport on Manitoulin through volunteer coaching at the local high school, and participation in multiple North American Indigenous Games.

He has practiced in both outpatient physiotherapy and home care and has worked together with First Nation communities in northern Ontario since 2000. He was the recipient of the 2008 Health Recognition Award from the Union of Ontario Indians, was recognized as a Waubetek Business Development Corporations Youth Entrepreneur of the year in 2009 and Northern Ontario business Awards First Nations Award of Excellence in 2010. Derek also received the McMaster University Distinguished Rehabilitation Science Alumni Award for excellence in Physiotherapy in 2015.

Caroline Gill, PT, MHM CHE

Caroline Gill graduated as a physiotherapist from Trinity College, Dublin. In 2013 she completed her Master of Health Management (McMaster University) and received her Certified Health Executive (CHE) designation in 2014. Caroline has worked in a variety of settings over the course of her long career, working with and learning from many wonderful clinicians, educators and researchers. Caroline joined CBI in 2009, moving to her current position, Director, Quality and Risk and Regional Privacy Officer for CBI Home Health-Ontario in 2012. Caroline was thrilled and honoured to be the inaugural recipient of the 2016 OPA Leadership and Advocacy award.

Jennifer Howey, PT, CAFCI

Jennifer Howey is a senior physiotherapist and owner of InsideOut Physiotherapy & Wellness Group in downtown Toronto. An avid believer in health promotion, Jennifer has been featured on CBC, Global National, the Globe & Mail and the Star. She is passionate about the role of physiotherapists within a clinical team. She was a key member of Team Medical for the 2015 PanAm/ Para PanAm Games.

Jennifer is a Clinical Lecturer at the University of Toronto, National Master BSN taping and Nordic Pole Walking Instructor. Having done extensive work to develop a successful, physiotherapy run practice, Jennifer started the Learning Seminars to help educate new graduates about their professional and business roles. Whether treating Olympic level athletes or the downtown office worker, it is with the principles of life long learning, movement and vitality that Jennifer emphasizes with her patients. Jennifer thrives to maximize the leadership potential in her team and fellow members of her profession.

Dr. Bahram Jam, D.Sc.PT, M.PHTY, BSc.PT, FCAM

Bahram Jam graduated from the University of Toronto, Canada in 1992 with a Bachelors of Science in Physical Therapy. In 1999, he completed a Clinical Masters in Manipulative Physiotherapy at the University of Queensland, Australia and in 2009 he completed his Doctorate in Science in Physical Therapy at Andrews University, USA. He has the Canadian Diploma of Advanced Manual and Manipulative Physiotherapy and is also credentialed with the McKenzie Institute International.

Bahram is the founder and director of Advanced Physical Therapy Education Institute (APTEI) and has been a chief instructor for over six hundred post-graduate orthopaedic clinical courses across Canada and internationally. He continues to practice and has had extensive clinical experience with direct patient care.

He is presently practicing at Athlete’s Care Clinic Located at York University Campus, Toronto, Ontario.

Deborah Kennedy, MSc, BScPT

Manager of Rehabilitation & Program Development at the Sunnybrook Holland Orthopaedic & Arthritic Centre, Deborah was a key driver in the development and implementation of the award-winning Hip and Knee Arthritis Program and the Advanced Practice Physiotherapist role.  By extending the scope of physiotherapists, significant improvements in patient access, quality of care and maximization of human resources continue. Key concepts from the care model are being transferred to other sites, nationally and internationally.

An Assistant Clinical Professor in the McMaster University School of Rehabilitation Science and Lecturer in the University of Toronto, Department of Physical Therapy, Deborah is recognized for her expertise in outcome measurement in the arthroplasty population and more recently, the evaluation of new models of care.

Dr Judy King PhD, MHSc, BHScPT

Dr. Judy King is a physiotherapist and an associate professor in the physiotherapy program at the University of Ottawa in Canada.

Her patient centred research focus is in the area of patient education, specifically as it relates to chronic disease management, particularly for people living with chronic cardiac and respiratory conditions. Fields of study include health literacy, patient safety, transformative learning and mentorship.She has received both provincial and national awards for her teaching and mentoring of students and new health professionals.

Educating her future professional colleagues Dr. King believes it is important to be a role model and mentor for her students; she has volunteered on a number of provincial, national and international committees including Chairing the Research and Fellowship Committee of the Ontario Respiratory Care Society (ORCS) and she is a founding executive committee member of the International Confederation of Cardiorespiratory Physical Therapists (ICCrPT) of the World Confederation of Physical Therapy (WCPT).

As well as her research, teaching and service activities she maintains a clinical position working at The Ottawa Hospital in the Intensive Care Unit to have an up to date understanding of the present health care system.

Agnes Makowski, BSc PT, MSc PT, FCAMPT, Cert. Gunn IMS Acupuncture

Agnes Makowski is a Toronto based physiotherapist with a special interest in injury prevention, orthopaedics, exercise and sport medicine. She currently serves as the Physiotherapy Lead for Wheelchair Basketball Canada’s senior men’s program and as the Chief Physiotherapist for Skate Canada. She enjoys educating and working with clients of all abilities in reaching their activity, health and performance goals. Agnes collaborates with various health care professionals to promote an integrated and evidence-based approach to patient care.

Monica Maly, PT, Ph.D.

Monica is a physiotherapist and biomechanist; she holds a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) New Investigator Award. She uses biomechanics and advanced imaging techniques to develop physical activity guidelines for the most common forms of arthritis that are associated with aging. Did you know that exercise provides as much pain relief for arthritic pain as drugs? Exercise also reduces the risk for co-morbidities, including cardiovascular disease and cancer, and improves overall well-being. Patients turn to physiotherapists to define exercises that will not worsen their arthritis pain or overload their joints. Currently there is little guidance on the ideal amount, type, or intensity of physical activity that damages joints. Monica aims to fill this gap by developing guidelines for physical activity that promote health and productivity, while minimizing the risk for arthritis progression.

Stephanie Nixon, BA, BHSc, MSc, PhD

Stephanie is a physiotherapist who has been an HIV activist and researcher for 20 years.  She completed her BA in Kinesiology at the University of Western Ontario in 1992 and her BSc in Physiotherapy at McMaster University in 1996.  She completed her MSc in 2000 and her PhD in Public Health and bioethics in 2006, both at the University of Toronto.  Stephanie conducted her post-doc at the Health Economics and HIV/AIDS Research Division (HEARD) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa from 2006-2008. She is now an Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Director of the International Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation, at the University of Toronto.

Denise Taylor, PT, MPH, BScPT

Denise Taylor is the physiotherapy professional practice leader at St. Joseph’s Care Group in Thunder Bay, Ontario. She has been involved with the Moving on after Stroke Group self-management telemedicine program following chronic disease management and self- efficacy theories. In addition, Denise has been instrumental in the Sandy Lake community-wide primary Stroke Prevention program and the Stroke Recovery Network video conference series in addition to working clinically in neurological rehabilitation.

Denise is an advocate for people in the north, committed to breaking down geographical barriers with the use of technology. She completed her Master of Public Health Program at Lakehead University in 2010 and continues to teach physiotherapy students in the Northern Studies Stream partnership between McMaster University and Northern Ontario School of Medicine. She also served as Chair of the OPA Hospital Advisory Committee from 2003-2014.

Sarah Wojkowski

Sarah Wojkowski is an Assistant Professor in the School of Rehabilitation Science and the Director of Clinical Education for the MSc PT Program. Her research specialty includes Primary Health Care, Chronic Disease Self-Management, Emerging Roles for Rehabilitation. She is the also the Chair of the OPA Primary Care Advisory Committee.