Occupational Therapy: a source of wellness and empowerment

Occupational Therapy: a source of wellness and empowerment

October is National Occupational Therapy Awareness Month. Let’s take a moment to appreciate what Occupational Therapists do for our patients.

Occupational therapists help prevent, minimize and even solve the problems that interfere with a person’s ability to carry out daily tasks – getting dressed, eating, moving around the house, etc. For many, Occupational Therapy (OT) is integral to enjoying a sense of independence and quality of life.

On October 1, 2019, The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and the Department of Occupational Therapy, Adult sites, recognized the hard work and contribution of the 60 plus occupational therapists and support staff who work in inpatient and outpatient clinics throughout the MUHC.

“It’s amazing to think that Occupational Therapy at our hospitals can be traced back to 1938 within the Legacy Royal Victoria Hospital and soon afterwards at the Montreal General Hospital, making it 81 years old!” says Kashif Biag, manager of the Department of Occupational Therapy, Adult Sites. “That’s decades’ worth of improvement and results. One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the passion our OTs have in working for the benefit of their clients and co-workers. They make an outstanding contribution to each and every unit, team and clinic across the MUHC."

In October, the Occupational Therapy Department also announces the recipient of the 7th Annual Madeleine Shaw Award for Continuing Education as part of Staff Celebration Month. This $2000 Award supports continuing education for Occupational Therapists to improve patient care across all adult sites of the MUHC.  This year’s recipient is Isabel Hrapkowicz, who will attend the 2020 Philadelphia Annual Hand Surgery Symposium, in March 2020. Congratulations Isabel!

Wold Occupational Therapy Day 27th October 2019

October 27th marks World Occupational Therapy Day. Please join us in thanking all the Occupational Therapists for their important contribution to the MUHC. Keep up the excellent work!

What do Occupational Therapists do?

Part of an occupational therapist’s job is to help maximize the functional independence of a person recovering from illness, surgery, or even aging. To improve a person’s quality of life at home, Occupational Therapists will:

assess a person’s functional skills

compensate for disabilities, or minimize the impact of disability

make appropriate recommendations

adapt the environment in order to foster optimal independence for safe discharge or orientation in the health care network

promote, maintain, and/or restore a person’s functional independence


More information can be found at

Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists : https://caot.ca/

L’Ordre des ergothérapeutes du Québec : https://www.oeq.org/

World Federation of Occupational Therapists : https://wfot.org/