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Rick Hansen Institute and Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation announce Fellowship at the University of Toronto Department of Physical Therapy

Postdoctoral fellowship established in honour of Rick and Amanda Hansen's contributions to spinal cord injury research and care

September 27, 2017 – Toronto, Ontario. The Rick Hansen Institute (RHI) and the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (ONF) are pleased to announce financial support for a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto Department of Physical Therapy.

RHI ONF UT Announcement
(Pictured from left to right: Bill Barrable, CEO of the Rick Hansen Institute; Darlene Reid, Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy; U of T Chancellor Michael Wilson; Faculty of Medicine Dean Trevor Young; Rick Hansen; Amanda Hansen; Kent Bassett-Spiers, CEO of the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation; Stephanie Nixon, Physical Therapy Professor; at the 100th Anniversary of the Department of Physical Therapy celebration)

The fellowship was announced at a University of Toronto event commemorating the 100th anniversary of the University's Department of Physical Therapy. Bill Barrable, CEO of RHI, and Kent Bassett-Spiers, CEO of ONF, announced the fellowship, which will support physical therapy research in the area of SCI, in honour of the Hansen's contributions to the field. Rick and Amanda Hansen spoke at the event to pay tribute to the Department and share their first-hand experience of the importance of physical therapy.

Since the historic Man In Motion World Tour over 30 years ago, Rick and Amanda Hansen have made tremendous contributions to SCI research and care. Their legacy includes the establishment of RHI and the creation of ONF as a founding partner along with other provincial organizations. Both organizations have a long history of collaboration with the common goal of advancing research and improving outcomes for the more than 86,000 Canadians living with SCI. ONF and RHI work with researchers and health care professionals in Ontario and across the country to transform promising research into practical solutions. The fellowship will continue the Department of Physical Therapy's reputation for research excellence.


Bill Barrable, CEO, Rick Hansen Institute

"Rick and Amanda started a movement that forever changed the lives of people living with SCI. By envisioning a unified SCI research and care community, they also paved the way for partnerships, such as the one announced today, to come to fruition. We are honoured to work with the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation and University of Toronto to support research that will have a positive impact on people with spinal cord injury."

Kent Bassett-Spiers, CEO, Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation

"This is another step in the right direction to ensure that Ontarians with neurotrauma, including spinal cord injuries, lead full, productive lives. We are proud to partner with the Rick Hansen Institute and the University of Toronto on this fellowship and are pleased that it will be dedicated to two individuals who have contributed so much to improve the lives of those with spinal cord injury."

Amanda Hansen, Physical Therapist, Vancouver Coastal Health

"I am very proud to be a Physical Therapist, especially at a time like this when such an extraordinary opportunity is being provided to inspire ground-breaking research in the area of spinal cord injury. Congratulations to the University of Toronto, Department of Physical Therapy as you continue to provide academic excellence to future therapists."

Rick Hansen, Founder & CEO, Rick Hansen Foundation

"I'm very excited to hear the announcement by the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation and Rick Hansen Institute to support a postdoctoral fellowship in spinal cord injury research at the University of Toronto Department of Physical Therapy.
Physical therapy is a vital discipline that improves physical function and enables individuals to maximize their potential. This research support will build on the department's legacy and will continue to improve health outcomes for individuals with spinal cord injury. Congrats to the University of Toronto, ONF and RHI for making this happen."

Trevor Young, Dean, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

"Physical therapy at U of T has made major strides, not only in ensuring faster recovery but also in improving quality of life for people living with disabilities. We're so fortunate to have visionary supporters like the Rick Hansen Institute and the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation helping drive this work forward."

Darlene Reid, Chair, Department of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto

"We are so grateful to the Rick Hansen Institute and the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation for investing in physical therapy research focused on spinal cord injury. U of T has an incredible history in this field, with our department celebrating 100 years of impact this year. With the help of strong supporters, we are able to advance research, education and clinical involvement, and ultimately enhance clinical care — not only in Toronto, but across Canada and internationally."


About Rick Hansen Institute

Rick Hansen Institute is a Vancouver-based not-for-profit organization that drives spinal cord injury (SCI) research and innovation around the world. The Institute networks international researchers, healthcare professionals, entrepreneurs, investors and people with SCI to find solutions to what is one of the most debilitating, costly and life-altering chronic health conditions. We strive to improve the lives of people living with SCI in Canada and around the world. Visit www.rickhanseninstitute.org.

About Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation

The Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (ONF) is a non-profit organization funded by the Ontario government that works to prevent neurotrauma, and to ensure Ontarians with neurotrauma lead full, productive lives. ONF is a leader in moving research to evidence-informed practices and connects health care practitioners, researchers, stakeholders and policymakers to the information they need about neurotrauma prevention and health practices through regional, provincial, national and international collaborations and partnerships. Visit www.onf.org.

For more information:

Carey Lee
Marketing & Network Engagement Lead
Rick Hansen Institute
t: 604.827.2426