Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists

Muriel Driver Memorial Lectures 2000-2009

2009 - Nicol Korner-Bitensky

Nicol is an associate professor in the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal. She obtained her BSc in 1976 in occupational therapy from McGill University. Ten years later, after a dynamic period of clinical and administrative responsibilities, Nicol completed an MSc in rehabilitation sciences; her thesis was on visual functioning in neonates in the first hours of life.

Her research career started as a research associate (1986-1987), after which she was appointed co-chief of research (1987-1992), then director of research (1992-1997) at the Jewish Rehabilitation Hospital. She made a significant contribution to setting up an internationally renowned Research Center. She was chair of the research review committee, chair of the research ethics committee and member of the education committee that aimed to develop and organize strategies to translate research results into practice.

2008 - Terry Krupa

Dr. Krupa graduated from the University of Toronto occupational therapy program in 1979 and began her career at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry in Toronto. While working for the next 10 years with clients with severe psychiatric disorders, she returned to school and in 1984 earned her Master’s in Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto (OISE). In 1989, she began her academic career at Queen’s University and continues to work there. While at Queen’s, she achieved the rank of associate professor, was chair of the Occupational Therapy Program for four years and received her Doctorate in Education from OISE in 2000. Through her outstanding efforts as an educator, researcher and practitioner, Dr. Krupa has impacted the profession of occupational therapy.

2007 - Mary Egan

In the 24 years of her occupational therapy career, Dr. Mary Egan has made and continues to make a substantial contribution to occupational therapy education, research and teaching. Throughout Mary’s career, she has exemplified the values of Muriel Driver, a gentle leader in our profession, who thoughtfully considered, described and examined important aspects of our unique profession.

Following graduation from The University of Western Ontario in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science in occupational therapy, Mary worked for 10 years with children and adults throughout Canada. In 1991, she received her Master of Science in occupational therapy from the University of Alberta and her doctorate in epidemiology from McGill University in 1999. Mary is an Associate Professor in the School of Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Ottawa, where she has taught since 1996.

2006 - Jan Miller Polgar

Since Jan Miller Polgar’s undergraduate days, she has demonstrated similar qualities to those shown in Muriel Driver's significant contributions to the profession and she has used these unselfishly to advance occupational therapy both nationally and internationally. Jan’s research has firmly established the profession in new areas of practice. Her creative yet pragmatic approach has reached into the board rooms of Canada's leading financial and industrial institutions, helping to connect the concepts of health and occupation and raising the profile of occupational therapy at important decision-making tables. Jan’s dedication also reaches close to home where she is a committed educator and mentor. She values the important work of professional associations and regulatory organizations and has volunteered on many boards and committees throughout her career.

2005 - Johanne Desrosiers

Johanne Desrosiers became an occupational therapist in 1979. Throughout her exceptional career, she has been an innovator, showing great creativity and energy with various organizations and research networks. She has established and sustained collaborations with occupational therapists involved in different work environments. Ms. Desrosiers has greatly increased the visibility of the profession and promoted the excellence of services to seniors. Through her diverse and substantial achievements, she is considered to be a leader by her peers and respected by the members of the rehabilitation team. Ms. Desrosiers is probably the occupational therapist in Quebec who has obtained the largest amount of grants and the one who has the most publications. She is a model for Canadian occupational therapists. Her actions to develop the profession can be summarized in four words: research, communication, training and promotion.

2004 - Catherine Backman

Catherine Backman is an accomplished clinician as well as a respected teacher, administrator and researcher within the profession of occupational therapy. Her expertise in the field of assessment, particularly for persons with arthritis, has yielded numerous esteemed grants and publications. Catherine's commitment to the profession has been demonstrated through her active volunteer involvement with CAOT, the Canadian Occupational Therapy Foundation, the British Columbia Society of Occupational Therapists and the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia. She is a valued citizen, actively volunteering in a number of community programs and services. Her dedication to student education is exemplified by her numerous past and current contributions to the occupational therapy curriculum at the University of British Columbia. Catherine has held many leadership roles both within her work and volunteer activities and is a prolific writer and speaker with over 45 publications and 60 papers at professional meetings or courses. 

2003 - Judith Friedland

Judith Friedland has made great contributions to increasing appreciation of the origins of occupational therapy. Through her 35 refereed papers and presentations in Canada and abroad, she has focused on the historical and ideological conditions that have given rise to our profession. In 1988, Judith received a doctorate in Education, then became the head of the department of occupational therapy at the University of Toronto, a position she held for 10 years. Judith has served on many community and professional committees, at all levels, was a member of the Ontario Rehabilitation Reform Team and a reviewer for numerous journals and conference committees. She was included in the 1995 Canadian Who’s Who and the Who’s Who of Canadian Women, and won the University of Toronto’s Alumni Achievement Award. Judith has been highly successful in attracting research grants, in excess of $250,000, to support her work in the historical field.

2002 - Rachel Thibeault

Rachel's work has spanned from acute mental health care and physical rehabilitation in rural and urban Canada to community-based services in the Arctic, Asia and Africa. Now an Associate Professor in Ottawa, she specializes in community-based rehabilitation, psychosocial care, and issues of meaning and social justice in health care.

2001 - Virginia Fearing

Virginia Griswold Fearing is a clinician and teacher committed to learning as a way of being. As coeditor (with Jo Clark) of Individuals in Context: A Practical Guide to Client-centred Practice, she used the opportunity to draw parallels between client-centred and leadership behaviours and to reflect on client environments.


2000 - Mary Ann McColl 

Mary Ann McColl is currently the Associate Director (Research) of the Queen's Centre for Health Services and Policy Research, as well as a Professor in both the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology and the School of Rehabilitation Therapy at Queen's University. She is one of the authors of the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure, as well as author of two books used in occupational therapy education: Introduction to Disability and Theoretical Basis of Occupational Therapy. She was awarded the Muriel Driver Memorial Lectureship in 1999-2000, in which she addressed the topic, "Spirit, occupation and disability."

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