Julie has an intense passion for helping people, and for the profession of Occupational Therapy (OT). Determined to put OT on the map, Julie is an avid writer and blogger, speaker and lecturer about the many ways that Occupational Therapists can help persons with disabilities to live more functional, productive and fulfilled lives. After working in the insurance sector as a clinician for 20 years, Julie and her business partner recently merged (2019) their practice with the largest rehabilitation company in Ontario and currently works as the Executive Director of Program Design and Practice Innovation for FunctionAbility. She continues to mentor and train therapists working in the sector while also remaining involved with McMaster University in roles such as tutor, guest lecturer, and clinical preceptor for the occupational therapy program. While Julie’s main clinical passions are helping people who have sustained spinal cord injury and amputations, she also has significant experience in accessible housing, brain injury, chronic pain, and helping people overcome psychological barriers to recovery. She has received awards for her efforts, including Innovative Clinician of the Year (2016) and Preceptor of the Year (2016) from the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists.
While Julie always wanted to become a geriatric physician, she found occupational therapy on her path to medicine, and knew the profession was a perfect fit. Obtaining her Bachelor of Science degree (Health Studies and Gerontology) from the University of Waterloo, then a degree in Health Science (Occupational Therapy) from McMaster University, Masters of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University, and recently becoming a Chartered Director (DeGroote School of Business), Julie is a life-long learner and enjoys the intellectual challenge that comes from courses and continuing education.
In 2014 Julie was fortunate to have become an Elected member of the Council at the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario and in the last 6 years has Chaired various committees including Discipline, Fitness to Practice, Practice Issues, and the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee. Julie’s current role is of President (Chair) where she is responsible for leading the Executive Committee and ensuring Council Meetings and the Board process is effective, efficient and always in line with the regulatory mandate of public protection.
In her free time Julie is an avid athlete, enjoying martial arts, fitness, hiking, golfing, cycling and volleyball. She has four teenagers that ensure she is never bored. Philanthropy is also important to her, and as such she continues to give back to charitable initiatives in her community including environmental activities, helping at the Good Shepherd and as a volleyball coach. She lives in Hamilton with her family and four legged beasts.