Award for Innovative Practice
This award has been established to recognize and honour the exceptional contributions of an individual occupational therapist who has shown innovation and leadership in clinical practice.
Nomination and Narrative Froms
Dr. Karen Rebeiro Gruhl
Karen is recognized for her respectful and compassionate approach and her contributions to advancing clinical practice through research-based knowledge in her work with clients with serious and persistent mental health issues in northern Ontario. Based on research and interaction with clients, she created support networks for persons with mental health issues early in her career, and later, in response to the lack of a continuum of support for people with mental health issues, collaborated with several mental health service consumers to create the Northern Initiative for Social Action – a collaborative, occupation-based mental health initiative. Karen’s exceptional leadership and innovation extends not only to client services, but to consumer advocacy, community development, policy development and education through fieldwork.
CAOT recognizes Jenny Hardy for her part in the success of the “Living Life to the Full for Older Adult Caregivers”, a mental health promotion program aimed at caregivers over the age of 55. Jenny’s earlier development and evaluation of the pilot project led to this program being established and, along with multiple community partners and funding from the New Horizons for Seniors program, it has become one of six interrelated projects now aimed at reaching the same goal: Measurably reducing social isolation in older adult caregivers living in Toronto by 2018.