Muriel Driver Memorial Lectureship Award

This lectureship was established as a memorial to Muriel Driver in honour of her many significant contributions to the profession of occupational therapy, from the time of her graduation from the University of Toronto in 1941 until her death in 1972. A brief résumé will give some idea of Muriel’s full and varied career, which began in 1941 when she became a home service therapist at the Toronto Curative workshop.

In 1943 Muriel enlisted in the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, serving first as sole therapist at the Hamilton Military Hospital. This was followed by an overseas posting to the 22nd Canadian General Hospital in the United Kingdom as charge occupational therapist. Returning to Canada, she served at the Montreal Military Hospital as assistant to the charge therapist.

Following discharge from the Army in 1946, Muriel organized the first occupational therapy department at Runnymede Hospital for the Chronically Ill in Toronto, and in 1948 she became supervisor of the occupational therapy department at The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto. During her years at this hospital, Muriel attended the Warm Springs Foundation in Georgia and was awarded the post-graduate certificate in neuro-muscular disorders.

In 1954 Muriel returned to Warm Springs as Director of Occupational Therapy and Instructor in the Post-Graduate School. Muriel accepted the challenge of organizing and directing the special Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) course in occupational therapy at Kingston in 1959 and served as Director of the School throughout its existence. When Queen’s University established the occupational therapy educational program in 1967, Muriel was appointed Senior Lecturer, and at the time of her death in 1972 she was Assistant Professor and Senior Teacher in the Occupational Therapy Programme, School of Rehabilitation Therapy, Queens University, Kingston, Ontario.

Muriel gave many years of service to the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists, as a member of various committees, as chairman of several including the Education Committee, and as an elected member of the Board of Directors. As the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists delegate to the World Federation of Occupational Therapists, she represented Canada on its Council and during part of her term served as Chairman of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists Publications Committee.

In addition to these contributions, she was the author of numerous articles published in the Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy and in the journals of other health-related professions. Her enthusiasm for the advancement of occupational therapy and the stimulation which she provided were sources of inspiration of students, therapists and personal friends.

The Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists will honour a member of the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession through research, education and the practice of occupational therapy by presenting the individual with the Muriel Driver Memorial Lectureship Award.

Lectureship, Nomination and Narrative Forms

Award nomination deadline is December 1st.

Read the Collection of Muriel Driver Memorial Lectures – Sage Website

Award Recipients

2018 Award Recipient

Susan Forwell

Susan is recognized for her contributions to the profession not only through her leadership, teaching, research, and influence on practice, but also for her outstanding contributions to CAOT, including a past presidency and involvement with 17 different committees since 1991. Her dedication to the field of chronic illness, specifically multiple sclerosis, has led to the development of a comprehensive strategy to assess fatigue and enable interventions to target its wide-ranging causes and improve quality of life.

Susan was the first scholar working in Canada with a doctorate in occupational science and has since brought this perspective to all aspects of her career. It was under her leadership that the occupational science stream began at CAOT Conferences. In her various roles at the University of British Columbia (UBC) over the past 26 years, Susan has become well known for her teaching ability- she offers clarity of concepts, engaging dialogue on relevant social issues, and a participatory style to ensure a well-rounded experience for the students she teaches and mentors. She currently heads the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at UBC, where she continues to contribute in a wide variety of ways to the advancement of occupational therapy in Canada.


Past Recipients

Lili Liu

Karen Whalley Hammell                   

Isabelle Gélinas                         

Bonnie Kirsh                             
Claire-Jehanne Dubouloz                 

Marcia Finlayson 

Juliette (Archie) Cooper 

Lori Letts 

Annette Majnemer 

Nicol Korner-Bitensky 

Terry Krupa 

Mary Egan 

Jan Miller Polgar 

Johanne Desrosiers 

Catherine Backman 

Judith Friedland 

Rachel Thibeault 

Virginia Fearing

Mary Ann McColl 

Muriel Westmorland 

Marie Gage 

Huguette Picard 

Elizabeth Townsend 

Helene Polatajko 

Mary Law 

Anne Carswell-Opzoomer 

Margaret Tompson 

Sue Baptiste 

Joanne Stan 

Thelma Gill Sumsion 

Sharon Brintnell 

Barbara Saunders 

Andrée Forget 

Mary Judd 

Isobel Robinson 

Elizabeth B. Bell 

Gail Gilewich 

Barbara J. O’Shea

Margaret Hood 

Joy (Huston) Bassett 

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