2018-2019 Nominations for Board of Director
British Columbia

Four nominations for the position of Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists Board Director for British Columbia were received and an election has been called. This election is only open to residents of British Columbia.   

The election process will be offered from January 2 to January 23, 2019.

The nominee's priority statements and curriculum vitae summaries are below for your review. 

Laura Bulk
Donna Drynan
Andrea McNeill
Anisa Salmi

Laura Bulk

Priority statement
I would be thrilled by the opportunity to bring a fresh perspective to CAOT Board’s conversations and decision-making processes. I particularly bring the unique perspectives of a relatively new occupational therapist (having begun practice in 2014), a scholar and clinician, and an occupational therapist who has a disability. I am passionate about evidence-based excellence, increased diversity, and cross-organizational collaboration. My perspective as a scholar will help me support CAOT in advancing excellence among members. My experiences working with diverse groups afford me the skills to contribute to the cross-organizational (ex. CAOT and ACOTUP) and interprofessional collaborations that will strengthen our profession. My research and personal/professional experience make me an ideal person to increase the diversity of representation on CAOT’s Board by giving voice to members who often feel marginalized: disabled occupational therapists. These priorities will help make CAOT a bastion for occupational therapists and an example for interprofessional colleagues.

As an occupational therapist and scholar, I have taken many opportunities to develop and demonstrate the capacities necessary to represent British Columbia’s Occupational Therapists on the CAOT Board. In my role as Chair of CAOT-BC’s Advisory Committee (AC), I serve my profession and colleagues by advocating for the value of occupational therapy, supporting CAOT-BC in advancing excellence in occupational therapy, and collaborating to improve the AC’s function.

I have experience and expertise in advocacy at local, provincial, and national levels; organizational leadership; and project administration. For example, I was part of a taskforce that designed the position statement about inclusive occupational therapy education, which was supported by CAOT and ACOTUP. This will help our profession shine as a leader regarding accessibility in the health professions. As President of the Teachers’ Assistants’ union (CUPE 2278) at the University of British Columbia (UBC), I demonstrate interpersonal, strategical planning, leadership, and organizational skills, and an ability to connect with/mobilize our 3500 members, liaise with diverse stakeholders, and negotiate tense situations. Through the AC, taskforce, CUPE 2278, and various research and teaching projects, I demonstrate my ability to facilitate working relationships within teams comprised of diverse individuals who have diverging perspectives, transforming conflict into opportunity and working toward consensus.

I am also passionate about promoting emerging areas of practice and excellence for Occupational Therapists. As co-found/co-chair of the Occupational Therapy in Low Vision Rehabilitation Network, I am working with CAOT members from across Canada to foster increased knowledge, create resources, advocate for funding, and design research that will support occupational therapy’s role in this field. I was also part of a group from across Canada that updated the CAOT position statement on occupational therapy in palliative and end of life care and am part of the newly-founded network.

My combined personal, educational, and professional experiences afford me the understanding of occupational therapy, policy, and advocacy necessary to fulfill the expectations of a board member. My skills and passion for occupational therapy will allow me to make a significant contribution to the promotion of occupational therapy and the continued growth and success of CAOT.

Donna Drynan

Priority statement
CAOT must remain bold in setting new priorities, including:
 • Pursuit of excellent health outcomes for Canadians
 • Support for members to achieve excellence in their practice
 • Solidifying partnerships with relevant stakeholders in order to develop and expand ideas to assist CAOT in
 • meeting government directions for the future of health care (collaborative team-based care, for example).
 • Continuing to expand CAOT’s role with Canada’s diverse population, namely indigenous peoples, including the development of new partnerships with various agencies that provide education in this area
 • Continuing to advocate for occupational therapy services at all levels

CAOT must continue to engage their constituents and provide a variety of services and modalities that will meet member needs including but not limited to social media, enhanced web-based resources and maintaining the already existing innovative programs (mentoring, webinars, NOTCE support).

My long-standing career as an Occupational Therapist, positions me well to represent the occupational therapists of BC with passion & vision. The skills acquired in my OT career and volunteer experiences, have given me the confidence to be an effective change agent.

As Academic Fieldwork Coordinator at UBC, I travel within BC and interact with OT’s in most practice contexts, both public and private. In my encounters I pride myself on being a good listener, creative, action oriented and committed to the profession.

From front line advocacy to supporting OT’s through continuing professional development to the big “A” advocacy work being done, CAOT is an exemplary organization to devote time to.

A saying I love to use when working with OTs is: “if not you than who”? This also rings true for my commitment to volunteerism. I have a keen desire to help shape, and promote the activities of the association moving forward.

I have held numerous volunteer positions with professional organizations and the BC regulatory college (COTBC). I am currently a CAOT-BC Advisory Committee member. I have been recognized locally and internationally for my expertise in the area of teaching winning the BCSOT (now CAOT-BC) Outstanding OT of the Year award (2009), the UBC Faculty of Medicine Clinical Faculty Teaching Award of Excellence (2009), the prestigious Killam Teaching Prize, UBC (2016) and the International Universitas 21 Teaching Excellence Award (2017).

I have my pulse on current issues and hot topics that are on the minds of BC OT’s. I can bring a clear and committed voice to the Board table. I have a good understanding of the various aspects of advocacy, the role of the association, the intersection of the association with the regulatory bodies, ACOTUP and COTF. My teaching is centered on the professional development of the occupational therapist so I am required to keep up to date on local, provincial and federal issues that impact health and the well being of Canadians.

I would fulfill my commitment with energy, transparency and be a collaborative member of the CAOT Board.

Andrea McNeill

Priority statement
1. Given the paucity of OTs in public and private sectors, we need to increase the number of OTs trained to meet the current and future needs of BC residents to ensure an adequate workforce as well as timely access to OT services. Currently, there are only 48 seats at UBC.
2. Explore new ways of providing mentorship/support to new graduates and more seasoned OTs, particularly in rural locations, to ensure the advancement of excellence in OT as well as to improve recruitment and retention.
3. Provide ongoing professional education, development and networking opportunities in various locations across the province.
4. Promote, advance and advocate for occupational therapy services in both traditional and non-traditional roles; explore and share where OTs add value.
5. Demonstrate the value and cost effectiveness of OT interventions: keep seniors out of the hospital emergency departments and residential care facilities by providing in home access to OT.
6. Grow the CAOT-BC membership.

  • In reviewing the description for Board of Director at CAOT, I was thrilled to see how well your requirements align with my experience, education, skills, passion and goals. While my attached resume provides a good overview of my strengths and achievements, I would like to highlight how your requirements for the role fit with my skill set.
  • For the past 13 + years I have worked closely with the most catastrophically injured workers at WorkSafeBC. This population includes: traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, multiple amputations and psychological injury
  • For the past 11 years I have been instrumental in the development, monitoring and supervision of contracts for our most seriously injured workers; these include Community Occupational Therapy, Community Brain Injury, Self-Managed Care, Short Term Care Facilities, Chronic Wound Care Program, Mental Health Treatment, PTSD Program, Mental Health RTW, Home Modifications, Vehicle Modifications, Residential Care Services, Palliative Care, Residential Addiction Services, Mental Health and Addiction Concurrent Care Pilot Program as well as the Medical Assessment and RTW Program.
  • For the past 11 years, I have supervised/mentored community based occupational therapists for the entire province of BC within the aforementioned contracts and been instrumental in raising the awareness of occupational therapy at WorkSafeBC in the Health Care Services, Special Care Services and the Mental Health Claims Unit.
  • I have over 15 years experience in providing leadership and clinical education to Health/Rehabilitation Clinicians, College regulated professionals, and lay persons through teaching at the College and University level; mentoring while in private practice and public settings, working within the networks of contracted providers as well as my myriad colleagues at WorkSafeBC.
  • I have served three terms on the CAOT-BC Advisory Committee, twice as a member and once as the Chair. I recently was the Co-Chair for the volunteer committee for the CAOT 2018 Conference in BC.
My strong initiative, exceptional communication and networking skills, combined with my passion for occupational therapy will enable me to make a significant contribution as a Board of Director at Managing CAOT

Anisa Salmi

Priority statement
From my extensive research as well as personal observations I understand that CAOT priorities are to raise awareness and advocate for Occupational Therapy among decision makers and other stakeholders.

As a registered Occupational Therapist contracting with ICBC, I had the opportunity to reap the benefits of CAOT’s extensive advocacy for our profession as it was an important voice when facilitating the incoming changes for 2019, which include a raise in hourly wage to reflect the standard private practice OT rate. Additionally, CAOT provided the platform this year for OTs to start asking for OT to be added to the extended health benefits package with the #AskforOT pledge of sending a letter or making a phone call to employers, insurance providers and union representatives. CAOT not only develops positions statement, but also takes action to support occupational therapists in the evolution of their practice.

I have been a member of CAOT since graduating from the University of British Columbia (UBC) with a Master of Occupational Therapy degree in 2014. I also hold a Bachelor of Science Degree from UBC, with two published research articles. I have been practicing as a registered Occupational Therapist for over 3 years and hold a current registration with the College of Occupational Therapists BC. I am a member of the CAOT-BC Extended Health Benefits Task Group and Vice -Chair of the CAOT-BC Advisory Committee 2018-2020.

I am currently employed as an independent contractor with Swift Health Services as well as a sole proprietor of Anisa’s Occupational Therapy Services. My dream is to pave the way for Occupational Therapists to have their own private practice, that is delivered without the restrains of insurance companies, focusing strictly on client care and enabling client centered occupations as well as preventative interventions.

I had an extraordinary opportunity to practice as an Occupational Therapist in rural and urban, public and private settings as well as internationally throughout the continuum of care since starting my career as a baby OT. Starting as a casual Occupational Therapist practicing in the West Kootenays in 2015, I got to experience first hand the challenges OTs practicing in rural settings.

As an OT practicing in the South Okanogan, I had the challenge to practice in many different settings, including acute rehabilitation, acute medical, residential care and community, with an incredible mentorship and supportive team of other rehabilitation professionals from 2015-2017. I am most proud of becoming a dysphagia trained therapist and providing swallowing assessment and interventions in residential care settings during that time.

In 2017 I caught the travel bug, and ended up practicing as an Occupational Therapist in beautiful New Zealand. This was a challenging and rewarding experience, as I had the opportunity to experience a completely different culture and health care structure. I practiced within a health care setting modeled after the National Health Service.

Since coming back to Canada in 2018, I have settled into working for Swift Health Services and my sole proprietorship.


CAOT member types that are eligible to vote:

Full-time members
Part-time members
Parental leave members
New graduate members
First Year members
Retired members
Outside Canada
Non-practicing members
Life member

CAOT member types that are NOT eligible to vote:

Student associates
Occupational therapist assistants
Corporate associates
Honorary members
Affiliate members
Individual associates
Provisional associates
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