Six in the Six


Why the title “Six in The Six” Well, October marks my six year anniversary with Sunrise Medical. For the past two Octobers, I have celebrated each anniversary with a look back and I thought I would do the same this year. Although Sunrise Medical Canada’s head office is just north of “The Six” (or Toronto as it is more commonly known), I cannot resist an alliteration for the title of this anniversary article of Clinical Corner.

So what has happened in the past year? Last fall started with a busy trade show season. I saw a lot of western Canada, speaking at conferences and trade shows in Kamloops, Saskatoon, Regina, Calgary and Edmonton. It is always an honour to be asked to be a guest speaker at a conference, but last year felt like the saying “when it rains, it pours” with so many requests all at once. I was on flights every week for three weeks in a row, but I am glad the scheduling worked out so that I could be at all of the conferences.

My travel to conferences is in addition to the travel I do for the full-day clinical education sessions with Sunrise Medical Account Managers. This past fall, I also travelled to the east coast. Although I facilitate education when I lead sessions, I also learn from the groups. In Nova Scotia, I learned that the times that I offered for my Cyber Series of monthly webinars on seating and mobility were not as convenient as they could be for those on the east coast. As a result of the feedback I received, I added another time slot for the Cyber Series – the second Wednesday of the month at 12 p.m. Atlantic Time (or 11 a.m. Eastern). I now have four different times that the live webinars are offered.

I also had abstracts accepted to speak at conferences in the past year. In March, I spoke at the International Seating Symposium in Vancouver on Transit Standards for Seating, Wheelchairs, and Wheelchair Tiedowns with Toni-Marie Taylor. Toni is an Account Manager for Sunrise Medical in Southwest Ontario. She is an occupational therapist by background, in addition to a Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist. I have spoken a lot on transit standards in the past as I am passionate about this subject. I will be presenting this topic again in May 2017 as part of my Cyber Series. Here is a link if you would like to check out my monthly webinars that are for therapists, therapist assistants, dealers and funders in Canada: Cyber Series 2016-17

I presented twice at the Canadian Seating and Mobility Conference in Toronto in May this past year. One presentation was “Let’s Stop the Slide”, in which I spoke about preventing sliding from a wheelchair. The other presentation was “Can't Use a Standard Joystick? No Worries!” which I co-presented with Ron Claughton, who is a seasoned Account Manager in Toronto with Sunrise Medical. Our Senior Service Technician/Educator, Ken Kalinowski, also was present and helped to answer technical questions. The session on specialty controls was fun as it included the audience members driving power wheelchairs with numerous specialty controls. It is always a great opportunity for therapists to experience some of what their clients experience when first trying a new input device.

Most recently, in September, I presented at the Ontario Society of Occupational Therapists on “Changing Practice through Knowledge Translation”. This was a little different for me since I usually speak on the clinical aspects of seating and mobility, but it fit well with the theme of the conference, which was Breaking Barriers. One of the steps of knowledge translation is to assess barriers and facilitators to knowledge use. (See my Clinical Corner article, Knowledge to Action: Wheelchair Cushions, for more information on knowledge translation.) In addition, part of evidence-based practice is sharing your knowledge and it was great to complete the presentation with a group discussion illustrating the concepts of knowledge translation.

As many of you will know, my blog, Clinical Corner, celebrated its 5 year anniversary this past year. In addition, my blog moved from its Word Press microsite to our Sunrise Medical website at The article I wrote to mark the Clinical Corner anniversary, Celebrating 5 Years of Clinical Corner!, provides a categorized listing of articles (up to April 2016) for ease of reference. The archived articles are categorized into: Assessment and Wheelchair Provision; Seating; Skin Protection; Positioning; Manual Mobility; Power Mobility; Preventing Sliding; Considerations for Individuals who are Bariatric; Transit Standards; and Education. As I continue to write one Clinical Corner article every month, the number of articles and the scope of topics continues to grow. Keep reading!

Working for Sunrise Medical also provided for some fun in this past year. With some colleagues from Sunrise Medical, I participated in Wheelchair Basketball Canada’s Hoopfest. It was a lot of fun playing 3-on-3 wheelchair basketball. Not really being a basketball enthusiast, I had to be reminded of the rules of the game before playing, but still it was a lot of fun. One of my key learnings was it is better to be moving when you pass or shoot the ball. Makes sense!

I was more in my comfort zone when I participated with some Sunrise Medical colleagues at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon earlier this month. #TeamSunrise members completed the half-marathon. It’s not to say that completing the half-marathon was comfortable; it’s just that as someone who enjoys running, I am used to half-marathons and marathons. I have to admit that it was challenging doing the Toronto Waterfront half-marathon this year as I was still recovering from the Rock 'N' Roll Montreal Marathon that I completed 3 weeks earlier. I am looking forward to more races with #TeamSunrise but I think I need to plan my race schedule a little better in the future!

Thank you for sharing this past year with me.

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