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Celebrating Women in Physiotherapy!

Join us for a panel discussion featuring trailblazers and rising stars within our profession, as we share the voices, stories, and contributions of women PTs.

In honour of International Women’s Day, the Global Health Division, Orthopaedic Division, Women’s Health Division, and the BBIPOC PT Student Collective are collaborating to celebrate the achievements, contributions, and impact of womxn in physiotherapy. 

Webinar Details:

Date: Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Time: 8:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. EDT

Price: FREE (optional donation to Legacy of Hope Foundation available)

Webinar Description:

In honour of International Women’s Day, the Global Health Division, Orthopaedic Division, Women’s Health Division and BBIPOC PT Student Collective are collaborating to celebrate the achievements, contributions, and impact of women in PT.

Optional Donation:

Although this event is free of charge, we encourage all participants to make an optional donation to the Legacy of Hope Foundation, a national Indigenous-led charitable organization promoting healing and Reconciliation in Canada. Funds raised will support The Waniskahtan Project, an initiative increasing awareness and commemoration of missing and murdered Indigenous woman and girls. When you complete your donation, kindly indicate "CPA - Waniskahtan Project" on the subject line.

The link to their donation page can be found here: 


About the BBIPOC PT Student Collective:

The BBIPOC PT Student Collective is a new initiative in collaboration with the National Student Assembly of CPA. The collective aims to provide platforms to amplify and empower students who are Black, Brown, Indigenous and other racialized identities to grow as clinicians, share their lived experiences and connect with one another while under the mentorship of practicing physiotherapists who are also BBIPOC. The collective is committed in addressing and continuing the dialogue around bias, racism and disparities which exist in health systems including physiotherapy

Speaker Bios:


Mari Udarbe Han (she/her) is a first-generation immigrant born in Manila, Philippines.  She has been practicing for 10 years with experience in orthopedics, treating various sports-related and musculoskeletal injuries.  Inspired by her own dance journey, Mari is passionate in advocating for artist health and wellness.  She is the owner and operator of 519Physio, a treatment space housed within 519 School of Hip Hop where artist mentorship, wellness coaching and Hip Hop culture are made accessible to the local dance community.  Her day job involves conducting occupational health assessments through the Ontario Worker’s Network Specialty Back & Neck Program. In collaboration with the National Student Assembly, Mari has helped launch the BBIPOC PT Student Collective.  This initiative is dedicated to amplifying physiotherapy students and new grads who identify as Black, Brown, Indigenous and from other racialized backgrounds.  Mari aims to normalize conversations around anti-racism/anti-oppression in order to foster decolonialized thinking and interactions within physiotherapy.

Joanne Ukposidolo (she/her) is a Physiotherapist, Pelvic Health Therapist and Co-Founder and Co-Owner of WombCare Clinic, a Pelvic and Reproductive Health Clinic serving Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) women with pelvic health. As an empathetic healthcare provider, Joanne observed the significant discrepancy in how healthcare is experienced amongst communities. Intending to make a change she Co-Founded Open Dialogue Canada, a non-profit organization for Healthcare Providers committed to improving the quality of care experienced by BIPOC communities.  Joanne values compassion and cultural humility and believes that community is key in the comprehensive understanding and management of an individual’s health.  She aims to create change and galvanize others to support dignity and equity for all individuals.  You can find her on-line at &

Sara Abassbhay (she/her) is a creative healer, world traveller, collector of human experiences and a physical therapist with work experience from North America, Asia and Africa. Throughout her career, Sara has been an advocate for the greater impact that her field of expertise has globally on healthcare systems. She has experience in orthopaedics, neurology, dizziness, and balance disturbance disorders. Sara is now working in Ghana aiming to develop continuing education for physical therapists and nurture her interest for wildlife animal rehabilitation. She has also recently joined the Global Health Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association to learn about and contribute to the Indigenous Health and Knowledge Translation subcommittees. Starting a non-profit program, implementing new services in the rehabilitation field and supporting local capacity development are testament to Sara’s innovative nature.

Evelyn Etruw (she/her) is a physiotherapist, Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Physiotherapy, Contemporary Medical Acupuncture Provider. Evelyn’s clinical work has focused mainly on orthopedics, including pelvic health.  However, in 2019, she made the bold choice pursue a PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences at The University of Alberta.  As a health-conscious busy mom of two, she has a great appreciation for the struggles of people to do more than time allows, and the limits of human motivation.  Her PhD work will focus on improving much needed access to pulmonary rehabilitation, while simultaneously identifying strategies to improve adherence to healthful behaviour that may mitigate the ravages of chronic disease. 

Maha Elashi (she/her) is a Vancouver-based public practice physiotherapist working in acute and critical care.  She scored a hat trick of degrees as the first hijabi to graduate from each of her three University of British Columbia programs: Bachelor of Human Kinetics, Master of Science in Kinesiology, and Master of Physical Therapy. Prior to beginning her journey as a physiotherapist, Maha worked in various roles with local athletic apparel company, lululemon athletica, and studied sex differences in running injuries as an extension of the NIKE Sport Research Lab’s global team. In her spare time, she volunteers with a number of foundations that provide support to children and teenagers with life-threatening medical conditions, and their families, and serves as the Communications Coordinator for the Canadian Physiotherapy Association’s Cardiorespiratory Division. What little time she has left to herself is spent with her Colour the Trails outdoor activities group, writing social justice pieces, and trying new recipes.



Please note: In order to register for free as a CPA Member, you must have authenticated yourself as a CPA Member on Embodia (this is how Embodia knows you are a CPA Member).

To authenticate yourself as a CPA member and start saving on your online continuing education, follow these steps (you only need to do this once):

  1. Click here to login to the CPA website.
  2. Once you’ve logged in, go to the tab at the top called 'Events & Education', then click on PD Marketplace.
  3. Click on the link above the video that says 'Access the PD Marketplace Now!'


The instructors
Women's Health Division

The Women’s Health Division (WHD) is a not-for-profit division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA) that is managed, operated, and advanced by volunteers with a passion for women’s health. We are a dynamic organization, national in scope, that effectively facilitates communication, education and service delivery for physiotherapy practitioners on topics specific to women’s health.

Our mission is to provide leadership and direction to members of the CPA for the advancement of physiotherapy practice in women’s health by fostering excellence in practice, education, and research for the benefit of Canadians.

We aim to:

  • Acquire and make available information and educational materials
  • Encourage and develop the publication of research in the field
  • Facilitate communication between and among members
  • Promote ongoing professional development
  • Enhance physiotherapy service delivery specific to women’s health and/or pelvic health.

Global Health Division

The Global Health Division (GHD) is comprised of a passionate group of physical therapists who have worked in or are interested in working in resource-poor settings globally. We advocate for sustainable collaboration that elevates the profession of physiotherapy worldwide.

Our Vision is to become a strong advocate group for the role of physiotherapists in the area of global health. The GHD strives to become a reliable and valuable resource for its members, through providing access to research, policies, experiences of other members, and opportunities.The GHD aims to foster an understanding of how socioeconomic determinants of health underpin health inequities and how global work comprises responsible strategies to achieve health equity. The GHD strives to support its members to get involved in ethical, collaborative, sustainable and effective global health work. The GHD endeavours to promote the wellbeing of Indigenous Peoples through advocating for changes within the physiotherapy profession in the spirit of reconciliation.

The mission of the Global Health Division (GHD) is to advocate for the unique role that physiotherapists have in global health and to encourage Canadian physiotherapists to engage in ethical global health work.

Orthopaedic Division

The Orthopaedic Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association helps our members improve their skills and service delivery through education, resources and networking.

With a reputation built on excellent instructors and a rigorous examination process, the Division offers tailored online e-learning, webinars, workshops, courses and practice resources for members at a reasonable cost and time commitment. Members learn from other practicing physiotherapists and stay current with a regularly updated curriculum and program delivery based on providing quality and modern treatment.

Canadian Physiotherapy Association

As the vital partner for the profession, the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA) leads, advocates, and inspires excellence and innovation to promote health. CPA’s goal is to provide exceptional service, valuable information and connections to the profession of physiotherapy, across Canada and around the world.
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