What contributions or achievements are you most proud?
Being recognized as a Fellow by the Society is an incredible honour and recognition that I am tremendously proud of. This is truly a ‘career’ recognition by your professional colleagues for the work you have done for the society and the profession and to be acknowledged alongside so many other impactful and important CSEP contributors was incredibly significant and humbling. I proudly represent my CSEP ‘Fellowship’ and am grateful to all those whom I have worked with and continue to work with in the society.
Another achievement I am also very proud of was the Lawson Foundation’s 60th Anniversary Award of Research Excellence. I was one of four recipients nationally (alongside another CSEP Fellow – Mark Tremblay) being recognized for my work to change practice in Diabetes education and Exercise is Medicine.
Contributions that I am really proud of is the development of the resource ‘Building Competency in Diabetes Education: Physical Activity and Exercise” that was signed over to Diabetes Canada in 2012 and serves as one of three foundational resources for diabetes educators in the country, and the work as the Scientific Lead for the development of the new CSEP PATH manual in 2012. That was exciting and rewarding to help contribute to that resource that is foundational to the development of our CPTs and other professionals across the country.
About your day job, what inspires you, and how you’re coping during COVID?
I am inspired to make a difference in peoples lives, mostly around pursuing healthy lifestyles. I mentor and supervise a lot of CPTs and CEPs who run exercise programs in the community and it is incredibly rewarding to get feedback from participants at how the professional work that these CPTs and CEPs do, changes people’s lives for the better. Their mental health, physical health and social health impacted so much – I have a whole folder of thank you letters from people from the community speaking the wonders of the programs and the students/professionals. From that, I am inspired to continually work to impact changes in practice in health care, community recreation, the workplace, to see that more people can benefit from physical activity generally and specifically, the services that exercise professionals provide.
In your opinion, what is the most important work that CSEP does?
Two things 1) the guidelines 2) certification standards. In my view, CSEP is second to none in the work on Guidelines development and we continue to lead the world in this area (perfect example – the 24h movement guidelines). The other is the high standards CSEP sets for our certified professionals – again the rigorous programs set a high bar for how our professionals operate in the field. I am very proud to have produced over 350 CSEP certified professionals who are making an impact in society.
Any interesting projects coming up for you?
Three key areas for me: Exercise is Medicine Canada, Q-Life, and Physical activity in the Workplace.
EIMC – although CSEP is no longer the host of EIMC, EIMC continues to do its work to promote PA in health care and beyond. We are continuing to build collaborations, develop resources, deliver education and advocate for exercise professionals to support physical activity in health care. We are now ‘re-launching’ the EIMC professional Network as a ‘grass roots’ movement to continue to integrate exercise education into medical curriculum and with the next generation of health and exercise professionals. (see attached promo on the update of EIMC and promotion of the network launch).
Q-life is a ‘Quality life – total health program that helps people navigate toward healthy behaviours. It is currently being offered in the university student population, but we see this program expanding into the workplace and other avenues with he integration of intelligent programming and machine learning.
I am developing a Toolkit (like I did in diabetes), for the Workplace – to help promote PA at work. Most people spend the majority of their waking lives at work, so it is an primary avenue to promote PA and employers have a vested interest to keep their employees healthy and happy as it affects their bottom line. We are doing a provincial pilot in Nova Scotia like we did in Diabetes, and Exercise is medicine, that I expect will make its way across the country.
About Exercise is Medicine
Exercise is Medicine® is a global Health initiative to promote physical activity for optimal health and the prevention and treatment of many medical conditions. The vision of EIM is to make physical activity assessment and promotion a standard in clinical care, connecting health care with evidence-based physical activity resources for people everywhere and all abilities.