Physiotherapist with a patient
Toronto Rehab physiotherapist David Lee guides a patient in recovery by assisting her through movement exercises. (Photo: UHN)

If you've never heard of Rehabilitation Day, that's about to change.

Starting today, the third Tuesday of every September will be dedicated to recognizing the impact of rehabilitation professionals across Toronto.

"We want to heighten awareness of the important impact of rehabilitation," says Susan Jewell, Senior Vice President and Executive Lead for Toronto Rehab (TR). "The varied rehabilitation services in the community help individuals overcome limitations related to injury and illness and transition back to their community."

To help make this happen, the Toronto Rehab Foundation made an appeal to the City of Toronto. And, thanks to their efforts, Mayor John Tory, on behalf of Toronto City Council, made a proclamation in recognition of the life-changing impact rehabilitation services have on the lives of many people in our city.

 "Various kinds of rehabilitation services are offered in Toronto, to those recovering from injuries, those going through life-altering events, or as a result of age-related conditions. These important services enable people to learn how to live with their new circumstances and thrive in their everyday lives….Prevention, education and communication are vital to creating healthy and safe communities, workplaces, schools and homes."- Mayor Tory's Proclamation.

"The opportunity to spread awareness about the work rehab professionals do every day is motivating," says David Lee, a physiotherapist in the MSK Outpatient Program at TR.

David's role is to help people affected by injury, illness or disability through movement and exercise, manual therapy, education and advice.

"It is rewarding to empower people with the tools they need to redefine themselves and their abilities," he says.

Peter Kyriakides
Grateful former Toronto Rehab patient and volunteer, Peter Kyriakides, shares his rehab journey with the audience in attendance at June’s 2019 UHN Report to Our Community. (Photo: UHN)

It's a sentiment echoed by grateful former TR patient Peter Kyriakides who will attend today's events.

"I never really understood what rehabilitation was all about, until I was faced with it myself," Peter says. "Working with rehabilitation therapists on the Acquired Brain Injury Unit, I've since learned not to let my physical 'limitations' define me.

"This journey through rehabilitative services has allowed me to live more independently."

This year, Rehabilitation Day features Boom 97.3 FM host Stu Jeffries, who will emcee a ceremony honouring the clinicians and staff who deliver compassionate care, and the scientists dedicated to pioneering advancements in recovery, safety and adaptation.  

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