On May 1, 2018, the School of Physical Therapy in the College of Medicine will be renamed the School of Rehabilitation Science, reflecting research and program advancements in the rapidly growing health-care field.
“Our faculty and students already represent a range of rehabilitation science researchers and scholars, so in one sense the name change is representing what we are doing currently,” said Liz Harrison, associate dean of the school.
“Although U of S physical therapy education and research are absolutely on the map, this name change aligns us with other universities across Canada and the globe, with faculties, school, colleges with the range of rehabilitation science. It opens lots of new doors and opportunities for our faculty, students and community partnerships.”
The name change was approved on May 5 by the school’s faculty council and approved by University Council on Oct. 19, after receiving broad support across campus. The change has also been well received in the provincial health sector, supported by the likes of the Saskatoon Health Region and the Saskatchewan Society of Occupational Therapists, as well as from other U15 institutions including the University of Alberta and McMaster.
“Our faculty, students and community are excited with the approval of our new name, as it signals our advancement and aspirations to be leaders in research, education and scholarship in the range of rehabilitation science disciplines and professions,” said Harrison, noting that the school hopes to offer occupational therapy and speech language pathology programming in the future.
The School of Physical Therapy was originally established in 1965 as a diploma program, expanded to offer a degree in 1973 and developed into a full master’s professional program in 2007. Today, 80 per cent of physical therapists across the province received their education at the U of S.
“Some may not know that globally the field of rehabilitation science is considered one of the fastest-growing and important fields to support health, quality of life and well-being,” said Harrison.
“The disciplines and the professionals working in these areas are critical to addressing the health needs of an aging population, improvements in health status and services for children and youth with complex disabilities, management of chronic diseases, and the application of a range of health and education-related technologies. Rehabilitation science is directly linked to better care and better quality of life.”