2022 AHPA Clinical Innovation Award

The AHPA Clinical Innovation Award was created to recognize AHPA members who have designed and implemented an innovative clinical project or related initiative that benefits the lives of Canadians living with arthritis. This award will showcase clinical initiatives, including those that assess, treat, educate or otherwise support people living with arthritis in new and innovative ways.


Click here to download the APPLICATION and GRADING CRITERIA


We invite allied health professional AHPA members who have undertaken within the past 5 years a clinical project or related initiative with relevance to the field of rheumatology to submit an application. Projects should be beyond the concept or proposal stage and applicants are asked to provide early/initial or final results in the form of process and/or outcome measures/data to show the impact of their initiative on the target group. Clinicians can self-nominate or AHPA members and non-members can also nominate an AHPA member with that member’s permission. The award is intended for non-physician health professionals. This award is non-renewable and recipients may only receive the award once.

Nomination and application process

The applicant should submit the application that requests project summary information, including the project title, key words, aim or purpose, target audience, overview of initiative or project, and any evaluation results. The project summary should be single spaced using 12 point font and 1 inch margins and be 250 words or less. You may use ONE diagram/flowchart/visual to support your application.  The deadline for applications is midnight (EST) on Friday, December 17th, 2021. The submission may be sent by e-mail, or regular post to:

Sameer Chunara
Chair, AHPA Professional and Career Development Committee
c/o St George Physiotherapy Clinic
180 Bloor St West, Suite 1202
Toronto, ON
M5S 2V6
Email: professionaldevelopment@ahpa.ca

A decision will be announced in January 2022 and the award will be presented at the AHPA AGM.  The Clinical Innovation Award winner and the details of the innovation will be written up in the AHPA News Brief and on the AHPA web site. The successful candidate will also be required to present their clinical innovation at one of the AHPA-sponsored workshops at the Canadian Rheumatology Association Annual Scientific Meeting the following year.  In order to assist in the dissemination of innovative ideas, all project titles, and applicant’s names and email addresses will also be listed on the AHPA web site.

Selection process and award

Applications meeting the basic criteria will be reviewed by a committee with the following representatives: the AHPA Professional and Career Development Chair, the AHPA President, a person living with arthritis and a rheumatologist. The top rated application, based on clinical merit, creativity and potential significance to the field, will receive:

  • $250 award in the form of a cheque
  • Acknowledgement of your award and project at the 2022 CRA/AHPA Annual General Meeting.

For more information about this award, contact:
Sameer Chunara
Chair, AHPA Professional and Career Development Committee
Email: professionaldevelopment@ahpa.ca

Past Clinical Innovation Award Winners


2020 Clinical Innovation Award – Presented by Sameer Chunara, AHPA Chair, Professional and Career Development Committee
Winner:  Toronto Western Hospital Advanced Practice Physiotherapists (Marcia Correale, Tamara Gotal, Andrew Courchene, Marsha Alvares, Emily May, Leslie Soever)

For: “Patient Satisfaction with Urgent Implementation of Virtual Care for Advanced Practice Physiotherapy Roles”


The 2019 Clinical Innovation Award was presented at the AHPA AGM on February 28, 2020 by AHPA Professional and Career Development Chair Sameer Chunara to Cara Kaup for the ‘3 Questions’  Tool in Pediatric Rheumatology.


AHPA is pleased to announce the winner of the 2018 Clinical Innovation Award, Christopher Hawke

For: Clinical Innovation Award for “Extended Scope Physiotherapist-led shoulder and elbow clinic”.

Photo: Christopher Hawke and Sammer Chunara, AHPA Chair Career and Professional Development


AHPA is pleased to announce the winner of the 2017 Clinical Innovation Award, Laura Passalent.

For: “Advancing Early Identification of Axial Spondyloarthritis: An Inter-professional Model of Care”

Photo: Leslie Soever, AHPA President, Laura Passalent and Sameer Chunara, AHPA Career and Professional Development Chair

Dr. Sydney Brooks  

AHPA is pleased to announce the winner of the 2016 Clinical Innovation Award. The review committee comprised of one patient representative, one rheumatologist and two AHPA Board members chose Dr. Sydney Brooks as the 2016 recipient for her project " The Allied Health Rheumatology Triage (AHRT) Project" in which The Ontario Rheumatology Association, The Ontario Best Practices Research Initiatives, and The Arthritis Society partnered to utilize ACPAC-trained therapists to triage patients with suspected Inflammatory arthritis.

This triage-based model resulted in expanded access to care as well as decreased wait times to see a rheumatologist, for those with suspected inflammatory arthritis. This study supported the use of ACPAC-trained therapists to triage patients suspected of inflammatory arthritis in order to expedite care. The study also provided evidence that when the skills of trained therapists are utilized to their full potential, patients stand to benefit in the short-term and foreseeably in the long-term.In addition, the review committee felt that this project demonstrated a model that has significant potential to influence funding formulas, and should be of interest to policy makers.

Photo: Leslie Soever, AHPA President and Sydney Brooks

 Marie_pic_4_colour Dr. Marie Westby, 2015 Clinical Innovation Award For "Total Joint Arthroplasty Outcome Measure (TJAOM) Toolkit"
katie lundon Dr. Katie Lundon, 2014 Clinical Innovation Award Recipient with Sameer Chunara, Chair, AHPA Professional and Career Development Committee