Board of Directors

The Canadian Physiotherapy Association’s (CPA) board of directors is comprised of eight members who represent physiotherapists and physiotherapist assistants. Two external directors are appointed by the board for their expertise in fields other than physiotherapy.

Info: CPA Board Elections - Voting closed on April 30, 2018 - result to be announced soon. The new Director will take office at the Annual General Meeting on June 15, 2018.

Questions for the President or Board can be emailed to

Sarah Marshall, President

Montréal, Québec

Sarah took up her role as the 60th CPA President at the AGM on 17 June 2017 in Toronto, after being first elected to the Board in 2014, and President-Elect in 2016. She graduated from McGill University in 1984 with a BSc (PT) and subsequently completed an MSc (Rehab Sci) in 2006. Having been a physiotherapist for 30 years, her experience as a clinician ranges from tertiary care hospital to orthopedic/sports private practice, to long term care and short term psychiatry. Sarah was the first SPC Diploma Sport Physiotherapist from Québec, and she is the co-author of a sports taping textbook. She was involved in SPC for 25 years. Currently, she is on faculty at McGill’s School of Physical & Occupational Therapy as the Director’s Academic Associate and teaches in the physiotherapy program. In her role as CPA President, she is ex-officio on all Board Committees. 


Dr. Linda Woodhouse
Past President

Edmonton, Alberta

Linda completed her role as CPA President at the AGM on 17 June 2017 in Toronto, and remains on the Board for a further year in the role of Past President. She is an Associate Professor at the University of Alberta and also holds research positions at the McCaig Institute and the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital. Her work focuses on the evaluation of the effects of exercise and various muscular tissues on the physical functioning of patients with musculoskeletal diseases, cancer or various endocrinal problems. Linda has also made a major contribution to the advanced practice of physiotherapy and models for inter-professional care for patients with chronic illnesses. She obtained her degree in physiotherapy and her PhD from the University of Toronto. Linda also has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in the physiology of exercise from the University of Western Ontario. She serves as Chair of the CEO Evaluation Committee and is ex-officio on all Board committees. Linda also holds the David Magee Endowed Chair's position at University of Alberta and was the Scientific Director of the Bone and Joint Health Strategic Clinical Network for Alberta Health Services from 2012-2015. Linda is chair of the Board Governance Committee, and is also Board Liaison to the CCPUP group.


Sandra Lamb

Vancouver, British Columbia

Sandra was elected to the Board in 2015 as the Physiotherapist Assistant Board Director.

Sandra was the President of the National Physiotherapist Assistants Assembly (NPAA) from 2008-2015. She was also the PTA representative on the International Health Division (now Global Health Division) from 2004–2008, and volunteered as a PTA in India (1992) and Bangladesh (2002). She has worked as a physiotherapist assistant in Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) for over 15 years, and co-chaired its Rehabilitation Assistant Council in physiotherapy from 2006-2012. Sandra has been a member of the Capilano University Rehabilitation Assistant Diploma Program Advisory Committee since 2005, and represented PTAs through initiatives including the Essential Competency Profile for Physiotherapist Assistants in Canada, the OTA/PTA Accreditation Standards Development, and the College of Physical Therapists of BC's PT Support Worker Registration Working Group. Sandra currently sits on the Board Governance Committee, and the CEO Evaluation Committee. She is also the PFC Board Chair.

Dr. Sandy Rennie

Ottawa, Ontario

Sandy was elected to the Board in 2016. He graduated with a Diploma in physiotherapy in 1972 and did a one-year degree completion (BPT) in 1976 at the University of Alberta. He then completed his MSc in 1985 (Physical Education) and PhD in 2002 (Educational Administration and Leadership) at the U of A. He began teaching physiotherapy in Australia in 1977; he then taught physiotherapy at the University of Alberta from 1981-2004. He taught at the University of Toronto for 2 years, and from 2007-2012 he was Director of the School of Physiotherapy at Dalhousie University in Halifax. Currently he is an Adjunct Professor of Physiotherapy at Dalhousie University and the University of Toronto, and a part-time professor in the PT program the University of Ottawa. Sandy worked as a sports physiotherapist, and volunteered at many different local, national and international events, including Olympic, Pan American and Commonwealth Games. He has been active volunteer in the Canadian Physiotherapy Association as a Division Chair (Sports Physiotherapy) and as a member of the Board of Directors in 1992-93 and 2003-2004. He was awarded Life Membership in CPA in 2010, and the Enid Graham Memorial Lecture in 2014. Sandy currently sits on the Insurance Risk Management Committee, and is the Board Liaison to the Branch Presidents Forum (BPF). He is also the Board Representative on the Awards Review Committee.

Viivi Riis

Collingwood, Ontario

Viivi was elected to the Board in 2016 for a three year term.  She has been a CPA member for over 35 years and has worked as a clinician, manager, business owner and more recently as a health policy and research consultant.  She is a graduate of the University of Toronto’s BScPT program and received a master’s degree from the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences in 2008.  She holds a status only appointment as adjunct lecturer in the Department of Physical Therapy at U of T.  More recently Viivi has returned to clinical practice on a part-time basis delivering home care services to a largely elderly population in the south Georgian Bay region. Viivi is currently Chair of the Board Finance Committee, and sits on the Insurance Risk Management Committee.


Jason Coolen

Vancouver, British Columbia

Jason was elected to the Board in 2017. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in biology from St. Francis Xavier University in 1997 and completed his Bachelor’s degree in physiotherapy in 2002 from Queens University.  Jason has been very active with his provincial association first as a board director starting in 2009 and then completed 4 years as President of the Physiotherapy Association of British Columbia in 2017.  He has been in private practice orthopaedics his whole career in the communities of Surrey and now in Vancouver, BC.  Jason has worked with athletes of all ages and is proud to have been part of the New Westminster Salmonbellies senior men’s lacrosse team for the past 10 years.  In the world of business, he has been co-owner of three clinics for the past 10 years as well.  Jason is proud to be a part the CPA Board and is currently the Board Liaison to the National Physiotherapist Assistants Assembly (NPAA) and sits on the Finance Committee for CPA.


Dr. John Spirou

Lakeshore, Ontario

John was elected to the Board in June 2017.

Dr. Spirou has been a practicing physical therapist and clinic owner for 20 years.  He graduated from Western University (London, Ontario) with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy.  He completed his Clinical Doctorate from A.T. Still University at the Arizona School of Health Sciences (Mesa, Arizona) and completed his Masters of Business Administration in 2010 at Oakland University (Detroit, Michigan).  He has worked in every sector of physiotherapy practice including outpatient, hospital, home care and long-term care and understands the issues facing the physiotherapy profession.

As Past President and elected member of the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario, Dr. Spirou oversaw the practice the over 9000 physiotherapists in Ontario.  He understands the regulatory and advocacy issues involved in the health sector.  He also served as board member and executive officer for the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators, a national entity that establishes credentialing and examination standards for clinicians seeking entry to practice in Canada.  He has led the physical therapy profession in establishing innovative models of care and lobbied for enhanced scope of practice opportunities which have recently become a reality for Canadian physical therapists, including Diagnostic imaging and Laboratory tests.  Dr. Spirou has led many ‘ground up’ initiatives in physiotherapy practice that have elevated the profession’s credibility and status, establishing physiotherapists at the forefront of national and provincial health care reform. 

John currently sits on the Board Finance Committee, and is Board Liaison to the Division Chairs Committee (DCC).


Dr. Alain Bélanger

Levis, Quebec

Alain was elected to the Board in June 2017.

Dr Bélanger holds a BSc in physiotherapy, an MSc in kinesiology and a PhD in neuroscience. He is a retired Full Professor, from Laval University, within the rehabilitation department, physiotherapy program. During his academic career, he had the opportunity to teach, do research, publish scientific articles and write textbooks. He is the solo  author of the textbook titled Therapeutic Electrophysical Agents: Evidence Behind Practice. 3 Ed, LWW. Dr Belanger had the honor to serve on multiple occasions at the CPA over the years. For example, he served as President (1997-1999) and Scientific Editor of Physiotherapy Canada. He now acts as a consultant. He is currently involved in the delivery of continuing education courses here in Canada and in the USA. He also acts as Mentor Education for the WCPT in Senegal. Dr Belanger sits on various committees, like the Comité de révision of OPPQ and Comité de discipline of OIIQ.. To find out more about him, please visit his website.

Alain currently is Board Liaison to the National Student Assembly (NSA).