Our history begins with Jessie Luther, a travelling occupational therapist from the US who worked with the Grenfell Mission in St. Anthony on a seasonal basis.
Annie Baike Watts, resident of Labrador, trains in the US and returns to work in Indian Harbour to become the first occupational therapist in Labrador.
As the Second World War comes to an end, 2 Canadian trained occupational therapists, Ramsey Murray and Betty Baird, come back to the Dominion of NL to work at the Orthopedic Hospital of St. John’s.
Occupational therapist Pat McLeod organized three new graduates: Joanne Porter, Sue Lebans, Rose Hickey and the retired Betty Baird, Ramsey Murray and Lila Sellars to form a provincial association – NLAOT.
The Association of Allied Health Professionals is established in this year, bringing occupational therapists together with other health professionals.
Gaye Walsh takes on the role of President with the Association of Allied Health Professionals.
NLAOT begins using teleconferencing to connect with therapists throughout the province.
Dalhousie University opens an occupational therapist school in Halifax, NS. Prior to this time, most therapists in Newfoundland and Labrador were foreign educated.
St. John’s Home Care occupational therapist position created; this is the beginning of community occupational therapist in the province.
First private practice begins with Peter Bowman, who worked out of an Orthopaedic Clinic run by Dr. David Peddle on LeMarchant Road. The demand came from a busy department at St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital who were unable to recruit extra staff to keep up with the workload.
A Needs Study: occupational therapist in St. John’s School System completed by Paula Bouchier and Anne Connor Sheppard. This resulted in a pilot for a therapist within the schools but was not continued. Therapists (and community groups) continue to advocate for services within the school system within the province. Newfoundland and Labrador is the only province without this service.
NLOTB is formed. The first directors of the board were Mary Manojlovich, Brenda Head and Sandy Delaney.
Sandy Delaney, Margaret Collingwood and Sharon Horan were the first DAL trained therapists that graduated in Newfoundland and Labrador this year.
NLAOT hosts its first CAOT Annual Conference.
College of North Atlantic graduates their first assistants from their OTA program.
First occupational therapist in Newfoundland and Labrador to take on the role of CAOT President – Mary Manojlovich
NLAOT celebrates 50 years growing the profession in the province with a total of 204 registrants in 2017, up from 4 at its inception in 1967.
Helping the People of Our Province For Over a Century