Dr Colleen O’Connell, Staff Physiatrist/Research Chief, Stan Cassidy Centre for Rehabilitation, Fredericton, NB


Colleen O’Connell, MD, FRCPC. Adjunct Professor, Division of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Department of Medicine, Dalhousie University and Faculty of Kinesiology,University of New Brunswick.

Dr. Colleen O’Connell is testing new solutions for problems that plague people with spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis and other neurologic disorders. These include severe muscle spasms in the legs that make walking difficult to impossible, pressure ulcers from sitting too long, and chronic neuropathic pain. Ultimately, she aims to help people recover more of their functional abilities for happier, healthier, more independent lives. 

Dr. O’Connell is involved in numerous studies, funded by such agencies as the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Spinal Cord Injury Solutions Network, to:

  • see if FES-cycling reduces lower-limb spasticity in people with spinal cord injury (this technique applies electrical current to the skin to stimulate the muscles enough to pedal a stationary bicycle)
  • test the effectiveness of drug therapies in improving walking ability in people with spinal cord injury and MS
  • assess the feasibility of an Internet clinic for treating/preventing pressure ulcers
  • test FES and exercise training in restoring upper limb function in people with sub-acute spinal cord injury

Dr. O’Connell is also working with the UNB Institute of Biomedical Engineering on three Atlantic Innovation Fund-supported projects to monitor disease status by evaluating movement and biometric data in clinical and home-based settings. 
As a member of the Mobility Project, Dr. O’Connell collaborates with fellow physiatrist Dr. Christine Short. She also works with pain specialist Dr. Mary Lynch and research engineers, Drs. Milos Popovich and Arthur Prochazka. She maintains active collaborations with numerous colleagues across Canada.
She is the founder of Team Canada Healing Hands, which provides volunteer rehabilitation care and education in Haiti and other under-resourced areas.
Start this video at 3:35 if you just want the info on Dr O’Connell. 


and the second part:



DR O’Connell also told me about :Maison benediction – home with disabled kids in community and stay Mon to Thursday and it allows parents to work and kids home for three days. Boarding school and allows kids not to be abandoned. 
5 months rehab Docotrs from Canada who have gone out to Haiti. They built a stroke and Spinal rehab unit. And Outpatient community centre. 
McDonald house in New Brunswick is a Residential facility for up to three years attendant care therapy review. Stepping stone for person with disability . Live there for up to three years. Apartments. Doesn’t look disabled. 

Daryl Rock, mapping world for accessibility. 


New Brunswick. Extra- mural program. The government program provides all allied health therapies to clients in their home.  CBRS like but not time limited. They can self refer and Drs can refer and can be at many stage in life. For example someone with ALS can be seen by therapists until the end of their life. The team can manage wound care at home, social workers are on the team. 

Dr O Connell can send an OT out to check chairs, after doing a video consult. Dr O Connell uses video a lot – forced by the bad weather they have adopted the model all computer are connected with excellent quality CISCO Jabber video. Use all the time . Clients are linked into the system and dont have to spend hours travelling to appointments. booking for patients are either video or faceto face as suits the patient. All Drs and therapists do Skype and secured video follow up. If clients have trouble travelling book for video. If can’t travel they would miss out now they still keep their appointments. . 
Stan Cassidy follows up every client at 4-6 weeks and then annually to every two years forever and then if problem they see them more often.  If cant travel see them on video. 


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