“It’s so personally rewarding when you’re working with a patient and you make a breakthrough that helps the patient see that they’ll be able to get back to living independently.”
Cecilia Chang has been with Markham Stouffville Hospital (MSH) since 2002, where she started as an inpatient physiotherapist in the short stay surgery unit.
“When I was in school I was really good in biology. I looked at the career paths open to me and the academic/research path didn’t interest me. I wanted to work with people and physiotherapy was something that I wanted to pursue.”
During her time at MSH, Cecilia’s role has grown. For the past four years she’s added professional practice leader to her title. That new role has allowed her the opportunity to see frontline staff roles from a different perspective.
“There’s a change in perspective when you become a leader. It’s allowed me the opportunity to see the physiotherapy role through a different lens. As a professional practice leader I get to interact with many different areas in the hospital and it’s allowed me to broaden my scope.”
Recently, she has taken on the role of physiotherapy lead in the Cardiovascular Rehab and Wellness Program.
The newly launched 26-week program is run out of the Cornell Community Centre. It is a chronic disease self-management program that helps patients with confirmed cardiovascular disease, such as stroke, transient ischemic attack (TIA) or heart disease to improve their cardiovascular health and live a healthier lifestyle.
“I enjoy the fact that I’m with these patients for longer and get to see them on an ongoing basis. It’s nice to get to know them. These are people in the community who are taking time out of their lives to participate in the program because they believe it will help them. And, even though the program is still being developed and refined, the feedback so far is great.”
When Cecilia isn’t at the hospital, she enjoys running. “I run because I know about the multiple ways it will benefit my health. I know I’ll feel better and not be limited in what I can do.” She is training for her next 10K race in November.