CSHT History

CSHT has it’s beginning in the late 1980s when a group of dedicated Canadian hand therapists recognised the need for a Canadian hand interest group to encourage shared learning among its peers. This stemmed from the idea that we needed a hand society that had its own identity and addressed the learning needs of its members in Canada. To discuss this possibility, along with other hand therapists, Marie Eason Klatt, Maureen Riley and Louise Kelly met at St. Joseph’s Health centre in Toronto in 1989. They sent letters to OTs and PTs across Canada to brainstorm this idea.

The first Canadian Hand Therapy Interest Group (CHIG) was created in 1989.

Years Executive Members Significant Contributions
1990 - 1992 Chair: Leslie Kennedy (Oshawa)
Vice Chair: Sandy Griffiths (Downsview)
Secretary: Sharon Cummings (London)
Treasurer: Linda Zappe (Kitchener)
  • The first CHIG AGM was held in Toronto on September 22, 1990.
  • CHIG was asked to join IFSHT.
  • In 1991, the name was changed to Canadian Society of Hand Therapists (CSHT) and an Official logo for CSHT was created.
1992 - 1994 President: Irene Kinach
Vice-President: Nathalie Brisebois
Secretary: Pearl Zaleman
Treasurer: Mary Ritchuk

The Executive was from Montreal.
  • New Executive roles were created.
1994 - 1998 President: Lynne Feehan
Vice-President: Joy Kirkwood
Secretary: Linda Smith
Treasurer: Grace Hoyrup

The Executive was from Vancouver.
  • This Executive was instrumental in planning the 1998 Triennial IFSHT conference in Vancouver.
1998 - 2002 President: Cathy Scott
Vice-President: Stacey Will
Secretary: Judy Morey
Treasurer: Abby MacLeod
Newsletter Editor: Desiree Kadelbach
Assistant Editor: Karin Hulin

The Executive was from Calgary.
  • Addition of Newsletter Editor and Assistant Editor roles
  • This team was instrumental in launching the CSHT website and publishing the translated version of the CSHT newsletter in French during their term.
2002 - 2005 President: Lucy Winston
Vice-President: Lisa Lazzarotto
Secretary: Virginia Tottenham
Treasurer: Audrey Cline
Newsletter Editor: Trudie Heron
Assistant Editor: Kath Wilton-Bennett

The Executive was from Toronto.
  • A revised CSHT logo was introduced in the fall of 2002
  • The website was also updated.
2005 - 2008 President: Wendy Tilley
Vice-President: Lorelle Zorrilla
Secretary: Cathy McCarthy
Treasurer: Gail Hamilton
Newsletter Editor: Judy Bradwell
Assistant Editor: Andrea Palahaniuk

The Executive was from Edmonton.
  • The first annual CSHT conference was held in Edmonton.
2008 - 2011 President: Carol Zimmerman
Vice-President: Michelle Street
Secretary: Kendra MacKinnon
Treasurer: Cindy Holmes
Newsletter Editor: Sharon Kingston
Assistant Editor: Sheryl Singer

The Executive was from Manitoba & Saskatchewan.
  • Creation of online access to register as a CSHT member and renew membership.
2011 - 2014 President: Karen Landry
Vice-President: Heather Griffiths
Secretary: Amanda Higgins
Treasurer: Sue Kean
Newsletter Editor: Kelly Ross

The Executive was from Nova Scotia & New Brunswick.
  • Ensuring CSHT was in compliance with the new Canadian not-for-profit regulations.
  • Formal policy creation to clarify funds for expense reimbursement.
  • Newsletter Editor to be changed to Communications Director.
2014 - 2017 President: Trevor Fraser
Vice-President: Clare Palmer
Secretary: Kavitha Arasu
Treasurer: Rita Mak
Communications: Barb Duff

The Executive is from Vancouver.
  • Creating the ‘Lifetime Membership Award’ – first recipient Shrikant Chinchalkar
  • GST administration
  • Updated the CSHT website
  • Implementing formal guidelines for the operation of the annual CSHT conference.
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