By Wendy Campbell:
Concussions are much in the news lately. They’re being recognized now as a major issue in sports, vehicle accidents and falls – often going undiagnosed in the face of other traumas. The immediate effects, depending on severity, can impede function for weeks or months, and in the long term may include dementia. Changes in approach to the treatment of concussions are evolving as a result of its prevalence and recognition, and in the forefront of innovation is Toronto physiotherapist Charlotte Anderson.
Charlotte has established a significant professional presence since graduating from the University of Toronto with an MSc in Physical Therapy in 2012. Her experience working with young people both before and after graduation fostered an interest in head injury related conditions in that age group and she started and continues to supervise a student led concussion clinic at Bloorview Children’s Hospital. Her thesis topic for her recently completed PhD was: Cervical Spine Dysfunction and Concussion. More about that later, but first, let’s explore her other involvements in providing physiotherapy to a larger population.
With a keen eye for business, Charlotte is the founder of Alpha Health Services, a private rehabilitation facility with three locations in Toronto and Muskoka employing a range of health care professionals. She also founded PhysioLogic PLUS, a private rehabilitation service located within Bridgepoint Active Healthcare. As well, she provides physiotherapy locum services throughout the year in Whitehorse, Yukon. She sits as the education lead on the private practice division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association and teaches physiotherapy students at UofT and McMaster.
In January 2020, she will begin post doctoral studies in an interdisciplinary setting at McMaster University to search for improved ways to treat young people with concussions and prevent the loss of valuable time in their development. She will also advocate for including concussion management in physiotherapy curriculums.
Charlotte opened her first clinic a year after graduating and has continued to expand both clinically and academically in the seven years since. In 2018 she was awarded the Physical Therapy Practioner Exceptional Achievement Award. A curious mind and a love for innovation have marked her career so far and she’s just begun!