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Meet a Pedorthist

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Meet a Pedorthist – Vince DeVito

Vince DeVito, C. Ped Tech (C), C. Ped (C)

When Vince DeVito’s grandfather emigrated from Italy in 1916, he opened up a shoe repair shop in British Columbia. Now, more than a century later, Vince is continuing to build on the family business.

After hearing requests from his footwear customers for help with their foot pain, Vince decided to pursue certification as a pedorthist. Once certified, he first had a small foot clinic in his retail shoe store, and later opened a larger clinic two doors down.

“Starting as just a shoe repair store, expanding into retail footwear, then on to specialty footwear, and then the pedorthic practice, kept my brain sharp and my interest high,” he says, adding that the shoe business and pedorthics go hand-in-hand.

He says the business is continuing to change through his sons, who are helping to grow it online.

“That’s the future,” he says. “Online will keep us moving forward.”

After 23 years as a pedorthist, Vince says he still enjoys his job every day – particularly working with his great staff and meeting with clients. “Having someone tell me they were unable to walk three blocks without pain, and since receiving their orthotics, they are back to hiking mountains. Changing people’s lives sounds like a cliché, but it really is true.”

Vince plans to stay in pedorthics until retirement – which he says is still far off. “Having just turned 60, I plan on doing this until I can no longer get to the clinic,” he says. “I’m still having far too much fun. I love this profession and the people I spend time with.”

In his spare time, Vince enjoys cross-country skiing with his wife in the winter months. In the summer, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends at their summer retreat on Kootenay Lake. He also enjoys cooking and entertaining for family, and particularly spending time with his new grandson.

 

 


Meet a Pedorthist – Jennifer Gould Andrew

Jennifer Gould Andrew, C. Ped Tech (C), C. Ped (C)

Growing up in Terrace Bay, ON, Jennifer Gould Andrew was an active soccer player, but she suffered from patellofemoral pain syndrome throughout high school and into university. Physiotherapy helped relieve some symptoms, but her world changed when she was referred to Kim Rau and introduced to pedorthics in her first year of university. Her symptoms were completely resolved – and she had discovered her career path.

“I was a kinesiology student at the time, trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life,” says Jennifer, who studied at the University of Waterloo. “(I) decided to go back to the Pedorthist and learn more about the profession. I started volunteering with Kim in clinic and working in the lab while I completed my kinesiology degree… and so began my career!”

After graduating in 1997 she continued working with the same clinic, received her C. Ped Tech (C) and C. Ped (C) designations, and moved to London where she took over a practice located at Western University and worked there for more than 13 years.

Now living in Fredericton, New Brunswick Jennifer continues to practice with a special interest in sports injuries and keeping people active.

Over the years, she has trained at least 10 Pedorthists and continues to be an instructor in the Pedorthic Diploma program at Western University, mentoring the field’s next generation.

Jennifer’s advice to new Pedorthists who would like to achieve success is simple. 

“Your patient comes first,” she says. “Make decisions that are best for them, not what is best for your business. For each patient, think about what you would do if that was your personal scenario.”

In her spare time, Jennifer and her husband stay busy with their family. “My spare time is primarily spent with my family – mainly chauffeuring my two children to whatever sport or activity they have on the go, but also enjoying the outdoors with them in a variety of means throughout the seasons,” she says, adding that sports is still a part of her life too. “In the past few years I have been lucky enough to find more regular ‘me time’ that allows me to enjoy my favourite sport – rowing.”


Meet a Pedorthist – Kerrie Boelsterli-Bailey

Kerrie Boelsterli-Bailey, C. Ped (C)

After graduating from Wilfrid Laurier University 2010, Kerrie Boelsterli-Bailey was working as a Kinesiologist, but something was missing. She recalls, “It just wasn’t really stimulating enough—I wasn’t part of treatment as much as I wanted to be. I knew I had to go back to school.”

“One day I was on Facebook and I saw an ad for Pedorthics and I clicked on it,” Kerrie says. This prompted her to begin researching the profession more deeply, speaking with local pedorthists and specialists. Kerrie is a poster child for the impact digital advertising can have on both young professionals looking at career choices online, as well as the profession’s propensity to really grow. She quickly applied to the Pedorthic Program at Western and became enamoured with the practice.

Kerrie joined PAC in July 2012 as a Pedorthics Student and began practicing after the successful completion of the exams that fall.

“My experience in the profession is still very young, so every case is new and different, she explains. “Just seeing patients leave the clinic with less pain than when they came in is so rewarding.” What she enjoys most though is being able to help people—and relatively quickly compared to other similar professions.

As for her role at PAC, Kerrie brings a real, genuine enthusiasm to the profession. Recently she was able to host her first Pedorthics student from Western’s Continuing Study program and hopes to do that more often. Kerrie hopes not only to leave the student with more knowledge and wisdom as when they begin with her, but to equally gain new skills and ideas through the students.

A native of Belmont, Ontario, Kerrie stayed close to home building a life in St. Thomas with her husband and two small children. In the summer you can find them walking the pier in Port Stanley, and in the winter on local tobogganing hills.


Meet a Pedorthist – Kevin Fraser

Kevin Fraser, C. Ped Tech (C), C. Ped (C)

When Kevin Fraser was growing up in Shelburne, Ontario, hockey was a big part of his life and it eventually led him to a career in pedorthics.

He grew up playing hockey and at the age of 17 sustained a tendon rupture in his left ankle that required surgical repair, followed by extensive physiotherapy and the use of an ankle-foot orthosis. This was his introduction to orthotics and the pedorthic profession.

Kevin received his bachelor’s degree in Health and Society at York University, and his Orthotics and Prosthetics Technician diploma at George Brown College.

He later received his C. Ped Tech (C) and the following year, his C. Ped (C). He trained as a pedorthic intern before joining a foot care team at a Toronto hospital where he now practices as a Certified Pedorthist – specializing in high-risk feet, traumatic injuries and partial foot amputations.

Kevin also shares his expertise with students in the classroom. He joined the faculty at George Brown College where he works as a professor in the Orthotics and Prothetics Programs and also did a stint with the faculty at Western University as a course instructor in the post-degree diploma in Pedorthics.

Kevin says in addition to teaching, he still maintains a full patient load at the hospital – both jobs that he feels very passionate about.

“Being based out of Canada’s largest trauma hospital, I see a great variety of complex and interesting cases. Every day is different,” he says, adding that he also enjoys working with a wide range of medical specialists including orthopeadic and plastic surgeons, nurses, orthotists, and prosthetists.

Kevin says his career has allowed him to make a difference in patients’ lives – and, future pedorthists.

The most rewarding part of his work is seeing the improvement that his treatment makes in the quality and comfort of his patients’ lives, and teaching the next generation of pedorthists, orthotists, and prosthetists.

In his spare time, Kevin plays for the hospital men’s hockey team and is an avid golfer. Additionally, he is involved in the Pedorthic Association of Canada (PAC) – having served in a variety of positions, including President of PAC.


Meet a Pedorthist – Jordanna Jones

Jordanna Jones, C. Ped (C)

Jordanna Jones had goals of becoming a physiotherapist – but those plans changed when her guidance counselor suggested volunteering with a pedorthist at the University of Western Ontario (UWO).

“I went into kinesiology at Western, planning on a physiotherapy career,” explains Jordanna. “But as I went through school and volunteered with physios, I wanted to look at other options.”  When she received her placement with a Certified Pedorthist, she realized that the pedorthic profession was the perfect fit.

Jordanna received her pedorthic certification in 2005 and continued working at the clinic, where she completed her placements for the UWO program. She became clinic manager a few years later, while also teaching in Western’s pedorthic program.

Jordanna says that she enjoys teaching students – and finds that she often learns new things as an instructor at Western.  “I have found throughout my career that I love learning and teaching,” she says. “There’s no better way to do both than instruct in the program, because with new students every year, there are always new questions and ideas – so I get to learn from them as well!”

After 14 years in the business, Jordanna has also trained about 20 students on the job.

In addition to helping students prepare for their future as pedorthists, Jordanna says the most rewarding part of her work has been helping her patients.  “[I enjoy] helping people who come in with pain, and getting them back to their activities – especially when it’s a really big deal in their life,” she says. “That’s why I love this job.”

Jordanna says that when she’s not teaching at Western or managing three clinics, she can be found spending time with her family. Her eldest son is a brown belt in karate, so she says they spend a lot of time at the dojo.


Meet a Pedorthist – Kathrine Simpson

Kathrine Simpson, C. Ped (C)

Kathrine Simpson never thought she would open her own clinic. In fact, she says she would have laughed at the thought.

The Pedorthist and business owner started her career as a young adult, volunteering with special needs children at a children’s centre in Windsor. That is where she discovered hydrotherapy and rehabilitation.

Kathrine first graduated with an honour’s degree in Human Kinetics from the University Of Windsor.

Upon graduating, she worked as a registered kinesiologist at Windsor Regional Hospital – largely in hydrotherapy. It was exactly where she wanted to be so early in her career. However, the hospital decided to discontinue its hydrotherapy pool, and Kathrine wasn’t sure of her next career move.

She decided to look into the University of Western Ontario’s Diploma in Pedorthics program.

“It was a no brainer,” Kathrine says, “I could keep my family home, and pursue something I knew there was a demand.”

When she finished the program, she couldn’t find a job locally so she pursued one of her other passions – teaching.

“I moved forward to teach physiotherapy assistant courses at the college, and worked in a private therapy running hydrotherapy sessions,” says Kathrine. A couple years later, she decided to finish what she started in Pedorthics.

When she received her C. Ped (C), she was offered part time work for a local franchise in Windsor. She had been in that position for three years when a relative unexpectedly reached out and asked if she would consider joining their medical team.

At this time, Kathrine’s husband was also looking for a change. He had spent the last 20 years traveling across North America for work. It was the opportunity that her family needed, and soon she has incorporated her own orthotics and footwear business.

Currently, she is the clinic’s pedorthist and also has a receptionist and a foot care nurse on staff.

“I envision my clinic to be an excellent resource centre for potential students interested in rehabilitation or Pedorthics,” Kathrine says.

When she’s not busy running her clinic, Kathrine enjoys spending time with her family – including golfing, kayaking, bike riding and mini weekend getaways.


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