Physiotherapy Education Accreditation Canada
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Board Members

PEAC's current Directors are:


  • President - Debi Francis
  • Debi Francis is an occupational therapist with over 20 years of experience who has taught internationally in occupational therapy and occupational therapist assistant and physiotherapist assistant programs. She graduated from the Doctor of Science in Rehabilitation and Health Leadership program at Queen’s University, where her research focused on the experiences of racialized students in higher education. Debi has participated as a Peer Review Team member with the OTA & PTA Education Accreditation Program.

    In 2023, Debi was nominated by occupational therapy students at D’Youville University for the national Coalition of Occupational Therapist Advocates for Diversity Outstanding Faculty Award. She was selected for the award secondary to her leadership and embodiment of social justice. Her passion for equity and belonging are displayed by her dedication and devotion to facilitating inclusive and accessible academia to empower future health care professionals.

    Debi was a member of the Research and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion working group of the Queen’s University Faculty of Health Sciences Dean’s Action Table on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. At D’Youville University, she was a faculty representative on the Equity and Integrity Committee preparing for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education accreditation. She was a committee member with Easter Seals Ontario – Niagara District and City of Hamilton’s Advisory Committee for Persons with Disabilities.

    Debi joined the PEAC Board of Directors in 2021.

  • President Elect - Uriel Pierre
  • Uriel Pierre was educated as a physiotherapist at the Université de Montreal. As a clinician he started his professional career at the Institut Universitaire de Gériatrie de Montréal. After three years, he moved to British Columbia to expand his knowledge, working at the University of British Columbia Hospital in an acute care setting. Four years later, he completed a Master in Rehabilitation Sciences at McGill University and published his thesis in a supplement issue of the prestigious Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. Seeking new challenges, he also worked in a long-term care facility, setting up a new physiotherapy department, then in internal medicine at the Montreal General Hospital.

    As a lecturer, Uriel shared his knowledge with students at the Université de Sherbrooke, the Université de Montréal and McGill University, helping to build and teach new curricula in cardiorespiratory physiotherapy.

    As a former regulator, he tallied more than 10 years of involvement as a board member, deputy registrar and inspector at the Ordre professionnel de la physiothérapie du Québec. This allowed him to assist in designing and implementing a new program for internationally trained physiotherapists seeking licensure in Quebec.

    Uriel’s ability to motivate his peers, summarize information, develop strategies, and implement solutions bear witness to his leadership skills. He is known for his team spirit and good humour. He recently completed a second master’s degree at the National School of Public Administration in Quebec and is presently an active member of the neurosurgery and trauma team at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. He was also the 2022 recent recipient of the Award of Distinction from the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators.

    Uriel joined the PEAC Board of Directors in 2022.

  • Director of Finance - Deborah Palmer
  • Deborah is an administrator in postsecondary education with several years in senior financial and administrative leadership. She currently holds the role of Faculty General Manager for the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta.
  • Deborah completed a BA (English), MA (Communications) and recently an MBA in 2022. She is passionate about the power of purpose-driven leadership and higher education to positively transform our world.
  • Deborah joined the PEAC Board of Directors in 2023.

  • Member at Large - Jacky Chow
  • (Coming soon.)

    Jacky joined the PEAC Board of Directors in 2024.

  • Member at Large - Shawna O'Hearn
  • Shawna is the Director of Community Partnerships and Global Health at Dalhousie University. She has been member of the PEAC Accreditation Committee and a registered Occupational Therapist. Shawna has held leadership positions in government, university and non-government organizations in the West Indies, India, West and East Africa as well as Nunavut. Her research has focused on gender equity, social accountability, community engagement and diversity with an emphasis on qualitative research methodologies. She completed her PhD research which focused on menopause and aging in the workplace for Canadian physiotherapists.

    Shawna joined the PEAC Board of Directors in 2017.

  • Member at Large - Mike Stewart
  • Mike is a physiotherapist in southern Alberta working in private practice, focusing on musculoskeletal rehabilitation. He is an Affiliated Clinical Educator in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Alberta, where he enjoys supervising physiotherapy students on clinical placements. He also mentors colleagues undergoing continuing education in musculoskeletal assessment and treatment.

    Mike enjoys contributing professionally in non-clinical roles. Provincially, he helps develop care pathways with the Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute Shoulder Topic Expert Group, the Southern Alberta Shoulder Screening Initiative, the Alberta Pain Strategy Models of Care, and the Alberta Health Services Spine Assessment Initiative. He also serves as a member of council with the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta. Nationally, he is Vice-President of the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Physiotherapy (CAMPT) and a member of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association Awards Committee.

    Mike joined the PEAC Board of Directors in 2022.




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