The Université du Québec à Chicoutimi and McGill University are pleased to announce the signing today of a memorandum of understanding allowing the implementation of physiotherapeutic training in Saguenay Lac Saint-Jean. Due to this agreement, effective September 2011, UQAC will be able to offer, by extension, the Bachelor of Rehabilitation Science and Master of Science in Physical Therapy programs of McGill University’s School of Physical and Occupational Therapy.
The arrival of these new programs in the region not only meets the expectations expressed by the Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport, but those of the entire regional community.
Beginning in 2005, during the first consultations conducted by the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, the regional community expressed great interest in the establishment of a physiotherapy program at the university. UQAC therefore oriented its approaches to the possibility of an extension program, allowing it to benefit from already well established university expertise and to have the short-term possibility of training completely autonomous training.
Discussions then began with McGill University administrators, concluding today with an agreement based on confident collaboration, supported by sustained involvement of local clinicians for supervision of internships and, in some cases, for the development and delivery of teaching activities.
Lasting four-and-a-half years, the new Bachelor of Rehabilitation Science program should receive its first students in September 2011. The beginning of activities of the Master of Science in Physical Therapy program is scheduled for autumn 2013.
For Michel Belley, Rector of UQAC, this agreement with McGill University is a clear example of the will of the Quebec university research community to collaborate on the development of quality university training offered in all regions of Quebec. This association with one of the world’s best universities is a guarantee of success and excellence. Mr. Belley also noted the excellent collaboration of his McGill colleague, Professor Heather Munroe-Blum, and of her entire team.
The Université du Québec à Chicoutimi will train competent physiotherapists, relying on the expertise of McGill University’s School of Physical and Occupational Therapy and the collaboration of the regional healthcare network partners of the greater Saguenay, Lac Saint-Jean and North Shore region. In the next few days, it will also proceed to open new faculty positions, which will add to the expertise of Professor Louis-E Tremblay, PhD, PHT, who is already on duty.
“We are delighted to establish this large-scale collaboration between our institutions,” declared Professor Heather Munroe-Blum, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill University. “This is a wonderful opportunity for our two institutions to build on our mutual strengths and work together in order to offer greater access to these crucial programs, in the interest of the professionals and citizens of the Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean region. This major partnership was made possible by the leadership shown by the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi and McGill University’s School of Physical and Occupational Therapy and Faculty of Medicine. We are confident that this project will lay the foundations essential to future collaborations, in other disciplines, between UQAC and McGill University.”
UQAC’s new physiotherapy graduates will be well prepared to take on the challenges in care and services, applying critical thinking and clinical reasoning based on best practices, interdisciplinary work and advanced physiotherapy.
The announcement of this new program arrives at the same time that the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi administration is proceeding to create a new Department of Health Sciences. This department will include the disciplines of nursing, kinesiology, psychology and, after today’s announcement, physiotherapy.