I am thrilled to have the invitation to write the Director’s message for this inaugural issue of RehabINK the first student led publication of its kind in Canada. The Rehabilitation Sciences Institute (RSI) at the University of Toronto has just completed its first external review which highlighted the dedication and impact of our world renowned faculty. The reviewers ranked RSI among the top 5% of programs in North America. Furthermore, the rehabilitation sciences at the University of Toronto has been ranked first in North America in both publications and citations according to Thompson Reuters. For six consecutive years, our faculty has received highly competitive graduate faculty of medicine mentorship awards indicating excellence in both teaching and research! In addition, our exceptional students continue to attract the most prestigious funding awards
Despite these amazing achievements, RSI has been called a “hidden gem”. Needless to say, this statement clearly indicates a need for effective communications of all our hard work and success. This includes reaching users of our innovations as well as the general public. RehabINK, will address our collective need to share our dedicated efforts locally, nationally and internationally.
RehabINK also provides students with the experience of organizing and running a journal type publication. As a graduate student at Yale University, I had the valuable experience of being a student editor of the peer reviewed Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine. My suggestion of having a similar publication for RSI was enthusiastically embraced. Within months, in fact, our student leaders remarkably responded with a contemporary and accessible peer reviewed publication for knowledge exchange. This is truly a testament of exceptional dedication and it will be proudly available on our new RSI website. My hope is that the magazine will continue to have contributions that reflect the broad range of disciplines and research that characterize RSI.
Over the last year, I have had the privilege of meeting with rehabilitation professionals from across the globe who wish to collaborate with RSI. Our mandate is to grow as a destination for interdisciplinary rehabilitation research training internationally. An ultimate goal would be to also have contributions from other universities nationally and internationally.
In addition to our website presence, RehabINK is a great complement to our augmented communications which includes Facebook, Twitter, media articles, theme-based months, information sessions, international recruitment, mentorship and other speakers’ series. Over the last year, I have witnessed other new student led initiatives such as the 500 Club and RSI days of service at the Good Shepherd Centre as well as an invigorated alumni association. I hope that our new magazine will also capture these broad range of activities that deserve recognition.
I wish to close by expressing my sincere appreciation for our RehabINK leadership team and its contributors. I am truly grateful for the warm support of our amazing staff, students, faculty and our incomparable hospital and community partners which makes all this possible .A special thanks goes out to our sponsors and friends. Indeed, we have so much to be thankful for.
Dr. Angela Colantonio is the Director of the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute (former Graduate Department of Rehabilitation Sciences) at the University of Toronto. Dr. Colantonio also holds a Senior Scientist position at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute-UHN (TRI), where she leads the Acquired Brain Injury and Society Team. She also holds a CIHR Research Chair for Gender, Work and Health.