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RHI thanks four outgoing board members for their invaluable service

June 30, 2016 – Today four members of the Rick Hansen Institute (RHI) Board of Directors (BoD) came to the end of their tenure: Mr. Ryan Barrington-Foote and Drs. Gary BirchColleen O'Connell and Catherine Truchon.

When these four members joined the BoD six years ago, it represented an important transition point to the current board, commensurate with its newly articulated vision, mission and role. On behalf of RHI, Dr. Bernie Bressler, Board Chair, would like to thank each of these members for their dedication and leadership in helping our organization advance its work to improve the lives of individuals with spinal cord injury. It is with the benefit of their innovative ideas, wise counsel and strategic thinking that RHI has been able to focus its priorities and translate knowledge, helping us move closer to our vision of a world without paralysis after spinal cord injury. An example includes RHI's recent accreditation through Imagine Canada's Standards Program, making us one of only 177 Canadian charities and non-profits recognized for excellence out of more than 170,000 nationwide.


Ryan Barrington FooteRyan Barrington-Foote (Treasurer)
Managing Director, Accounting for The Jim Pattison Group

Ryan was a dedicated and prudent Treasurer who set high-standards for financial accountability, control and efficiency. He led the Audit & Finance Committee through successful renewal of federal and provincial funding and provided invaluable mentorship on the organization's growth and revenue diversification.


Gary BirchGary Birch (Secretary)
Executive Director, Neil Squire Society; Officer of the Order of Canada

Gary brought an important perspective as an international leader in disability and scientist at ICORD. The Neil Squire Society was recently awarded an $800K grant from Google.org to create a smartphone access device for people who cannot use their hands. Gary brought credibility and profile to the board as a renowned innovator.


Colleen OConnell RColleen O’Connell
Research Chief, Stan Cassidy Centre for Rehabilitation; Adjunct Professor, Division of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Department of Medicine, Dalhousie University and Faculty of Kinesiology, University of New Brunswick

Colleen is a nationally prominent clinician-scientist who has represented the Institute as a member of the Consortium of the Paralyzed Veterans of America. RHI is the only one of its 24 members located outside the USA. She will continue to provide enlightened leadership for RHI in this capacity.


Catherine Truchon RCatherine Truchon
Senior advisor, Trauma Team, Institut National d'Excellence en Santé et Services Sociaux

A national expert on trauma services, Catherine provided leadership and guidance in developing key partnerships in Quebec, the research and clinical community, and with overall strategy.


We look forward to a continued relationship with each of them as valued members of RHI’s network, and we are excited to witness what great strides they make next.
A message announcing the incoming RHI board members will follow soon.

- Dr. Bernie Bressler, Chair, Board of Directors, Rick Hansen Institute