McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Alumni honoured with McMaster awards

By Sue Johnston

Published: May 8, 2007
Julie Hard Robert Cushman
Julie Hard (left), M.Sc. in Physiotherapy, and Robert Cushman, MD and M.Sc., Chief Executive Officer of the Champlain Local Health Integration Network

Two Faculty of Health Sciences alumni will be among those honoured this weekend for the significant contributions they’ve made since graduating from McMaster University.

Julie Hard, who earned her M.Sc. in Physiotherapy in 2003, will be presented with an Arch Award, which specifically recognizes recent graduates. Robert Cushman, who earned his MD in 1976 and a M.Sc. in 1984, will be inducted into the McMaster Alumni Gallery.

The 25th Anniversary Alumni Gallery Induction and McMaster Alumni Association Award Ceremony are part of alumni weekend events.

Hard, who also earned a Bachelor degree in kinesiology from McMaster in 1997, has been devoted to helping people with disabilities living in Kenya, since she did a two-month clinical placement there as part of her master’s degree. In 2005, she spent several months in the small Kenyan village of Rongo, where she provided physical assessments and treatment programs for disabled children.

She was instrumental in the launch of the Kenya Working Group in 2003, which was formed within the framework of the International Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation at the University of Toronto. The group involves the collaboration of McMaster University, the University of Toronto and partners within Kenya whose focus is the care of people with disabilities.

Hard is also a physiotherapist in the Inner City Health Program at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.

The Arch Award was established by the alumni association in 2002 to recognize career success, accomplishments that are interesting, unusual or innovative, and notable contributions to society and the McMaster community.

Cushman is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Champlain Local Health Integration Network, which covers the Ottawa Valley area.

Before that he was the Medical Officer of Health for the City of Ottawa, and was instrumental in bringing in smoke-free legislation for workplaces and public places.

Early in his career, he served the Cree and Inuit populations along the James and Hudson Bay coasts, and later spent a number of years working at a mission hospital in Zambia.

He has received numerous honours, including the City of Ottawa’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005, The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2003, and the United Way of Ottawa’s Volunteer of the Year Award in 2003.

The Alumni Gallery is a photographic and biographical display of the inductees who have been chosen for their outstanding contributions to society.

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