— With his wooden tools, an old-fashioned shovel and his knowledge of the human body, a Carleton University graduate is helping his community rise to the front of Canada ‘s physiotherapy world rankings.
Dr. Andrew L. LeBlanc started his career at Carleton’s Centre for Biomedical Engineering and was working with spinal-cord injury patients in Calgary when he decided to pursue an advanced degree in physical therapy.
He began his training at a physiotherapy clinic in Calgary in 2016.
Dr LeBlanch has been working with people with spinal cord injuries for the last 13 years.
He’s a spinal-coach at Carleton University, where he specializes in rehabilitation and rehabilitation-related rehabilitation for people with chronic and acute neck injuries.
He was honoured with a bronze medal in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Biomedical Achievement Awards for his work with spinal injury patients.
He has been awarded numerous other awards, including the prestigious McMaster Memorial Award and the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada.
The National Centre for Postural Rehabilitation and Rehabilitation (NCPR) recognizes the best physiotherapists in the country for their contributions to the community, said NCPR Executive Director Dr. John R. St. John.
“We look forward to having him join our team of outstanding physiotherapeutic professionals,” St. Johns said.
“He has been a role model to his students, and we know that his patients benefit from his knowledge and training.”
LeBlanc said he loves helping people with neck injuries and believes in helping the people around them get better.
“When I walk into someone’s home, I don’t think about their neck pain, I just think about what they’re going through and how they can help,” he said.
“People will ask, ‘How do I get back to work?’
I can answer that, ‘Well, there’s no pain in my neck.
It’s a natural response to my spinal cord.’
That’s the way I like to be a physiotherapist.”
The centre has an enrollment of more than 2,000 students, with about 300 of them being students at Carleston University.
Leblanc said his students are passionate about spinal cord injury and their experiences.
“It’s very challenging to do work that involves people who are physically injured,” he explained.
“I’ve been able to get them to be more active and to be less dependent on their medication, which is a big benefit.”
In addition to his work at Carlondale, he works as a full-time physiotheracist at the Centre for Biological Engineering and has been recognized with several awards.
He said that in his professional career, he’s seen people with multiple types of injuries improve in their health and recovery.
“I’ve seen a lot of people who had a very hard time recover after a traumatic injury,” he recalled.
“It was really the best feeling to be able to say, ‘Yes, I can get back up again, I’ve got the strength back to do this.'”