Golden Hands Award Winner – Bev Padfield – 2010

(L to R) Erl Pettman, Beverley Padfield and Rob Werstine

It is with great honour and pride that I am able to stand here and represent all the physiotherapists who have nominated Bev for this award. Bev’s professional life emulates the accomplishments of a Golden Hands award winner and I am sure one of mentors David Lamb would be proud to have Bev receive this award in his name.

I had the pleasure of first meeting Bev 24 years ago when she taught me my very first manual therapy course as an undergraduate physiotherapy student at the University of Western Ontario. Since that time I have come to appreciate and respect her dedication to the field of manual therapy in Ontario and Canada over the past 30 years. When I hear other physiotherapists complaining about not having any time to take post-graduate courses I simply explain to them that it is a choice. Beverly Padfield pursued manual therapy courses with 3 small children at home, a busy husband who was self employed and living in a small rural community over an hour away from the nearest University library (certainly pre-internet). To find the time to take courses, acquire articles and begin teaching manual therapy courses was a personal choice to pursue excellence in her profession even though she had to juggle other commitments on the home front. This pursuit of excellence has been a driving force behind Bev’s career ever since.

To list Bev’s accomplishments are easy but to describe her impact on the hundreds of physiotherapists she has nurtured, mentored and taught to become analytical, evidenced based clinician’s with a sound clinical reasoning approach is immeasurable. She was certainly before her time when it came to incorporating research, evidence and clinical judgment into assessment and treatment approaches.

Her manual therapy teaching career started in 1985 when she convinced the University of Western Ontario Physical Therapy program to allow her to teach the first undergraduate manual therapy course in Ontario. She developed and taught an introductory manual therapy course that is the foundation of the course that she still teaches 25 years later at Western. She also took her show on the road and taught the first E1V1 courses in southwestern Ontario and then expanded to all the current manual therapy level courses. Her good friend Bert Chesworth joined her on this road and with Bev’s encouragement he was one of the first FCAMPTs to complete his PhD. Bert wrote that Bev encouraged him and others to pursue manual therapy research but most of all she participated whole hardly in the process. Thus, she is the proud recipient of 2 CPA Silver Quill Awards (1994, 1999), has 7 peer reviewed publications and has been a member on 5 different Master’s Advisory committees at Western. Paul Stratford, the well known researcher from MacMaster University wrote in his nomination letter “that perhaps more than any other Canadian physiotherapist Bev has integrated art and science to the advancement of manual therapy practice and better patient outcomes.”

The emphasis on evidence and clinical research extends to every aspect of her manual therapy career…teaching, clinical practice, mentoring, CPA/OPA committees, Ontario PT licensing college, and as a chief examiner for the Orthopedic division education courses. Jan Lowcock, Carol Kennedy, Lenerdene Levesque, Ev Lightly and Rolly Lavallee all state in their nomination letters that: “Bev is a natural leader. She leads by example with hard work, good humour, and of course using her powers of persuasion … they each provided numerous examples on how they felt Bev impacted their lives and at the same time how she selflessly takes pride in the accomplishment of others.

Bev’s leadership roles are numerous and legendary. She has been the Chair of the National Orthopedic division, co-founded the London orthopedic unit, was a member of the CPA manual therapy steering committee, a Chief examiner for the Ortho division education system and she has been on the editorial board for several journal publications. She has personally made it her mission to ensure that she has mentored hundreds of physiotherapists who she has molded with the vision to progress, instruct and lead manual courses for the next 20 years. Bev has always known that the progression of manual therapy was not about her accomplishments but the need to nurture many individuals to carry on the mission of manual therapy education. Scott Whitmore stated in his nomination letter that “Bev took me under her wing and mentored me through the manual therapy courses, instructor training process and eventually as an examiner. He writes honestly that he would not be here today if it were not for her hours of mentorship, guidance and friendship. Rob Werstine also wrote in his letter that “it is because of Bev’s influence that he ran for the Board of Directors of CPA and is the next president elect of CPA.”

Her most recent and possibly greatest source of pride was when the University of Western Ontario and the CPA Orthopedic division were able to come together to form the first Manipulative Therapy Master’s program in Canada. Bev was instrumental in the negotiations, planning, teaching and molding the program into one that she feels will be the future of our profession in Canada. I have heard her comment on many occasions that the founding fathers of manual therapy in Canada’s greatest wish for orthopedic manipulative therapy were to get a University to recognize its educational value. She strongly supports the Orthopedic Division education program and she feels that the Western program is an extension of all the hard work placed into curriculum and syllabus development over the years.

Finally, my support for Bev comes with a personal bias. She is my teacher, mentor, colleague and above all a friend. I feel that the countless volunteer hours that she has gladly given the Orthopedic division over the years was from her heart and she has never expected any kind of congratulations. I will miss teaching with you Bev but I am sure we will continue to share more than one bottle of wine.

On one final note, her daughter Allie who became a physiotherapist because of her mother recently stated that she is extremely proud of her mother’s professional accomplishment but it is her role as mother and now grandmother that is truly the most remarkable gift of all.

The legacy and memory of David Lamb and what this award represents truly signifies a fitting tribute to Beverley Padfield and her career of service.

Presented by: Jackie Sadi