History/who we are
Physiotherapists have been involved with the Canadian Hemophilia Society since the 1970s and were active participants in medical symposia and workshops. However, during the HIV crisis, musculoskeletal issues took a back seat and the group was not able to meet. With the support of CHS, the physiotherapists were brought together again in 1997 in Toronto, and have tried to meet annually since. Canadian Physiotherapists in Hemophilia Care/Physiothérapeutes canadiens en hémophilie (CPHC/PCH) was formally organized in 2005. Membership is comprised of physiotherapists from across Canada with an interest in the treatment of bleeding disorders.

Mission of CPHC
CPHC exists to…

  • Identify and mentor physiotherapists new to hemophilia care
  • Assist clinics across the country to achieve a consistent and appropriate level of Physiotherapy staffing
  • Develop or enhance clinical skills by planning educational workshops and networking opportunities, and by encouraging attendance at annual CHS meetings and relevant Hemophilia-related events (e.g. WFH World Congress, WFH MS Congress, etc)
  • Develop recommendations regarding management of the musculoskeletal effects of hemophilia based on the best available evidence
  • Educate the other members of the care team and our patients regarding management of the musculoskeletal effects of hemophilia
  • Develop leaders within the group to continue this work until a cure for hemophilia is found
  • Provide support and communication for the members via email, website and annual meetings
  • Promote research among the members to enhance the care of hemophilia and other bleeding disorders to ensure evidence based practice

Guiding Principles
The activities of CPHC/PCH will reflect a commitment to…

  • Health promotion
  • Evidence based practice
  • Interdisciplinary communication

Importance of Physiotherapy in Comprehensive Care
Physiotherapists are the musculoskeletal experts on the comprehensive care teams in Canada. With improvements in prophylaxis and care of bleeds, the role of Orthopaedic Surgeons has decreased, but the need for Physiotherapists is as great as ever.

Physiotherapists work closely with the Hematologists and Nurses to provide:

  • Education to families about how to prevent bleeds
  • Treatment and rehabilitation following bleeds into joints and muscles.
  • Advice regarding suitable recreational and sports activities for people with bleeding disorders
  • Advice regarding joint protection
  • Advice and treatment for pain management
  • Assistance to determine when an orthopaedic consultation is needed
  • Regular comprehensive assessment to monitor joint status

Presently, CPHC has an organizational structure where the leadership consists of an executive of 4 people: the President, the Vice-President, the Secretary and the Past President. There is an attempt to select representatives from all geographic regions of Canada and also recognized experts in the field of bleeding disorders.

The present executive consists of:

President: Lawren De Marchi – Vancouver, British Columbia 
Vice President: Julia Brooks – Calgary, Alberta 
Past President: JoAnn Nilson – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan 
Secretary:Colleen Jones Down – St. John’s, Newfoundland 

CPHC maintains close ties with the Association of Hemophilia Clinic Directors of Canada (AHCDC), the Canadian Association of Nurses in Hemophilia Care (CANHC) and the social worker group (CSWHC). CPHC has a representative on the Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee of the Canadian Hemophilia Society.