#A204 - 4480 Oak Street
Vancouver, BC V6H 3V4
Tel: 875-2345 local 7274
Dr. Sawatzky has been an Assistant Professor in the Department of Orthopaedics
since 1998 after completion of her PhD in biomechanics from Simon Fraser
University. Her primary research interests include studying the biomechanics
and morphology of spinal deformities as well as functional outcomes
of treatment for children with gait and mobility disabilities. More
recently she has directed her interests in studying the physiological
and biomechanical effects during wheelchair propulsion.
The prevalence of upper extremity pain in wheelchair users is reported
as high as 90% due to the repetitive strain type of exercise of wheelchair
propulsion. Dr. Sawatzky’s research is focusing on how to reduce
these overuse injuries by specifically looking at which wheelchair type
and set-up is most efficient for the user. This kind of research will
greatly improve the quality of life for both adults and children with
spinal cord injury or spina bifida, as well as for individuals with
other mobility-impacting disabilities.
Phoenix, Dr. Sawatzky's assistant, is the newest member
of the staff in the Orthopaedic Research Lab. He comes to us following
extensive training from the Pacific Assistance Dog Society, where he excelled
in his service studies. Phoenix's role in the lab is as a support to the
staff and he has already proven himself to be an excellent assistant.
His areas of interest include picking up objects from the floor, eating,
sleeping and belly rubs.