Werstine helps students get back in motion
The CPA represents 12,000 physiotherapists across Canada, approximately 60 per cent of all physiotherapists in the country. Their main role is political and economic advocacy for their members, as well as professional development.
Werstine has been working at the Fowler Kennedy Sports Medicine Clinic at Fanshawe for 10 years and has been dedicated to making physiotherapy services more accessible for all Fanshawe students. "Very recently we got through working with the Student Union office on the development of a benefits package for students that has $300 of physiotherapy coverage, which would allow almost 66 per cent of the visit to a physiotherapist to be covered through the benefits package," said Werstine.
One of the most common complaints Werstine hears from students is about lower back pain, which he says is usually a result of poor posture. "Usually, students aren't just sitting around all summer, and they come back to school and it's a different kind of strain through their backs."
As it stands for now, Fanshawe students can directly access physiotherapy without requiring a family doctor's referral. "Legally, there's no barrier to access physiotherapy directly. Many insurance companies create an artificial barrier … the more barriers they put in front of people to get money back from their insurance program for physiotherapy or dental or whatever, then the less money they have to pay out."
Werstine and the team at Fowler Kennedy also work closely with intercollegiate athletics, providing coverage for home field events, including soccer, badminton, basketball and volleyball, to name a few. "(Our) partnership with intercollegiate athletics (ensures) that varsity athletes have quick and easy access to the clinic, that financially their visits are not going to drain them of financial resources," said Werstine, noting that varsity athletes are frequent visitors of the clinic for repetitive strain injuries, ankle sprains, knee injuries and back injuries.
In keeping with the CPA's mandate, Werstine is dedicated to helping students overall health by restoring, maintaining and maximizing the strength, function and movement of patients. "We are looking at trying to empower our patients to take control of whatever problem that they have. The important thing is that, at 3 o'clock in the morning, if you wake up with pain, I'm not going to be there, I don't want to be there, I want to provide you with the strategies and tools that you need to live a happy healthy life."
For more information, visit fowlerkennedy.com or visit the Health Services Medical Clinic in SC1001.