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Ready to Change the Future? [Global Women’s Health Initiative]

It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.⁠ ⁠

I love traveling and I love my profession.

The collision of these two passions for me is Global Health and this moment changed my life forever:

Maggie Bergeron, Physiotherapist at Bugando Hospital, Tanzania

⁠Standing outside of the Bugando Regional Hospital in Mwanza, Tanzania (pictured here in Aug 2009), one day after being told that women have no place in leadership positions in healthcare, I marched back into the hospital with a fire lit up inside of me 🔥 ⁠ ⁠

Along with being told that women are for babies, not businesses, I was told:⁠ ⁠

  • Don’t look after those in acute care and the ICU, including the neo-natal ICU⁠ ⁠ ⁠
  • Women and children in out-patient rehab don’t need to be seen (ever)⁠ ⁠
  • Anyone who’s had a stroke will never regain any function⁠ so there is no point in seeing them⁠ ⁠

Here was mine and my colleagues' response:⁠

  • We ‘left work early’ and walked the 6 floors of the hospital to see the patients that most desperately needed PT care. We built incredible relationships with MDs and nurses who saw the value in PT and eventually changed the minds of our supervisors and the entire PT department.⁠
  • We saw every woman and child who showed up to the out-patient clinic on their one designated day of the week ⁠
  • We worked with a few patients post-stroke and proved that neuroplasticity is real > one woman went from dependent transfers to independent walking in 4 weeks. It was AWESOME! The physiotherapists watched in complete disbelief as she took her first steps. ⁠

Turns out the local physiotherapists' education was based on 1960s textbooks and no mentorship. ⁠This may or may not come as a shock to you, but considering that they had access to the internet and were regularly scrolling through Facebook, I was surprised their education system hadn't caught up.

In all of this, I learned that It is easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission (we apologized on more than one occasion for our behavior that was out of line with their policies). ⁠

We also learned that:⁠

  1. School had not prepared us for the 'real world' (I had no clue what I was doing most of the time and we were way out of our comfort zones)⁠
  2. Learning resources are not standard worldwide and we (the collective ‘we’ who have the privilege of best in class education) have a responsibility to create accessible, high quality, evidence-based resources for those who otherwise would not have access. ⁠
  3. Having a supportive community of like-minded practitioners, mentors, and colleagues is paramount to none.⁠

⁠These lessons, among many others over the years, are what inspired me to create Embodia Academy - an online platform where healthcare professionals can learn from the best in the field, no matter where they are.

Over the years we have been contacted by some physiotherapists and organizations asking for discounts or free content, and we always do our best to accommodate their requests.

Additionally, at the Ontario Physiotherapy Association conference in 2018, we chose to donate to Marize Ibrahim's mission instead of purchasing swag to give out which we aptly named the #SkiptheSwag campaign (you can read about it here).

And today I am excited to share with you a new initiative in the spirit of giving back.⁠

Monday will mark the beginning of a new tradition for us at Embodia: The Cyber Monday Fund.⁠

For the past two years, Embodia has offered a Cyber Monday sale on many of our courses for everyone.⁠

This year, we are doing this a bit differently to offer you more and to give back to those who don’t have equal access to healthcare or education.⁠

Between December 2nd to 4th, we will put our ENTIRE library of courses on sale for Embodia Members (Embodia Members are those who pay a monthly subscription of $15/month or $13.50/month on our annual plan or $11.25/month for members of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association). ⁠

Plus, when you buy a course between Dec 2-4, we will donate a portion of the profits to the Global Women’s Health Initiative (GWHI). We will include all course purchases in our donation (both Embodia Member and non-member purchases).

GWHI's mission is to transform the lives of women through physical therapy by informing, educating and engaging medical communities.⁠

Through your purchase of a course on Embodia, you will not only be supporting your learning needs but you will also:⁠

💪🏽 Bring urgent healthcare to individual women in need worldwide⁠

💪🏿 Educate physical therapists and communities on women's health issues⁠

💪 Invest in sustainable global women's health educational programs⁠

GWHI and Embodia believe in solutions that help women today while paving a healthy path for the women of tomorrow. ⁠

Our goal is to raise $1500. Let’s get it done together.⁠

A healthy woman = a sustainable community.

Are you in? 

Carpe Diem,
Maggie Bergeron, PT, Co-Founder Embodia

Maggie Bergeron 

PT, Co-Founder


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