Faculty Scholars 2022: Treena Orchard and Susan Hunter

Two faculty members from the Faculty of Health Sciences are among a group 17 newly named faculty scholars from across campus. Health Studies professor Treena Orchard and Physical Therapy professor Susan Hunter were recognized for their outstanding scholarly achievement and contributions to the institution.

A feminist scholar with formal training in history and anthropology, Treena Orchard’s research reflects interdisciplinary excellence and real-world application. Her early fieldwork in Indigenous communities revealed an innate capacity for roughing it in new environments and connecting with people from all walks of life. These qualities were enhanced during her doctoral work about HIV/AIDS and sex work in India. She transitioned from an independent scholar to also being a team researcher, shifted from cultural to medical anthropology, and while still engaged with Indigenous communities, people in the sex trade and those impacted by HIV also became key populations of interest. She continues to work closely on these issues, along with those affecting gender variant, immigrant, racialized, and differently abled groups.

Susan Hunter’s research program is primarily dedicated to the prevention of falls in older adults. As a major cause of disability and dependence, falls represent a serious public-health concern in Canada and internationally. Her research focuses on age-related changes in balance, gait, and cognitive function. The three main themes to her research are – 1) rehabilitation for people with dementia; 2) rehabilitation for people with lower-limb amputations and 3) falls prevention in older adults. Prior to entering academia, Professor Hunter worked as a clinical Physical Therapist, concentrating on older-adult health, in particular the rehabilitation of older adults experiencing falls, frailty, and functional decline. This clinic-informed perspective inspires and informs the research questions she pursues, ensuring that the research coming from her lab translates into physical therapy practice, as described below, to improve health-care outcomes for older adults.

More information about the Faculty Scholars award is available here.