Dr. Ben Mortenson appointed Head, Department of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy

A message from Dermot Kelleher, Dean, Faculty of Medicine and Vice-President, Health.

Dr. Ben Mortenson

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Ben Mortenson as Head, Department of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy, effective to June 30, 2028.

Dr. Mortenson is a professor in the Department of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy, and a principal investigator at the International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (ICORD) and with the GF Strong Rehabilitation Research Program. He is also an affiliated investigator with the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute (VCHRI).

Dedicated to supporting people living with disabilities and their caregivers, Dr. Mortenson’s research is centred on advancing outcomes for various populations, including assistive technology users, informal and formal caregivers, individuals with spinal cord injury and residents in long-term care. He is also helping to address the challenges people with disabilities face as a result of climate change, as well as leading research focussed on improving environmental sustainability in the occupational therapy profession.

Dr. Mortenson was a recipient of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s New Investigator Award and was recently inducted as a Fellow of the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapy in recognition of his outstanding contributions and service. Dr. Mortenson is also a passionate mentor, having supervised more than 100 graduate students.

In this role, Dr. Mortenson will provide leadership to the department as it expands educational opportunities for the next generation of occupational therapists across the province, and continues to foster excellence and innovation in research and service.

Dr. Mortenson’s appointment follows the leadership of Dr. Susan Forwell, who held the position since 2016. During her time in the role, Dr. Forwell oversaw the significant growth of the department and expansion of the Master of Occupational Therapy program in the North and Fraser regions. She also led the development of the department’s first international conference, helping strengthen ties with occupational scientists from around the world. I wish to thank Dr. Forwell for her commitment and leadership.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Mortenson on his appointment.