Stephanie Marrocco is the 2020 recipient of the Leadership Award for Fellows and Students. She is a PhD candidate working with Dr. Dalton Wolfe, at Parkwood Institute, a part of St. Joseph’s Health Care London. Her doctoral research focuses on practice patterns of physiotherapists to determine which practices are associated with the best possible outcomes in persons with spinal cord (SCI) and acquired brain injury (ABI). Her work involves mobilizing physiotherapists, hospital leadership, and researchers towards greater collaboration.
Marrocco is an invaluable part of her lab, helping to develop and implement experiential learning opportunities for Health Studies and Kinesiology students as well as mentoring students one on one. “She is an exceptional leader in all that she does, and is very deserving of this award,” says Dr. Cheryl Forchuk, Lawson Scientist and Marrocco’s nominator.
The Research 2 Practice (R2P) team at Parkwood Institute is endeavoring to establish a new model for the way research teams operate within a clinical environment. This involves embedding the team within the hospital and integrating research with clinical and teaching activities using implementation science and practice-based research methods. “Marrocco has been a true innovator in working alongside myself in developing this approach and has been integral in implementing this model. I was honoured to support her nomination,” says Dr. Wolfe, Lawson Scientist.
Marrocco is an exceptional leader and strong advocate of the “exercise as medicine” perspective. She co-led two program retreats for the Parkwood SCI Rehabilitation Program and has helped develop a national strategy for physical activity programming for persons with SCI. She is formerly a representative for the Lawson Association of Students and Fellows, the first representative of this committee placed at Parkwood Institute Research. Marrocco offers a student perspective and advocates for trainees at Parkwood Institute Research and maintains a leadership role on the R2P team.
“I am extremely grateful for this award. It is a good feeling to know that my peers and those I look up to are so supportive,” says Marrocco.