Clinical Lead

Vestibular & Balance

SHEELAH WOODHOUSE

Sheelah Woodhouse graduated as a Physiotherapist from the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine in 1991.  After several years of orthopedic private practice she discovered Vestibular Rehabilitation which became her primary focus and passion.  She has pursued extensive post-graduate education in the field, including her Certificate in Vestibular Rehabilitation in 2000, Advanced Certificate, and is now part of the faculty at Emory University providing the ‘gold standard’ competency-based training.


In 2000, she started one of Canada’s first clinics exclusively dedicated to providing Vestibular Rehabilitation in Calgary.  She joined LifeMark Health in 2006 as the Director of Vestibular Rehabilitation to be able to expand Canadians’ access this specialty service, training and supporting what is now a team of over 140 therapists at more than 85 Lifemark locations across the country.  


She was on the advisory committee for the development and writing of the recently published clinical practice guidelines in Vestibular Rehabilitation and is Past-President of the Vestibular Disorders Association.  She has a long history of educating the public, medical and insurance communities about the benefits of Vestibular Rehabilitation. 

VESTIBULAR AND BALANCE ASSESSMENT

Vestibular and balance issues range from vertigo to visual challenges to balance-related falls. Some issues, like some types of vertigo, can be fixed with a quick manual treatment, and others are lifelong disorders that need to be monitored and managed. Access to a vestibular specialist is important for assessment and treatment in both of these areas.

We included the vestibular module in this pilot project because vestibular-trained physiotherapists are few and far between, and are generally based in private clinics. This gives us an opportunity to test our processes in both public (AHS) and private facilities. It is important for access that Tele-Rehab be able to be used in public and private clinic settings because many remote communities only have one or the other. Additionally, vestibular issues increase fall risk and are very disruptive to daily living and quality of life, so having assessment and treatment available will have a big impact on the lives of Albertans, particularly seniors.

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