Physiotherapist and Clinical Supervisor Tina Moran’s innovative shoulder positioner tool supports stroke patients’ arms and shoulders to prevent shoulder complications and injuries. Her work to help care teams better support stroke patients has been implemented across Fraser Health.

Tina’s innovative spirit and desire for better care for stoke patients enabled her to research, develop and create shoulder pain screening tools and resources.

Tina Moran recalls the moment that lead her to pursue physiotherapy as a career. All eyes were fixed on her older brother. He had recently broken his leg and was in the hospital receiving care. It was there that she encountered physiotherapy for the first time.

“I didn’t even know this thing called physiotherapy existed. At physiotherapy school, the neurological clinical teacher blew my mind - both with what she could do and introducing me to the neurological patient population, which I didn’t know anything about until I started.”

Fast track to present day, Tina has been a physiotherapist and clinical supervisor at Royal Columbian Hospital for close to three decades. She brings a unique direct-care and operations lens to her work, which has been recognized by her peers, team and manager. “Tina’s continuous drive, hard work, creativity, resourcefulness and dedication combined with her positive energy and ability to collaborate and inspire others are what makes her a true innovator and leader.” Shares Jennifer West, Project Leader, Clinical Operations, Royal Columbian Hospital Neurosciences.

These attributes recently came to play during her research work. As a Clinical Supervisor and Physiotherapist, Tina observed that teams caring for stroke patients did not always have the information, knowledge or familiarity about how to best support stroke patients’ arms and shoulders, risking shoulder complications and injuries.

To mitigate the risks for sustaining shoulder complications in hospital, Tina shared her observations and literature findings with a research advisor who encouraged her to pursue her findings.

Tina applied and received seed grant funding from Fraser Health’s department of evaluation and research to further research, develop and validate hemiplegic shoulder pain screening tools and resources.

This research later led her to create a stroke shoulder protocol as well as a shoulder flag and positioner prototype tool. Tina’s screening protocol and shoulder flag have been implemented across Fraser Health and are being considered by other health authorities.

The shoulder positioner tool provides a better way to position and support a flaccid upper extremity in bed, preventing shoulder injury, improving quality of life and helping care teams better support stroke patients. With funding support from the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation, the prototypes were built at KPU (Kwantlen Polytechnic University) and BCIT and have been tested with stroke patients at Royal Columbian Hospital.

Tina humbly shares “This project wouldn’t be where it is now if it weren’t for the incredible people and staff at Royal Columbian Hospital, K-Bros linen (who provided the fabric for the shoulder flags), BCIT, KPU, and the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation. I am grateful and inspired by them every day.”

Tina Moran is a recipient of this year’s Above and Beyond Innovator Award.

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