ABOUT > BONNIE
Bonnie Klassen, Occupational Therapist in Edmonton
BSc (OT), MSc
Prior to becoming an occupational therapist, Bonnie worked as a swim instructor and lifeguard at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute pool, teaching and coaching children and adults with disabilities. She noticed that she was reading her co-workers’ occupational therapy textbooks in her spare time because she found it fascinating. She loved teaching people how to overcome their obstacles, and enjoyed supporting their growth and development. She decided to return to university to begin a new career as an occupational therapist.
Bonnie completed a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy degree from the University of Alberta in 1997. She also completed a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degree from the University of Alberta in 2004. Her research thesis topic was “Pain in Older Adults / Clinical Use of Best Practice Guidelines.” She also received a Certificate in Medical Acupuncture from the University of Alberta in 2010.
Bonnie has worked in various public health settings, such as the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, as well as home care and chronic pain clinics for Alberta Health Services (AHS). Her entrepreneurial spirit inspired her to start a private practice in 2009, helping people with complex chronic pain and mental health conditions.
She has published articles in various academic journals and health publications, as well as delivered numerous presentations and workshops around Alberta. She is also the past president of the Alberta College of Occupational Therapists (ACOT) as well as the past board member and vice-president of the Society of Alberta Occupational Therapists (SAOT). She serves on the planning committee for the Pain Society of Alberta’s annual conferences.
Health and wellness depend on the mind, body, and spirit, as well as a physical and social environment that enables and encourages participation. Bonnie believes that people who are dealing with physical and mental health conditions should be respected, as their experiences and their values are important to their rehabilitation and recovery.
- Award of Excellence, Conference Planning Committee, Pain Society of Alberta, 2019
- Alberta College of Occupational Therapists Service Award, 2016
- Pain Society of Alberta Annual Service Award, 2013
- Alberta Association of Registered Occupational Therapists Presidents’ Award, 2005
- Alberta Association of Registered Occupational Therapists Research Grant, 2003
- Alberta Learning Graduate Student Scholarship, 2003
- Canadian Occupational Therapy Foundation / Royal Canadian Legion Gerontology Fellowship, 2002
- Alberta Association of Registered Occupational Therapists (AAROT) Madeline Pierson Memorial Prize, 1997