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J Can Chiropr Assoc. Mar 2005; 49(1): 5–6.
PMCID: PMC1839937

Dr. Deborah Kopansky-Giles, DC, FCCS(C), FICC

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Deborah Kopansky-Giles, BPHE, DC, FCCS(C), FICC, Chiropractic Program Co-ordinator, Department of Family and Community Medicine, St. Michael’s Hospital, Associate Professor, Divisions of Clinical Education and Research, Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College

Dr. Deborah Kopansky-Giles is a chiropractor and researcher at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) and St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. Her past educational background includes an undergraduate degree from the University of Western Ontario in 1978, completion of her chiropractic training at CMCC in 1982 and receiving her Fellowship in Chiropractic Clinical Sciences in 1993. Dr. Kopansky-Giles has also been in private practice since 1982.

Deborah’s current research interests are in the area of health services delivery. She is the principal investigator for a large demonstration project at St. Michael’s Hospital, Integrating Chiropractic Health Care in a Primary Care, Hospital-Based Setting, which received a $600,000 grant from the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. The two-year project will be evaluating a new model of health service delivery where chiropractors are integrated as staff practitioners into a teaching hospital. The project has been subdivided into three areas for evaluation. The first is a qualitative piece looking at pre and post assessment of physicians and hospital clinicians’ attitudes, knowledge and level of acceptance of chiropractic treatment. The second is an evaluation of the model including clinical outcomes of patients attending for chiropractic services within the Department of Family and Community Medicine. The third area being evaluated is a model of educational intervention for hospital clinicians and health science students placed at St. Michael’s Hospital for part of their clinical education as well as CMCC students. Chiropractic services began in July of 2004 and we are in the process of reviewing the first 6 months of data collection.

The chiropractic program has truly been a collaborative effort. Our CPCWG (Chiropractic Program Clinical Working Group) is composed of chiropractors, physicians, physiotherapists, a registered nurse and a representative from the Employee Health Unit of the Hospital. This group has worked hard on defining scope of services, client access, referral protocols, new forms development, outcomes and educational initiatives.

In addition, she is also the lead investigator for a study entitled Collecting Complementary and Alternative Treatment Information for the HIV/AIDS Ontario Observational Database (HOOD), project funded by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care through the Ontario HIV Treatment Network. The purpose of the project was to create a modification to the current HOOD data collection software to enable it to collect complementary and alternative treatment information. This Ontario central database has been collecting medical treatment information for over 10 years and, despite the high level of utilization of CAM therapies by PWAs (people living with HIV/AIDS), it has not collected this information in the past. This project was undertaken in a two-phase study. Phase 1 involved key informant interviews that focused on what type of CAM treatment information stakeholders felt it was important for the HOOD to collect and what CAM therapies they felt researchers would be interested in studying within the context of HIV/AIDS. Phase 2 involved modification of the database collection software to enable it to collect the required CAM treatment information. The project is beginning its 4 month data collection pilot and results should be available in the summer of 2005.

Dr. Kopansky-Giles was initiated into research through CMCC’s Clinical Sciences Field Residency Program, with her first project undertaken at the Hospital for Sick Children and subsequently published in Spine. Deborah subsequently worked with Costa Papadopolous on creating the Canadian Chiropractic Resources Databank, later published in the JCCA. She was a collaborator in the CCA Award winning research project, Chiropractic Rehabilitation of Spinal Pain Patients: Principles, Practices, and Outcome Data, 1995. She has several other publications in peer-reviewed journals and co-authored a chapter in Haldeman (ed), Principles and Practice of Chiropractic, 3rd Edition, Integration of Chiropractic into Multidisciplinary and Hospital-Based Settings, 2004. Deborah has been very involved in HIV/AIDS related research and community service activities and has participated on the conference organizing committee of several conferences. She speaks frequently at national and international conferences

Deborah is involved in other research collaborative projects (“works in progress”) currently under development, including integration of chiropractors in the Emergency Department at St. Michael’s Hospital, and integration of chiropractic in Ontario Aboriginal Community Health Centres, a multi-site study.

Dr. Kopansky-Giles has been very busy professionally outside of her research activities. She is on the Board of Governors for the Canadian Chiropractic Association, the Canadian Representative for the World Federation of Chiropractic, a past Director of the Ontario Chiropractic Association, a member of the Ontario HIV Treatment Network Priority Initiatives Planning Committee on Health Care Access and Services, a member of the St. Michael’s Hospital Community Advisory Panel on HIV/AIDS, a Surveyor for the Canadian Council of Health Services Accreditation and the CCA Liaison for the Canadian National Action Network of the Bone and Joint Decade. In addition, Deborah has past appointments to the Ministry of Finance, Accident Benefits Advisory Committee, Auto Policy Committee, the National Advisory Group on Complementary Therapies and HIV/AIDS, was a consultant to the Alberta Workers’ Compensation Board for 3 years, and was the trainer for the Canadian Gymnastics Federation, Women’s Team from 1986 to 1991. In 2003, she was a nominee for the Health Council of Canada and the Ontario Quality Health Council in 2004. She continues to participate on numerous committees on behalf of CMCC, St. Michael’s Hospital and the Canadian Chiropractic Association.

Deborah was awarded the Ontario Chiropractor of the Year in 2003, the Distinguished Service Award from CMCC in 2000, OCA Public Service Award in 2002 and was honoured as a Fellow of the International College of Chiropractors in 2002.

Deborah’s work on behalf of the CCA include participating on the CCA’s Research committee and the Canadian National Action Network for the Bone and Joint Decade. On an international level, her work on behalf of the WFC has focused on facilitating other national chiropractic associations’ participation in the Decade in their world regions. She is also a member of the Health-for-All-Committee of the WFC and has participated in developing the international chiropractic campaign “Chiropractors Against Tobacco”, supporting the World Health Organization’s “Tobacco-Free Initiative”.

Most importantly, Deborah is a wife and mother, married to Ray Giles (a contractor) with two children Jeff (19, who is preparing for University study in music) and Madison (15, currently at the Wexford School of the Performing Arts). The family enjoys travelling, outdoor activities and summers at the cottage.

Articles from The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association are provided here courtesy of The Canadian Chiropractic Association
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