Summer 2019 Alumni Profile

by Lil Crump

Jill Tasker (BScPT, Class of 1981) always knew she wanted to be a healthcare practitioner but wasn’t quite sure in which capacity. While living in residence during her first year of study at Dalhousie, Jill became friends with some students who were in the physiotherapy program. Their enthusiasm and passion for the program convinced Jill that helping people improve their physical well-being through physiotherapy would be the perfect fit for her future.

In 1984, Jill began teaching a functional anatomy course at the School of Physiotherapy as a sessional lecturer. During this time, she realized how exciting it was to pass knowledge onto students - fostering their love for improving the lives of patients. At this point in her career Jill realized that the number one role of physiotherapists is to educate. Including, Jill explains, “helping the patient understand their problem, and teaching them what is necessary to achieve the highest return to physical function.”

  In 1990, Jill established her own physiotherapy clinic, which focused predominantly on orthopaedics and sports medicine. She was pleased to support the local economy by hiring several physiotherapists and ancillary staff.

As a physiotherapist and clinic owner, Jill witnessed many changes during her career. One of the most significant being the responsibility taken on by the patient for their own health. Because of increased patient knowledge, patients are learning to help themselves, including in areas of preventative medicines. “Preventative medicine is not just for athletes,” Jill shares, “Physiotherapists make people aware of the tremendous benefits that exercise can have on physical and mental health and it is a role that we as physiotherapists certainly have the expertise to provide." 

Jill has always experienced physiotherapy to be an extremely valuable and satisfying profession – a profession she has been very proud to be a part of. “To see people achieve and return to physical health is very rewarding,” says Jill.

Making a point of keeping up to date on the advancements happening at Dalhousie and in the School of Physiotherapy, Jill has made a habit of supporting the programs she benefitted from. In 2017, Jill was named a member of the university’s MacLennan Society, which celebrates alumni and friends who are committed to giving back to Dal. Giving back, supports a belief Jill feels strongly about. In her words, “If a program or an athletic experience has influenced you greatly - then to give back, if and when able, is the right thing to do. It is allowing future generations to advance your profession and future athletes to succeed.” 

What words would Jill offer to the School of Physiotherapy’s graduating class of 2019?

“I hope these students are as thrilled with the physiotherapy profession as I am! Kindness, caring, and compassion are the three attributes you must have to be a successful physiotherapist. If you enjoy working with people you will be more than satisfied with your chosen vocation.”

You can read more about alumna, Jill Tasker in the 2019 spring ed. of Dalhousie University’s, “Giving Power” publication and DalMagazine.