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Sheena Schoger: 36 years of helping kids exceed expectations, gain independence & reach their full potential
Date Posted: Monday, March 27, 2017

“I love seeing the kids I work with grow into amazing, functional adults,” says Sheena Schoger, Senior Clinician, Seating & Mobility, John McGivney Children’s Centre.

After 36 years of service in Seating & Mobility at JMCC, Sheena is retiring and while she feels ready, she will miss the amazing kids, families and staff she has had the pleasure of getting to know during her tenure.

Sheena started at Children’s Rehabilitation Centre, now JMCC, back in 1981. She was thrilled to have the opportunity to join such a wonderful and knowledgeable team at the Centre, including her mentor Laurie Lessard. Through the years she has witnessed and contributed to countless advancements in the field. Up until the early 80s, most seating work was done in Toronto and clients had to make the trip to get the necessary equipment. However, in 1982, after Assisted Devices Program funding came into effect, covering 75 per cent of the cost of assisted devices for children under 18, a formal clinic was opened at JMCC. Throughout the 80s, more funding became available from the government and services in the clinic were expanded to assist adults over the age of 18 with certain assistive devices.

In the beginning, Sheena remembers there only being two wheelchair manufacturers and seats in chairs only came in two different sizes. At that time, power chairs were either belt or chain driven.  However, today, the clinic provides services for clients who require early intervention equipment to complex equipment and thanks to the amazing developments in technology, Sheena and the other staff in the JMCC Seating and Mobility Clinic are able to assist their clients to live even more productive lives.

Sheena attributes the impact she has been able to have on her clients in part to the encouragement of JMCC leadership early in her career to pursue neurodevelopmental training. This gave her the increased capability of understanding her clients’ various and unique conditions, enabling her to get them the best equipment that would have the most impact on their lives. She is also thankful for the opportunity to attend and speak at many conferences over the years which gave her the chance to share expertise and knowledge with her colleagues around the world.

In her 36 years here at JMCC, Sheena has touched the lives of many families. There was the young girl who got her first power chair at a year and a half and on her first driving day made it all the way to her mom who was watching ever so proudly. There was the young man who was told he would never be able to use a power chair, but with the right adjustments and personalized equipment, he now has the ability to drive his own chair. There are so many more stories of the amazing impact the Seating and Mobility clinic has had on the lives of JMCC clients and families and Sheena is grateful for the amazing memories that will last forever.

“This is a job I’ve loved. It has been extremely rewarding,” says Sheena who will continue to practice independently, working with adult clients in the community. However, she is looking forward to being able to sleep in and not wake up every day at 6 a.m. and we think this is extremely well-deserved!

Happy Retirement Sheena Schoger! Thank you for your amazing 36 years of service! 

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