Vernon’s Meridian Rehabilitation has grown to provide multi-disciplinary regional rehabilitation services to many communities in B.C.’s Interior. With a catchment that spans 1000km, Meridian relies on teamwork and technology to treat patients in the Thompson-Okanagan region and provide virtual therapy to clients outside of their service area.
With the help of our Tech Co-op Grant Program, they hired a kinesiology co-op student from Simon Fraser University to improve their online presence and train staff to use new technologies for things like monitoring heart rate and blood pressure as well as tracking patient progress.
We spoke with Lydia Phillips, Meridian’s Founder and CEO, to uncover the impact the Tech Co-op Grant Program had on her company and what’s on the horizon for them.
Q: How did the co-op student impact the company?
Lydia: We’ve grown a lot recently and needed to hire several occupational therapists. We asked our co-op student to inform prospective employees about our company culture. He put together videos that highlighted two of our occupational therapists and another presentation that represented the whole company. He did an amazing job on these videos and they have been posted on our website.
Q: What made the Tech Co-op Grant Program stand out from other options?
Lydia: Over the years we've had many kinesiology students work with us. Generally, the focus has been on developing their therapeutic skills and teaching them to be good kinesiologists. In this case, our co-op student was actively looking for ways that he could help us, with a specific focus on technology. We were really thankful for, and impressed by, the value-add of this program.
Q: What is the main reason you would recommend the Tech Co-op Grant Program?
Lydia: When we take on students for co-op placements, we know that they will learn a lot and we benefit by having another set of hands to help us work with our clients. It is unusual, however, to have a program in which the expectation is that the student will actively and intentionally contribute to the company’s technology systems. For us, a company who does not have a primary focus on technology, this was very beneficial.
Q: What are some company milestones you’re most looking forward to in the year ahead? Or are there any recent successes you’d like to talk about?
Lydia: We've grown significantly over the past 5 years – opening new offices and adding a lot of therapists to our team. Next year, we’re planning on expanding further and opening clinics in the Lower Mainland. We’ve also been working with developers to create and implement technology and software systems to help us perform indirect client care more effectively. We now have a software app that helps our therapists automatically score assessments and create therapy reports.
Whether you’re a tech company looking to grow, a non-tech business looking to innovate, or a co-op student looking to get on-the-job tech experience, our Tech Co-op Grant Program could be right for you.