Association of Canadian Occupational Therapy University Programs

About Us

Association of Canadian Occupational Therapy University Programs (ACOTUP) is a national organization of the 14 university programs in Occupational Therapy.


ACOTUP promotes the health, productivity and well-being of Canadians through collaboration in strategies and their implementation for excellence in occupational therapy and occupational science research and education. 


ACOTUP’s leadership shapes occupational therapy research and education to inform practice and policy, and advances the science of occupation.

Meet the ACOTUP-ACPUE Executive Director

Margo PatersonMargo Paterson, BScOT, MSc, PhD, FCAOT has been the Executive Director of the Association of Occupational Therapy University Programs since 2012. She is accountable to the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of ACOTUP-ACPUE. Based on the priorities of the Board, Margo is responsible for assuming a leadership role in moving the Association forward. Her main focus is overseeing the implementation of the strategic plan.

Margo’s contributions have been acknowledged by the 2012 Canadian Association of Occupational Therapy (CAOT) Leadership Award and she became of a Fellow of CAOT in 2015. She was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award in Occupational Therapy at Queen’s University in 2019.

Dr. Paterson is also Professor Emerita in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Queen’s University. Her academic credentials include a BSc OT (1975) and a M.Sc. in Community Health and Epidemiology (1994) from Queen’s University. She holds a PhD in Health Sciences from the University of Sydney Australia (2003). Along with various colleagues, Margo has received almost $10 million in research related funding over her career. 

Margo worked as an occupational therapist in clinical and community settings in Canada and Australia before she began her academic career. In addition to teaching at the graduate and undergraduate levels at Queen’s University, she held administrative roles as Chair of the Occupational Therapy Program several times. She was the Director of the Office of Interprofessional Education and Practice in the Faculty of Health Sciences from 2009-2012.

Dr. Paterson’s scholarly contributions are within a number of areas including professional practice and theory-practice integration including inter-professional education, care and practice; fieldwork education, clinical reasoning, and qualitative research. She has published work in all of these areas and presented at many national and international scientific meetings. 

Margo can be reached at



Mary Forhan, BScOT, MHSc, PhD has served on the ACOTUP Board since 2019 as a Director, VicePresident (2020-2022) and is currently the President. Dr. Forhan is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. Her academic credentials include a BScOT (1990) from the University of Toronto, a MHSc (1995) and a PhD in Rehabilitation Science (2010) from McMaster University.


Dr. Forhan worked as an occupational therapist in acute care and rehabilitation settings in Ontario prior to starting her academic career in 2010. Dr. Forhan is an active researcher in the area of health services research with a focus on bariatric care and rehabilitation. She is currently the Scientific Director of Obesity Canada. Dr. Forhan can be reached at



Strategies for 2016-2021

  1. Strengthen and advocate for the Canadian occupational therapy academy.This strategy focuses on the member programs themselves, directly serving their interests and priorities. The occupational therapy academy encompasses each program in its entirety: education and research, faculty and students. 
  2. Provide leadership in the preparation of scholarly practitioners for society’s current and future occupational needs.This strategy is outward-looking, and refers to the impact of occupational therapy and occupational science education and research ultimately on society.
  3. Streamline and focus ACOTUP’s operations to promote scholarly dialogue and action.This strategy focuses on ACOTUP’s organization and operation, to allow ACOTUP to effectively address its strategies.





Organizational Chart


Board of Directors | Executive Committee | By-Laws | Organizational Chart

Canadian Guidelines for Fieldwork Education in Occupational Therapy

Executive Area | Director Area | CUFE Area Login