Joanne Zee

BSc PT (University of Toronto)
MSc (University of Toronto)


Joanne has over 25 years of clinical and leadership experience in the field of trauma, neurorehabilitation in both hospital and community settings and is currently the Senior Clinical Director of the Brain and Spinal Cord Rehab Program, Toronto Rehab, University Health Network. She is a member of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association, Greater Toronto Area ABI Network, GTA Rehab Network, Rehabilitative Care Alliance of Ontario, Neurosurgery Ontario Rehabilitation Evaluation Taskgroup and Ontario Stroke Network. Joanne enjoys fostering a learning culture and continuous improvement. Special areas of interest include complex cognitive behavioral management for brain injury, knowledge translation, patient and family engagement, quality improvement.


Joanne has long since believed in continuous improvement and sponsored teams to undergo accreditation for the purpose of identifying opportunities for improvement and developing solutions to support better patient and system outcomes. The Stroke Service at Toronto Rehab was the first in Canada to obtain Stroke Distinction Status by Accreditation Canada and the Spinal Cord Rehab Program was the first to obtain accreditation standing using spinal cord rehab specific standards. In addition, as a co-lead to introducing LEAN across acute and rehab hospital setting focused on a specific patient population led to the significant reduction of wait time for specialized rehabilitation care. To promote sensitivity to operations and situational awareness, Joanne also helped lead the introduction of daily management huddles with the aim reporting and anticipating potential safety issues in order to implement prevention strategies to reduce potential harm. She has also been an advocate for engaging patients in all improvement efforts, building the requirement of patient engagement and partnership as a foundational principle in all aspects of care or improvement work. Recent work include sponsoring Patient Oriented Discharge (PODS), a project that involved patient partners to co-design a new discharge preparation process with the goal of enhancing the discharge experience and enhancing patient confidence in self-management strategies in the community by using teach back methodology..