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Alumni Profiles

Rhea Merritt

Rhea Merritt

Faculty of Applied Health & Community Studies
Year of Graduation: 2010
Program: Bachelor of Applied Health Sciences (Athletic Therapy)

Passion for Patient Care

Rhea Merritt is a Certified Athletic Therapist at the Kingston Athletic Therapy Centre and Head Athletic Therapist for the Men’s Soccer Team at the Royal Military College of Canada.

While at Sheridan Rhea contributed research to the Intelligent Injury Prevention System Project and the Sheridan Elder Dance Project. Upon graduating with high honours, she received the Anne Hartley Award for Excellence in Athletic Therapy. Rhea gained experience working in athletic therapy clinics in Toronto and Guelph prior to joining Kingston Athletic Therapy Centre. Additional career highlights for Rhea include work with Skate Canada, the Fergus Highland Rugby Club, as well as the Women's Soccer and Men's Volleyball Varsity Teams at Durham College.

Rhea's personal athletic passion lies in the world of dance. She holds Intermediate Vocational certification in Ballet with the Royal Academy of Dance, as well as Advanced Jazz certification with the Canadian Dance Teachers Association. Rhea has had the opportunity to study ballet with Frank Augustyn and modern dance with David Earle.

Believing that athletic therapy is an art as well as a science, Rhea approaches with each person and their injury in a unique way, teaching her patients how to listen to their own bodies.

“Through my experiences both in and out of class, the most important lesson I have learned is to educate every athlete or patient about their injury and provide them with the tools to be their own best therapist,” says Rhea who calls Sheridan’s athletic therapy program the best in the country.

“The degree program features inspirational teachers and the opportunity to gain invaluable experience through job placements.”

Such placements allow therapists to treat a wide variety of patients, including both amateur and professional athletes. But it’s not always the high profile cases that prove to be the most memorable, says Rhea. “One of the most rewarding experiences I've had as an athletic therapist was not working with an elite athlete but with a very active elderly gentleman who lives with multiple sclerosis. His passion for leading an active lifestyle has helped him see improvements in the symptoms of his condition,” adds Rhea, whose ongoing therapy sessions with such a determined and motivated patient resulted in his making a full recovery from a shoulder injury. “To be able to help this gracious man return to his fitness and daily activities and improve his quality of life is a priceless feeling. Experiences like this one serve as a reminder of what it means to be a therapist.”