Industry Partner Spotlight: River East Physiotherapy & Sports Fitness

quick answer

River Easy Physiotherapy & Sports Fitness is one of Robertson’s valued industry partners that facilitates student practicum placements for our Medical Office Assistant (MOA) program. Founded by Cynthia Grant, BPT in 1985, and now run by Andrea Grant, MScPT, MA, CMC, the clinic provides a wide range of quality physiotherapy and massage therapy services with a focus on ensuring an excellent patient experience at their two Winnipeg locations.

River East Physiotherapy & Sports Fitness recently provided a practicum placement for a Robertson MOA student. We sat down with Andrea Grant to learn more about her practice and experience with the Robertson practicum student. Check out the interview below!

Robertson College (RC): Hi Andrea, thanks for taking the time to chat today! Can you start off by telling me a little bit about yourself and your practice?  How did you gain an interest in physiotherapy and how does your work motivate you?  

Andrea Grant (AG): I’m a registered physiotherapist, a Certified Management Consultant and am the Director and owner of River East Physiotherapy and Sports Fitness Clinics.  Currently, I focus on the management and leadership side of my clinics. That includes managing therapists and administrative staff, continuously improving the patient experience and creating growth opportunities for the team. All my day-to-day work is aimed at supporting the therapists on my team so they can focus on providing an excellent patient experience.

It sounds cliché, but I became interested in physiotherapy because I wanted to have a meaningful impact in the world.  As physiotherapists, we have a tangible impact on our patients’ lives.  Patient after patient, we can see how individuals get better and thrive because of our work.  I find that really satisfying and motivating. 

Andrea Grant (MScPT, MA, CMC) Director & Owner at River East Physiotherapy & Sports Fitness


RC: You recently provided a practicum for one of our Medical Office Assistant (MOA) students. Can you tell me a little bit about that experience? 

AG: Yes, we took on a practicum student this past summer! I was excited about the opportunity because the student was incredibly keen and enthusiastic about gaining relevant experience to get a specific job they wanted after completing her program. They were very coachable and motivated to learn so we really appreciated that.

Interestingly, hiring administrative staff right now is completely different than it was pre-COVID.  Like all small businesses right now, we have fewer applicants and a harder time getting to know them because of limited in-person interview time.  By having a quality MOA student with relevant skills from Robertson, we had an extended period of time to get to know the student. Another positive aspect was that it was a no-pressure scenario — if we were unable to hire the student post-practicum, they still gained valuable work experience to apply in their career.

RC: Our MOA program can lead students along various career pathways within the healthcare field. What roles and responsibilities do they have at your practice? 

AG: At our practice, they do a little bit of everything!  They’ll be onboarded and trained in almost everything full-time Administrative Assistants do, but more focus is placed on tasks we need the most help with. Our MOAs focus on reception and administrative work, including greeting clients, taking payment, booking appointments and handling health insurance.  They also lend support to physiotherapy assistants in the back of the clinic.  This back-up work can include hosting patients to their rooms, cleaning rooms, doing laundry and applying and removing heat and ice.


RC: What do you think are the most important strengths and skills needed for an individual to be a successful MOA? 

AG: Definitely attention-to-detail and ability to multi-task.  We work with confidential health information that is protected by law.  So any weakness with attention to detail — such as misplacing medical records or entering the wrong email address or phone number — are not only horrible customer service, they’re also illegal.  At our clinics, strong customer service and sales skills are also critical.  From their first phone call with us, all the way to the day they are discharged from our care, our physiotherapists are counting on our support staff to help create an excellent patient experience. We need MOAs who are friendly, have strong communication and emotional intelligence. This enables them to actively listen to patient needs and book them in with the therapist that is best suited to help them. 

RC: How do you think the MOA student benefited from the practicum placement? 

AG: I would say the main benefit is that she had a chance to apply the skills she learned in the program to a real medical office environment. Every medical office is a bit different, so being exposed to one more way of doing things is certainly helpful for future jobs. One thing we get a lot of comments on is our high level of customer service compared to other clinics. So many patients comment about their excellent experience in the Google reviews they leave for us.  So I believe any MOA student would benefit from being part of that environment, building on the knowledge they learned in class and adding those customer service skills to their skillset.

RC: What would you say to prospective students who are interested in becoming MOAs but might be on the fence? 

AG: If you want to improve the lives of people day in day out, becoming a MOA is an awesome choice.  Our patients appreciate the kindness and organization of our MOAs — they really do have a positive impact on the patient’s experience at our clinics and in their overall recovery. There is a strong demand out there for good MOAs, so if you think you have the skills and demeanour to care for people, work well under pressure and pay attention to detail, there will be so many rewarding career opportunities for you as an MOA. 


Are you ready to take the next step in your career as a Medical Office Assistant? Visit to learn more and apply today! 

Program Details 

Format: Online 

Duration: 44 weeks (11 months) 

Practicum: 4 weeks


Interested in becoming a Robertson industry partner? 

River East Physiotherapy is one of many industry partners Robertson works with to foster meaningful connections and employment opportunities for learners. If you’re interested in joining our partner network, please reach out to our team today!

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