At Home Serving The Community
The story began long ago. My interest in rehabilitation began long before he knew what a brain injury was. An early family tragedy led me down a path that I am continuing to forge to this day. Back then it was described as compassion and love; today the field uses the term caregiver. Many years passed. It was a roller-coaster that many are familiar with. I am grateful that at the end of the proverbial tunnel I came out with foundational skills. Resilience, empathy, hope and cognitive-behavioural therapy are among my many treasured staples.
With over 20 years of experience in rehabilitation and counselling, I am familiar with The Ontario Accident Benefit Schedule, and with the motor vehicle accident industry in Ontario. I have completed training in a variety of therapeutic domains, including trauma counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Therapy. In addition, I have developed a number of programs, including goal-setting support groups, sleep intervention, and chronic pain management.
I have extensive experience working with people with a wide variety of disabilities and have applied my diverse skillset in cognitive, behavioural and psychosocial rehabilitation to serve the community and my clients.
I feel at home serving the community. Giving back to the community is important to me. I have served as a board member of the Brain Injury Association of Windsor/Essex County. During my tenure I developed a unique support group. Over a decade later, its still going strong and has expanded its reach. You can read more about it in an article I wrote for the Ontario Brain Injury Association’s magazine, the OBIA Review.
Standards, particularly clinical standards, serve as a pillar in healthcare and rehabilitation. The Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (ONF) has developed a number of clinical guidelines in brain injury rehabilitation. With great honour, I contributed to the development of some of those clinical standards. The ONF’s website is great, with links to all the clinical guidelines they developed.
My love for art began in my early teens when I signed up for art class in high school and soon discovered that I had a passion for drawing. I explored all sorts of drawing techniques. Hatching, smudging and stippling were my favourite techniques. Art is as much about expression as it is exploration. I am still learning, now using computers to create infographics and interesting data visualizations.
Making things that you actually use is a unique an extraordinary experience. I have dabbled in woodworking, on and off over the years. My favourite piece is the desk I made nearly a decade ago, that I still use to this day. The desk surface is made out of purpleheart, and it has held its purple tone all these years later. For my next project, I plan to make a coat rack. Wish me luck!
Although I enjoyed playing a number of sports, I focused on soccer, playing competitively for many years. I played year-round, both outdoor and indoor soccer, from grade school into early adulthood. I had so much fun, for so many years. If I had to choose between outdoor and indoor, I would choose indoor, particularly, futsal. An ACL tear forced me to retire. Thankfully, retirement came a few years after I stopped playing competitively.
I am currently pursuing doctoral studies in Rehabilitation Science at McGill University.
My current research grows out of an interest in design, technology, behavioural economics, and rehabilitation. My research uses a community-based participatory research approach to explore the intersection of these domains. I fancy myself a slayer of sludge and hunter of butterfly effects. I plan to mitigate barriers and by incorporate principles of accessibility, choice architecture, defaults, heuristics, and nudge theory to a number of technology-related research projects during my doctoral studies. Further, I am interested in finding intervention and design features with advantageous asymmetries. I plan to hunt down those small changes that can serve as catalysts for big changes. The intersection of technology and behavioural economic theory offers an opportunity to not only conduct important research but to also leverage the reach and cost-effectiveness of technology and the asymmetrical nature of behavioural and design interventions.
My main research project involves identifying technology features with the greatest impact on seniors’ mobility, social and work participation which will be embedded in a platform trial of the Acquired Brain Injury Electronic Mobility Monitoring and Intervention (ABI EMMI) System.
While a member of the PCHI Lab my research will be focused on the development and evaluation of e-health technologies. Specifically, evaluating the implementation of digital health solutions for people with chronic conditions, mainly the design, features, & components of patient portals and clinical information systems that may lead to improved effectiveness and engagement with patients/caregivers with neurological conditions with potential to improve the outcomes and course of rehabilitation with this population.