Samantha Airhart, BSc (Psych)
Behaviour Consultant/Justice Specialist, Centre for Behaviour Health Sciences
Samantha is currently a Behaviour Consultant/Justice Specialist with the Justice Clinic at Centre for Behaviour Health Sciences (CBHS), Mackenzie Health. Her contributions to the Clinical Justice Program at the Community Networks of Specialized Care – Central East (CNSC-CE) include creating and implementing ABA Justice Plans for clients involved in the justice system as well as a facilitator for the A-DBT Justice Group.
Lina Maria Aristizabal, OCT, MSc, BEd, APPC
Co-founder and Director, Revive and Thrive Wellbeing Inc.
Lina Maria Aristizabal is a certified teacher, certified coach, resilience trainer and facilitator. She was an elementary teacher for seven years before her training in positive psychology, coaching, and positive education. She holds a Masters Degree in Education from Buffalo State University.
Lina Maria is committed to sharing the tools of wellbeing to those who need it most. She creates and delivers workshops on resilience, wellbeing and flourishing. She is also a faculty member at the Center for Positive Education, where she is committed to transforming schools into places where children and youth are given the tools and practice to become their best selves.
Because of her own lived experience with post-concussion syndrome, Lina Maria is also dedicated to supporting concussion survivors with tools and experiences to start making meaning and finding joy during their recovery through Revive and Thrive Wellbeing Inc. After an adventurous decade living abroad, she is happy to be staying in one spot, building connections and living her purpose.
Mark Bayley, MD
Neurotrauma Care Pathways Project – Principal Investigator, University Health Network
Mark Bayley is the Program Medical Director & Physiatrist-in-Chief at UHN-Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. He is a Professor at the University of Toronto in the Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine. Mark has led large randomized controlled trials including the Stroke Canada Optimization of Rehabilitation by Evidence (SCORE), Fluoxetine to Open the Window of Stroke Recovery (FLOW) study, the Getting on with Life after Stroke, and the EVREST (Efficacy of Virtual Reality Exercises using Wii gaming technology in Stroke Rehabilitation). Mark has held a number of health system leadership roles including Chair of the Stroke Evaluation Committee at Corhealth Ontario, Brain Injury Committee at Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation, the Canadian Stroke Best Practices Committee and the Vice Chair of the GTA Rehab Network. His efforts have helped redesign rehabilitation systems in Canada. He has been very interested in implementing evidence at a health system level in the areas of stroke and brain injury, initially through the development of stroke rehabilitation guidelines, then a leadership role in development of Canadian Stroke strategy (www.strokebestpractices.ca), a smartphone app to determine post stroke arm rehabilitation (www.viatherapy.org) and guidelines for concussion and traumatic brain injury (www.braininjuryguidelines.org). He is also actively involved in research to promote neurological recovery.
Laura Bellon, BA, BEd
Community Coordinator, Brain Injury Society of Toronto
Laura is a Community Coordinator at the Brain Injury Society of Toronto (BIST) with the Homeless Prevention Program. Laura’s career has focused on the Social Service sector, providing support to individuals with Brain Injury, Mental Health and Addictions for over 20 years. Laura has worked closely with individuals in navigating various court proceedings, including criminal justice, Landlord and Tenant Board, Immigration hearings, and Social Benefits Tribunal.
Jennifer Berg-Carnegie, OT
Occupational Therapist, Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists
Jennifer Berg-Carnegie is a member in good standing of the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT), the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario (COTO) and the Ontario Society of Occupational Therapists (OSOT). She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in 1993 in Occupational Therapy from the University of Toronto.
Jennifer has also completed Canadian Life Care Planning Post-Graduate training from the University of Florida and is currently a Certified Life Care Planner through the International Commission on Health Care Certification.
Jennifer has been practicing occupational therapy since 1993. Since this time, she has provided assessment and treatment services to individuals who sustained injuries in motor vehicle accidents or the workplace, or who have other difficulties that interfere with returning to daily function. She has experience working with people of all ages with a variety of developmental and physical disabilities and her past practice consisted mainly of community-based treatment for clients who have complex orthopedic, psychological, and traumatic brain injuries including the treatment of cognitive impairment that may result from injury or illness.
In 2019 Jennifer combined her knowledge of the disability management with technology to create Invisible-Care Inc. This career change was aimed at providing a tech based solution in the rehabilitation space to allow for real time support and capture a better picture of clients day to day challenges.
Lisa Bolshin, Ph.D., C.Psych
Clinical Neuropsychologist, Community Head Injury Resource Services of Toronto
Dr. Bolshin is a Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Neuropsychologist. She completed her Ph.D. in 2020, specializing in clinical neuropsychology. She has been working at Community Head Injury Resource Services of Toronto (CHIRS) since 2017. She currently works in the Neuropsychology Clinic at CHIRS where she conducts assessments and provides treatment to individuals with acquired brain injury and co-occurring mental health disorders. In addition, she provides clinical consultation to the residential sites at CHIRS and is involved in developing and facilitating clinical groups.
Michelle Busse, Psy.D, C.Psych
Clinical Neuropsychologist, Community Head Injury Resource Services of Toronto
Dr. Busse is a Clinical Neuropsychologist and Rehabilitation Psychologist, as well as a certified assessor for Catastrophic Impairment–MB. She completed her Psy.D. in 2014, specializing in clinical neuropsychology. She has been working at Community Head Injury Resource Services of Toronto (CHIRS) since 2014. She primarily works in the Neuropsychology Clinic at CHIRS, where she specializes in the neuropsychological assessment of individuals with acquired brain injury and co-occurring mental health disorders. In addition, she provides clinical consultation to the community programs and residential sites at CHIRS and is involved in developing and facilitating clinical groups.
Dr. Elvina Chu, PhD, FRCPsych
Neuropsychiatrist and Consultation Liaison Psychiatrist, Kingston Health Sciences Ctr and Providence Care Hospital
Dr Elvina Chu joined Kingston Health Sciences Centre as a Neuropsychiatrist and Consultation Liaison psychiatrist in 2019. She has special interests in brain injury, neurorehabilitation and Huntington's disease.
Graduating from Guy's and St Thomas' Medical Schools, University of London, England, she completed the Maudsley psychiatry training scheme gaining Membership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 2005 and was elected to Fellowship in 2021. She gained her PhD from University College London, Institute of Neurology and now enjoys examining, supervising and teaching students at Queen's University in Canada.
Eden Dales, MSW RSW
Registered Social Worker, The Ontario College of Social Workers
Eden Dales, MSW RSW, is a registered social worker, registered with The Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (reg # 806569), and a member of The Ontario Association of Social Workers. Eden received her master’s degree in Social Work from Yeshiva University in New York City and commenced her career supporting clients in the emergency departments during 9/11 in NYC. Eden has almost twenty years of clinical experience in the field of social work, with expertise in trauma recovery. Eden is the owner and director of Eden Dales Social Work (EDSW), a community based social work practice, and Eden also has a private counselling practice in North York.
Eden has provided testimony in court proceedings, and has presented at provincial, national and international conferences, including (but not limited to) the Ontario Brain Injury Association provincial conference in Toronto, 2018, (invited) The International Pediatric Brain Injury Association Conference in Ireland, 2019, and World Congress on Brain Injury, Toronto, 2019, through the International Brain Injury Association, on the topic of Female Concussions and Trauma Recovery.
Eden has presented at international and national conferences on other relevant topics including how to work with challenging clients, trauma recovery in females and counselling strategies for families coping with trauma recovery.
Eden has completed her training in Relational Life Therapy, a comprehensive model for couple and family therapy, and has extensive training in Trauma Informed Mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment therapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, and Narrative and Brief Therapy.
Eden was awarded the 2021 Volunteer of the Year award through the Brain Injury Society of Toronto for her dedication and commitment to helping those recovering from traumatic brain injuries.
Stacie Dertinger, M.ADS, BCBA
Clinical Director, Anchor Rehabilitation Support Services
Stacie has over 17 years of experience providing clinical rehabilitation and behavioural services to teens and adults who have complex care needs with intersecting disabilities of traumatic brain injury (TBI), mental illness, intellectual developmental delay, physical impairments, and addictions, in residential and community settings. Stacie graduated from Brock University with her Masters in Applied Disability Studies, and is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst. She is the Clinical Director for Anchor Rehabilitation Support Services, and part time instructor at Mohawk College, George Brown College and McMaster University in the Autism and Behavioural Science programs. Stacie is a director at large for the Ontario Association of Behaviour Analysis (ONTABA). She has presented at provincial and national conferences on creating ethical behavioural interventions, neurodiversity and inclusion practices, functional communication, ethics of sexuality, the intersection of mental health and TBI, and how to achieve successful rehabilitation for hard to serve clients with TBI.
Judith Gargaro, B.Sc., M.Ed
Neurotrauma Care Pathways Project – Manager, University Health Network
Judy Gargaro is the Manager for the Neurotrauma Care Pathways Project and was previously the Program Director for the ABI programme at the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (ONF). Judy has been focusing on the creation of a Neurotrauma Care Pathway Strategy with a focus on how best to support persons with a neurotrauma with comorbidities and who have traditionally been under-served by the healthcare system. Other initiatives include developing a Neurotrauma data strategy to assess quality of care, the Provincial TBI Report Card and the implementation of the Standards and Clinical Practice Guidelines for Concussion/Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and for the Rehabilitation of Moderate to Severe Traumatic Brain Injury. In all this work Judy collaborates with administrators, clinicians (brain injury, spinal cord injury and other sectors) and policy makers to improve the quality of care available to persons after all severities of neurotrauma.
Judy worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator on numerous projects over the last 30 years in a variety of clinical and academic settings studying primarily brain injury but also mental illness, diabetes, addiction, and spinal cord injury. She has many publications in peer-reviewed journals and is an invited speaker on topics related to neurotrauma and implementation.
Arvinder Gaya, BSc. OT, OT Reg. (Ont.)
CEO and Founder, PiOT Inc
Arvinder Gaya has over 27 years of experience working as a Registered Occupational Therapist. Arvinder is the CEO and founder of PiOT Inc. Arvinder has served on the board of directors of the Brain Injury Association of York Region.
Arvinder has extensive experience in community-based rehabilitation with clients who have sustained traumatic and acquired brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, chronic pain and various orthopaedic injuries as well as psychosocial issues. Arvinder has contributed to various research studies and co-published several papers and books in the field of occupational therapy, and brain injury rehabilitation. She has also been involved in the education of OT students and has held status appointment with the University of Toronto.
Arvinder is committed to help people heal and thrive in their lives. In 2018 Arvinder obtained her Certification of Applied Positive Psychology from the Flourishing Centre in New York. She has also obtained her level one Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction from Meditation for Health in Toronto. She has been teaching resiliency skills and positive psychology through the IntenSati method and guided meditation programs as well as the Learn to Thrive with Post Concussion Syndrome Program. These programs have empowered communities, businesses, school boards, women’s groups and non-profit organizations to improve their overall health and wellbeing. In 2020 Arvinder and Lina teamed up to create the Learn to Thrive Program and they have been delivering these workshops for individuals across Ontario since.
Rachelle Gebel, DPTRT
Community Facilitator, Community Head Injury Resource Services
Rachelle Gebel is a Community Facilitator in CHIRS’ Adult Day Services Program. Rachelle has worked with persons with special needs for over 27 years, and focused the last 23 years supporting persons with ABI. Rachelle has a diploma in Therapeutic Recreation and Leisure Services from Mohawk College.
Rachelle has always been passionate about all things food in her many roles at CHIRS. Planning and budgeting for special events, leading cooking programs, facilitating client mentor run meals and weekly menus for the residential programs are just a few examples of how Rachelle has established her expertise in food security. Stretching the budget and making use of all resources were a must. “Client involvement has always been the goal and the reward.”
Laura Graham, PhD
Assistant Professor and Graduate Chair, Master of Physical Therapy Program, Western University
Laura Graham is an Assistant Professor and Graduate Chair of Western University’s Master of Physical Therapy Program, and an Associate Scientist with Lawson Health Research Institute. Professor Graham’s teaching focus is neurological injury/illness rehabilitation, and her research interests revolve around the development of interventions for adults with persistent symptoms following concussion or other mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI).
Professor Graham has worked as a physiotherapist at Parkwood Institute since 2011, primarily in adult brain injury rehabilitation. She has consulted with Ontario Brain Institute and WSIB Ontario on mTBI Program of Care revision, presented education of the treatment of mTBI both locally and internationally, and has taught physiotherapist instructors across Canada about concussion/mTBI rehabilitation for the National Orthopaedic Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association.
Professor Graham is currently helping to develop and evaluate two interventions for adults with mTBI. The first is BrainEx90, which is a circuit training-style therapy that covers self-management exercises, vision rehabilitation, vestibular rehabilitation, balance and core stability, cardiovascular training, and cognitive rehabilitation. The second intervention is MyBrainPacer™ App, which is a symptom self-management tool to support people with mTBI through planning and pacing activities.
Cathy Halovanic, BPHE, M.Sc.
System Navigator, Central ABI
Cathy has worked in the field of brain injury for over 25 years. Her experience ranges from for-profit to not-for-profit as well as front-line and behind-the-scenes roles. She currently divides her time between her position as Central ABI System Navigator, serving part of Toronto, York Region and South Simcoe, and providing Intake Services for Community Head Injury Resource Services (CHIRS). In addition to connecting individuals to ABI services, she spends much of her time educating service providers outside the field of brain injury on the prevalence of those with ABI within their streams of care. Cathy enjoys being active and promoting wellness and has enjoyed the opportunity to wear a third hat, promoting healthy living with the staff and clients at CHIRS.
CEO, Traverse Independence
Toby Harris has been the CEO for Traverse Independence for 20 years and has a background in rehabilitation. Throughout her career she has worked with many different populations including people with a developmental disability, physical disability and now, with those who have sustained a brain injury. She has an intense passion for independent living and supporting those who are most marginalized in our community.
Sean Hollingsworth, MSW, RSW (Ont.)
Social Worker and Residential Facilitator, Community Head Injury Resource Services
Sean is a Social Worker and presently works at CHIRS as a Residential Facilitator. Sean has been supporting individuals that have sustained a brain injury for 20 years in a variety of roles across community-based and residential settings.
He has a Bachelor of Social Work from Carleton University and a Master of Social Work from University of Windsor with vast experience serving on diﬀerent committees and boards.
Sean has a passion for advocacy, equitable accessibility, skill development and harm reduction through education, recreation, community participation, and innovative program development.
Courtney Hutson, BA, MA
Dual Diagnosis Justice Coordinator & Justice Clinical Supervisor, Community Networks of Specialized Care – Central East
Courtney is currently a Dual Diagnosis Justice Coordinator (DDJC) and Justice Clinical Supervisor at the Community Networks of Specialized Care – Central East (CNSC-CE). Her contributions to the Clinical Justice Program include Justice App content, A-DBT Justice Group facilitation, content creation, as well as DDJC clinical supervision.
Marnie Lye, RSSW
Dual Diagnosis Justice Coordinator & Lead A-DBT Justice Program Facilitator, Community Networks of Specialized Care – Central East
Marnie is currently a Dual Diagnosis Justice Coordinator (DDJC) and lead A-DBT Justice Program facilitator and content creator for the Community Networks of Specialized Care – Central East (CNSC-CE). Marnie’s specialist career has been devoted to the health and social sectors, with a primary focus in Developmental Services, Behavioural Therapy, and Neurological Rehabilitation.
Tatyana Mollayeva, MD, PhD
Canada Research Chair in Neurological Disorders and Brain Health
Dr. Mollayeva received her Medical Degree in Preventive Medicine, followed by a specialization in Epidemiology and Public Health in 1994. She worked for almost a decade in the field of infectious diseases’ prevention in Central Asia. In 2015 she obtained PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences and Neurosciences at the University of Toronto. Her PhD and post-doctoral fellowships on topics of sleep, traumatic brain injury, and dementia were externally funded by top funding agencies, including the Banting and Best Canadian Institutes for Health Research, the National Institutes of Health, and the Alzheimer’s Association. Dr. Mollayeva’s scientific contributions have been recognized by the 2021 Canada Research Chair in Neurological Disorders and Brain Health.
Amanda Muise, BST
Behaviour Therapist, Community Head Injury Resource Services of Toronto
Amanda is a Behaviour Therapist at Community Head Injury Resource Services of Toronto (CHIRS). Amanda started at CHIRS in 2001 at the Aldebrain residence and presently consults with the community outreach teams and adult day programs. She assists with developing behaviour plans and Goal Attainment Scales and provides clinical coaching to staff. In addition to co-developing and co-facilitating the 4 M’s Group, Amanda also co-facilitates a number of other clinical psychoeducational groups including, cTech, Cognitive Rehabilitation, and Living Well with Brain Injury.
Certified Facilitator, Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) Mental Health and Wellness Recovery Workshops
Fozia Murtaza is a Stress Prevention Strategist, Certified Facilitator for Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) Mental Health and Wellness Recovery Workshops, Certified Life and Wellness Coach, Writer, and Speaker.
Her extensive work with the community includes co-facilitating workshops and support groups with the Brain Injury Society of Toronto (BIST). She is also a member of Voices Against Stigma Everywhere (VASE) – a program of the Durham Mental Health Services (DMHS) and Lakeridge Health, a member of Malton Women Council (MWC), a member of Happy Strong Family (HSF), a member of the Durham Chapter of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women (CCMW), and past Ambassador for the Jamie Oliver Foundation (JOFR).
Dedicated to teaching community members and clientele new habits and strategies around self-care, nutrition, and physical and mental wellness, Fozia is passionate about awakening others to the belief that our wellness is our responsibility and teaches the importance of prioritizing self-care.
Empowering groups and individuals through safe and effective workshops, Fozia engages groups from the moment she steps in front of them and leaves them with empowering tools and focussed mindsets so participants can identify their life issues, better maintain wellness, and better manage periods of illness.
Fozia has a heart of service and, drawing from her personal and professional experience using key concepts of WRAP and various community partners, is committed to wiping out stigma and normalizing conversations around mental health.
Fozia is committed to assisting others on their journey of personal transformation and believes that when we fill our cup first and give from the overflow, we are giving from a place of abundance.
Fozia's family immigrated to Canada in 1970. She grew up in downtown Toronto and currently resides east of Toronto with her husband. They have two married children who also reside within the city…and she loves being a grandmother!
Julie Osbelt, B.A. in TR (Hons)
Toronto Central ABI System Navigator, Toronto ABI Network (TABIN)
Julie’s role as the Toronto Central ABI System Navigator is largely intertwined in her role as the ABI Referral Coordinator with the Toronto ABI Network. She has worked in the field of brain injury for over 25 years. Over the past almost 10 years, Julie has managed a centralized referral system for inpatient and community based referrals across the GTA for the Toronto ABI Network. By providing a single point of entry to community-based ABI services, she assists in simplifying the process to access services. Julie values the opportunity to provide comprehensive navigation support to service providers, families and persons with lived experience to find the right pathway to access publicly funded programs. In addition she has provided information and referral support to the more than 1200 calls and referrals the Network receives annually from persons with lived experience, caregivers and professionals.
Community Coordinator, Violence Impact Program with the Brain Injury Society of Toronto
Isabelle Rivaletto is a Community Coordinator for the Violence Impact Program with the Brain Injury Society of Toronto. In her role she supports individuals who have brain injuries and have suffered from intimate partner violence. She is also a Certified Facilitator for Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) Mental Health and Wellness Recovery Workshops.
She has a background in Psychology and Journalism and has been working in the field of Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) since 2014. Isabelle has worked in the community and supported individuals with medical appointments, community referrals, and one to one support.
Her experience working in the community with individuals suffering from ABI has allowed her to create positive community partnerships and networks to assist individuals living with ABI to meet their goals, live healthier lives, and be able to better access specialized services within their communities and obtain support.
When Isabelle is not working, she can usually be found listening to music, attending live shows, or playing the drums. Isabelle can also be found looking for any opportunity to hang out with her dog or other pet dogs.
Sandy Shamsoun, MS, BCBA
Behaviour Services Manager, Mind Forward Brain Injury Services
Sandy is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst with over 10 years of experience working with individuals that have exceptional needs. She holds a Master's degree in Applied Behaviour Analysis and Autism. Throughout her career, she has worked in various settings including day programs, group homes, and children's treatment centres. In her current role, she is responsible for developing and supporting the implementation of comprehensive intervention plans for clients who have sustained an acquired brain injury with a spectrum of behaviours, developing and facilitating professional development to front line staff in applied behaviour analysis strategies and functional skills training, and data collection and analysis. She is passionate about helping individuals (both staff and clients) reach their full potential.
Vicky Simos, M.ads, BCBA
Dual Diagnosis Justice Coordinator, Community Networks of Specialized Care – Central East
Vicky is currently a Dual Diagnosis Justice Coordinator (DDJC) with the Community Networks of Specialized Care – Central East (CNSC-CE) and Justice Clinic Coordinator at Centre for Behaviour Health Sciences (CBHS), Mackenzie Health. Her contributions to the Clinical Justice Program include clinical supervision, the creation and implementation of ABA Justice Plans, Justice App content, and A-DBT Justice Group content and facilitation.
Matheus Wiest, PhD
Neurotrauma Care Pathways Project – Policy Development and Implementation Lead, University Health Network
Matheus Joner Wiest has broad experience in neuromechanics of human movement and health systems planning and evaluation. His basic research career spans from biomechanics of cycling and postural control, to neurophysiological adaptations to transcutaneous electrical stimulation. Regarding health systems planning and evaluation, he led and collaborated in local, provincial and national activities related to the development and implementation of quality of care indicators for spinal cord injury rehabilitation. Currently, he leads the development and implementation of the Ideal Care Pathways for mild to severe traumatic brain injury and traumatic spinal injury for the province of Ontario.
Director of Client Services, Traverse Independence
As the Director of Client Services at Traverse Independence, Aaron Willmott has not only has a background in behavioural support, but addictions as well, having just completed his addictions certificate from Wilfred Laurier University. He has worked in the social service sector for the last 22 years, most of that time specifically with survivors of Acquired Brain Injury. Prior to his work in the ABI field, Aaron worked in child welfare. Aaron has a passion for watching individuals improve in their independence and live in the community.
Rebecca Wood, BSc, MSc
MSc Student (Neuroscience), Queen's University
Rebecca is a neuroscience student at Queen’s University with interests in the fields of neuropsychiatry, sleep and neurology. Her thesis project aims to investigate the sleep quality and mental health of patients recovering from an acquired brain injury both in and out of the hospital, to determine which setting provides the most optimal recovery. She is additionally working on a project which uses eye-tracking technology to identify abnormalities in eye movements in patients with Huntington’s disease.
November 3-4, 2022
Online registration closes Oct 31 at midnight
CF Toronto Eaton Centre,
525 Bay Street,
Click here to learn more about the Toronto ABI Network
We do not issue letters of invitation to international delegates. Administrative fees will apply to cancelled registrations.