Recipient of the 2017 HEALTH CARE PROVIDER OF THE YEAR
HEALTH CARE PROVIDER OF THE YEAR
I started working full-time in brain injury rehabilitation in 1991. I was young and eager and motivated to be the very best health care provider I could be. I soaked up everything I could find to help me build my skills and knowledge. I worked with clients all day and then I studied all evening so I would be better prepared to do my very best work the following day. I was fully immersed in brain injury rehab – and not much has changed since then.
I’ll never forget the day, 26 years ago, that I met world-renowned neuropsychologist, Dr. George Prigatano. I was fortunate enough to spend an entire day learning from him. At the end of that day, Dr. Prigatano said, “Look around the room. There are no ‘old therapists’ in brain injury rehabilitation.” At the time, he explained that this field was still very new and was fraught with many uncertainties, making it an undesirable career choice for many. He challenged me, saying that I could be a pioneer in the field, but that along with the rewards, a career in brain injury rehab would also be a challenge. To be successful long-term, I would have to truly love my work and be internally driven to stick it out. I decided right then and there that I wanted to stay the course and become an “old therapist” in brain injury rehab. And now, 26 years later, it looks like I’m well on my way to achieving that goal!
Even more important than becoming an “old therapist” and standing the test of time, is being someone who makes a difference in the lives of the people I serve. There’s nothing like coming home at the end of the day knowing that I’ve helped someone take another step forward in their journey through rehabilitation and recovery.
After my first decade in brain injury rehab, I took a chance, followed my dream, and founded Brainworks. I am so blessed to work with like-minded professionals who strive for clinical excellence and champion the “client first” approach. I love working with my team – they make me so much better at what I do. I love being a psychologist, supporting and helping clients move forward in their rehabilitation.
I make it a priority to connect with the community spearheading creative brain injury awareness campaigns, providing helmets for kids, and speaking to groups of clients, family members and professionals about brain injury rehabilitation. It is my continuing mission to get the word out about brain injuries and how to prevent them; and also, that there is life after brain injury.
My entire career continues to be dedicated to making a difference in the lives of people who have been affected by brain injury. I am surrounded by a team, a family, which has supported me in my quest to become not only an “old” therapist, but an effective one as well. I am humbled and honoured to be considered for Health Care Provider of the Year. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to those who nominated me, those who have supported me, those who have journeyed alongside, and those who have entrusted me to support them in their own rehabilitation.
Details about my work and training, and even some of the adventures I’ve had along the way can be found online at: