Hedy Chandler BSW, M.P.A, RSW
Hedy has been the Executive Director of CHIRS since 1986 when it was a small transitional program called Ashby House. Under Hedy's leadership, the agency has grown into a multi-service, highly specialized ABI program for adults who live with the effects of ABI.
Hedy has held leadership roles in the ABI community both provincially and locally and is committed to improving the quality of life for Ontarians through her involvement in program development, policy initiatives, and improved access to services.
Hedy is the Chair of both the Toronto ABI Network and the Executive Director's Network of Provincial Community ABI Programs.
Director of Operations
Danny Caplan MSW, RSW
Danny attained his bachelor degree at McGill University in psychology and completed his Masters of Social Work at Carleton University. Previously to CHIRS he worked as a social worker in child protection services, a childcare worker in residential treatment centres and a family worker in a youth's mental health setting. He is also is past president of the Board of the Lawrence Heights Community Health Centre.
Danny is the Director of Operations at CHIRS. Over the past 28 years he has been intrinsically involved in the physical growth of CHIRS facilities and the expansion of CHIRS programs and services. His responsibilities include the administration of the CHIRS intake dept., human resources, residential and community services, Adult day program, clinical services and facility management.
Carolyn Lemsky, Ph.D.,C.Psych ABPP-Cn
Dr. Lemsky is a board certified neuropsychologist with over 25 years of experience working in rehabilitation settings in the U.S. and Canada and has been the Clinical Director at CHIRS since 1998. Dr. Lemsky has a strong clinical team at CHIRS which includes neuropsychologist Dr. Clare Brandys, an Occupational Therapist, many behaviour therapist, substance abuse counsellors and two neuropsychological fellows. Dr. Lemsky is also the director of the Substance Use and Brain Injury Bridging Project (SUBI), a research and knowledge transfer initiative funded by the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation also supervises an active clinical research program related to co-morbid mental health and problematic substance use.
Director of Finance
Santiago CPA, CMA
Leading the Finance
team is Eduardo, a Chartered Professional Accountant with over 30 years of
financial and accounting experience in a diversified range of industries, both
profit and non-profit. With his leadership skills and solid background in
financial management brings a strong skill set to CHIRS. Ed previously served
as Director of Finance at Save the Children and most recently as Corporate
Controller at Central LHIN. He is also a US Certified Public
Senior Manager Day Services
and Residential Manager of Finch Residence
Judy has held a number of different roles at CHIRS over the years including Residential Facilitator, Service Coordinator and Intake Coordinator.
In 2000, Judy left CHIRS to complete her Masters of Public Administration and subsequently took on a role at the Toronto ABI Network/GTA Rehab Network as Project Manager and Assistant Executive Director. In this role, Judy worked with Rehab Hospital CEOs and Community Executive Directors to find innovative solutions to system level issues. She also had the opportunity to interact with the Minister of Children and Youth Services, senior leads at the Ministry of Health and the LHINs, and others to raise awareness about ABI and the needs of the rehab sector and to facilitate provincial level discussions about the provision of services.
In 2014 Judy returned to CHIRS and has since taken over the role of Senior Manager of Day Services. She oversees the delivery of services in ACSS, AAH, NBIP and the Finch Residence. Judy is also Past Chair of the Brain Injury Society of Toronto
Service Coordinator, ACSS
Aprile joined the CHIRS family in 2002. Since that time, she has held a variety of positions across the agency in both the residential and community departments. Aprile has grown with the agency and her strong clinical skills have given her much success in her current role as Service Coordinator in ACSS, where she works with challenging and complex cases. She has enriched the safety culture at CHIRS through participation in the Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee, Infection Prevention Committee in addition to the Residential Planning Committee. Aprile's coworkers describe her as dedicated, reliable, passionate and client focused. Aprile brings with her a BA from the University of Toronto, a B.Ed. from Brock University and a certificate in Human Resource Management from Seneca College.
Service Coordinator, ACSS
Jessica Perlmutar, BA Psych., Rehabilitation Services Certificate
Jessica completed her bachelor degree at York University where she also earned a certificate in Rehabilitation Services from York University/Seneca College. She joined the CHIRS family in 1999, and has held a variety of positions, including Service Coordinator in Residential Services, before joining the Community Supports department. Jessica has a special interest in Occupational Health and Safety and plays an active role as a Management Representative on the Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee, oversees the Infection Prevention and Control initiatives/standards and the CHIRS Respiratory Protection Program; Jessica is a trained fit-tester. Jessica is a certified Crisis Prevention & Intervention Instructor and an Infection Prevention & Controls trainer.
Residential Manager, Aldebrain and St. Georges
Michele Graham BA, Psych., Certificate, Rehabilitation Services
Michele attained her bachelor degree at York University and completed a certificate in Rehabilitation Services from Seneca College. Michele has 28 years of experience in working with persons with ABI at CHIRS and has been the Residential Manager at CHIRS since 2001. Michele has assisted in the development and expansion of CHIRS services over the years, helping to establish new residential services as well as Ashby Community Support Services. Michele currently oversees the delivery of services to CHIRS' Aldebrain and St. Georges residential programs.
Michele plays an active role in health and safety initiatives at CHIRS, is a member of Safety Group Steering Committee and a member of the Human Services Justice Coordinating Committee.
Human Resources Manager
Galyn Baptist, Honors B PHE/Kin.
Galyn has been working in the field of ABI since completing her studies at McMaster University in 1989. Her interest in the field began after working in the physiotherapy department at Raxlen Clinic, Doctors Hospital followed by a summer position in case management for a private rehabilitation company working with ABI clients. After returning from extensive travel throughout Australia and the south Pacific, her passion for working in the field of brain injury continued. She accepted a position at CHIRS in 1991 in their supported employment program and has never looked back. Since joining CHIRS, Galyn has held a variety of positions including Community Facilitator, Service Coordinator and Day Program Manager, Training Coordinator and Accreditation Coordinator. Through continuing education in the area of Human Resources management, Galyn found her niche in translating her direct client support experience to the human resources practices at CHIRS. Since 2006, Galyn has held her current position as Human Resources Manager. Her responsibilities include policy development, recruitment and hiring of staff, and performance management. As a member of CHIRS Senior Management team, Galyn coordinates CHIRS accreditation and provides oversight to all departments with respect to managing human capitol.
Shobha Orlando joined CHIRS in 1990. Over the past 26 years at CHIRS, she has held a variety of positions including residential and apartment support worker at Ashby House, community facilitator, and senior intake facilitator. Shobha is currently the intake coordinator at CHIRS and has been in this position since 2005. As part of her responsibilities, she oversees the intake department and manages the fee-for-service referrals for the agency. Besides her commitment to providing quality care to ABI individuals and their families, she has a keen interest in teaching and lifelong learning. Shobha completed a second Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at York University in 1999. Shortly after, she obtained her Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language from the University of Toronto. She is a part-time adult ESL and LINC instructor with the Peel District School Board and an accredited member of TESL Ontario. Shobha is currently working towards her Master's degree in Education at York University.
Service Coordinator, Adult Day Services
Marnie Russell BSC, Specialized Honours in Psychology
Marnie discovered her passion for working with persons with disabilities when she volunteered with the CNIB as a high school student and was placed in a summer camp for children with complex disabilities. After completing her degree at York University and juggling various jobs such as behavioural support worker, retail manager, and hospital switchboard operator, Marnie joined CHIRS in 1997 as a Community Facilitator. She helped to create the CHIRS Club and started the CHIRS Mentor program, both of which are now integral parts of the Adult Day Services department. Marnie became Service Coordinator of Adult Day Services in 2001. She oversees the Adult Day Services program, supporting the staff team and client Mentors to deliver programs and special events at head office and across the city. Marnie has participated on a number of CHIRS committees/initiatives over the years. Currently, she co-leads the agency's Emergency Response committee, and the Privacy Committee.
David Slonim BA, Psych
David has been with CHIRS since 2001. He began his career at CHIRS as an residential facilitator in the Aldebrain residence before moving to a community facilitator position with the Adult Day Service and ultimately settling into his current position as Mentor Coordinator in 2010. He is a dedicated worker who often goes above and beyond to provide clients with the opportunity to meaningfully engage and take leadership opportunities in the CHIRS community.Dave has taken an active role in a number of larger projects at CHIRS including the Games On project, the CHIRS Doors Open entry, the MIX community club and Toastmasters Public Speaking Group. He has also worked with the Mentor group and introduced a number of annual events, such as the Staff vs Client baseball game, the Concert in the Park, the Kids Party, City Walks, the Club Holiday Party and the New Year's Dinner that have become part of the CHIRS culture
Service Coordinator, St. Georges
Kim McCaul BA, Psych.
Kim attained her bachelor degree at Brock University, in St. Catharines, Ontario. It was through this program that Kim had the opportunity to be introduced to the ABI field, when participating in a co-op program supporting individuals within their residence and the community. She has 9 years of experience in working with people with ABI. Kim has been with CHIRS for approximately 7 years, and has worked in each residence within the agency. Kim began her employment with CHIRS as a Residential Facilitator, continued on to become a Senior Residential Facilitator, and then progressed into the Service Coordinator position. Kim's most recent position is Service Coordinator, at the St. Georges Residence, in Etobicoke, serving 7 clients and their families. Kim has served on the Employee Wellness, Recreation, and Pest Management committees. She is passionate about client advocacy, promoting inclusion and autonomy, and staff and client development.
Service Coordinator, Aldebrain
Amoy Jones, Diploma in Social Service
Amoy attained her DSW at Niagara and has been a CHIRS employee since April 2001 and has 16 years of experience working with persons with ABI at CHIRS. Amoy started out at CHIRS as a Residential Facilitator, then in 2009 she was promoted to a Senior Residential Facilitator at the St. Georges location. Amoy Is currently in a secondment position as a Service Coordinator at the Aldebrain location, and is also a co-chair for the medication management committee and also a Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee management Representative for the Aldebrain location.
Chantal Nielsen, MSW, RSW
Chantal Attained her Masters in Social Work at the University of Toronto. Chantal began working with persons with an ABI in 2009 during a school practicum placement in Kamloops, BC and joined the CHIRS agency in 2010 after relocating to Toronto. Chantal began her employment with CHIRS as a Residential Facilitator, continued on to become a Senior Residential Facilitator, and is currently in the Service Coordinator position at Aldebrain, Team 2. During her time at CHIRS Chantal has participated on the Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee and is a certified N-95 fit tester and Rai-Cha assessor.
Service Coordinator Ashby Community Support Services
Kerry graduated from Nipissing University with a Bachelor's Degree in Social Welfare and worked for several years as an Addictions Counsellor before joining CHIRS as a Residential Facilitator in 1999. Kerry has previously held a Service Coordinator position in Residential Services, where she developed a keen interest in people and projects. Kerry has had lead roles in agency initiatives including the Ontario Works partnership and Accreditation. In her current role as Service Coordinator in the Community Support Services department, she provides leadership to a team of Community Facilitators and is the agency's Training Coordinator. Kerry also serves as the ABI System Navigator for the Central LHIN, and a member of the Central ABI Collaborative, where she works to enhance cross-sector partnerships and improve system access for individuals with ABI
Service Coordinator - Aldebrain Residence
Graham Perry BA, Psych./Soc.
Graham completed his BA degree at Trent University in addition to the Human Services Counsellor diploma program at Durham College. Graham was first introduced to the ABI field in 2007 during a placement at the Brain Injury Association of Durham. Graham has been with CHIRS since 2010, working in the Residential Facilitator, Senior Residential Facilitator and Service Coordinator roles. Graham currently serves as co-chair of the CHIRS Emergency Response Committee and has been one of the agency's Nonviolent Crisis Intervention (CPI) Instructors since 2015.
Service Coordinator Finch Residence/ Aging at Home ACSS
Tricia Dunbar, Registered Practical Nurse
Tricia is a Registered Practical Nurse, certified with the College of Nurses with over 15years of healthcare experience working in community- based support services, acute and long term care providing care to a diverse population. She is a certified Health and Safety Management Representative and RPNAO smoking cessation Best Practice Champion.
Tricia began her career at CHIRS in 2000 working in Residential Support Service for over a decade in various positions, as a Senior Residential Facilitator and Service Coordinator of the Etobicoke residence. In 2016 she started supervising the Finch Residence and Aging at Home Department in Community Support Services. Tricia's healthcare background and experience in safe medication practices has been an asset to CHIRS. She is the in the Chair of the Medication Management Committee, identifying quality improvement initiatives and advocating for new systems and resources to maintain employee competency in safe medication management. Tricia also assisted in the implementation of the CHIRS smoking cessation clinic.
Community Facilitator, Photographer, Adult Day Services
Rowen Brownlow is a dedicated Adult Day Services Community Facilitator who has worked at CHIRS for well over 10 years. She has a passion for the arts, photography, crafts, and wellness. In addition to facilitating Adult Day Services programming, Rowen serves as the editor of the Brainy Bugler Newsletter and often leads special events which give clients an opportunity to explore their creativity. Rowen took most of the images for the CHIRS website. You can see more of her work at www.photographybyrowen.com.