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 closely involved in the physical growth of CHIRS facilities and the expansion of CHIRS programs and services. His responsibilities include facility management, privacy, and a wide range of administrative duties.
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
Director of Programs and Services
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 Director of Programs and Services. She leads and directs the development and implementation of clinical and support services to meet the agency's objectives.
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.
Manager of Operations
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 over 30 years of experience in working with persons with ABI at CHIRS. Michele has assisted in the development and expansion of CHIRS services over the years, helping to establish and manage new residential services as well as Ashby Community Support Services. Michele currently oversees staff training, agency occupational health and safety, as well as quality management initiatives.
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, Finch Residence
Dawn Smith, Diploma in Social Services
Dawn attended Humber College in the Social Service Worker program. She began her career at CHIRS in March 2002 in the ACSS department as a Community Facilitator. She has 17 years of experience at CHIRS, taking on various roles associated within ACSS including in the Cardsharks program, as the Neuropsychological Assessment Clinic Coordinator, and coordinating and supervising students in their placements with CHIRS. In March of 2018, Dawn accepted a secondment as the Service Coordinator for the Finch Residence and since has moved into the position permanently. Dawn also serves as the lead for interRAI-CHA assessors, conducting annual assessments, attending LHIN meetings, and ensuring that all new assessors receive formal training and complete competency testing.
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.
Service Coordinator, Aldebrain
Tamiko has a BSc. in Neuroscience and Psychology from the University of Toronto. She has worked at CHIRS since 2006 in various roles, including Residential Facilitator and Senior Residential Facilitator. Tamiko is currently a Service Coordinator at the Aldebrain Residence.
Manager of Programs and Services
graduated from Nipissing University with a Bachelor's Degree in Social
Welfare and worked for several years as an Addictions Counsellor before
CHIRS as a Residential Facilitator in 1999. Kerry has previously held
Service Coordinator positions in both the Community and Residential
departments and was part of key agency initiatives, including the
Ontario Works partnership program and the opening of
the Finch Residence. For several years Kerry was the ABI System
Navigator in the Central LHIN, working to establish cross-sector
partnerships to improve system access for individuals with ABI. In her
current role as Manager of Programs and Services, she
is continuing to develop her passion for people and projects.
Service Coordinator - Neurological Behavioural Intervention Program (NBIP) and Aging at Home (AAH) - ACSS
Tricia is a Registered Practical Nurse, certified with the College of Nurses, with over 15 years of healthcare experience providing care to a diverse population in community-based support services and acute and long-term care. She is a certified Health and Safety Management Representative and RPNAO smoking cessation Best Practice Champion. Tricia began her career at CHIRS in the early 2000's working in Residential Support Services as a Senior and then Service Coordinator. In 2016 she transferred to community support services as a Service Coordinator for the Aging at Home program and Neuro-Behavioural Intervention Program. Tricia is also a Program Implementer for the CHIRS Smoking Cessation Program.
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.