Hedy has been the Executive Director of CHIRS since 1986, when it was a small transitional program called Ashby House. Under Hedy's leadership, CHIRS has grown into a multi-service agency with a highly specialized collection of ABI programs 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 those in Ontario living with ABI through her involvement in program development, policy initiatives and improving access to services. Hedy is also the Chair of the Toronto ABI Network.
Practice in Clinical Neuropsychology and Rehabilitation Psychology
Carolyn Lemsky, Ph.D., C. Psych, ABPP-CN, C-CAT (MB)
Dr. Lemsky has over 25 years of experience in providing rehabilitation and assessment services in medical-legal, inpatient and community-based settings, serving people living with the eﬀects of neurological disabilities. She is a registered Neuropsychologist and Rehabilitation Psychologist with TABIRS and has also been the Clinical Director of CHIRS since 1998.
Dr. Lemsky continues to participate in research, and has contributed a number of book chapters and articles to rehabilitation literature. She has a special interest in working with individuals with co-occurring substance use and mental health issues.
Dr. Lemsky is board certiﬁed by the American Board of Professional Psychology and American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology.
Director of Finance
Santiago CPA, CMA
Ed is a seasoned Chartered Professional Accountant with extensive financial and accounting experience in a diversified range of industries, in both profit and non-profit sectors. Ed joined CHIRS in 2019 and has led the Finance and IT teams since then. He is also in charge of managing CHIRS facilities. With his leadership skills and solid background in financial management, he brings a strong skill set to CHIRS. Prior to his leadership role at CHIRS, Ed served as Director of Finance at Save the Children Canada and as Corporate Controller at the Central LHIN. He is also a US Certified Public Accountant in good standing.
Director of Programs and Services
Judy began working at CHIRS in 1990, as the first Residential Facilitator hired for the newly built St. Georges Residence. She has held a number of other different roles at CHIRS over the years, including Service Coordinator, Intake Coordinator and Manager of Day Services. 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.
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(Psych)
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.
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 - Aldebrain
Kim attained her Bachelor's degree at Brock University. It was through this program that Kim was introduced to the ABI field, through a co-op opportunity supporting individuals within shared residences and the community. Kim has worked at CHIRS since 2009, having participated in a variety of roles within each residential program. Kim has served as an active member of many CHIRS committees - Employee Wellness, Recreation, Pest Management, Medication Administration, and Joint Occupational Health and Safety. She is passionate about client advocacy, promoting inclusion and autonomy, and staff and client development.
Service Coordinator - Aldebrain
Dawn Smith, Diploma in Social Services
Dawn attended Humber College in the Social Service Worker program. She began her career at CHIRS in 2002 in the ACSS department as a Community Facilitator. In following years, she has taken on various roles associated within ACSS, including Team Leader of several Cardsharks groups, as the Neuropsychological Assessment Clinic Coordinator and as the lead for interRAI-CHA Assessors, conducting annual assessments and ensuring that all new Assessors received formal training and completed competency testing. In 2018, Dawn accepted a secondment as the Service Coordinator for the Finch Residence and has since moved into a permanent Service Coordinator position at Aldebrain. Dawn also serves as Student Placement Coordinator, supervising students in their placements with CHIRS.
Service Coordinator - ACSS
Amoy attained her DSW at Niagara College and has been a CHIRS employee since April 2001, banking over 20 years of experience working with persons with ABI at CHIRS. Amoy started at CHIRS as a Residential Facilitator. In 2009 she was promoted to a Senior Residential Facilitator at the St. Georges residence. In 2016 she accepted a secondment as a Service Coordinator at the Aldebrain residence and the following year accepted the permanent position as a CHIRS Service Coordinator. Amoy is currently the Service Coordinator for ACSS 1 and is the Management Representative on the CHIRS Employee Wellness Committee.
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
Kerry graduated from Nipissing University with a Social Welfare Bachelor's Degree and worked for several years as an Addictions Counsellor before joining CHIRS as a Residential Facilitator in 1999. Kerry has 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 those with ABI. Kerry is currently Manager of Programs and Services and continuing to develop her passion for people and projects.
Service Coordinator - Neurological Behavioural Intervention Program (NBIP) and Aging at Home (AAH) - ACSS
Tricia is certified RPN. She began her CHIRS career in the early 2000s as a Senior Residential Facilitator and became a Service Coordinator in Residential Support Services. In 2016 she transferred to Community Support Services as a Service Coordinator for the Aging at Home program and the Neuro-Behavioural Intervention Program. Tricia has 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.
Service Coordinator, St. Georges
Nicole Watton, B.A., BST
Nicole has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from York University and an advanced diploma in Behavioural Science. She has worked at CHIRS since 2008 in roles including Senior Residential Facilitator and Behaviour Therapist. Nicole has been involved with a number of CHIRS committees including Medication Management, Client Wellness, and Pest Management. She currently sits on the Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee as a Management Representative. Nicole is currently the Service Coordinator at our St. Georges location.