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Community Head Injury Resource Services

Directors' Reports

Executive, Program, & Clinical Directors


Directors' Reports: Executive, Program, & Clinical Directors

Executive Director's Report: Hedy Chandler

We are pleased to provide the latest edition of the CHIRS Program and Services Guide. Historically, this guide has been widely regarded as a valuable resource to the community that we serve. It is our hope that this online version makes it even more accessible.

This Guide details our growing services and programs and includes a progress report on our quality measures. It also offers a more human view of CHIRS by sharing some of the personal experiences of clients, family and staff.

Finally, we wish to express our appreciation and gratitude for the dedication of the CHIRS staff. Their enthusiasm and commitment is the foundation for the continued growth and expansion of services which are so vital for individuals and families living with the effects of acquired brain injury in Toronto.

Director of Operation's Report: Danny Caplan, M.S.W., RSW, Director of Operations

At CHIRS we recognize the challenges of "life" after a brain injury. We strive to work together with you to find ways in which to overcome the many roadblocks on your way to a more satisfying and productive life.

We invite you to check out our new home at 62 Finch Avenue West. It is a friendly and cheerful place where people congregate to take part in the various activities that happen on a daily basis. It is a place to make friends, do and learn interesting things, help others, and get advice and support on challenges of every day living. Maybe you have a special skill or knowledge that you would like to share with others? Our Volunteer Service may be the place where you decide to make your contribution.

Want to get involved in a community activity? We have a large selection of recreation and leisure activities, from bocce to baseball happening in locations all over the city. Looking for a job or outside volunteer placement? Our Employment Services may be just the thing to get you on the road to gainful employment.

For those people who live independently in the community, CHIRS has services that focus on teaching, training, and the assessment of activities of daily living. In addition we have a number of peer support, educational and family support groups offered throughout the year. CHIRS has earned a reputation for providing leadership in the development of supportive housing for persons who require twenty-four-hour support. We offer a variety of living arrangements at three different locations in Toronto. Our model of support provides for varying degrees of supervision to encourage your independence.

We are proud of the programs and services we provide and are grateful to the many partners in the community and in government who have contributed to our success. On behalf of the people involved with CHIRS, I would like to extend a warm invitation to become part of our community.

Clinical Director's Report: Carolyn Lemsky, Ph.D., C.Psych, Clinical Director

Diplomate of the American Board of Professional Psychology, American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology

The past fifteen years have seen many advancements in the field of neurorehabilitation, cognitive neuroscience, and neuropsychology. Keeping up with these advancements is a constant challenge that we are meeting through refinement of our comprehensive model of service. This past year we have updated and improved staff training. All CHIRS staff have access to a series of workshops related to brain and behaviour relationships, fostering working relationships with clients and families, first aid, crisis response and prevention and a variety of other topics. The challenges of living with the effects of acquired brain injury are many. It can be a daunting task to foster independence while ensuring a supported and safe living environment.

At CHIRS staff are provided with the training and supervision needed to collaborate with clients and their families to create a lifestyle that is both productive and satisfying. At the core of our model of service delivery are the integration of information related to cognitive abilities and disabilities, personal goals and available community supports. A team of professionals, including neuropsychologists, a neuropsychiatrist, and social workers, provides regular supervision to assist staff in understanding the needs and potentials and emotional responses of program participants. Clients are supported in developing a healthy awareness of strengths and needs. Armed with this knowledge, they are able to fully collaborate in the development of strategies that can be used to address their own life goals. Some major points that are emphasized in our model of service include the development of daily routines. Routines foster independence by allowing persons with memory and organization difficulties to independently complete activities of daily living with a minimum of external intervention. Every attempt is made to encourage the development of cognitive compensation strategies that both promote independence and feelings of accomplishment and self worth. As we continue to refine our model of service, we strive to provide the maximum possible amount of participation in the community through employment, volunteering and recreational opportunities.

People First
Dignity and Respect
Excellence and Quality
Integrity, Accountability, and Ethical Conduct
Flexible, Innovative, and Entrepreneurial
Accessibility and Inclusiveness
CHIRS works in partnership with Ontario Health and the Government of Ontario
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