All clinical staff hold university degrees or college diplomas in relevant disciplines, such as psychology, social service worker, recreation therapy, etc. The majority of front-line employees have completed the Certificate Program for Rehabilitation Therapists sponsored by the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant ABI Network and offered through McMaster University. We have both full-time and contracted staff who can supply a full range of services, including psychologist, behavioural therapist, recreation therapist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, speech language therapist and social worker. Below, you will find detailed biographies of our senior management personnel.

Vlad Bartchouk

Director, Transitional Living Services

During his 22-year tenure with the agency, Vlad held all front-line positions – Rehabilitation Facilitator, Case Facilitator, Manager – making him an ideal candidate to tackle the top job in our Transitional Living Services residential program. His responsibilities include serving as the Compliance Officer for the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and the privacy officer for the Personal Health Information Protection Act. Prior to joining the agency, Vlad held positions with the YMCA Hamilton/Burlington, the Peel Halton Dufferin ABI Program and the Hill Program, Brain Injury Services.

Steve Dawn

Director, Behavioural Residential Services

Providing leadership in the operation of complex care homes is one of the more challenging jobs at Brain Injury Services. Steve brings both the depth and breadth of experience needed to tackle that role at our two complex care homes in Vineland – Campden Heights and Cathy Wever Place. Steve’s career has seen a steady rise in responsibility since starting with the agency 16 years ago. He worked on the frontline for 10 months at Cathy Wever Place before becoming manager and, later, director in charge of our Vineland homes. Prior to his arrival at our agency, Steve accumulated 13 years of experience with the Welland and Pelham Association for Community Living. In addition to his role with our complex care homes, Steve is chair of our agency’s Client Safety Committee, staff member of the Quality Committee of the Board and administrator of key performance indicators for the entire agency, including the Quality Plan, Balanced Scorecard and Strategic Plan. He is also chair of the Accreditation Canada standards for medication management, a safe management trainer and a safety mask fitter.

Laurie Graham

Director, Residential Services

Laurie has been a prime mover in making the agency’s residential program one of the most respected in the field of brain injury rehabilitation. She is responsible for, and accountable to, residential programs at the John Reesor Centre, Elmhurst Place, Ravenda Place and Kenny House. Managers of programs at these homes, as well as the Behaviour Therapist, report directly to Laurie. Laurie has a background in social services and business management and has been with the agency for 20 years. Her past experience includes front line and management positions with community agencies working with seniors and youth at risk. She has also worked at Mohawk College in the School of Human Services. Laurie is a lead Safe Management instructor, SafeTALK instructor, internal ethics specialist and chairs our agency’s Therapeutic Relations Committee. In addition, Laurie is an active supporter of the Canadian Cancer Society, and past chair and current member of the Mohawk College Social Service Worker Advisory Committee.

Laurie Keefe

Director, Human Resources

With more than 20 years of experience in the field of Human Resources, Laurie has devoted the last nine of those to maximizing the human potential at Brain Injury Services/Step Up! ABI Recovery. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree and the Certified Human Resources Management designation. Her reports include two Human Resource Administrators and one Human Resource Analyst. Her prior employment includes positions in financial services, professional services and university. She is responsible for all aspects of Human Resources, including recruitment, performance management, employee wellness, employee relations, labour relations, compensation and benefits, training and development, employee orientation and the Human Resources Management Systems. She is Co-Chair of the Workplace Violence Prevention Committee, Co-Chair for Ethics and Ethics Training, Chair of the Employee Life Events Committee, Chair of the Orientation and Training Committee and management member of the Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee.

Alison Nicholson

Director, Community Services

Alison is an original with Brain Injury Services. She has been with the agency since our first home, the John Reesor Centre, opened in 1989. Alison held all key front-line positions with the organization, including Rehabilitation Facilitator, Case Facilitator and Manager before assuming her current position as Director, Community Services. In her role, Alison is responsible for overseeing the agency’s admissions department for publicly funded services, our outreach services, our recreation program and the Haldimand Abilities Centre. Prior to coming to Brain Injury Services, Alison worked with adults with intellectual disabilities. Before that, she held a position with the Ministry of Natural Resources for five years. Alison represents the agency on several community initiatives including the Hamilton Helmet Initiative, Brain Smart Hamilton and the Burlington Health Links Coalition. Alison is also involved many initiatives in the community and within schools to educate students and the community about the fragility of the brain.

Nadine Salciccioli

Director, Finance

Nadine is a Chartered Professional Accountant, as well as a Certified Management Accountant, whose ongoing task at our agency is to ensure order, efficiency and accountability in our financial operations. She has been working with the agency as Director, Finance since 1998. Her responsibilities include managing all financial activities of Brain Injury Services including budgeting, processing daily transactions and reporting to managers, directors, funders and the Board of Directors. Nadine previously worked for the accounting firm of KPMG after graduating from Mohawk College with an Honours Business Administration Diploma.

Candy Sarraf

Director, Rehabilitative Services

As Director, Rehabilitative Services, Candy has assumed the challenge of developing one of the most respected clinical programs in brain injury rehabilitation. With a BA in psychology, Candy brings more than 20 years of experience to her post, 19 of them with our agency. Her experience includes direct care in residential settings, as well as management positions, in both the private and public sector. She is responsible for overseeing all of the agency’s clinical services, ensuring that best practices are researched, implemented and delivered efficiently in daily programs. Her team includes a clinical coordinator, psychometrist, resource nurses and a social worker. Candy is well versed in the clinical, legal and operational requirements essential to interacting with clients, families, lawyers, insurers and other rehabilitation specialists to ensure effective clinical services. She liaises with external stakeholders and partners, and provides training and consultation to community service providers, as well as internal training of our front-line staff. Her committee responsibilities include, chair of the Behaviour Standards Review Committee, chair of the Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee for both the Hamilton and Niagara committees, chair of the Infection Prevention and Control Committee, chair of the Best Practice Committee, co-chair of Workplace Violence Prevention Committee, chair of the Education committee and chair of the Medication Management Committee. Her community involvement includes three external committees: the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant ABI Network, the Hamilton Addiction System Coalition and the Regional Stroke Community Partners Advisory Committee. She is also involved in teaching the Rehabilitation Therapist certificate program through McMaster University and also does community education, training and consultation.

Mary Jackson

Director, Communications

With over 15 years of professional experience in the event/marketing industry and a bachelor’s degree in Media Studies and Public Relations, Mary is responsible for all external communication for the agency as well as developing the brand voice and identity within the community. As a creative and dynamic trendsetter, who thrives on new challenges, Mary has a track record of delivering measurable results within the event planning, marketing and public relations fields of the corporate and non-profit sectors. Some examples of Mary’s work include national training conferences for P&G, drive to retail consumer experiences for Loblaw, a 3 day media launch event for the grand opening of Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit and organizing Bank of Montreal’s launch of Toronto’s largest accessible playground with Variety Village.

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