Board of Directors & Staff

Maxine Fyffe-Roberts is a Registered Clinical Social Worker and founder of Essentially You Inc.  She has over 25 years of Social Work, Senior Social Services Management, Case Management and business leadership experience.  Maxine has worked across the spectrum of health care including the former Community Care Access Centre (CCAC), hospital rehabilitation, mental health and long term care settings.  She holds a Masters Degree in Social Work, Bachelor of Science (Honours) Degree in Social Work and is also a Certified Social Work Practice Teacher.  Based on her extensive management experience and knowledge of navigating health care and rehabilitation services in both Canada and England, Maxine founded Essentially You Inc in 2008.  Essentially You Inc specializes in providing Attendant Care/Personal Support Worker services to clients and families throughout Ontario.  This past year Maxine played an instrumental role in the ORA’s successful Attendant Care rate lobbying with FSCO.  She very much welcomes the opportunity to support further advocacy on behalf of clients and for ORA members.  Maxine is a marathon runner and is also involved in fund raising runs in support of brain injury community organizations.

Maureen Palmer is a Registered Nurse and the owner /director of Palmer & Associates Rehabilitation Inc. For over 20 years, she has worked in the field of rehabilitation consulting / case management supporting clients and families living with the complex challenges related to TBI, neurologic, orthopedic, psychological and multisystem disorders, as a result of MVC’s. Maureen graduated with a Bachelor of Health Sciences; Nursing from Charles Stuart University, Australia and maintains specialty certification with the American Association of Rehabilitation Nurses as a Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse (CRRN). She has presented at conferences and workshops and as a lecturer at George Brown College. Maureen has been active in promoting evidenced-informed ABI treatment and services, as well as, in collaborating with multidisciplinary health and service providers and Insurance Industry representatives in the auto sector, to encourage public policy that promotes access to quality rehabilitation. She has been a member of the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (ONF) ABI Research Committee and ABI Network planning groups; RNAO representative on the Rehabilitation Council of Ontario and the Coalition of Regulated Health Professional Associations and Allied Organizations. As Past President of the Ontario Association of Rehabilitation Nurses, she contributed to policies that support accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities. Maureen was one of the international guideline panel members for the development of the ONF Guidelines for Diagnosing and Managing Pediatric Concussion, published in June 2014.

Nakema Walker is Service Director, Toronto and Peel, Bartimaeus Rehabilitation Services, Inc. Prior to this role she was an RSW for 7 years.  Her major is in mental health, with minors in Criminal Justice, as well as drug and alcohol abuse counselling.  She also worked with individuals with mental health issues and special needs, and with male young offenders in custody. She is a member in good standing with the Vocational Rehabilitation Association of Canada (VRA). She is passionate about racial equity, and enjoys volunteering at her children’s school, giving presentations about black history.

image of Kyle Whaley, head and torso shot in front of pale background, he is white, has a shaved head and his arms folded in front of him, he is wearing a blue sweatshirt

Kyle Whaley graduated from Queen’s University Physical and Health Education Program in 1998 and began his career in strength and conditioning with an active population including athletes from a variety of sports.  His passion for adventure and travel took him to a small island in the Pacific where he worked as a teacher, starting and running after-school programs for elementary and highschool children.

Shelley Gardiner has been a registered Speech-Language Pathologist for 27 years and has worked in a variety of healthcare settings including a small town hospital, big city hospital and a children’s treatment centre. Currently she is an active member of the Ontario Association of Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists (OSLA) MVA and ABI professional interest groups.  Through OSLA she helped organize the Mark Ylvisaker Honorary Lecture Series which brought a number of highly respected speakers such as Lyn Turkstra, Roberta DePompei and Tim Feeney to the Toronto area.  As well, she was instrumental in the development of the GOS-E CCD Guidelines.  Through the ORA, she is actively participates on a number of our committees. For the past 18 years she has operated her own private practice. As a sole provider in private practice she understands the challenges that comes from trying to run your own business and provide good clinical care; particularly in the ever changing world of MVA.

SECRETARY-TREASURER

John Barry is President of Pursuit Health Management. He attended the University of Western Ontario and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, followed by a Bachelor’s of Education. John’s professional career has been focused within the field of rehabilitation, initially working within the social services sector. In 1985, John joined London Life Insurance Company as their first Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant progressing to National Manager of Rehabilitation Services. John joined Medex Vocational Rehabilitation in the capacity of Vice President of Operations in 1992. He guided this organization to become one of the leading private rehabilitation firms providing services throughout Ontario and Quebec. In 1998, John formed Pursuit Health Management, located in London and providing disability management and rehabilitation services to auto insurers, WSIB, LTD companies and employers, throughout Southwestern Ontario. The company’s expertise includes therapeutic, counselling, case management and vocational rehabilitation services.

VICE-PRESIDENT

Dana Parsons has been an owner of Wright Rehab since 2010 and currently managing partner, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the business.  Her leadership role includes growth and development of programs for clients, associates and clinical coordinators, and the administrative office. Providing Rehabilitation Therapy, Social Work, Respite and Specialized Attendant Care to clients with neurological impairments, following MVAs, workplace accidents, slip and falls, criminal and medical incidents, Wright Rehab operates throughout Ontario to support clients on their rehab journey. Dana has always been passionate about advocating for those in need by lending her voice and encouraging engagement with others.  Decades of service on various school committees, working groups and school board leadership are a testament to her values and desire to empower others. Dana has been an active member of the ORA Board’s Finance Committee since fall 2020. Wright Rehab has long been an engaged ORA member and supporter and is currently an annual Premium Supporter.

PRESIDENT

Tracy Milner is co-founder of Complex Injury Rehab, focused on complex injuries and neurorehabilitation. She is the co-creator of the tablet-based neurofunctional assessment, BrainFx 360, which is meeting its mission to measure and understand the effects of mild to moderate brain disorders on real world function sensitively and reliably across Canada and potentially in the United States. She is an Occupational Therapist with more than14 years in neurorehabilitation practice with adults and children. Over the course of her career, she has led rehabilitation teams as part of two national health organizations and presented at many brain injury and long term care conferences in Canada and the United States. She is an adjunct lecturer with The University of Toronto and on Faculty for the Health Coach Certificate at York University. Tracy was extensively involved responding to FSCO’s Expert Panel on Catastrophic Definition through the preparation of the ORA’s Panel of Experts Report of May 13, 2011, multiple presentations to government standing committee, and through the Ontario Society of Occupational Therapists’ stakeholder submissions with more than 10 years in its auto sector committee, where she was co-author on the reflective practice resource on the assessment of attendant care.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Laurie Davis has been Executive Director of the ORA since November 2013. She is a founding ORA Board member and was Executive Director of Therapacc Inc., a multi-service therapy company, from 2001 to 2012. She also served for a dozen years on the Board of Governors of Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay where she was Chair for several terms. In addition to her role as Executive Director of the Ontario Rehab Alliance she takes on occasional consulting projects and is an occasionally published freelance writer. She lives in Peterborough.

VIRTUAL ASSISTANT (Part-time)

image of Esther Vincent, close headshot, she is white with long brown braided hair and blue eyes

Esther Vincent Esther has worked as an artist, manager and administrator for over twenty-five years. She has been a small business owner, a manager of not-for-profits and a mentor and guide for many organizations, primarily in the arts sector.  Her active mind encourages her to pursue multiple paths which has gained her a broad array of skills that she enjoys sharing and passing on. She first started working with computers in the early 80s which set up a life-long interest in the advances and impacts of new technologies. She uses her combined IT and mentorship skills to provide IT advice and support for organizations and individuals. She is a certified mental health worker and volunteers for Telecare, a mental health support telephone service and engages in ongoing training to improve her ability to assist those in crisis. A published author of essays and short stories, she is working on her first novel

image of Kris Cardoso, showing head and shoulders in front of a white background, she is white with long, straight brown hair and brown eyes, she is smiling at the camera

Kris Cardoso has focused her career and education within the health and wellness world for the past 15 years. With her undergraduate degree in Kinesiology providing a wealth of health knowledge and her love for creating processes and organization, most of her experience lies within health administration. She has worked as a peer health educator, clinic office manager, and an administrative assistant / coordinator for multiple small, private practices. Currently, Kris runs her own business, Day-to-Day Admin, as a Virtual Assistant for hire, with a primary focus on supporting small businesses and private practices. Having joined the ORA team in July 2022, she is looking forward to supporting the rehab community!

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT (Part-time)

Heather Routliffe  recently earned her Bachelor of Science with honours from the University of Waterloo, majoring in Public Health and minoring in Psychology. She has provided administrative support to the ORA since 2017 and has a passion for advocacy particularly in healthcare systems, and specializes in Project Management. Heather works in tandem as a Director of Community Projects for CareKW, on the Business Development team.