After careful consideration of the current state of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we have once again made the decision to postpone the conference rescheduled for September to June 2-4, 2021.  The health and safety of all our attendees and speakers is of the upmost importance.  This is uncharted territory and we want to proceed with an event that people can feel secure in booking and attending.

We are in the processing of confirming our speakers for the new conference dates, and will release an updated list of speakers as it becomes available. Thank you for your patience!


John Connolly

Director, ARiEAL Research Centre

Presentation: Objective Assessment and Monitoring of Cognitive Function in Coma,  Vegetative State, and Concussion: Assisting Healthcare from Hospital to Home

Presentation date: TBD

Professor Connolly received his PhD at King’s College London and was a Senior Scientist at Charing Cross Hospital (Imperial College London). Returning to Canada he has directed laboratories at Dalhousie and now McMaster where he holds the Senator Wm. McMaster Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience and directs the ARiEAL Research Centre. He has authored over 300 journal articles, book chapters and conference presentations and is internationally recognized for his research on neurocognitive function in health, after brain injury and autism. His work has received support by Canadian (e.g., CFI, CIHR, NSERC, and OBI), American (NIH), and British (e.g., MRC, Wellcome Trust) agencies.


Stacie Dertinger

M.ADS, BCBA, Head Injury Rehabilitation Ontario

Presentation: Building bridges and enhancing capacity: Improving client outcomes through collaborative programming between community rehabilitation and acute hospital settings

Presentation date: TBD
With 15 years of professional rehabilitation experience Stacie has worked with large inter-disciplinary teams, providing support and program supervision to various professionals in residential and community setting Stacie’s experience has focused on teens and adults who have complex care needs with intersecting disabilities of acquired brain injury, mental illness, developmental delay, physical impairments and addictions. Stacie graduated from Brock University with her Masters in Applied Disability Studies, specializing in applied behaviour analysis, and is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA). Stacie shares her knowledge and experience as a part-time instructor at George Brown College and supervises professionals seeking BCBA certification.


Tom Diamond

Ph.D., Certified Neurofeedback Specialist, Registered Clinical Counsellor

Presentation: Quieting the Mind: Natural Brain-Changing Treatments for Anxiety, Trauma and Sleep

Presentation date: TBD
Dr. Tom Diamond is a Registered Clinical Counselor in British Columbia, with over 30 years experience as a counselor, researcher, university faculty and administrator, and organizational consultant. In his private practice, Dr. Diamond has worked extensively with clients exposed to high levels of stress and trauma, including First Nations, First Responders and Military Veterans. In 2014 he founded Quiet Mind Company in Comox, BC, where he specializes in brain-changing treatments for anxiety, trauma and sleep issues. Dr Diamond is a frequent public speaker, has directed two university psychology programs, and is one of only 79 Canadian practitioners with Board Certification in Neurofeedback from the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance (BCIA). Renowned neurofeedback pioneer, Dr.Paul Swingle from the Swingle Clinic in Vancouver, mentored him. Dr. Diamond has a Ph.D. in the Psychology of Organizations and an M.A. in Clinical Psychology.


Tim Feeney

Ph.D., Chief Knowledge Officer Belvedere Health Services Albany, NY The Mill School Essex Junction, VT

Presentation: We All Belong to Each Other: Rehabilitation as a Social Imperative

Presentation date: TBD


Tim Feeney is the Chief Knowledge Officer for Belvedere Health Services in Albany, NY and the Director of the Mill School in Burlington, VT. Tim has assisted numerous agencies around the world in the development of system-wide changes in order to provide sustainable, high quality, and cost-effective educational and rehabilitation services. He has authored over 50 journal articles and book chapters, is co-author, with the late great Mark Ylvisaker, of the book Collaborative Brain Injury Intervention: Positive Everyday Routines, and happily talks to anyone who’s interested about collaborative services designed to support individuals with complex needs.


Sara Hanafy

Ph.D. candidate, University of Toronto

Presentation: Sex and gender implications for clinicians attending to patients with traumatic brain injury

Presentation date: TBD

Sara Hanafy is a doctoral student at the University of Toronto, Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, working under the supervision of Dr. Angela Colantonio and Dr. Sally Lindsay. She completed a Master of Science degree at Queen’s University in Anatomical and Biomedical Sciences, and a bachelor specialization degree in health sciences and biology from Western University. Ms. Hanafy has a special interest in them role of biological sex and gender in traumatic brain injury, and brain injury comorbidity.

shanda-hill-2020 conference speaker

Shanda Hill

Ultra-athlete and brain injury survivor

Presentation: Challenging your limits

Presentation date: TBD



Shanda Hill is a world-record-holding Ultra Triathlon athlete from Vernon, BC. She holds the world record for doing two Deca Triathlons within one year. In 2017 Shanda Hill was ranked #1 in female Ultra Athletes in the world by the IUTA and made an IUTA confirmed World Record as the first female to ever complete two Decas (10x Triathlons) in a year. In August 2017, in Buchs, Switzerland, she came in 2nd female overall and then went on to complete a second Deca 2 months later in October 2017 at León, Mexico, where she placed 1st place for females overall. In October of 2019, Shanda came in second place in León, Mexico, where she was the 3rd woman in history to ever complete a Double Deca and the first Canadian overall.



Pauline Hoffman

Certified Professional Organizer, Cleaning Specialist

Presentation: Discovering Day-to-Day Living Following a TBI

Presentation date: TBD

As a Certified Professional Organizer, Pauline is an expert in providing solutions that transforms people from chaos and confusion to clarity and calm, aligning their internal and external environments so that they live and work in flow. Pauline brings to the platform not only professional knowledge to living and succeeding with a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) but following an accident, she has experienced first hand living and growing a business while recovering from a TBI.


Shanda Hunter-Trottier

B.A., M.S., CCC-SLP, Reg.

Presentation: Bridging Between Obstacles: Surviving the ABI Journey from Acute to Community Care

Presentation date: TBD

Shanda Hunter-Trottier – Speech-Language Pathologist and founder of S.L. Hunter SpeechWorks –has been providing communication, cognitive-communication and swallowing services to children and adults for 30 years. Since 1995, the team at S. L. Hunter SpeechWorks have facilitated unique, creative opportunities for clients as they work towards their habilitation and /or rehabilitation goals. Treatment approaches are individualized, focus on life participation, and promote pragmatic and social language opportunities in both 1:1 and group contexts. In addition to her passion for clinical work, Shanda has held Adjunct Lecturer status at the University of Toronto and is Assistant Professor (Adjunct) at McMaster University.

kylie james 2020 conference speaker

Kylie James


Presentation: How nutrition can positively impact cognition, depression and anxiety following a TBI

Presentation date: TBD



Kylie graduated from the Institute of Holistic Nutrition in Toronto in 2009 with first class honors. She is the founder of Koru Nutrition inc. a company that specialises in individuals that have ben involved in motor vehicle accidents (MVA). Her company specialises in providing nutrition services to individuals with brain injury, spinal cord injury, and other neurological disorders as well as digestive issues, mental health and weight loss/gain. She has 18 nutritionists, dietitian’s and Naturopath Doctors that work for her and are based across South Western Ontario.

Kylie became increasingly dedicated to researching nutrition and spinal cord injuries when her one-and- a-half-year old nephew sustained a C3-C4 quadriplegia in 2009. In 2011 a colleague and her received a grant from the Paralyzed Veterans of America to research and write a book on nutrition and preventing secondary complications in SCI. She is the Co-author of “Eat well, Live Well with Spinal Cord Injury and other Neurological Conditions: A practical guide to help address secondary health complications in SCI through nutrition.”


Judith Johnston

Brain injury survivor

Presentation: Bridging Between Obstacles:  Surviving the ABI Journey from Acute to Community Care

Presentation date: TBD

Judith Johnston is 5 years into transitioning from “victim” to ABI Survivor.  Prior to her accident she was Vice President of a family owned Life Insurance Brokerage and Employee Benefits Consultant, speaking to groups for over 30 years.  Among the rehabilitation hurdles was her difficulty with expression; with much hard work and determination, she is finding her way back to her speaking role, but for a new, more meaningful purpose.  Judith speaks to graduate speech-language pathology students and ABI Conference attendees from the perspective of a survivor. Judith has a strong passion for instilling hope, fostering growth, and promoting collaboration.


Karen Mason

Co-founder of SOAR (Supporting Survivors of Abuse and Brain Injury through Research)

Presentation: Moving Ahead. Exploring Incidence, Consequences, and Supports for Women Survivors of Traumatic Brain Injury in Intimate Partner Violence

Presentation date: TBD


Karen Mason is Co-founder of SOAR and former Executive Director of Kelowna Women’ Shelter in British Columbia. Kelowna Women’s Shelter provides emergency and transitional housing, supported second stage housing, counselling support, advocacy, and prevention education to women, and women with children who have experienced gender-based violence. In collaboration with the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus, the Shelter is engaged in the community-based SOAR research project to better understand the intersection of TBI and IPV.


Tatyana Mollayeva

MD, RPSGT, RST, PhD – Postdoctoral research fellow (Occupational Sciences and Occupational Therapy), University of Toronto

Presentation: “Sex and gender implications for clinicians attending to patients with traumatic brain injury”

Presentation date: TBD


Since her entry to research in 2010, Tatyana Mollayeva, MD, PhD served as a Principal Investigator and a Co-Investigator for research programs supported by the top granting agencies in the United States and Canada, including the Alzheimer’s Association, the National Institutes of Health, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. These programs concern prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of traumatic brain injury and its consequences. Her contributions have been recognized by 2015 Deborah L. Wilkerson Early Career Award from the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, 2017 Elio Lugaresi Award for Education from the World Sleep Congress, and 2019 Robert D. Voogt NABIS Founders Award.


Jane Savage

MSW RSW, Head Injury Rehabilitation Ontario

Presentation: Building bridges and enhancing capacity: Improving client outcomes through collaborative programming between community rehabilitation and acute hospital settings

Presentation date: TBD


Jane focuses on cognitive behavioural, dialectical behavioural and mindfulness –based approaches to managing anxiety, mood, obsessive-compulsive disorder and related difficulties following acquired brain injury. With her Masters of Social Work and 10 years of professional experience, she currently provides therapy to individuals at Head Injury Rehabilitation Ontario to help them establish a new normal after traumas of sustaining a brain injury. She also counsels individuals using a harm reduction approach to substance use disorders and helps them find their strength to address mental illness while also coping with the compounding challenges of living with side effects of their brain injury.


Paul van Donkelaar

Ph.D. –  Co-founder and Principal Investigator for SOAR (Supporting Survivors of Abuse and Brain Injury through Research)

Presentation: Moving Ahead. Exploring Incidence, Consequences, and Supports for Women Survivors of Traumatic Brain Injury in Intimate Partner Violence

Presentation date: TBD

Dr. Paul van Donkelaar is Co-founder and Principal Investigator for SOAR (Supporting Survivors of Abuse and Brain Injury through Research) (, and a Professor in the School of Health and Exercise Sciences at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus in Kelowna, British Columbia. His research focusses on the basic mechanisms of sensorimotor control and the cerebrovascular, neurocognitive, and sensorimotor aspects of brain dysfunction resulting from traumatic brain injury (TBI). Since 2016, he has been working to understand brain dysfunction in women who have experienced intimate partner violence (IPV)-related TBI in collaboration with Kelowna Women’s Shelter through the SOAR Project.


Mark A. Ware

BA, MBBS, MRCP(UK), MSc. Director of Clinical Research, Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit. McGill University Health Centre, Associate Professor, Depts. of Family Medicine and Anesthesia

Presentation: Cannabis and brain injury: help or harm?

Presentation date: TBD


Dr. Mark Ware is the Chief Medical Officer of Canopy Growth Corporation. He took a leave of absence as Associate Professor in Family Medicine and Anesthesia at McGill University in July 2018 to work in this capacity. He began studying cannabis and pain at McGill University in 1999, and in the 2000s he secured grants from the CIHR to study the safety and efficacy of cannabis for pain. He was Director of Clinical Research of the Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit at the McGill University Health Centre for over 10 years, and was the Executive Director of the non-profit Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids since 2007. He has advised the Canadian federal government on cannabis policy since 2001, and 2016, he served as the vice chair of the Federal Task Force on the Legalization and Regulation of Cannabis in Canada.


Ovey Yeung

Brain injury survivor

Presentation: New Normal: what does it mean to recover?

Presentation date: TBD

Ovey is a TBI survivor after she was struck as a pedestrian in a hit and run incident in August 2014. She spent 10 days in an induced coma with a brain hemorrhage and fractured humerus, pelvis and sacrum. She had to undergo corrective surgery involving screws and plates. She spent 5 weeks in the hospital and just over a month at a rehabilitation centre learning how to walk, speak and write again. She will talk about the struggles she’s had in this season of her life and how “recovery” is unattainable and an unreasonable expectation.

Prior to the incident, Ovey spent the first half of her career running a full service communications agency with clients in the finance, civic and fashion space, and founded Y57, a youth radio show which was broadcast across Canada on FM dial. She spent the last half of her career scaling companies globally and is specialized in cross-border businesses, organizational change management, and digital transformations. She has led growth from inception, product-market fit to go-to-market and has gone through two acquisitions. Ovey also had the privilege of speaking at TEDxSFU.

Ovey is now committed to helping healthcare accessibility through digital transformations.

shilo-zeller-presenterShilo Zeller

RYT-200 yoga instructor

Presentation: Yoga and meditation for brain injury: evidence, innovations, and ways forward

Presentation Date: TBD



Serving as the Yoga Program Coordinator, Shilo supports the operations of the LoveYourBrain Yoga program. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from the University of Lethbridge where she complemented her studies with research in behavioural neuroscience, particularly with the effects on motor function following stroke. She has also completed her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training in November 2016. This, combined with her education, has made Shilo passionate about educating individuals on brain injury prevention and she hopes to impart wisdom on how a regular, mindfulness practice can be used as a therapeutic tool.

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