OUR TEAM

Aileen Nguyen

Rehabilitation Assistant

Brent Ellis

Rehabilitation Assistant

Catherine Parekh

Physiotherapist

Emily Hik

Physiotherapist

Erin Riley

Speech Language Pathologist

Gosia Mikszan

Physiotherapist

Grace Antonio

Physiotherapist

Harjinder Dyal

Receptionist

Jamie Geertsema

Speech Language Pathologist

Kathy Cervo

Director of Client Experience

Katy Lovick

Rehabilitation Assistant

Matt Snyder

Occupational Therapist

Stefanie Pemble

Rehabilitation Assistant

Yuki Noftle

Admin/Experience Manager

Bob Elliott

Rehabilitation Assistant

Bailee Cuthbert

Rehabilitation Assistant

Grace Antonio

Physiotherapist

Japneet Brar

Rehabilitation Assistant

Kathy Cervo

Director of Client Experience

Katie Marochi

Speech-Language Pathologist

Matt Snyder

Occupational Therapist

Nicole Chalmers

Team Coordinator

Stefanie Pemble

Rehabilitation Assistant

April Adebayo

Speech-Language Pathologist

Avneet Channa

Rehabilitation Assistant

Eva Karukes

Physiotherapist

Helin Candar

Admin/Experience Manager

Kathy Cervo

Director of Client Experience

Karen Wong

Occupational Therapist

Alicia Tonello

Speech Language Pathologist

Allyson Ugalde

Rehabilitation Assistant

Cindy Gilray

Physiotherapist

Erin Reeds

Clinic Manager, Physiotherapist

Jaclyn Forsythe

Occupational Therapist

Kathy Cervo

Director of Client Experience

Karen Wong

Occupational Therapist

Liz Ingram

Team Coordinator

Lynne Prostan

Rehabilitation Assistant

Samantha Edwards

Physiotherapist

Sherri K. Zelazny

Speech-Language Pathologist

Walee Malik

Rehabilitation Assistant

Gosia Mikszan

Physiotherapist

 

Gosia is a Registered Physiotherapist in BC and a member of the Physiotherapy Association of BC and the Canadian Physiotherapy Association, Paediatric division.

 

Gosia graduated from UBC Physical Therapy School in 2002 and began her career at Surrey Memorial Hospital that year. She worked in general surgery, orthopedics, outpatient clinic and general rehab. Her biggest passion is paediatrics and for the last 11 years she has been predominantly working with children with a variety of neurological, neurodevelopmental and orthopedic conditions as well as oncology patients. She works extensively with children with torticollis, plagiocephaly, brachial plexus injury, brain tumors, peripheral neuropathy, CP, stroke, post Taylor Spatial Frame surgery, neurodevelopmental conditions.

 

Gosia has been involved in many health care and policy initiatives and the creation of patient education classes and pamphlets including Brachial Plexus, Developmental Activities and the Neurodevelopment of the Babies in NICU booklets. She is a co-chair of the Fraser Health Paediatric Professional Practice Committee.

 

Gosia continues to work part time within Fraser Health on the Inpatient and Outpatient Paediatrics, Paediatric Oncology and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

 

Gosia strives to provide treatments that are patient/family centered and meaningful. She truly enjoys working with children, helping them to achieve their goals by providing just enough challenge, motivation and enjoyment.

 

When not working she likes spending time with her husband and three children often hiking and travelling. She likes heights so she has done some extreme zip lining, bungee jumping and now hoping to do paragliding.

Bailee Cuthbert

Rehabilitation Assistant

 

Bailee is working part-time in our Chillliwack and Abbotsford clinics. Clients enjoy her fun attitude and desire to help them achieve their goals.

Brent Ellis

Rehabilitation Assistant

 

Brent's life experience, volunteer work in healthcare and completion of the physiotherapy/occupational therapy Rehabilitation Assistant Program led him to work at Abilities. He is thrilled to be part of this caring team of therapists who contribute so much to the physical, social and emotional well-being of their valued clients.

 

In his spare time Brent enjoys hanging out with friends or his three grown children, playing guitar and going for walks.

Catherine Parekh

Physiotherapist

 

Catherine has diverse experience from practicing in Australia and Boston, Massachusetts, in hospitals, community and private clinics. She is a mom of three who enjoys working with both children and adults in our Abbotsford Clinic.

Matt Snyder

Occupational Therapist

 

Education: Master of Science in Occupational Therapy 2015

Bachelor of Kinesiology 2013

 

Certificates: POPARD Introduction to Autism and Related Disorders (30 hours); Safe & Sound, Protocol Training and ILS Systems Training: Motivating Change – Strategies for Approaching

 

Resistance: Grant Writing

 

Years in Practice: 4

 

Personal Interests: I enjoy playing golf and basketball, travelling and camping with my
girlfriend, dreaming of being a film critic and hanging out with my two dogs, Jax & Sadie.

Emily Hik

Physiotherapist

 

Emily became interested in physiotherapy during years of volunteering at St. Vincent's Hospital, helping adults with physical and cognitive disabilities engage in recreational activities. She completed her Bachelor in Human Kinetics and her Master of Physical Therapy degrees at the University of British Columbia. She developed a passion for working with clients with neurological impairments and children with a variety of developmental conditions through her practicum work while completing her degree. Emily enjoys working with clients both in the clinic setting and in the pool.

 

Emily has taken courses in paediatric vestibular rehabilitation, reflex and sensory contributions to postural control and movement, decoding the autistic brain, Parkinson's disease exercise prescription and Bobath technique.

 

Outside of the clinic, Emily enjoys caring for her young son, cycling, traveling, camping, hiking, cooking, reading and gardening.

Bob Elliott

Rehabilitation Assistant

 

Bob completed a Rehabilitation Assistant Program at CDI College. He finds all the clients he works with wonderful in their own way. He enjoys the young clients who are silly and like to have fun while doing their exercises or activities. He is a people person so he also really enjoys getting to know his adult clients and hearing about their experiences and families. He knows that in this work sometimes it takes time to see progress and we need to believe in the process. He says it is wonderful to hear our clients talk about the progress they have made from their time here with Abilities.

 

Bob has a young son that keeps him busy with swimming, football, hockey and Pokemon. Bob enjoys golf (he was a CPGA Golf Professional for 3 years) and he also works as a basketball referee at the college and high school level.

Aileen Nguyen

Rehabilitation Assistant

 

Education:
Rehab assistant diploma from Okanagan College, 2017
Working towards BA: Psych (last year)

 

Years in Practice: Experienced previous practicum placements from 2015-2017 while in the OC diploma program, officially in practicing at abilities since 2018

Personal Interests: Traveling, eating, reading

Amy Tao

Physiotherapist

 

Amy graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2012 with a Masters in Physical Therapy after completing a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance at Simon Fraser University in 2006. Since graduation, she has worked primarily in neurological rehabilitation but also has experience in orthopaedic private practice and residential care. She has worked in inpatient neuro rehabilitation at both Holy Family Hospital and Eagle Ridge Hospital, as well as at a private neurological physiotherapy clinic in Vancouver. In 2015, Amy completed the 15 day Basic Bobath Course for Assessment and Treatment of Adults with Neurological Conditions. She has also taken postgraduate courses in Vestibular Rehabilitation, Parkinson's Wellness Recovery (PWR!), STOTT Pilates Rehabilitation (Mat and Reformer) and is certified in Anatomical Acupuncture (CAFCI). In 2016, she completed an Advanced Facial Neuromuscular Retraining course for treatment of peripheral facial nerve palsies/lower motor neuron facial paralysis (e.g. Bell's Palsy, Ramsay-Hunt Syndrome, etc.).

 

Amy is passionate about helping clients with neurological conditions improve their function and most importantly of all, quality of life. She believes in thoroughly exploring each client's goals and potential for improvement, no matter what stage of recovery or time since injury/onset. Prior to her physiotherapy career, Amy was a professional contemporary dancer and dance teacher and her interest in movement and the human body developed while studying ballet in her youth. Outside of work, Amy is mostly busy being a mom to two young boys. She enjoys hiking and snowshoeing, practicing yoga and Pilates, and taking the occasional dance class in her spare time.

Paige Stefanyshyn

Admin/Experience Coordinator

 

Special Interests: I have worked for Urology and Radiology in Winnipeg at Health Sciences Centre as well as in the Dialysis Unit.

 

Certificates: Health Unit Clerk Certificate 2009, First Aid, NVCI

 

Personal Interests: Catch me chasing the sun, being a beach bum by the river, camping, biking, anything outdoors in British Columbia!

Eva Karukes

Physiotherapist

 

Eva graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Master’s of Physical Therapy degree in 2014. Straight after graduation Eva started working at Lions Gate Hospital. Being a true believer in a continuum of care, Eva enjoyed her time treating patients in acute and critical care settings prior to transitioning to a private neurological rehabilitation clinic. While working in a hospital, Eva enjoyed all aspects of post-surgical rehabilitation and was passionate about treating patients with cardiopulmonary and neurological conditions. Eva believes in a holistic, client-centered treatment approach, where clients are offered education to self-manage their condition, exercise prescription and hands on techniques. Eva likes to think about every client as an athlete with limitless potential.

Eva has taken several post-graduate professional education courses including R2P Management of Post-Concussion Syndrome, R2P Advanced Management of Post-Concussion Syndrome, Soft Tissue Release and Mobilization with Movement.

 

Outside of the clinic, Eva enjoys chasing her active toddler, running, practising yoga and participating in boot camps.

Cindy Gilray

Physiotherapist

 

Cindy graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy in 2000. She has worked in a variety of settings since that time including Hospital, Private Practice Orthopedics, Early Intervention Pediatrics and Pediatric home visits.

 

She has taken many courses since graduating to enhance her knowledge in these areas of Physiotherapy. She has completed her Manual Therapy Orthopedic Level 3 and is certified in Acupuncture through AFCI.

 

Cindy has always had a desire to work in Pediatrics and began doing so in 2007 after coming off maternity leave with her second child. She worked at the Centre for Child Development in Surrey from 2007-2009 in Early Intervention. From 2009 to present she has been working in Private practice orthopedic setting working with adults and children. She has also continued to see neurological pediatric clients for home visits during this time.

 

Cindy is excited to join the team at Abilities and work with Children and their families. Her focus is to help them achieve their functional goals, and enhance their mobility and independence through Physiotherapy treatments.

 

When not at work Cindy enjoys watching her children’s sports and school activities, camping, travel and singing in choir.

Karen Wong

Occupational Therapist

 

Karen graduated with a Masters in Occupational Therapy from UBC in 2007. As an occupational therapist, Karen has worked with kids, adults and older adults with neurological issues, in acute, residential and community settings, including seating, assistive technology, and specialized individual intervention. In addition, Karen has worked in the area of mental health, facilitating groups, helping individuals gain independent living skills and achieve functional goals. Apart from Abilities, Karen also works as a community occupational therapist in the Tri-Cities area. Karen's interests outside the clinic include performing with several local groups as a musician, gardening, spending time outdoors and finding creative ways to engage and entertain an active 5 year old.

Kathy Cervo

Director of Client Experience

 

Originally from the Toronto area, Kathy lives in Abbotsford with her husband and 4 children. She loves it here! She ran a local preschool dance and fitness program called JitterBugs for 5 years and assists in Dance Classes at Abilities. She enjoys volunteering at her children's school and enjoys being active (especially Zumba classes!) and spending time with her family and friends.

 

Kathy does a great job "up front" at the Abbotsford Abilities and is appreciated for her super-positive-get-it-done attitude by both staff and clients. We know we can count on her every day!

 

Japneet Brar

Rehabilitation Assistant

 

Education: BSc in Cognitive Systems: Brain and Cognition

 

Years in Practice: 1 year!

Personal Interests: Playing volleyball, swimming, watching and reading Harry Potter/ Game of Thrones, hiking and volunteering at a senior rehabilitation centre.

Grace Antonio

Physiotherapist

 

We are delighted to have Grace working in our Chilliwack & Abbotsford locations! When she started with Abilities and our clients gave her rave reviews as she covered some vacation time. As a staff, we really enjoyed working with her and are so happy to keep her involved on our Abilities team.

 

Grace has over 20 years experience in hospitals and team-oriented rehabilitation centres specializing in neuro, orthopedics, geriatrics and pediatrics. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy at the Emilio Aguinaldo College in the Phillipines in 1995. She has a passion for helping seniors, children and she shows great patience and care and demonstrates a strong work ethic.

Harjinder Dyal

Receptionist

 

Harjinder is a part-time receptionist in Abbotsford. She came to us with previous medical office experience and is doing great job at the front. Harjinder is from this area and is the mother of two lovely girls.

 

Harjinder's quiet efficiency and pleasant attitude are appreciated by everyone in the Abbotsford clinic. As a bonus to us, Harjinder is fluent in Punjabi, which is very helpful!

Vartika Shah

Rehabilitaion Assistant

 

Special Interests: Paediatric and Neuro Physiotherapy

 

Education: Bachelors in Physiotherapy

 

Certificates: CPR and First Aid

 

Years in Practice: 5 years as a Paediatric Physio, 1 Year as RA

 

Personal Interests: Photography, crafts and diys with my 5 year old son

Helin Candar

Admin/Experience Manager

 

Special Interests: Neuroscience, administration

 

Education: B.Sc. Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Victoria

 

Certificates:Emergency First Aid/CPR
Violence prevention

 

Years in Practice: Administration (2.5 years), Behavior Intervention (1 year)

 

Personal Interests: Rock climbing, yoga, hanging out with my husky Max, cooking and eating good food

Katie Marochi

Speech-Language Pathologist

 

Katie received her BA from UBC and then completed a Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology at Western Washington University. She has worked as a Child and Youth Care worker, respite care provider and foster care relief support worker for children with Special Needs.

 

Katie enjoys all aspects of Speech Pathology from pediatric speech sound disorders to stroke rehabilitation and swallowing disorders. She believes in providing services for families both within and outside the home.

 

Speech therapy is a unique process, with no two clients being the same. Katie loves getting to know her clients and families and finding out what treatment approach works best for them. She also has a younger brother on the Autism Spectrum which has provided her with some experience that can only be gained at home.

 

Katie loves to spend time with her family at the cabin in the interior whenever she is not working. She is super happy to be able to be back working in her home town of Chilliwack.

Alicia Tonello

Speech Language Pathologist

 

Special Interests: Adolescents & Adults with language disorders

 

Education:
B.A. Psychology - UBC
M.Sc. Augiology & Speech Sciences - UBC

 

Years in Practice: Alicia joined Abilities shortly after her graduation and has been working with us since May 2019.

 

Personal Interests: Animal lover and baking

Nicole Chalmers

Team Coordinator

 

Nicole is the Team Coordinator in our Chilliwack clinic. Her friendly personality and way with people make her a huge asset to our team there.

Stefanie Pemble

Rehabilitation Assistant

 

Stefanie was the very first employee at Abilities. She completed a diploma program as a Rehabilitation Assistant. Stefanie is a very competent and dedicated Rehabilitation Assistant. She is able to add fun to the work she does with our clients to keep them motivated. She is the mother of three lovely girls and enjoys being out in the great outdoors.

Erin Reeds

Clinic Manager, Physiotherapist

 

Erin pursued her Masters of Science degree in Physiotherapy at UBC in 2007 after completing her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of Victoria in 2005. After graduating, Erin worked at Royal Columbian Hospital for a year where she developed a passion for neurological rehabilitation. After gaining experience in the acute setting, Erin started working for a private neurological clinic in Vancouver BC. During this time, she took numerous courses to enhance her knowledge and expertise in the area of neurological rehabilitation, including a 3 week Bobath course that focused on treatment specifically for neurological impairments. In September 2009, Erin began working with adults at the Abilities Surrey location. Her passion for rehabilitation and the desire of her clients to achieve their goals energizes Erin to challenge her clients in a functional, goal directed manner. Erin has completed numerous NDT courses, a course in vestibular rehabilitation and has her acupuncture certification with AFCI. Erin has completed numerous courses in Parkinson’s rehabilitation including the LSVT BIG Certification and PWR! Therapist course. Erin is also passionate about helping individuals who are suffering from post-concussion syndrome. In addition to taking numerous courses on concussion management, she has helped implement a concussion program here at the Surrey location. Erin is a certified yoga instructor and enjoys teaching weekly adapted yoga courses to her clients at the Surrey Abilities location. Outside of the clinic, Erin is an avid crossfitter and enjoys spending time with her dog Ricky-Wayne, running, doing yoga and reading.

Lynne Prostan

Rehabilitation Assistant

 

Lynne has a Bachelor's Degree in Human Kinetics from Trinity Western University and is thrilled to be a part of the Abilities team, working full-time at the Surrey clinic. Lynne is originally from Brazil, but lives now in Langley with her husband. Lynne loves to swim, to spend time hiking outdoors, to travel and cook!

April Adebayo

Speech Language Pathologist

 

Special Interests: Pre-K and School-Aged Children including: Autism, Articulation Delays, Developmental Delays, Apraxia, Language Disorders

 

Education:
Bachelor of Science in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences
Master of Arts in Communication Sciences and Disorders

 

Certificates: Member of Registry of Autism Service Providers (RASP)

 

Years in Practice: 8 years

 

Personal Interests: Playing tennis, trying new restaurants, reading, spending time with friends

Liz Ingram

Team Coordinator

 

Liz is an amazing Team Coordinator who manages the schedule at our Surrey clinic, as well as numerous other tasks. We appreciate her amazing technical skills, her organizational abilities and her keen business mind. She is a huge asset for this busy clinic!

 

Liz is from Ontario but once she moved to BC she didn't look back. She enjoys spending time with her family and travelling for vacations. She also likes to keep active in her spare time, curling and skiing in the winter and playing baseball in the summer.

Yuki Noftly

Admin/Experience Manager

 

Years in Practice:
8 months with Abilities

 

Personal Interests:
• Music, playing my instruments and listening
• Sports: hockey and soccer
• Traveling
• Hanging out with friends
• Reading books

Katy Lovick

Rehabilitation Assistant

 

Tasks: Assists in implementing rehabilitation programs directed by the occupational therapist
and physiotherapist to improve actives of daily living and optimal body movement.

 

Education: Bachelor of Sport & Fitness Leadership, Specialization in Exercise and Wellness from Camosun College, MSc Occupational Therapy from Glasgow Caledonian University

Years in Practice: 4 months

 

Personal Interests: When not at work, I enjoy being outdoors either camping, hiking or working.

Avneet Channa

Rehabilitation Assistant

 

Special Interests: Working with children

 

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology: Minor in Counselling, Diploma in Linguistics

 

Years in Practice: 2 years as a B.I., 1 year SLPA

Samantha Edwards

Physiotherapist

 

Samantha completed her Master of Physical Therapy at the University of British Columbia. Prior to her physiotherapy degree, Samantha completed her Bachelors of Science Degree in Physics and Biology. Samantha found her passion for physiotherapy working as a physical therapy assistant here at Abilities while she pursued her undergraduate degree. Inspired by her patients, she then furthered her education with a focus on Kinesiology and Psychology.

 

Samantha has experience and is comfortable working with all ages, with a variety of adult and pediatric neurological conditions. She has taken courses on FES devices, pediatric gait abnormalities, idiopathic toe walking and an integrated approach to shoulder treatment. Samantha is also certified in MyndMove training, a functional stimulation device for stroke and SCI patients and Sports Physiotherapy Canada First Responder. She enjoys using creative and functional based treatment programs in a collaborative approach that are patient centered and makes physio fun! She believes in treating the body as a whole, using a combination of manual therapy, pool therapy, modalities, active rehabilitation, patient education and home exercise to return you to the activities you love!

Sherri K. Zelazny

Speech-Language Pathologist

 

Sherri is a Registered Speech Language Pathologist with more than 25 years of experience. She received her undergraduate degree from Ithaca College, Ithaca NY and her graduate degree from New York University, New York, NY. She began her career in Laconia, New Hampshire where she stayed for 15 years as a general speech pathologist. She pursued a clinical specialization in the area of Voice and Laryngeal Airway Disorders at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Voice and Swallow Clinics. Her areas of special interest include voice evaluation and treatment, paradoxical vocal fold motion, voice therapy for Parkinson Disease, and community education. Sherri is on the board of directors for the Parkinson Society of British Columbia Board of Directors.

Allyson Ugalde

Rehabilitation Assistant

 

Special Interests: Language acquisition and development in children and adults.

 

Education: BSc in Linguistics

 

Certificates: Emergency CPR.

 

Years in Practice: Worked with children on the autism spectrum since 2016 (3 years) as a Behavior Interventionist, prior to working with Abilities.

 

Personal Interests: Running, playing volleyball, travelling and drawing.

Jaclyn Forsythe

Occupational Therapist

 

Special Interests: Fine/Gross Motor Skills, Daily Functioning Skills, Sensory Regulation, Emotional Regulation, Energy Conservation/Ergonomics, Pain Management, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Concussion/Traumatic Brain Injury, Chronic Pain, Developmental Coordination Disorder

 

Education:

Bachelor's degree in Health Sciences - University of Ottawa
Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy - University of Ottawa

 

Years in Practice: One year of practice!

 

Personal Interests: Sports (basketball, volleyball, soccer, running), Hobbies (sewing, cooking, gardening), Family & friends!

Walee Malik

Rehabilitation Assistant

 

Special Interests: Walee has experience working with a wide variety of clients of all ages. Prior to his time at Abilities, Walee served as the Head Student Athletic Trainer for the University of British Columbia Women’s Ice Hockey team for 3 years.

 

He was responsible for injury assessments, prophylactic taping, first aid and being a liaison between the athletes and the universities Sport medicine team.

 

Walee is also a part of the Headway Foundation, a concussion awareness organization, which strives to promote a safer sports culture, provide resources for patients, as well as enhance concussion evaluation protocols and accessibility.

 

That being said, Walee has a passion in sports therapy and rehabilitation, as well as brain health. However, from his time at Abilities he has also discovered a new passion working with a variety of neurological disorders. He has been inspired to continue to work with neurological disorders from his time with hard-working and dedicated clients. Walee enjoys making his sessions fun, interactive and challenging to get the most out of each and every client, hoping they reach their full potential.

 

Education: Walee is entering his final year in the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of British Columbia. His degree has been geared towards a focus on exercise science, as well as anatomy and physiology. After the completion of his bachelor's degree he strives to enter a Masters of Physical Therapy program in Canada.

 

Certificates: Standard First Aid/CPR/AED level C

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