OUR TEAM

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.

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.

Erin Riley

Speech Language Pathologist

Erin is particularly interested in providing speech and language therapy to those who have sustained a traumatic brain injury or stroke, as well as school-aged children whose language is delay and children on the Autism Spectrum.

Erin is a recent graduate, having earned a Master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology from McGill University. She is certified by Speech-Language & Audiology Canada, and registered with the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of BC.

In her spare time, Erin enjoy video-editing and exploring thrift stores.

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.

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!

Jamie Geertsema

Speech Language Pathologist

Jamie enjoys helping people of all ages and profiles with their communication needs, especially those with speech sound and motor speech difficulties, as well as people with aphasia.

Jamie completed her undergraduate degree in Cognitive Science of Language at McMaster University, and graduated with a Masters of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of British Columbia in the spring of 2019. Jamie is registered with the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of BC, as well as with Speech-Language & Audiology Canada.

Outside of work Jamie enjoys drawing, reading, and hiking in her spare time.

Katy Lovick

Occupational Therapist

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

Nicole Chalmers

Admin/Experience Manager

Nicole has lived in Chilliwack for 13 years and feels privileged to enjoy the beautiful outdoors in this area of BC. Her favourite aspect of her position as Experience Manager at the Chilliwack clinic is documenting the success stories of clients as they reach their individual goals. Nicole’s aim is to ensure that every client and family feel confident in the services they are receiving and are well supported to become the successful heroes of their own stories.

Outside the office Nicole enjoys playing volleyball on a women’s league team, playing fiddle/violin and volunteering her time at a local soup kitchen.

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.

Jenn Williams

Speech Language Pathologist

Jenn is passionate about early language intervention, providing education and support to caregivers so they can best help their child, and supporting communication post-stroke or other brain injuries.

Jenn received her Bachelor of Science in Linguistics and Psychology, before pursuing and earning a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology, as well as her Certificate of Speech Sciences.

Jenn is the busy mom of a daughter and son. She loves to spend their time together playing games, reading, having adventures, and exploring outdoors. When she gets a free moment, Jenn enjoys reading and hiking.

Sophie Hopkins

Occupational Therapist

As an Occupational Therapist, Sophie has worked with children and adults with neurological challenges, helping them to reach their full potential. She is especially passionate about working with individuals on the Autism Spectrum, as well as with Downs Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Brain Injury, and post-Stroke.

Sophie graduated with a Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy, and joined Abilities in 2019. She has taken a number of continuing education courses including Handwriting without Tears instruction, and Foundations of Praxis for children with ASD.

In her spare time, Sophie enjoys reading, baking, trying out new restaurants, outdoor activities like hiking, and traveling (She's traveled to 5 continents!).

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.

Nina Bhagat

Rehabilitation Assistant

Nina, originally from Zimbabwe, came to Canada to study and has since graduated with a Bachelors degree in Psychology and a minor in Kinesiology from SFU.

Her volunteering experience at BC Children’s Hospital and Vancouver Coastal Health, along with her keen interest in neuro and movement, led her to Abilities. Nina enjoys working with all clients and manages to find something in common with each one of them. She joined our team in October 2019 and is qualified in Standard First Aid/CPR.

In her spare time Nina enjoys watching movies, eating out and painting.

Liz Ingram

Admin/Experience Manager

Liz is an amazing Experience Manager who handles 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.

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!

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

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!

Erin Reeds

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 for her clients to achieve their goals energizes Erin to challenge her clients in a functional, goal directed manner. Erin has completed numerous NDT, vestibular rehabilitation and concussion management courses. She also holds certification in acupuncture with AFCI. Erin has completed several courses in Parkinson’s rehabilitation including the LSVT BIG Certification and PWR! Therapist course. 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 enjoys spending time with her dog Bruce as well as exploring local trails.

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.

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!

Jaclyn Forsythe

Occupational Therapist

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!

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

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.

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

Sophie Hopkins

Occupational Therapist

As an Occupational Therapist, Sophie has worked with children and adults with neurological challenges, helping them to reach their full potential. She is especially passionate about working with individuals on the Autism Spectrum, as well as with Downs Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Brain Injury, and post-Stroke.

Sophie graduated with a Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy, and joined Abilities in 2019. She has taken a number of continuing education courses including Handwriting without Tears instruction, and Foundations of Praxis for children with ASD.

In her spare time, Sophie enjoys reading, baking, trying out new restaurants, outdoor activities like hiking, and traveling (She's traveled to 5 continents!).

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.

Priya Sandhu

Experience Coordinator

Bruna Santos

Experience Coordinator

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!

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

Admin/Experience Manager

Liz is an amazing Experience Manager who handles 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.

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