This category adds team members to the Board of Directors page.

Sarrah Lal


Sarrah Lal graduated with a HBSc in Chemical Biology and an MBA in Strategic Management. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the MGD School of Medicine at McMaster University, leading efforts to teach entrepreneurship and building innovative ventures. She is particularly interested in systems thinking and ongoing care delivery and support mechanisms for individuals living with chronic conditions. Sarrah’s personal commitment to the ABI community began when she worked with speech-language pathologists to provide residential home therapy for individuals living with Aphasia. She was inspired by the impactful work done by the community and wanted to further support individuals living with ABI.


Sarrah Lal, Board President

Jane Blums


With a BA, BScN and MA, Jane Blums’ professional experience has been focused on community health services including project management for the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, along with an active role as past President and current Treasurer for Rotary Club of Hamilton AM. Jane’s initial interest in the ABI community began with her involvement in projects related to the services and funding for the ABI community. Her involvement on the board has allowed her to understand the personal impact of those living with an ABI. Her influence has aided in the funding and policies to meet the ever-changing needs of these individuals.


Judy D’llario


With an extensive background as a Registered Nurse, Judy has participated in research studies at McMaster University, as both a Clinical Research Nurse and Research Nurse Consultant for several international trials. Today, Judy is a Patient Safety Specialist at McMaster Children’s Hospital (HHS), focusing on Surgical Quality Improvement Programs across Canada and the U.S. Her experience in clinical research moved her to volunteer and share her professional knowledge, experience and skills in the brain injury community.


Paula Garshowitz

Director


Paula graduated with an OD degree from the University of Waterloo school of Optometry.  Her clinical experience as a practicing optometrist and her current role as a health profession regulator, informs her interest in ABI rehabilitation within the community.  Paula recognizes and understands the value that strong governance processes bring to not-for–profit organizations and is honoured to make a contribution to the ABI community through her involvement on the HIRO Board of Directors.


Mike O’Brien

Vice-President


Mike completed his Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science at Carleton University and then journeyed westward to receive his LL.B (Bachelor of Laws) degree from the University of Victoria. He articled with Sullivan Festeryga before being called to the Bar, and is currently a Partner at the firm. Through his practice, Mike focuses on insurance defense matters, civil litigation and criminal law, and has reviewed ABI related cases. Mike’s interest in the ABI community has led him to take an active role at HIRO. Inspired by the ABI survivor’s journey, he continues to share his knowledge and experience to support individuals living with ABI.


Kaela Millar


With BA/Hons in Child and Youth Studies (CHYS) and diploma in Recreation Therapy, Kaela currently works as a Recreation Therapist at Mohawk College and supervises both first and second-year students. She is also responsible for operating and managing the college’s on-site Multi-Sensory Environment (MSE) Program. Kaela’s role involves educating and creating awareness to community services as well as training students about the practice of multi-sensory intervention with individuals who present varying disabilities. Working directly with survivors of acquired brain injury within the MSE program, Kaela sees their commitment and strength, which inspires her to give back to the ABI community.


Rob Payne


Rob Payne graduated with a B.Com from McMaster University, where he was a member of the varsity swimming and waterpolo teams. He also graduated from the Training for International Operations program (TIO) from The Stockholm School of Economics. Rob led national and international operations for various divisions within the Sandvik Group of companies, and spent his volunteer time as Past Chair of the Town and Gown Association of Ontario as well as Past President of the Ainslie Wood Westdale Community Association. Over the past 20 years, Rob has been the primary caregiver for his son who suffered from two brain hemorrhages secondary to an Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM). His personal experience led him to volunteer at HIRO in an effort to help individuals living with an ABI.


Rob Payne, Director