BOT, MA (Sociology), C/NDT, IDM
Amit has been practicing occupational therapy for over 20 years. He has extensive experience in providing community based occupational therapy to clients with brain injuries and orthopaedic conditions. Amit has had a variety of international experiences which include establishment of two occupational therapy departments. He has worked extensively with clients with brain injuries and orthopaedic conditions in various countries including Canada, Ireland, Kuwait, and India.
Amit is certified in Neuro Developmental Therapy from NDTA, USA; and trained in Dementia Care Mapping (DCM) from the University of Bradford, UK. He is also trained in seating and complex postural management from the UK. Amit holds a certificate in Integrated Disability Management from University of Fredericton. Amit has successfully completed International Yoga Teachers Training course (100 hours) from India, and is able to combine this knowledge with occupational therapy to holistically treat clients suffering pain and illness. Amit is also a certified PGAP provider.
Amit has always been a respected member of the industry, and enjoys mentoring. He has made presentations in international conferences, and is well experienced in conducting workshops for clients, caregivers, and health care professionals. Amit has served as a member of the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists - British Columbia (CAOT-BC) Advisory Committee. Amit currently serves as a member of Professional Advisory Committee of Stroke Recovery Association of British Columbia.
As the founder-director of Life skills Therapy, Amit is responsible for strategic planning and operational management.
Lakshmi Gupta, Founder-Director, Occupational therapist
BOT, MSc OT
Lakshmi has been in the field of occupational therapy for over 16 years. Lakshmi graduated as an occupational therapist from the University of Calcutta in 2001 as one of the top students. Later on, she was awarded a scholarship from the British government to study MSc in Occupational Therapy in England, which she successfully completed in 2003 from Coventry University. Lakshmi is a life-long learner, and has continued to enhance her skills and compliment her OT practice.
Lakshmi has extensive experience working in both acute hospital and community settings in various countries including India, Ireland, and Canada. She has special interest in home safety assessments, neurological rehabilitation, and falls prevention.
As the founder-director of Life skills Therapy, Lakshmi is responsible for strategic planning and operational management.
Elizabeth Poon, Clinical Practice Manager, Occupational Therapist
Elizabeth completed her OT degree at UBC in 2008. She began working with Life Skills Therapy in 2013 after working in both acute care and private practice settings. She has a keen interest in peer mentorship, geriatric care, pediatric fine motor development, and working with adolescents who have experienced head injury. Elizabeth is trained to utilize the Cognitive Orientation to Daily Occupational Performance (CO-OP) approach in therapy. She is a certified CarFit Technician, VCHA SteadyFeet Instructor and is trained to integrate both Get Set for School and Handwriting Without Tears printing programs in occupational therapy intervention.
Elizabeth is also a practising Registered Nurse who works with Vancouver Coastal Health on the Care Management Team. Her area of practice focuses on geriatric discharge from a critical care unit. She has completed a specialty nursing program in perioperative nursing and anticipates completion of an infection control specialty in winter 2018.
Elizabeth’s work experience situates her in a unique vantage point to provide occupational therapy and case management services to her clients. Elizabeth has a working knowledge of Cantonese and primarily engages with clients in Richmond and the Lower Mainland.
Outside of work, Elizabeth enjoys: spending time with her family, playing the harp, exercising and traveling.
Danielle Fogarty, Clinical Practice Lead, Occupational Therapist
Danielle has a Bachelor of Science and has subsequently completed her Masters of Occupational Therapy from the University of Manitoba. Danielle's clinical experience includes mental health rehabilitation, acute care discharge planning, outpatient OT services for clients with movement disorders, and musculoskeletal rehabilitation in burns and plastics. She has also completed an independent study on cognitive rehabilitation for people with multiple sclerosis and cognitive impairments as part of her Master’s degree. Danielle’s special areas of interest include seating and mobility, evidence-based practice, and home assessments. She values using a client-centered approach to enable people to return to their meaningful occupations.
Danielle is a certified BrainFx administrator.Danielle provides community based occupational therapy services to clients. She is based in Vancouver. Danielle also speaks French.
Sheila Wang, Occupational Therapist
BSc, MSc OT
Sheila graduated from University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, and completed a Master in Occupational Therapy in 2014 at University of Alberta. Sheila’s clinical experience includes administering cognitive, physical, and functional assessments, and providing interventions with adults and seniors in rehab, community, and acute hospital settings. Sheila is especially interested in neurological rehabilitation and enjoys working with all age groups. She believes in the importance of utilizing client-centered approach to help clients engaged in meaningful occupations and promoting clients to become active participants in maintaining own health.
Sheila is a certified PGAP provider.Sheila also speaks fluent Mandarin and Taiwanese Hokkien.
Tamara Soloway, Occupational Therapist
Tamara received a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Toronto in 2007, and went on to work in the area of spinal cord injury and neurological disease at a recognized teaching hospital, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. Tamara gained invaluable experience as an interdisciplinary team member, researcher and preceptor that continues to provide a strong evidenced-based, rehabilitation foundation for her work as a community-based therapist. Tamara moved back 'home' to Vancouver in 2012 and brings with her a balance of cognitive, psycho-social and physical rehabilitation experience, including skills in advanced seating and mobility prescription, neuro-developmental approach, chronic pain self-management, holistic mental health, and complex discharge planning. Tamara's experience across diverse practice settings including acute care, inpatient rehabilitation and community-based rehab allows for the seamless management of client needs through the recovery process. Tamara has a keen interest in the incorporation of psychological health into her practice through the use of mindfulness and therapeutic yoga.
Tamara is based out of the North Shore and serves clients in Vancouver, North Shore, Sea-to-Sky Corridor and the Sunshine Coast.
Vijoy Chakraborty, Clinical Practice Manager, Occupational Therapist
BOT, Cert (Accessibility Auditing)
Vijoy has been practicing occupational therapy for over 16 years in various countries including Canada, Ireland, and India. He has extensive experience working with clients both in hospital and in the community, and is well positioned to understand the importance of seamless service provision that is crucial for most of our clients.
Wheelchair seating assessments, cognitive assessments for driver rehabilitation and built environment accessibility are some of the areas of expertise that Vijoy brings to the team. As a Clinical Practice Educator for occupational therapy programs with two of the universities in Ireland, Vijoy is a great mentor for newly qualified occupational therapists.
As an advocate for complete mental and physical health, Vijoy has a passion to serve others by not only guiding them in recovery but also imparting them with the knowledge to continue progressing in the skills that they have been taught.
Vijoy is a certified BrainFx administrator.Vijoy is based in Surrey and serves clients in Metro Vancouver, Langley and Abbotsford. Vijoy also speaks fluent Hindi, Bengali, and Punjabi.
Laura Kwun, Occupational Therapist
BSc Psych, MSc OT
Born in Vancouver, Laura has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of British Columbia and a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. She is passionate about people, mental health, constant learning, occupational justice (everyone's right to participate in meaningful occupations), and how conversations can be the catalysts for change in people’s lives. Her clinical experience includes acute stroke rehabilitation, residential care and geriatrics, and community mental health. Laura is also trained and calibrated to complete the Assessment of Motor and Process Skills (AMPS), a standardized assessment of activities of daily living.
Laura is currently located in Richmond and provides occupational therapy services to clients all over the Lower Mainland. When she is not working, Laura can be found rocking out on the social dance floor, learning dance, or teaching dance.
Starla McCormick, Occupational Therapist
BA Psych, MSc OT
Starla was born and raised in Newfoundland and Labrador. She then attended university in Halifax, Nova Scotia completing a Bachelor of Arts (with honours in Psychology) at Saint Mary’s University in 2006 and a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy at Dalhousie University in 2010.
She moved to British Columbia shortly afterwards to begin her career within the correctional system where she gained a tremendous amount of experience in complex mental health. She focuses on promoting clients’ function by addressing the physical, cognitive, and/or emotional difficulties that they face. Starla has an enthusiastic passion for engaging clients in the meaningful activities that they need, want, or have to do while overcoming their impairments and environmental barriers.
Starla is a member of CAOT, a certified PGAP provider and an Assessment of Motor and Process Skills (AMPS) calibrated rater. She provides community-based services to clients in the Fraser Valley. In her free time she can be found there spending time with her family, practicing yoga, and running.
Shadi Nobahar, Occupational Therapist
BOT, MSc OT
Shadi has been working as an occupational therapist for over eight years. She graduated from Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in 2007. Following this, she completed Master of Occupational Therapy at Iran University of Medical Sciences in 2009. Shadi’s clinical experiences include stroke rehabilitation, return to work planning, and hand therapy.
Shadi is especially interested in return to work programs, and neurological rehabilitation. She is passionate about taking a client centred approach, and strongly values evidence-based practice.
Shadi holds Matheson Functional Capacity Evaluation Certification. Shadi is located in North Vancouver and serves clients in North Vancouver, West Vancouver, and Vancouver. She also speaks Farsi.
Mohsen Sangargir, Occupational Therapist
Mohsen graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy from Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Iran in 2007.
As an occupational therapist, Mohsen has over eight years of experience in a variety of settings, including acute hospitals, rehabilitation centers, day programs, home health and schools.
Mohsen has special interest in neurological rehabilitation, and vocational rehabilitation. Mohsen is dedicated to providing a client-centered approach for all clients to enable meaningful occupation. He is located in North Vancouver and provides community occupational therapy services to clients throughout lower mainland. Mohsen also speaks fluent Farsi.
Kathleen Forsythe, Occupational Therapist
MSc OT, BSc Neuroscience
Kathleen graduated from Dalhousie University, completing a Masters of Occupational Therapy, as well a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience. Kathleen’s clinical experience includes mental health rehabilitation, stroke rehabilitation, musculoskeletal rehabilitation, and return to work planning. Kathleen is passionate about taking a client centered approach to care, focusing on the whole person, to promote wellness and independence in the activities of daily life most meaningful to each individual client. Her special interests include neurological rehabilitation, mental health, and the relationship between mind and body.
Kathleen is certified in Motivation Interviewing and provides community-based services to clients in the Vancouver area. In her free time Kathleen can be found enjoying the outdoors with a good book, or attending all things musical.
Damaris Medina, Occupational Therapist
Damaris graduated as an occupational therapist from The Rosario University in Bogota, Colombia in 2002. She has been certified and practicing occupational therapy in Canada since 2005.
Damaris has worked in multidisciplinary rehabilitation teams providing treatment and services for various rehabilitation programs including pain management, occupational rehabilitation, return to work support services, and activity-related soft tissue disorders. She has also experience working in the community and had completed several functional assessments to determine care and equipment needs as well as home modifications. Her areas of specialty include: job demand analysis, return to work programs, work capacity evaluations, ergonomic assessments, community based rehabilitation programs, case management, pain management and home health. She has also experience working in mental health and pediatrics.
Damaris is a certified PGAP provider. She also speaks Spanish. Damaris joined Life Skills Therapy in 2016 and provides Home Health and Return to Work services to clients in Surrey.
Sherry Yu, Occupational Therapist
Sherry completed her degree in Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) at UBC in 2016 following a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology at SFU. Through her MOT clinical practicum, Sherry gained experience in hospital discharge planning, home safety assessment, equipment fitting, cognitive assessment, and mental health rehabilitation with adults, as well as splinting and dysphasia assessment with children. She enjoys working with clients with different backgrounds, and values evidence-based, client-centred occupational therapy services. As part of her MOT curriculum, Sherry worked closely with a research partner and their supervisor and conducted a study exploring the relationship between life balance, stress, and well-being.
Sherry believes in lifelong learning and is interested in return to work planning, neuro/cognitive rehabilitation, and mindfulness techniques. She provides community based occupational therapy services in the lower mainland. She also speaks fluent Mandarin.
Aditi Mistri, Occupational Therapist
Aditi completed her BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy in 2015 at the University of Northampton, UK; Aditi has an array of experiences within mental health services; and professional clinical training in mental health, neurology, and case management.
Preceding her OT degree, Aditi completed a BSc (Hons) in Psychology. Her areas of interest include mental health, research, brain injury, and neurology. Aditi believes that client-centered practice is fundamental to OT practice and using a collaborative approach, she aims to enhance client engagement in meaningful occupations, increasing their life experience which promotes positive outcomes and well-being.
In her free time, Aditi enjoys Indian Classical dance, arts & crafts, and spending time with her loved ones. She is based out of Port Moody and serves the surrounding areas. Aditi speaks Gujarati and basic Hindi.
Jackie Rowe, Occupational Therapist
BCR, MSc OT
Jackie completed a Bachelor of Community Rehabilitation and Disabilities Studies from the University of Calgary in 2011 and went on to obtain a Masters of Occupational Therapy from Queen’s University in 2017. Jackie’s Clinical experience includes case management for residential mental health, outpatient neurological rehabilitation, inpatient surgical orthopaedic rehabilitation as well as outpatient amputation rehabilitation. Jackie has a special interest in neurological rehabilitation, mental health and home assessment. She strives to help clients find meaning and value in the activities of everyday life. She has a passion for helping people and empowering change.
Faye Arnaly, Occupational Therapist
BA, MSc OT
Faye completed her Bachelor of Arts in Health Science at Simon Fraser University and a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy at Queen’s University. She has clinical experience working in acute care hospitals, community mental health settings, and outpatient rehabilitation. Through these clinical experiences, she has developed skills in administering cognitive, neurological, physical, and functional assessments. Faye has four years of related professional experience working with the older adult population, their caregivers, and community organizations and has a special interest in working with this population. Based out of Vancouver, Faye provides client care throughout the Lower Mainland. Faye also speaks Cantonese.
Mansur Firuzbakhsh, Occupational Therapist
Mansur has more than 25 years of work experience as an Occupational Therapist in various residential care facilities and hospitals in Iran, Holland, and Canada. He received his Occupational Therapy postgraduate degree from Holland. He speaks fluent Farsi and English.
Mansur’s scope of practice in Occupational Therapy includes safe transfer habits, fall prevention, gait aids, seating assessments, home safety assessments, activity of daily living assessment, pressure ulcer management, and community case management. He is a positive, dynamic and compassionate individual who values the importance of establishing a trusting relationship with the clients and families he works with.
Mansur is based out of North Vancouver. In his spare time, Mansur enjoys hiking, swimming, professional singing, and spending time with his family and friends.
Peter Drzymala, Occupational Therapist
BSc Psych, BSc OT
Peter Drzymala is a compassionate and empathetic professional, and has brought those valued qualities to 23 years of practice as an Occupational Therapist, in order to enable individual’s to address their rehabilitation needs and goals. He has studied at the University of Alberta and McMaster University in Canada attaining B.Sc. specialization in Psychology and B.H.Sc. (Occupational Therapy), respectively. Peter has developed an extensive professional background in providing OT services to adults in acute, rehabilitation and community settings in several different countries. Additionally, he has extensive knowledge and experience in providing neuro-rehabilitation, environmental assessments and adaptations, and seating and mobility assessments and prescriptions. He is conversational in German, and will be sharing his extensive knowledge and professional experience with clients in Penticton and the surrounding area. Peter has a passion for climbing, mountaineering, yoga, meditation and the outdoors, and believes such activities, and activity in general, are important for nurturing the human spirit.
Veronika Vlckova, Physiotherapist
MSc PT, BSc PT
Veronika is a Registered Physiotherapist in BC, and a member of the Physiotherapy Association of BC and the Canadian Physiotherapy Association. She graduated in 2012 with a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Sciences and Physiotherapy in Leuven, Belgium, with a major in adults with neurological disorders. After graduating, Veronika has gained experience working with the neurological population in the community and clinic setting, and treating clients with a variety of acute conditions in the hospital setting.
Through her clinical and work experience, Veronika has developed a passion for working with clients with neurological conditions such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury, and acquired brain injury. She believes in utilizing a holistic and individualized treatment approach, facilitating the return of clients to meaningful and functional activities.
While developing her career in BC, Veronika has taken post graduate professional courses including the Bobath concept, specifically aimed at the treatment of neurological impairments, and R2P Management of Post-Concussion Syndrome. Veronika believes in the principle of continuing education in the ever-evolving domain of physiotherapy.
In her spare time she enjoys the outdoors, hiking up the beautiful local mountains of BC.
Uma Natarajan, Registered Physiotherapist
MSc PT, BPT
Uma has been practicing physiotherapy for over 17 years. She successfully completed Bachelor of Physiotherapy in 1998 and went on to obtain a Master of Physiotherapy degree with specialization in neurological conditions.
Uma has extensive experience in providing physiotherapy to clientele with neurological and orthopedic conditions. Her passions are stroke and brain injury rehabilitation, spinal cord injury management, and pediatric neurology.
Uma believes in-depth assessment is essential to drafting the best treatment plan for her clients. Uma values evidence based practice and utilizes a client-centred approach to assist clients on their road to recovery.
Marla Balzer, Physiotherapist
Marla has been a physiotherapist for over 12 years. She obtained her Bachelor of Medical Rehabilitation (Physical Therapy) from the University of Manitoba and holds an additional Bachelor of Arts degree with a specialization in Sociology and Women's Studies. Marla's career has spanned across the continuum of care and she is experienced in working with adults in acute, rehabilitation, and community settings. Some of her unique professional experiences have included providing Physical Therapy services to pediatric and adult Inuit living in remote communities in the Canadian arctic and previously practicing in Shanghai and Kunming, China. Marla has always been a strong advocate for her profession and the role Physical Therapists play in advancing health, mobility, and well-being. She looks forward to bringing this passion for quality care and service to Penticton and surrounding areas.