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CHIRS at The Toronto ABI Conference

The Toronto ABI Conference took place this year on November 3rd and 4th. The Toronto ABI Network helps hospitals and community-based programs connect people with Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) to the services they need. A recognized leader in ABI, they work to improve access to high quality, publicly funded ABI services and support. We were thrilled that six members of the CHIRS staff were selected to present at the conference.

Dr. Michelle Busse, Dr. Lisa Bolshin, and Amanda Muise delivered an amazing presentation called: "Using the 4 M’s of Mental Health to Improve the Well-Being of People Living with Acquired Brain Injury During the COVID-19 Pandemic". The group discussed the 4M’s clinical group that they developed during the pandemic to assist clients to develop and utilize a mental health toolkit. The 4 M’s are Mindfulness, Meaningful Engagement, Mastery, and Movement. They also discussed how the CHIRS Clinical Team made the switch from in-person clinical groups to virtual clinical groups and all of the ethical and legal considerations that were navigated to provide safe and confidential meeting spaces on Zoom. Lastly, they presented some feedback from clients and staff about the pros and cons of being in virtual clinical groups.

Next, Cathy Halovanic, wearing her "System Navigator" hat, spoke about the role of the Navigators within the province. Last but not least, Sean Hollingsworth and Rachelle Gebel highlighted the development of the CHIRS food hamper program in their presentation “Food for the Soul”. Sean and Rachelle received the People’s Choice Award for best rapid podium presentation. CHIRS Executive Director Hedy Chandler was in her other role as Chair of the Network when she delivered the opening and closing remarks. HR Manager Galyn Baptist attended as part of the Conference Planning Committee. To say how proud we were of all our CHIRS’ presenters seems an understatement. Speaking to a crowd of over 300 people can be intimidating, but the CHIRS crew made it look easy. Well done!

Dr. Lisa B., Dr. Michelle B., and Amanda M.

Cathy H. with Shobha O.

Hedy C. with Sean H. and Rachelle G. receiving their award

Hedy C. and Galyn B.

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