Awards of Excellence

The Ontario Brain Injury Association in collaboration with the Personal Injury Alliance is pleased to present the Awards of Excellence in Brain Injury Rehabilitation to those who consistently provide exceptional service to the brain injury community.

The Awards are presented in the following categories:

  1. Case Manager of the Year – This award will be given to a case manager working in private practice who has consistently gone above and beyond the call of duty to help catastrophically impaired brain injury survivors and their families. The recipient will be someone who has worked for at least the last year as a private case manager helping catastrophically impaired brain injury survivors.
  2. Rehabilitation Company of the Year – This award is meant to recognize the private rehabilitation company that consistently provides exceptional and dedicated service to brain injury survivors, including through volunteer work by its personnel.
  3. Health Care Provider of the Year – This award will be given to the health practitioner who has consistently gone above and beyond the call of duty to assist the brain injury community. The recipient may be in the public or private sector and can be from any discipline whatsoever (i.e. physician, speech language pathologist, private social worker, occupational therapist, psychologist, physiotherapist, rehabilitation support worker, etc.). The recipient will be someone who consistently goes the extra mile to assist the brain injury community.
  4. Community Brain Injury Association of the Year – This award is meant to recognize the non-profit brain injury association which provides exemplary service to the brain injury community and continues to find innovative means to support brain injury survivors and their families.
  5. Hospital Social Worker of the Year – This award will be given to the hospital social worker who has consistently gone above and beyond the call of duty to help brain injury survivors and their families. The recipient will be selected from social workers working at a trauma or rehabilitation hospital in the last year.


The following recipients for the 2017 Awards of Excellence in Brain Injury Rehabilitation were announced at the Back to School conference on September 28, 2017, presented by OBIA and PIA Law.

Case Manager of the Year:  Tonya Flaming

Tonya Flaming is a Case Manager and current owner of Rehabilitation Planning Corp. She has several years of pediatric and youth experience having worked at Sick Kids Hospital as Registered Nurse for 14 years, with the last 6 years spent as a Transitional Care Coordinator. This expertise and experience has allowed Tonya to excel in her role as a Case Manager in the private industry for over 5 years and has demonstrated understanding, compassion and a client centred approach to working with both paediatric and adult clients, their families and referral sources. Recently Tonya acquired Rehabilitation Planning Corp., a Case Management and Life Care Planning company where she worked as a Case Manager and received outstanding mentorship and experience from Martha Binstock.

Apart from her role as Owner and Case Manager, Tonya currently sits on the Toronto ABI Network Conference Planning Committee as the Sponsorship Chair, as well as on the BIST Awareness Committee (for over 7 years) and completed a 3-year term as a BIST Board member.

Rehabilitation Company of the Year:  Neurologic Rehabilitation Institute of Ontario (NRIO)

The Neurologic Rehabilitation Institute of Ontario, (NRIO) a Division of Bayshore Therapy & Rehab (BTR), offers client-centered, outcome based, community brain injury rehabilitation: residential, independent living, dual diagnosis (substance abuse, mental health, behaviours), a clinic, coma stimulation, child & youth services, and group programs.

Backed by a diverse staff of trained and qualified regulated healthcare professionals, NRIO customizes treatment programs for each person in our programs. By using resources within the community, we are able to create improved integration and restoration of functional skills and quality of life needed for greater independence.

Each NRIO facility and program offers various levels of specialized care, so together, the NRIO / BTR network of services meets the needs of clients as they progress through their recovery.

NRIO received the highest recognition of exemplary standing from Accreditation Canada in 2014. Since 1999, NRIO has conducted an Outcome Validation Study to evaluate the performance and quality of its services and programming.

Health Care Provider of the Year:  Ardyn McGregor

After working in community-based rehab for over 10 years, Arden followed her heart and founded Brainworks in 2003, where she continues to serve both clinically and as Executive Director.

Arden’s clinical responsibilities at Brainworks include: Psychological consultation, assessment and treatment; pain management; neurobehavioural program development, rehabilitation program planning; clinically directing therapists, and rehabilitation consultation. Most of her clinical work occurs north of Toronto to north of North Bay.

As Executive Director, Arden has overall responsibility for the organizational direction and culture of Brainworks, personnel decisions, approval of programs and all financial and legal matters.

Arden’s expertise in the field of brain injury rehabilitation is both respected and sought after. She has given approximately 100 formal presentations to hundreds of professionals concerned with brain injury, rehabilitation and behavioural interventions, including educational sessions at local, provincial, national and international conferences, hospitals, long-term care facilities, colleges and universities.

Today, Brainworks continues to grow, developing new and innovative programs and services to best meet client needs.  It’s professionals are dedicated and compassionate, following Arden’s lead, and remain steadfast and loyal to the company’s founding and guiding principle:  Clients first!

Community Brain Injury Association of the Year: Brain Injury Association of Peel-Halton (BIAPH)

The Brain Injury Association of Peel-Halton (BIAPH) became a registered charity on May 01, 1986. Since its inception, BIAPH has been providing support to brain injured survivors and their caregivers living in the region of Peel and Halton.

BIAPH conducts monthly support groups throughout Peel and Halton. These groups offer a safe place to connect, share experiences and support each other. They also offer a caregiver component where the many tireless and dedicated caregivers can connect and support each other. Some support group meetings have guest speakers who present on a variety of topics that have been identified by the group. In addition, BIAPH organizes social events throughout the year as well as specialized programs such as peer support and caregiver relief.

This past year BIAPH created a new and unique support group called Headspin, which focuses on survivors in their late teens and twenties. Based on feedback from these “younger” survivors, we came to realize that what this demographic was lacking was a social activity based place to connect. BIAPH applied for and obtained funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to implement this new program.

BIAPH’s caregiver relief program is sustained through donations, fund raising efforts and sponsorships. This program provides successful applicants with 4 hours of PSW services weekly for one year. BIAPH is also an active participant in the Peer Mentoring Program.

Our upcoming plans include expanding the reach of our support group program to under served areas within our borders.

Hospital Social Worker of the Year: Yael Diamond

Yael Diamond works at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital as a social worker on the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Team. With over nine years social work experience, Yael’s career has spanned clinical care, research and education.

While at Holland Bloorview, Yael has participated in many cross-organizational committees and projects, including writing a Standard of Care for Social Work Assessments and Custody and Access Policy. She was an integral member of the Discharge Planning Committee, which included the implementation of the Transition Passport, which is a tool for families to stay organized. Yael conducted a review of Social Work documentation screens for the Electronic Medical Record, and developed a pathway for inpatient clients in the restorative stream. Currently, Yael co-facilitates a weekly inpatient teen brain injury support group and is helping to lead the review and roll out of the Family Needs Questionnaire – Paediatric Version. She is also a member of the Social Work Practice Council and the Association for Teaching Centres.

In addition, Yael is the clinical education liaison for Social Work where she coordinates all facets of the social work student education program at Holland Bloorview. Committed to lifelong learning, Yael holds Adjunct Lecturer status at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work (FIFSW) at the University of Toronto. Yael is the recipient of numerous staff and client nominated awards in the areas of Quality of Care, Respect, Information Sharing and Partnership.

Yael earned her Bachelor of Social Work from York University in 2008, and in 2010, earned her Master of Social Work from Wurzweiller School of Social Work, where she was the recipient of The Research Award for Excellence in Research. Yael is a member in good standing of the Ontario Association of Social Workers and Social Service Workers and the Association of Social Workers.

Our congratulations to all nominees; this is a testament to your value and importance within the Brain Injury Community.

2017 Winners

OBIA awards of excellence 2016

2016 Winners