Neuro-Ability Rehabilitation Services

Our Team

 
Physiotherapy | Rehabilitation Assistants

 

Physiotherapy


Anne Whittaker B.Sc. (PT)

Anne graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Western Ontario. She worked in a variety of orthopaedic settings which provided her with experience in inpatient and outpatient post-surgical orthopaedics, sports medicine and private practice.   After working in Toronto for four years she opted for more active lifestyle on the West Coast.

Anne moved to Vancouver in 1998 and worked at the North Shore Sports Medicine Clinic at Capilano University for three years where she was the trainer for the varsity women's soccer and basketball teams.  She has been practicing at Oakridge Physiotherapy Centre since 2001.

Anne has her level three orthopaedic certification and has done a number of post graduate level courses in manual therapy.  She has special interest in treating the shoulder and foot and ankle injuries.  In the past few years she has had the opportunity to treat some individuals with spinal cord injury, which introduced her to Cathy Eustace.  She is excited to join the team at Neuro-Ability and apply some of her manual therapy experience to a more neurological population.  Anne recently completed her acupuncture certification through the Acupuncture Foundation of Canada Institute and is looking forward to adding this tool to her practice.  Anne is a member of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association.

When Anne is not working she is busy spending time with her family and enjoys skiing and snowboarding, biking, running, playing tennis and practicing yoga when she gets the chance.

Catherine Eustace: B.App.Sc.(PT), IBITA Advanced Instructor

Cathy graduated in 1985 from Lincoln Institute of Applied Science, Melbourne, Australia. In 1991 Catherine emigrated to Vancouver, initially taking a position at GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre.  In 1996 she opened one of the first private physiotherapy practices in Vancouver specializing in the assessment and treatment of individuals with neurological injuries. Her practice evolved into Neuro-Ability in 2005 when Libby Swain joined forces with Cathy.

Catherine is currently a member of the physiotherapy team at Neuro-Ability where she maintains a clinical caseload, and provides one-on-one clinical mentorship on a consult basis to physiotherapists and occupational therapists. She brings considerable knowledge and skill to this role having worked in all aspects of the care continuum (acute, rehabilitation and community) in Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

An IBITA Bobath Instructor since 2002, Catherine qualified as an Advanced Instructor in 2010, one of only three in Canada.  She is a co-founding member of the Canadian Bobath Instructors Association and instructs post-graduate clinical Bobath courses for physiotherapists and occupational therapists across Canada and internationally. She is also a member of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association.

Cathy is married with two pre-teen children. Her family are all very keen cyclists; together they have done some extensive travel by bike. In her spare time Cathy coaches her daughter’s soccer team.

Cynthia Wilson: B.Sc. (PT), B. Kin., IBITA Instructor trainee

Cynthia graduated in 1996 earning a Bachelors degree in Kinesiology from the McMaster University.  Two years later, she graduated from McMaster with a  Bachelors of Health Science in Physiotherapy. 

In 2001 Cynthia moved to Vancouver where she held a position on the neuro-sciences team at VGH for 8 years.  She has also gained broad experience through her work at VGH on the orthopedics and medical wards and in the Acquired Brain Injury program at GF Strong.  Cynthia has been a member of the physiotherapy team at Neuro-Ability since 2007. In addition to her work at Neuro-Ability, Cynthia works in residential care.

Cynthia was accepted to be an Instructor trainee in 2006 and is currently working towards becoming a fully qualified IBITA Bobath Instructor.  As part of the program, she attends ongoing education across Canada and is involved in co-tutoring neurological courses for physiotherapists and occupational therapists across the country.  She serves as a resource for Vancouver Coastal physiotherapists with clients who are neurologically impaired.  She is also a member of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association.

Cynthia moved to Vancouver to be close to the mountains and enjoys skiing and mountain biking in her spare time. 

Elizabeth (Libby) Swain: (see below under Libby Swain)

 

Kuldeep Hills: B.Sc. (PT)

Kuldeep graduated with a Bachelors in Physical Therapy from UBC in 2004. She started her career at Vancouver General Hospital in the area of NeuroSciences and spinal cord injuries which essentially inspired her to continue working with the neurological population. Kuldeep elected to move to England in 2005 for a chance to travel and work abroad and after a few years, she returned back to the lower mainland.

In 2007, Kuldeep started working at Surrey Memorial Hospital where she became an integral part of a team dedicated to developing protocols and best care practice for patients who had suffered from strokes. She worked closely with an interdisciplinary team to establish Surrey Hospital's first stroke unit. In 2009, Kuldeep joined the Neuro Ability team.

Currently, Kuldeep’s time is split between Neuro-Ability and Surrey Memorial Hospital. She continues to advance her knowledge and skill set by taking post graduate courses as well as attending stroke conferences. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time being active by playing squash, running and hiking.

Levana Luu: M. (PT), B.Sc. (Global Health)

Levana graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Global Resource Systems with a focus in Global Health from the University of British Columbia. Shortly after graduation, she volunteered with a post-stroke exercise research study which helped her gain an appreciation for the power of exercise and its potential for maximizing function.  She then went on to complete her Masters of Physical Therapy in 2013 from the University of British Columbia with an interest in neurological rehabilitation.

Since graduation, Levana has worked in a variety of acute and sub-acute settings in Fraser Health and Vancouver Costal Health to help rehabilitate patients that have had medical conditions such as strokes, traumatic brain injuries, brain tumors, total hip replacements, and address decreased mobility/exercise endurance from prolonged hospital stays. This has provided her with valuable insight on the continuum of care for the neurological population and a better understanding of the challenges that these clients and their caregivers face.  Levana is also working for the University Of British Columbia Department Of Physical Therapy as a clinical assessor in a research study looking at upper extremity function post-stroke. 

To further her professional development, Levana has taken several post-graduate courses in basic vestibular rehabilitation, Bobath Concept, manual therapy for the upper extremity in neurological populations, and dynamic taping.

Levana speaks English, Cantonese, basic French and Mandarin. In her free time she enjoys exploring hiking and snowshoeing trails in the local mountains, going on gastronomic quests to find the ultimate hole in the wall restaurants around the world, and trying to overcome her fear of heights in the climbing gym.

Elizabeth (Libby) Swain: M.A. (Motor Learning),  B.App.Sc.(PT), IBITA Advanced Instructor, Clinical Assistant Professor (UBC Department of Physical Therapy)

Libby has over 25 years clinical physiotherapy experience in acute, rehabilitation and private settings spanning three different countries, working predominantly in neurological rehabilitation in all phases of the care continuum. Libby trained as a physical therapist in Melbourne, Australia, qualifying in 1985.  She studied at Columbia University, New York to complete her masters in Motor Learning and Motor Control, 1989. After working in London, England for 2 years, Libby settled in Vancouver in 1991.

Between 1991 and 2005, Libby worked in the Acute Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Acute Spinal Cord Injury Programs at Vancouver General Hospital in addition to her responsibilities of co-ordination and mentorship as the Physiotherapy Neurosciences Clinical Practice Leader. In 2005, Libby left VGH and began working in private practice, starting Neuro-Ability with Cathy Eustace. 

Passionate about education involving neurological rehabilitation, Libby has over 18 years consistent involvement with UBC Physical Therapy Program in various capacities, and is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor. She is also active in training experienced physios in neurological rehabilitation and provides one-on-one clinical mentorship on a consult basis to physiotherapists and occupational therapists. She also continues to take courses herself and recently completed the certification process to teach Parkinson's Wellness Recovery (PWR!Moves) courses.

Libby is a co-founding member of the Canadian Bobath Instructors Association and instructs clinical education courses nationally and internationally. An IBITA Bobath Instructor since 2002, Libby qualified as an Advanced Instructor in 2015, one of only three in Canada. She is currently the Chair of the International Bobath Instructors Training Association.

Libby has also been involved in several international and national inter-disciplinary and physiotherapy-specific committees and initiatives pertinent to neurological rehabilitation (e.g., National Stroke Strategy Practices and Standards) and the education of healthcare professionals (e.g., CPA Specialization Committee). She is currently the treasurer of the Neurosciences Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association. 

Outside of her work in neuro-rehab, Libby loves getting into the wilderness (hiking, backcountry skiing, seakayaking), and swims whenever she can.

Lisa Ellerton: B.Sc.(Hons) (PT)

Lisa completed her Bachelor of Science with honours degree in Physiotherapy at the University of Liverpool, England in 2012. She emigrated to Vancouver in 2014 and has since worked in a variety of public and private settings. Lisa has always had a passion for learning about human movement and has a firm belief in a whole body and integrated approach to treating her patients which is how she discovered Pilates. Lisa has dedicated her practice to teaching Pilates only. Prior to this she gained experience in the Ortho and Neuro world working with a variety of healthcare professionals in England, Canada, Africa and Italy

Lisa has found that developing and gaining control of "the core" (the deepest abdominal muscles, pelvic floor, diaphragm and the tiny deep stabilizing muscles of the spine) is always the underlying goal with any injury and Pilates is a wonderful tool to access and develop strength in this area. Lisa has practiced Physiotherapy using the Bobath concept therefore combining this with the Pilates helps to continue the goals and focuses of the therapists in the clinic.

In her spare time Lisa likes to weight lift, crossfit and practice Pilates.

Megan Cliff: B.M.R. (PT)

Meg is excited to work at Neuro-Ability Rehabilitation Services and to share her passion working with individuals with neurological conditions.

She shares her work life with Neuro-Ability at Forensic Psychiatric Hospital where she treats the patient not the illness. She treats orthopedic conditions, acute and chronic, neurological conditions as well as chronic issues. 

Meg graduated from the University of Manitoba in 2011. Prior to that, she had worked as a Rehabilitation Assistant in a variety of acute care and rehabilitation settings including Royal Columbian Hospital. After graduating, Meg returned to work as a Physiotherapist in numerous areas including the ICU, cardiac care and neurosurgical floor at RCH. 

Meg plans to continue her education through post-graduate courses on the Bobath concept.

For fun, Meg plays on two soccer teams, takes advantage of our gorgeous scenery through hiking, snow shoeing and running and enjoys the many cultural and community festivities Vancouver has to offer.

Michelle Burt: B.M.R. (PT), B.A., Dip. SIM, Dip. MT, Clinical Instructor (UBC)

Michelle's long academic career began with a degree in Psychology from the University of Toronto, then a diploma in Sports Injury Management, a diploma in Massage Therapy and finally ended in 2005 with a degree in Physiotherapy from the University of Manitoba. She has also taken courses in acupuncture, osteopathy and Bobath.

Upon graduation, Michelle made a permanent move to Vancouver and worked in the Neurosciences department at Vancouver General Hospital. In 2009, she split her time between VGH, the Neuro-Ability team and teaching in UBC's Physiotherapy program. Currently Michelle is working at GF Strong in the outpatient Adolescent and Young Adult program and as a clinical instructor at UBC.

In her spare time, Michelle enjoys spending time with her young son and husband, playing volleyball and skiing as much of BC's hills as possible.

Naomi Casiro: M.Sc.(PT), B.Sc. (Kin.)

Born and raised in Winnipeg, MB Naomi moved to BC to complete her undergraduate degree in Kinesiology and swim competitively for the University of Victoria. She then spent a year in South America connecting to her Argentinian roots and returned to graduate in 2012 with a Masters Degree in Physical Therapy from UBC. She recently completed the Parkinson's Wellness Recovery certification (PWR!Moves) and is leading our Neuro-Ability Parkinson's exercise programs.

Naomi has worked for many years in the fitness field as a personal trainer and bootcamp instructor. Through her work she cultivated a passion for helping clients of all abilities develop balanced, active and healthy lifestyles. At Neuro-Ability she is able to combine her passions by giving clients the opportunity to be seen both in the clinic, and in the gym depending on their needs.

Naomi has completed, and continues to pursue, post-graduate courses in the areas of Manual Therapy and Neurology/Bobath concept. She utilizes her knowledge and skills both in her work at the clinic as well as her work in the public hospital system.

When not in the clinic Naomi can be found in the pool, on the tennis courts, in the climbing gym, or baking up some delicious vegan treats in the kitchen!

Sara Fabian: M.Sc. (PT), B.Kin.

Sara graduated in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from McMaster University. She then went on to complete her Masters of Science in Physical Therapy degree from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario in 2008. That same year, Sara moved to Vancouver to begin her Physiotherapy career with Vancouver Coastal Health, working with orthopedic and acquired brain injury populations.  She now splits her time between the Acute Neurosciences unit at Vancouver General Hospital and Neuro-Ability Rehabilitation Services. Sara’s work in acute care gives her unique perspective with respect to the clients she treats at Neuro-Ability and she enjoys supporting clients across the continuum of the rehabilitation spectrum.

To expand her knowledge and expertise in the field of Neurological Rehabilitation, Sara has taken several postgraduate courses, many focused on the Bobath Concept. She also has an interest in Vestibular Rehabilitation and treats clients with a variety of dizziness, vertigo and balance issues. She has completed her Vestibular Competency Certification through Duke University and the American Physical Therapy Association.

Outside of work, Sara spends as much time as possible on the ski hill and otherwise enjoys the beautiful outdoors of BC while hiking, biking and on the beach!

Steph Graetz: M. (PT), B.Sc

Steph graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2007 with a Masters in Physical Therapy and in 2005 with a Bachelors of Science in Biology.

Working at Surrey Memorial Hospital since graduation, Steph gained a broad range of acute care experience and specialized her practice on the Acute Stroke and Neurology unit. Steph enjoys working in a Clinical Educator capacity, sharing her love of Physiotherapy with students. Steph has taken post graduate courses in the Bobath Concept, orthopedics, and is a certified PWR! therapist.

Outside of work, Steph enjoys time with her family, beachcombing, Shakespeare and travelling. Among her great life mentors is her yoga-practicing, 90-year old grandma!

Tori Feige: M. (PT), B.A.

Victoria 'Tori' Feige, BA, MPT graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2012 with a Masters in Physiotherapy. Her undergraduate years were spent at Colorado College, studying both arts and sciences. She earned a BA in Political Science and explored topics related to social justice. While a student, Tori sustained a low incomplete spinal cord injury snowboarding and became immersed in the world of physiotherapy and neuro-rehabilitation. Because of this experience, she was inspired to set out on a path which would lead to her become the first physiotherapist in North America to also be a wheelchair user. Tori brings a unique perspective to Neuro-Ability. She provides treatments specific to her clients and treats out of her chair: using a rolling stool, kneeling on the plinth or standing up beside the hi-lo table. Tori has taken and continues to take, postgraduate courses focusing on both orthopedic manual therapy and the Bobath approach. Her philosophy is to treat the “whole person” and facilitate the return to meaningful and functional activities. She has experience treating individuals with multiple sclerosis, stroke, Parkinson's disease, dystonia, movement challenges associated with cancer treatment and spinal cord injuries of all levels.

Tori enjoys volunteering with Vancouver Adaptive Snow Sports where she has been CADS Level 2a sit-ski instructor for the past 5 years. She also has had experience with wheelchair sports as well as out-of-chair activities such as boating, surfing, and hiking. She has a wealth of experience finding solutions to navigating “limitations” and has valuable insight regarding client-centered care.

Rehabilitation Assistants


 
Kathryn van der Linden

Info coming soon.

Milan Palinic: M.Sc. (PT)

Milan graduated and became a physiotherapist in Belgrade, Serbia in 1991. He worked from 1992 to 1995 at University Clinic Centre in Belgrade. In 1995 he moved to Vancouver, Canada.

After several years working out of the health care industry, in 2010, he came back and graduated from Vancouver Community College`s Rehabilitation Assistant Program. In 2012, he went back to Serbia and upgraded his diploma in Health Care Science for Professional Physiotherapist.

In addition to working with Neuro-Ability Rehabilitation Services, Milan works for Vancouver Coastal Health as a Rehabilitation Assistant.

Milan enjoys basketball, soccer, table tennis and skiing as well as playing chess and poker. He enjoys spending time with family and friends and is an avid traveler.

 

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