ONF Staff

ONF is committed to continually strengthen its programs and initiatives. Your input is valuable, and most welcome. To reach ONF, use the contact information provided below. To reach any of our staff members, click on their names to send them an email. 

The Team

Kent3Kent Bassett-Spiers
B.B.A., D.H.A., Certified Health Care Executive

Chief Executive Officer

 

 

Kent serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation, a position he has held since 1999. Kent has extensive experience in developing strategic linkages and partnerships, organizational restructuring and working with the Ministry of Health on policy and system reforms. He has served health care organizations in a senior management capacity as General Manager - Central Canada, Canadian Red Cross/Canadian Blood Services, Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer Doctors Hospital and Vice President (Hospital Services) Toronto Western and Assistant Vice President Toronto Hospital. Kent was the volunteer Chair of the Anne Johnston Health Centre, Vice Chair of the provincial Community Health Center Accreditation Board and is currently a member of the Sheela Basrur Center Advisory Council.

Through his work with the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation Kent has been involved in a number of partnership activities with the Rick Hansen Foundation and the Rick Hansen Institute including the SCI Solutions Network, Canadian Neurotrauma Research Partnership and more recently with the Best Practices Implementation Project where ONF is taking the lead. Kent is also Chair of the Ontario Working Group of Neurological Health Charities Canada and is a member of Spinal Cord Injury Ontario’s Board of Directors.  


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Richard RiopelleMD

Chief Research Officer 

 

 

 


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Barry MunroBA, LLB

Chief Development Officer


Barry is based in Toronto, Ontario. He is a member of several community non-profit Boards and takes an active role in advising non-profit organizations. He is Chair of the Canadian Spinal Research Organization and former Director of Charities First Ontario and Neurological Technologies Inc. Barry is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Ontario Bar Association, the Canadian Bar Association, the Advocates Society and the York Region and Metropolitan Toronto Lawyers Association. Barry currently practices in the area of personal injury, medical malpractice, long term disability and life insurance litigation on behalf of claimants at Falconeri, Munro, Tucci in Toronto.


Keith HayesPhD

Provincial Lead Spinal Cord Injury Research (Chair, Spinal Cord Injury Committee)


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Corinne KaganBA Hons, BPS Cert.

Senior Program Director, Acquired Brain Injury

Corinne has been with the Ontario Neurotrauma foundation since its founding in 1998. An action person who is always building on her experience in the public and private sector, Corinne works hard to find the best balance between planning and doing. An experienced collaborator, Corinne knows who to connect with to bring the right stakeholders to the table, and builds relationships with new groups to ensure the success of each initiative. She has long understood the value of how much more can be achieved through collaborations and partnerships than by one person, group or organization alone. She is a wealth of information on acquired brain injury, traumatic brain injury, concussion, guideline development, implementation, strategic planning, building networks, stakeholder relationships, knowledge mobilization/translation, bringing diverse experts together, knowledge broker, managing partnerships. 


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Tara JejiMD, MBA

Program Director, Spinal Cord Injury

Dr. Jeji’s work for the past 18 years has been in the area of spinal cord injury especially the understanding the needs of those with SCI in order to increase their participation, role performance and functional independence and identify community supports required to live a dignified and independent life. She acquired a tetraplegic spinal cord injury 23 years ago and through personal experience has insight in the journey of living with a disability. Prior to ONF, Dr. Jeji worked in Detroit at the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan and was Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Wayne State University. Her research into spinal cord injury has focused on both individuals with spinal cord injury their formal and informal caregivers. She is a member of several disability advisory committees and boards of consumer service agencies, as well as professional organizations in Canada and the U.S.


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Hélène GagnéMA

Program Director, Injury Prevention

Hélène is a graduate of Bishop University and Guelph University and holds a certificate in Non-Profit Management from York University.  She is the Program Director for Injury Prevention at the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation where her role consists of bringing research into practice to reduce the incidence and prevalence of brain and spinal cord injuries. Hélène brings to ONF more than 25 years of experience working in the fields of health promotion, chronic disease prevention, and injury prevention. Hélène has considerable experience in project management, program planning, implementation and evaluation, system analysis, strategic planning, partnership building and knowledge exchange. Hélène also likes to keep an active lifestyle using the proper gear and protective equipment!


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Judy GargaroBSc, MEd

Clinical and Systems Implementation Associate, Acquired Brain Injury

Judy is focused on harnessing the depth of research and clinical knowledge in order to bring it into routine practice to improve care for persons following a brain injury.  She has been working in the neurotrauma field, particularly brain injury, in clinical, research and evaluation roles for many years. She understands how research evidence is created but also the challenges with implementing change in clinical practice.  She has experience working with diverse groups of people including clinicians, researchers and administrators across the province. She is comfortable in speaking to people about a wide range of topics related to implementation of best practices and guidelines in the field of brain injury.


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Marguerite Oberle ThomasRN BScN

Co-ordinator, Fall Prevention community of Practice

A graduate of Georgian College, Humber College and Ryerson University Marguerite has worked with the Ontario Neurotrauma foundation since 2008. She is Coordinator for the Fall Prevention Community of Practice and supports the Loop online community.  Thomas was a Public Health nurse from 1987 -2008, has focused on injury prevention since 1996. At the Grey Bruce Public Health Unit she specialized in the Prevention of Falls in Older Adults and implemented the ONF “Stay on Your Feet’ Project.  Thomas has lived experience as a caregiver. She is a member of several fall prevention coalitions and the RNAO expert panel to revise the Fall Prevention Guidelines. 


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David CaplanMPA

Program Coordinator, Acquired Brain Injury
 

 

 


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Lindsay TothBSc

Project Coordinator, Injury Prevention

Lindsay leads diverse groups of stakeholders to success in their fall prevention projects. Her project management and organization skills keep groups on track and motivated. Much of ONF’s work in fall prevention is collaborative, so building and maintaining strong professional relationships is a major aspect of Lindsay’s role. Her expertise with technology allows ONF to use websites, webinars and email marketing to connect with stakeholders and organize collective action. Her background in the interdisciplinary field of environment brings a built environment and social determinants of health lens to her work in neurotrauma prevention.


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Natalia ViunykM.Econ

Finance and Accountability Coordinator

Natalia oversees all aspects of financial administration for the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation. Building on her background in economics, she has a diploma in Computerized Accounting and Office Administration. In the early part of her career, Natalia worked in the post-secondary educational sector in the Ukraine before coming to Canada with her husband and two children. 


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Neveen Aziz 

Administrative Assistant

Neveen brings more than 10 years of experience in business administrative support to ONF.  Neveen has worked with senior leaders in her previous positions in the private and public sectors as well as not-for-profit organizations. Neveen has a broad base of business and secretarial experience combined with college diploma in business administration and certificates in project management, accounting, marketing, business writing and how to have difficult conversations.  In the role of Administrative Assistant at ONF Neveen supports the CEO and assists with the administrative requirements of the three ONF programs.