Our Team

Meridian Rehabilitation Consulting Inc. is locally owned and has been operating since 1998 in Vernon, BC. In 2005, the company changed its name, previously Phillip’s Rehabilitation, and moved to a larger facility which incorporated a gym and private treatment rooms. We now have 4 offices serving Vernon, Kamloops, Kelowna, Penticton and surrounding areas. Meridian is an occupational therapy driven company that fosters inter-professional collaboration between: Occupational Therapists (OT), Kinesiologists, Rehabilitation Assistants (RA), Vocational Consultants and Speech-Language Pathologists.

Please visit our Services Page for more information on what Meridian Rehabilitation offers.

Occupational TherapistsPhysiotherapist – Speech Language PathologistsKinesiologistsVocational Consultants and Rehab AssistantsAdministration

 

Occupational Therapists

 

Vernon

Lydia Phillips

Lydia grew up in White Rock, BC and graduated from UBC with a BSc in occupational therapy in 1990. Her first job was in stroke rehabilitation at Holy Family Hospital in Vancouver. She then worked at GF Strong rehabilitation hospital in Vancouver for seven years, spending time on the spinal cord injury, brain injury and ALS teams. She moved to private practice in 1997 and worked for Access Community Therapists; specializing in custom seating and assessment of dysphagia. In 1999, she and her family moved to Vernon, BC and soon after, she started her own private practice. Over the years, her practice has grown into Meridian Rehabilitation Consulting with her personal focus in: functional capacity and cost of future care evaluations, brain injury case management and providing mentor-ship to the OTs at Meridian Rehab. Lydia has a wonderful husband, Brent, and seven children (5 boys and 2 girls). When she had fewer children, she enjoyed a variety of sports including rowing, triathlon, volleyball, basketball and hockey. Nowadays (when she has free time), she likes to go for a run, bike, read or spend time with her family.

Liz Lucas

Liz holds her Masters in Occupational Therapy from Dalhousie University and is Meridian’s OT Practice Lead. Her therapy interests include brain injury, chronic pain management, sensory regulation, mental health and functional capacity evaluations. She calls herself a “Pain Champion” and uses her Pain BC and PGAP training to help clients live fulfilling lives alongside their pain. Liz is also part of Meridian’s ‘Pediatric Dream Team’ where she loves helping children learn, grow and develop through play! She enjoys spending free time with her husband on their hobby farm where they keep busy with their dog, Carlos, as well as their chickens, bunny, cat and 2 goats, Aria and Alfie.

Karen Collins

A UBC grad, Karen completed her Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy. Karen’s expertise is in splinting, arthritis, and arm and hand injuries – possibly due to her history of softball injuries? She joined the Meridian team in 2008 and enjoys working with clients to help them meet their rehabilitation goals related to functional performance. Karen loves living in Vernon and enjoys spending time with her husband and daughters.

Shannon Rockall

Originally from Ottawa, Shannon graduated from McMaster University with her Bachelor of Health Sciences – Occupation Therapy. She has years of experience at GF Strong a passion for seating. Shannon’s specialty is in spinal cord injury, brain injury, assistive technology and wheelchair sports. Shannon is also fluent in sign language and is happiest hiking the Okanagan trails with her husband and 4 amazing children.

Emily Hoag

Emily loves the diversity of her job, and making the seemingly impossible, possible. Key passions include our ageing population, and brain and spinal cord injuries. Emily also acts as our contract lead on both the WorkSafe BC Community OT contract, and our contracts with Extended Care facilities. As an avid outdoor enthusiast, when Emily is not working you can find her on a bike, on trails, up a mountain, or on the water.

Natalie Lussin

Natalie started with Meridian Rehab back in 2010 as a Kinesiologist before heading east to complete her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy at Queen’s University. After graduation, she returned to Meridian as an Occupational Therapist. Natalie is also Meridian Rehab’s Student Coordinator and a member of the City of Vernon’s Advisory Planning Committee where she helps advise on how the City can become more accessible to those with disabilities. Natalie spends lots of time traveling and exploring her own backyard – hiking, backcountry snowboarding, mountain biking and white water kayaking!

Aaryn Cleland

Aaryn completed her Bachelor of Science at the University of Waterloo before going on to do her Masters of Occupational Therapy at UBC. Her interested lie in mental health (particularly PTSD), concussion management and health promotion. She loves helping her clients accomplish meaningful goals! Aaryn is new to Vernon and loves getting outside with her husband, young daughter and their big dog, Nelson. She’s also quite crafty! Keeping herself busy with crochet, knitting and sewing.

Jade Watts

Jade comes to us from Ontario, where she completed her Masters at Queen’s University. She plays a big role on our Vernon Pediatric team where she loves helping kids in all aspects of their life – from school to play. She also enjoys working with the ageing population where she can help them with reconnecting in leisure activities, assessing for home safety/potential for falls risks and education on memory strategies. Jade is also very involved in swimming both competitively and volunteering with Special Olympics. When it’s time to relax, you can find her running, reading, or at the beach.

Kelowna

Alisha Morris

Alisha is our Kelowna office manager and contract lead for both FCEs and WorkSafe BC – Community Brain Injury Services. Alisha was raised in Kelowna and completed her OT degree at the University of Western Ontario. When she is not at work, Alisha is mountain biking, hanging out with friends and family, hiking, and solo-traveling the world. Her love of rehabilitation stems from helping clients reach their functional goals. Specifically, she is interested in the full spectrum of brain injury rehabilitation (from concussion to severe traumatic brain injury), return to work programming, and medical-legal functional capacity evaluations where she’s been accepted to provide expert witness testimony in the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

Wendi Wright – Occupational Therapist

Wendi grew up in the ‘Heart of the Rockies’ – Invermere, BC and is mother to two active teenagers! She holds her Bachelor of Science-Human Kinetics and Masters of Occupational Therapy (UBC). Wendi’s interests lie in all things brain related – brain injury, concussion and mental health. A life-long learner, she likes that the Occupational Therapy field offers plenty of opportunity to continue growing skills and using those skills to improve her client’s quality of life. When Wendi’s not with clients, her ‘healthy obsession’ with beach volleyball keeps her where she loves to be – outdoors and active!

Matt Gregson

Matt’s passion is Vocational Rehabilitation, where he continues to help injured people return to work. He is also the manager of our new Penticton office, as well as certified Function Capacity Evaluator. Matt excels in overseeing Meridian’s Return to Work programs and holds his Masters of Occupational Therapy at UBC. Outside of the office, Matt keeps busy with his wife and young daughter and is also a self-proclaimed ‘sushi-holic’.

Kim Long

Raised on beautiful Quadra Island, off the eastern coast Vancouver Island, Kim completed her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy at the University of Alberta. Her background is varied and includes working with people who have developmental disabilities, mental health, neurological rehab and vocational rehab, seniors, and children. She’s also one of our many Occupational Therapists that are certified to complete med-legal Functional Capacity Evaluations. She loves helping people participate in activities that add meaning to their lives. Kim is excited to live in the Okanagan, which is the perfect place for her to enjoy camping, hiking, and rock climbing with her husband.

Jon Przybyl

Jon obtained his Masters of Occupational Therapy from the University of Manitoba and his undergraduate degree in Sport, Health and Physical Education from Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo, BC. Jon works with clients of all ages, but has a special interest in pediatrics and seniors. While completing his undergraduate degree, he was also a university baseball player. Since then, he’s been a baseball coach for the past 7 years and is currently coaching in the Central Okanagan Minor baseball association. Now living in Kelowna with his Fiancée, he also likes to get outside and hike, snowboard, or play a round of golf.

Ashley Reina

Ashley grew up in Alberta and graduated with the Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy from UofA in 2005. She’s passionate about pediatrics and sensory integration and as an OT provider on the RASP list, she plays an important part in mentoring our pediatric team. Ashley and her husband recently moved to Vernon with their two young boys who keep them very busy! At home, they speak Spanish so their boys are fluent in both Spanish and English. Ashley loves to get outside and soak up the sun. You can usually find her hiking, biking or playing at the park.

Lisa Zoller

Lisa grew up in Kelowna and completed her Bachelor in Human Kinetics at UBCO before getting her Masters in Occupational Therapy at UBC in Vancouver. Lisa loves working with a variety of populations and helping clients meet functional goals that are meaningful to them. You can usually find her outdoors playing volleyball, snowboarding, or out on the water. She’s also looking forward to becoming a foster parent to a dog soon!

Kamloops

Jackie Kennedy

Jackie is Meridian’s Kamloops office manager and also acts as contract lead for our Extended Care facilities. She completed her degrees at University of Alberta before settling in Kamloops to follow her passion for seating assessments, residential care and working with the ageing population. Outside of the office, Jackie loves spending time on the lakes and trails of sunny Kamloops with her dog Parker.

Sabrina White – Occupational Therapist

Sabrina enjoys working with people of all ages and abilities. Sabrina graduated from University of Victoria with an undergraduate degree in Psychology before she set her sights on completing the Master of Occupational Therapy program at UBC. She’s also a PGAP Provider, as well as experienced in completing FCE and Cost of Future Care Assessment. Sabrina was born in Washington State before moving to British Columbia with her family, so naturally she is a die-hard Seahawks fan! She keeps active all year round with running, squash, curling, softball and golf and is also the proud Aunt to 4 wonderful children as well as Jackie’s dog, Parker.

Courtney Snider – Occupational Therapist

Courtney attended Dalhousie University where she completed her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and her Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy. Courtney loves to get creative when she’s working with clients – using play and activities to help kids learn and finding new ways to help people access their homes and communities. Her areas of specialty are in pediatrics including feeding skills and infant development, as well as ergonomics and universal design/accessibility. When Courtney’s not at work helping clients accomplish their goals, you can find her camping, kayaking, reading or cooking.

Danielle Setlakwe

Danielle is the newest addition to our ever-growing Kamloops team! As an Occupational Therapist, she brings to the team experience in paediatrics, chronic pain, mental health, developmental disabilities and cognitive impairments. By way of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, she completed her Bachelor of Science – Biology at Acadia University and went on to complete her Masters in Occupational Therapy at Queen’s University. A recent transplant to the Kamloops area and an avid runner and skier, she’s looking forward to exploring all that BC has to offer. She also states that she’s a major Harry Potter fan!

Louise Chiasson

Louise comes to us from New Brunswick and is Meridian’s favourite French Acadian! After completing her Bachelor of Science in Human Kinetics in Nova Scotia, and her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, Louise headed west where she joined our Kamloops team in early 2017. Louise is bilingual, fluent in both English and French. As an OT, she has a special interest in stroke rehab, mental health and community rehab. She also loves anything that gets the endorphins flowing – running, basketball and hiking! When it’s time to wind down, she spends time doing yoga and listening to TED talks & podcasts.

 

Physiotherapist

 

Allison Godley

Allison completed her Undergrad in Kinesiology at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia and her Masters at Dalhousie University in Halifax. Her interests are in manual therapy and exercise therapy and she enjoys working with the elderly population and those with disabilities. Alli is super sociable and loves that she gets to interact with so many different types of people and learn their stories, all while making a positive difference in their lives. Alli describes herself as ‘an outdoor adventurer with an artistic flare’. She loves mountain biking, snowboarding, and even fumbles her way through cello lessons.

 

Speech-Language Pathologists

 

Staci Cooper

Staci works out of our Kelowna office and is our SLP Practice Lead. She received her Master of Speech Language Pathology from the University of Alberta in 2004 and has recently returned to the Okanagan with her husband and young son. Working extensively with both children and adults, she’s specialized in Autism services, stroke rehabilitation and swallowing disorders. She is also on the RASP list and able to work with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) under six. Outside of the office, Staci enjoys spending time in the great outdoors with her family. She also enjoys staying active with field hockey, soccer and volleyball.

Chrissy May

Chrissy is our Vernon SLP and enjoys working with both adults and kids. She is especially interested in neurorehabilitation following stroke, fluency disorders like stuttering, speech sound disorders, and working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Chrissy received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alberta, before heading down under where she completed her Masters in Speech Pathology from Griffith University in Queensland, Australia. Chrissy loves traveling solo, having explored over 20 countries. The Okanagan is the perfect place for her as she also loves being out on the water – stand up paddle boarding, boating, fishing and scuba diving!

Chelsea Van Tol

Chelsea attended the University of Queensland in Australia to complete her Masters of Speech Pathology Studies.  After arriving home to Canada, she headed north to work in the Northwest Territories where she stayed for 4.5 years. Chelsea grew up in Bow Island, a small town in southern Alberta which, ironically, isn’t an island at all! Chelsea is now our Kamloops SLP and is excited to be working with Meridian’s diverse client base! Outside of Meridian, she enjoys playing slo-pitch, going on road trips and talking with friends and family (although she’s a great listener too!).

Nadine Fort

As our Kamloops SLP, Nadine brings her love of language and communication into her work with both children and adults. Originally from Minnesota, she received her Master of Arts in Communication Disorders from University of Minnesota Duluth. She brings to the SLP team an immense amount of experience working with children and their families and caregivers. She believes that parents and caregivers are a child’s best communication partner and focuses her interactions with parents and caregivers to support their skills to be their child’s best “therapist”. Nadine has raised 3 sons and now lives in Kamloops with her husband and their dog, Butler. They love to travel, having visited China, Japan, Thailand and Peru. They have also recently discovered kayaking and are eager to explore BC’s lakes and rivers!

 

Kinesiologists

 

Vernon

Erin McKay-Schwieger

Erin has been working in community rehab since 2009. She has a special talent for brain injury rehabilitation. Her sense of humour is an asset to her therapy and she loves helping her clients improve to reach their functional goals. Erin loves to throw herself into the woods on her skis or mountain bike.

Braden Kipp

Braden is an Okanagan boy born and raised. He graduated in 2015 with a Bachelors in Human Kinetics from the University of British Columbia-Okanagan, specializing in concussions and neuromuscular physiology. He enjoys being able to work with a wide variety of individuals from all walks of life and the team atmosphere that Meridian brings. He describes himself as “a weekend warrior” enjoying rock climbing, playing tennis, and surfing. In the winter when he’s not at the office you can find him catching first chair at the ski hill.

Kyler Geertsma

Kyler grew up in Smithers, BC riding quads, dirtbikes and hiking up mountains. He went on to attend College of New Caledonia, before transferring to UBCO where he completed his degree in Human Kinetics. He has recently joined the Vernon team as a kinesiologist where he enjoys working with clients 1 on 1 to help them reach their functional goals, with a special interest in joint and soft-tissue injuries. Outside of work, Kyler is a huge hockey and football fanatic. Living here in Vernon with his wife, he loves to get outside and play sports, as well as stay in and play cards or board games.

Kelowna

Minda Chittenden

Minda, a Coquitlam girl, completed her Masters in Gerontology in the United Kingdom where she dined on tea, scones and beer in equal measure. Minda loves the science and sociology of aging and is passionate about helping people age the way they want to. She is also certified to complete medical-legal functional capacity evaluations and has been accepted to provide expert witness testimony in the Supreme Court of BC. In July 2016, Minda was selected to sit on the Canadian Kinesiology Board of Directors, where she continues to contribute to the Kinesiology practice, representing Kinesiologists on a national level. Her passion for helping her clients and fellow therapists is seen every day at Meridian!

Amanda Bradshaw

Amanda grew up in North Delta BC and moved to Kelowna to complete her undergrad degree. She graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Human Kinetics and a Minor in Psychology from the University of British Columbia – Okanagan. Amanda runs the Work Conditioning portion of Meridian’s Work Hardening Program and specializes in neck rehab, post- concussion, stroke, spinal cord injury and complex orthopedic injuries. She also recently completed her Level 2 NeuroKinetic Therapy Certification. In her free time she enjoys snowboarding, kayaking and hiking.

Anthony Menei

Anthony grew up in Thunder Bay, Ontario and graduated from the University of Windsor’s Human Kinetics Program in 2013 specializing in movement science. He then went on to attend Confederation College where he completed the Paramedic Program. During his time as a paramedic, he found his time with patients was too brief and he wanted to do more for them. So, when he and his wife moved out west, he got back to his Kinesiology roots to pursue the therapy side of patient care. He enjoys being able to see progress in his clients and play an active part on their rehab team. Outside of work, Anthony loves spending time outdoors kayaking and snowshoeing, or inside cooking. He and his wife fit right in the Okanagan, where their love of microbreweries and wineries allows them to pair local drinks with new recipes.

Kamloops

LaBri Borthistle

Labri is a native of Wichita, Kansas. This small town girl chose to do her degree in beautiful Vancouver and has since moved to Kamloops where she’s hit the ground running. Labri loves the team approach at Meridian and has a passion for helping her clients meet their functional goals. She and her husband love the outdoors and you can find them playing hockey at the local pond, snowboarding, or camping with their huge German Shepherd, Chief.

Jordan Sernaggia

Jordan works as both a rehabilitation assistant and kinesiologist in our Kamloops office and is also Meridian’s resident daredevil! Jordan recently moved to Kamloops with his fiancée and his dog, Pirate, to join our team. He graduated from Simon Fraser University and holds a Bachelor of Science – Kinesiology, specializing in Active Health and Rehabilitation. Outside of the office, he stays active with hockey, hiking and rock climbing and keeps his adrenaline pumping with adventure sports like bungee jumping, sky diving and white-water rafting. Jordan has an interest in nutrition and injury prevention & recovery which he has plenty of experience in – when he was younger he managed to break one arm playing hockey and, the day after the cast came off, broke the other arm snowboarding!

Tyler Willson

Tyler grew up in Surrey and graduated from UBC with a degree in human kinetics. His experience is in community based kinesiology and he enjoys the wide variety of different clients and environments he gets to work in. Outside of the office, he spends time with his wife and their many animals on their hobby farm. He also keeps busy with movies and puzzles and enjoys staying active through slo-pitch and resistance/cardiovascular training. Tyler love helping people with a variety of injuries reach their goals and return to a functional and fulfilled life.

 

Rehabilitation Assistants & Vocational Consultant

 

Vernon

Janet Dewitt

Jan is Meridian’s Rehab Assistant Practice Lead and ergonomic specialist. Her talents are infinite and stretch from recreation therapy to sawmill ergonomics. Other areas of expertise are traumatic brain injury, and vocational rehabilitation. Unlike Caitlyn’s dog, Janet’s dog (Guinness) barks at wheelchairs and will not be a therapy dog anytime soon. In 2014, Janet climbed the Chilkoot trail and became Meridian’s first honey merchant.

Tami Damini

Tami’s a local Vernon girl who’s been with Meridian Rehabilitation over 10 years! She holds a degree in social work and is a certified personal trainer. Tami is also Meridian’s Vocational Consultant, helping match clients of various abilities and backgrounds with employment best suited to their skills and interests. Tami cracks the whip in Meridian’s Work Hardening Program and educates clients using the Mindfulness program for chronic pain management. In her spare time she loves to camp, read and cook.

Lovanda Beliveau

Lovanda joined the Meridian team in 2005. Through these years, she has become a talented life skills therapist for clients with traumatic brain injuries, PTSD, stroke, and orthopedic injuries. She lives in the wilds of Lumby, BC where she thoroughly enjoys the natural surroundings. In her spare time she practices yoga, hikes, gardens and spends time with her family.

Kelowna

Mandy Erwin

Mandy has always had a passion for working with people, and received her Rehabilitation Aide Certificate in 1997. Over the last 20 years she has worked with people of all different ages and abilities as an Education Assistant, Community support worker and Long term Care Aide. She also took her passion for people to the United States and Zambia where she did volunteer work for 1 year. In her free time Mandy enjoys playing soccer, doing Zumba and spending time with her children.

Simonne Bundschuh

Simonne completed her Therapist Assistant Diploma through Okanagan College. Working with both kids and adults, she loves the diversity of her position and the opportunity to assist Meridian’s client’s meet their goals. Simonne grew up in Kelowna and has travelled extensively, including time spent volunteering in Zambia. Closer to home, she loves spending time outdoors – kayaking, running and camping around the Okanagan.

Kamloops

Tania McCartney

As our Kamloops Rehabilitation Assistant, Tania loves having the opportunity to be able to step into people’s lives and provide assistance while they are going through challenges great and small. She loves trying new things – it helps her remember what it’s like to be a beginner and to be awkward and nervous, like a new client might be. Tania didn’t know how to swim, so she took adult swimming lessons in the Fall of 2014. By Spring, she able to swim her first mile and by the next spring and could even do flip turns! Tania is also a Mother Goose Facilitator and an avid Yoga instructor, certified in yoga therapy, meditation, perinatal yoga, and yoga for children. In her free time she loves to cook, trail run, and hike with her husband and two energetic daughters.

 

Administration

 

Karen Betts

Karen grew up in Oakville Ontario and completed her Bachelor of Science from the University of Western Ontario. She then went on to complete here B.Ed from Canisius College and taught in a primary classroom for 9 years before making the move to the Okanagan. After Karen arrived in Vernon she decided to make a career change and started working part-time for Meridian 10 years ago. She is now our full time H.R and Financial Administrator. Karen has been vital in helping build Meridian up to the expanding company it is now. When she’s not crunching numbers, Karen enjoys swimming, travelling, hiking, snowshoeing and spending time with her husband and two boys.

Caitlyn Strange

Originally from Ontario, Caitlyn’s love of snowboarding brought her to BC permanently. As Meridian’s Administrative Assistant, Caitlyn ensures invoices are out on time and oversees the booking and co-ordination of FCEs, as well as the admin side of things for Meridian’s Work Hardening Program and Pediatric Program. She is the proud owner of a therapy dog who loves to soak up the attention of the residents at local care homes. Caitlyn’s capacity to care brought her to Meridian where she loves the staff, clients, and seeing people return to doing what they love!

Colleen Wiebe

Colleen is our Vernon receptionist and the first friendly face you’ll see at Meridian Rehabilitation! Originally from Prince George, BC, she now calls Vernon home. Monday to Friday she oversees the day to day on-goings of our Vernon and Kamloops locations, but on weekends she enjoys gardening, camping and being auntie to 11 nieces and nephews. This may also explain her love of classic Saturday morning cartoons!

Janie Bandringa

Janie oversees the Kelowna and Penticton offices as our Kelowna receptionist. She also coordinates the FCE and Cost of Future Care Assessments in these office too! Janie grew up in Kelowna and has her Master of Arts (Development Studies) from York University in Toronto and Bachelor of Arts Political Science at UBCO. She loves working for a company that’s centered on helping people achieve their goals and reach their potential. Janie grew up riding horses and loves her nerdy shows – Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly and Game of Thrones!

Catey McLellan

When you call our Kamloops office, you’ll have the pleasure of speaking with Catey! She is our Kamloops receptionist and coordinates HandyDART bookings for our therapists there as well. Spending her formative year in Kamloops, she enjoys dirtbiking and off-roading with her fiance and their dog, Royce. She also loves music and art! Catey has her diploma in Office Administration and puts it to good use at Meridian where she enjoys working with the senior population and meeting clients from all walks of life.