Vernon Staff

Occupational Therapists

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. She is also a manager in the Vernon office. She loves clients discover their strengths, accomplish meaningful goals, and realize their potential. She’s also part of the medical-legal team and enjoys completing Functional Capacity Evaluations, Cost of Care Reports and Document Reviews. When not in the office, Aaryn loves getting outside in the beautiful Okanagan lakes and hiking trails with her husband and young daughter.

Qualifications and Memberships

Masters of Occupational Therapy – University of British Columbia

Bachelor of Science – University of Waterloo

Member of the British Columbia College of Occupational Therapists

Member of the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists

Matheson Functional Capacity Evaluator; Certified Work Capacity Evaluator with Matheson

Certified Driving Instructor

Courses:

Concussion Management Workshop Levels 1 and 2 Functional Capacity Evaluations and Return to Work with Mental Health Conditions

Use of Standardized Assessments in Post-TBI Treatment Planning

Prolonged Exposure Training Motivational Interviewing Training

Pain Foundations

Seating and Positioning

Aurora Cox

Aurora obtained her Bachelor of Human Kinetics at UBCO before completing her Master of Occupational Therapy at UBC. Aurora started with Meridian as a Kinesiologist and has returned as a full fledged OT in our Vernon office. She has an interest in pediatric and mental health work, and loves that Meridian provides the flexibility to work within many different areas and no two days are the same. Aurora grew up as a local to the Okanagan, and loves hitting the slopes, biking, climbing, or basically any outdoor activity!

Qualifications and Memberships

– College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia

– Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists

– Non-Violent Crisis Intervention Training

– Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training

Areas Of Practice

Occupational Therapy

Chronic Pain Rehab

Autism Services

Pediatric Services

 

 

Laura Gini

Laura earned her Bachelor of Applied Health Sciences in Athletic Therapy at Sheridan College, before going on to complete her Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy at Western University in London, Ontario. Growing up in Kelowna, Laura was excited to move back with her husband to the Okanagan after living in the greater Toronto area. As an OT, Laura loves being in a position where she can work with a variety of different client groups and get to help empower and enable each of them to make changes in their lives, big or small. She also loves that she works with such a great, supportive team that always makes coming to work so much fun. In her spare time, Laura loves to play and watch basketball, tennis, and pickleball, spend time with her family and unwinding with a great movie.

Qualifications and Memberships

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy – Western University


Honours Bachelor of Applied Health Sciences (Athletic Therapy) – Sheridan College


Member of the British Columbia College of Occupational Therapists


Member of the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists


Nonviolent Crisis Intervention (NCI) Certificate


ANOVA: Trauma and Sexual Assault Disclosure Certificate


Areas of Practice

Case Management
Community Rehabilitation
Chronic Pain Rehab
Post-Concussion Rehab
Seating Assessments and Prescription
Brain Injury Rehabilitation
Ergonomic Evaluations
Long Term Care and Complex Care contract services
Registered Autism Service Provider (RASP) for children under 6

Emily Hoag

Emily loves the diversity of her job, and making the seemingly impossible, possible. Key passions include our ageing population, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, wheelchair seating, assistive technology and home modifications. Emily 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 and triathlete, when Emily is not working you can find her on a bike, on trails, up a mountain, or on the water with her partner and their young son.

Qualifications and Memberships

Master of Occupational Therapy – University of British Columbia


Bachelor of Science– Integrated Science Biochemistry & Physiology – University of British Columbia


Member of the British Columbia College of Occupational Therapists


Ride Custom Seating Certified Therapist


Wheelchair seating and positioning in the community: Practical applications Certificate


Dysphagia Assessment and Management Certificate


P.I.E.C.E.S Certificate (Adult mental health)


Home Modification and Universal Design CAOT Workshop Certificate


Practical Approaches to Preventing and Managing Pressure Ulcers Certificate


Concussion Management Certificate
Comprehensive Automotive Mobility Solutions Certificate (presented by NMEDA)


Published researcher on power scooter use and training (Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology. 2016; 11(4):289-94)


Certified Driving Instructor


Areas of Practice

Case Management
Community Rehabilitation
Dysphagia
Driving Evaluation and Rehabilitation
Post-Concussion Rehab
Seating Assessments and Prescription
Spinal Cord Rehabilitation
Stroke Rehabilitation
Brain Injury Rehabilitation
Work Hardening and Work Conditioning Programming
Job Site Visits and Job Demands Analysis
Return to Work Coordination
Ergonomic Evaluations
Universal Home Design
Older Adult Services (Assessment, consultation intervention/therapy and education)

Liz Lucas

Liz holds her Masters in Occupational Therapy from Dalhousie University and is a senior manager at Meridian. 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 passionate about working with clients experiencing chronic pain, mental health difficulties, and brain injuries. 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, cat, and her kids, Blake and Malcolm.

Qualifications and Memberships

Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy – Dalhousie University

Honours Specialization in Health Sciences – University of Western Ontario

Member of the British Columbia College of Occupational Therapists

Member of the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists

Matheson Functional Capacity Evaluator

Progressive Goal Attainment Program (PGAP)

 

Areas of Practice

Mental Health and Wellness

Chronic Pain

Brain Injury rehabilitation

Post-concussion rehabilitation

Functional Capacity Evaluations

 

Shannon Rockall

Originally from Ottawa, Shannon graduated from McMaster University with her Bachelor of Health Sciences – Occupational Therapy. She has years of experience at GF Strong Rehab Center, a passion for wheelchair 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.

Qualifications and Memberships

Bachelor of Health Sciences – Occupational Therapy – McMaster University


Bachelor (Honours) – Psychology – Brock University


American Sign Language – Level 3 – Algonquin College


Member of the British Columbia College of Occupational Therapists


Ride Designs Seating Certification

 

Areas of Practice

Community Rehabilitation
Dysphagia
Seating Assessments and Prescription
Spinal Cord Rehabilitation
Stroke Rehabilitation
Brain Injury Rehabilitation
Universal Home Design

Tori Rutledge

Tori was born and raised in Salmon Arm before acquiring her Bachelor Degree at UBC-O and her Masters at University of Alberta. Tori loves being a part of Meridian’s dynamic and supportive team where she can be involved in so many different areas of OT practice across the Shuswap/Okanagan. She also completes medical-legal functional capacity evaluations and has been accepted to provide expert witness testimony in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. She and her fiancé enjoy living in the Okanagan where they love to spend their time outdoors and escape to their cabin on Shuswap Lake in the summer. 

Qualifications and Memberships

Bachelor of Human Kinetics – University of British Columbia (Okanagan)


Master of Science in Occupational Therapy – University of Alberta


Member of the British Columbia College of Occupational Therapists


Member of the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists


Matheson Functional Capacity Evaluation Certification – accepted as expert witness in Supreme Court of British Columbia


Areas of Practice

Functional Capacity Evaluations
Cost of Future Care Assessments
Case Management
Community Rehabilitation
Geriatrics
Functional Capacity Evaluation
Cost of Future Care Assessments
Job Site Visits and Job Demands Analysis
Ergonomic Evaluations
Long Term Care and Complex Care contract services

Lars Taylor

Lars is Meridian Rehab’s functional driving evaluation master.  He recently left his own private practice to head our driving rehabilitation program at Meridian Rehabilitation.  He finds fulfillment in seeing clients he has guided in the use of adaptive driving equipment and on-road rehabilitation successfully regain control of this very important “freedom” in their lives. Lars, himself, has been driving professionally with hand controls for 25 years and was the first adaptive driver in BC to qualify for a driving instructor’s license in 2006.  He is enjoying working with the Meridian team after years of working solo. Outside of the office, Lars enjoys spending time with his beautiful wife, Arlana and their dog.

Qualifications & Memberships
Occupational Therapy – University of British Columbia

ICBC Licensed Driving Instructor

Mechanical Design and Manufacturing Diplomas – BCIT

Trades Certificate in Mechanical Drafting Technologies – BCIT

Areas of Practice
Driving Evaluation and Rehabilitation
Geriatric Rehabilitation
General practice

Jared Poulin (He/They)

Jared is originally from MacKenzie, BC. He received his Bachelor of Human Kinetics from UBCO and his Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Western.

Jared is interested in brain injury rehabilitation; mental health; research in areas that involve the LGBTQ2IA+ population — specifically the transgender and non-binary population regarding the correlation between gender roles, and occupational roles; and the role of Occupational Therapy role in supporting the gender/occupational role transition within this population.

Jared loves that Occupational Therapy is a profession that allows him to empower his clients to achieve their goals, and allows him to help his clients find ways to adapt the environment, occupation and to develop strategies to help them to live the best life they can live.

Jared loves everything to do with the outdoors. He also enjoys reading, music, playing piano and drawing.

CPI Training
ASIST Training
First Aid/CPR-C/AED Certification
Palouse Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Certification
Motivational Interviewing Level One
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – Level One
MOCA Certification

Kinesiologists and Rehab Assistants

Janet Dewitt

Jan is Meridian’s RA/Kinesiology Practice Lead and Ergonomic Assessor. Her talents are infinite and stretch from recreation therapy to sawmill ergonomics. Other areas of expertise are traumatic brain injury, and vocational rehabilitation.

Qualifications and Memberships

Leisure Services Recreation Therapy Diploma – Mt. Royal College


Community Brain Injury Service Certificate – Okanagan College


PGAP – Progressive Goal Attainment Program Certificate


Matheson Work Hardening/Work Conditioning Course


Exercise and Fibromyalgia – DSW Fitness


BCRPA Weight Training Instructor


Matheson Ergonomic Evaluation Certificate Program


Matheson Essential Job Functional Analysis

Areas of Practice

Work Hardening and Work Conditioning Program
Job Sit Visits and Job Demands Analysis
Ergonomic Evaluations
Gym-Based Exercise Programs
Aquatherapy
Post-Concussion Exercise Programs
Traumatic Brain Injury Programs
Lifeskills & Return to Homemaking Programs
Walking programs
Progressive Goal Attainment Programs

Lawrence Langan

Lawrence graduated from University of BC Okanagan with his Bachelor of Human Kinetics. Lawrence’s interests include sport specific training, strength & conditioning, nutrition, rehabilitation, and is excited to provide support and oversee the progress clients make towards their goals. Outside of the office, Lawrence is an avid hockey player, playing for 15 years, and a “below average” golfer; however, he still loves to play frequently. If you’re also ever looking for a competitive crib match, Lawrence is your guy!

Qualifications and Memberships

Bachelor of Human Kinetics

Areas Of Practice

Work Hardening and Work Conditioning

Job Site Visits and Job Demands Analysis

Gym-Based Exercise Programs

Aquatherapy

Community Integration Programs

Speech-Language Pathologists

Kayla Dickie

Kayla originates from Upper Stewiacke, Nova Scotia, and has been slowly moving west ever since! Kayla completed her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at Dalhousie University, before achieving her Master of Clinical Science in Speech Language Pathology at University of Western Ontario. With a strong interest in Childhood Apraxia, Kayla is excited to work with a diverse group of clients and disorder areas, and to continue learning something new everyday along the way.

Kayla loves working with children on the spectrum and early intervention is a favourite part of her caseload. Kayla likes to take a coaching approach to help families build routines that are specific to their child’s learning and communication style.

In her downtime, Kayla loves to ski, play ultimate frisbee, water color, or spend time with her adorable senior cat!

Qualifications & Memberships

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Dalhousie University

Master of Clinical Science in Speech Language Pathology from University of Western Ontario

Member of the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of BC 

Registry of Autism Service Providers (RASP)

Hanen: It Takes Two to Talk

Hanen: More than Words

 

Areas of Practice
Pediatric Services/Early Intervention (including Autism Spectrum Disorder)
Speech sound therapy (articulation, phonology, apraxia of speech)
Language therapy (expressive and receptive language skills)
Cognitive communication intervention / Executive Functioning (conversational topic maintenance, attending to others, memory, solving problems, planning etc.)
Social skills training
Reading and writing therapy
Fluency / stuttering therapy
Resonance Disorders

Vocational Consultants

Tami Damini

Tami is Meridian’s Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant/Evaluator. Services she provides include: Vocational Assessments, Transfer Skills Analysis, Return to Work Preparation, Job Search and Studies Support Services. Tami also provides medical legal assessments and document reviews/critiques. Tami helps match clients of various abilities and backgrounds with employment best suited to their skills.  Throughout Tami’s 15 years at Meridian Rehabilitation, she also completes Ergonomic Assessments, Traumatic Brain Injury rehabilitation and other rehabilitation programs as a rehabilitation assistant. In her spare time she loves camping, fishing and travelling.

Qualifications and Memberships

Canadian Vocational Rehabilitation Professional (CVRP)     

Canadian Certified Vocational Evaluator (CCVE)       

Registered Rehabilitation Professional (RRP)

Member of Vocational Rehabilitation

Association of Canada
Bachelor of Social Work – Okanagan University College

STRONG Interest Inventory Certification
Mindfulness Approaches for Managing Chronic Pain

BCRPA Personal Training Certification

Areas of Practice

Vocational Assessment and Consulting

Voc-Legal assessments and reports

Career Exploration

Labour Market Analysis

Resume Development

Job Search Skills Education Supported Job Search

Study Support Services

Return to Work Coordination

Ergonomic Assessment

Work Hardening and

Work Conditioning Programming

Post-Concussion Rehab

Chronic Pain Rehab         

Legal expert witness assessment and report 

Administrative Staff

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 15 years ago. She is now our full time Human Resources Manager. Karen has been vital in helping build Meridian up to the expanding company it is now. When she’s not liaising with our staff or working out an IT issue, Karen enjoys swimming, travelling, hiking, snowshoeing and spending time with her husband and two sons.

Bachelor of Science – University of Western Ontario

Jeremy Gavel

The dictionary defines superlative as: of the highest kind, quality, or order, surpassing all else, or others. Supreme. We define it as Jeremy Gavel. As a Controller, as an Admin Team leader, as a man. He is of the highest kind, quality, or order, surpassing all else, or others. Supreme.

Qualifications

Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Alberta

Areas of Practice

Time sheet shaming

Financial stuff

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 Meridian’s Medical-Legal work. She also oversees the admin side of things for Meridian’s Pediatric Program. Caitlyn lives on an acreage with her boyfriend and their puppy and has hopes of starting up a small hobby farm. But before she graduates to live animals, she’s first seeing how well she does keeping a vegetable garden alive. Caitlyn’s capacity to care brought her to Meridian where she loves the staff, clients, and seeing people return to doing what they love!

Kristalena Jenkins

Coming Soon!