CONNECT’s mission is to Make Lives Better. We achieve this by providing complex and specialized services for people living with brain injury and stroke in a nurturing and innovative community environment. Through our Life Redesign Model™, we empower our residents by applying our knowledge and experience to coach, challenge and motivate each person to reach their unique personal goals and build a fulfilling life for themselves. CONNECT is one of few organizations accredited through Accreditation Canada using the Acquired Brain Injury standards.
CONNECT was founded in Langley in 1993 to develop and operate specialized residential environments for people living with brain injury. Over the course of 24 years, we continue to hone our model as we learn from and inform the latest approaches to brain injury and stroke. Our comprehensive services range from short-term transitional rehabilitation through long-term residential placement.
In January, 2009, in partnership with Interior Health in BC, we opened CONNECT Lake Country. Just outside of Kelowna, we have a condo-style building with six homes, each supporting seven residents. In fall of 2018, we are on scheduled to open the doors of our first Ontario location at CONNECT Hamilton!
CONNECT’s values include flexibility, creativity, learning, respect, passion and joy. We offer rehab services and support, hope and a place to live for people at all levels of ability. Our services are developed and guided by one-on-one time with in-house rehab professionals to support people build meaningful relationships, be connected to their community and be involved in functional and productive activities.
CONNECT’s Life Redesign Model™ is what defines our approach to rehab, our services and supports and is the lens through which we function as a company.
Deemed Leading Practice in 2016 by Accreditation Canada under client and family centred care in ABI services. The Life Redesign Model™ ischaracterized by the following:
- A culture of personal accountability, supported risk taking, social capital and meaningful community participation;
- Services are planned around what the person wants more of in life. Participation in relevant life situations drives the residents’ goals;
- Service plans leverage neuroplasticity by pursuing resident goals in real-life, non-institutional settings;
- A “doing-with” coaching approach with blended job roles and a multi-professional coaching team;
- Hire for fit based on personality and values, not qualifications.
The Life Redesign Model™ is an innovative functional approach to have residents participating in real-life activities, which are embedded with rehab activities. CONNECT homes are residential in nature and self-supporting with residents and staff working in partnership to keep things running as you would in community. It’s real life without central housekeeping, catering or institutional care home amenities. Our homes blend naturally into the community allowing for easy interaction and integration with the neighbourhood.
CONNECT’s service delivery is characterized by flexibility and variety and leaves plenty of room for spontaneity. This flexibility is essential in meeting the enormous variety of unique needs presented by acquired brain injury and stroke and better emulates daily life after CONNECT in the community. Residents are supported to plan their day based on what works best for them and their life beyond CONNECT.
Contact One of Our Locations
For more information, or to arrange a visit, please contact us by phone or email.
Our team includes trained rehab professionals, skilled and experienced in complex transitional rehabilitation and residential support services. First and foremost, however, our people are caring, compassionate and respectful which creates a workplace that is supportive and fun.
CONNECT’s team of professional coaches includes a play coach, physical coach, health and wellness coach, communication coach, independence coach and thinking coach. This team is made up of therapists from a variety of disciplines including recreation therapy, physiotherapy, registered nursing, speech therapy, occupational therapy and neuropsychology, respectively.
Jessica CampbellPhysical Coach
A few of my responsibilities at CONNECT: I work with the residents and our CONNECT team to create a plan to progress their mobility and functional abilities, in order to allow them to become more independent with their lives.
My hero is: Terry Fox
Something that gives me energy: Going on adventures and trying new experiences
What I love about CONNECT: Seeing our residents become able to achieve their personal goals, and being a part of their journey on reclaiming their lives.
How I make a difference at CONNECT: In my spare time I like to: Do yoga, mixed martial arts, and weightlifting.
One word to describe me: Dedicated
Wendy WilliamsThinking Coach
A few of my responsibilities at CONNECT: Coaching people with thinking problems!
My hero is: Any one who has gone through trauma and still laughs often.
What I love about CONNECT: Not only do I get to step out of the “box”, I get to redesign it!
In my spare time I like to: Cook and do pilates, but not at the same time.
Ashlie HallsworthHealth and Wellness Coach
Best part of my job: Seeing residents achieve their goals
A Perfect Day would Include: Relaxing lakeside with a good book
Favorite food: Mexican
Michelle ConnollyPhysical Coach
Favourite food: French Fries
This keeps me going: My family
My hobbies: Skting, skiing, soccer, biking, gym, reading
Mary Lou IcetonCommunication Coach
Favourite Season: Fall
My inspiration is: The people I work with
Favourite word: Yes
Connie BakkerCommunication Coach
Favourite Food: Strawberries
This keeps me going: My 3 children
I am inspired by: People with perseverence in light of challenges
Jen SchochterHealth and Wellness Coach
At CONNECT: My job involves assisting Life Redesign Coaches with the Health and Wellness of residents, including care, medication delivery and any medical issues the residents may have. The residents do what they can for themselves with support from myself or the LRC, as needed.
A perfect day for me: A hot sunny day at the beach with my family.
What I love about CONNECT: The flexibility of work hours so I can spend time with friends and family and support CONNECT at the same time.
One word that describes me: Empathetic
Alisa FerdinandiCommunication Coach
A few of my responsibilities at CONNECT: Assist with communication issues, develop skills needed to have a conversation with others, to socialize, to communicate in the community as well as with friends and family.
My hero is: My Mum!
Something that gives me energy: Yoga and my kids
What I love about CONNECT: The team dynamic and the community based approach to rehabilitation.
How I make a difference at CONNECT: I listen and try to be a support to my team and to my clients.
In my spare time I like to: Spend time with family, read, walk in the woods with my dog.
Chris ActonPhysical Coach
A few of my responsibilities at CONNECT: I support residents to achieve their mobility and physical recreation goals.
Something that gives me energy: being physically active with my family.
What I love about CONNECT: the flexibility to work with residents when, where and how they need to achieve goals they didn’t think were possible.
How I make a difference at CONNECT: modelling a healthy, physically active lifestyle and encouraging others to do the same.
In my spare time I like to: mountain bike, speed skate, do yoga and cheer on the Toronto Blue Jays.
Karin SchmidtIndependence Coach
A few of my responsibilities at CONNECT: As the Independence Coach (Occupational Therapist), I focus on maximizing independence. As a team, we assess residents and assist them to set and achieve their goals with regards to basic life skills as well as in regaining and redefining their life roles.
My hero is: Anyone who overcomes adversity and holds on to humour and a sense of compassion (Heroes are everywhere).
Something that gives me energy: A good laugh or a dive in cold ocean water (maybe not at the same time).
What I love about CONNECT: I love CONNECT’s philosophy of offering a truly person centred “whatever it takes” approach to assisting our residents to live with a brain Injury.
How I make a difference at CONNECT: Next to doing my normal job duties, I hope that I bring a positive attitude and some ‘outside the box’ problem solving.
In my spare time I like to: Going on mini adventures in nature. Typically pedaling, paddling, skiing or walking.
A number of Support Coaches assist our residents with their Life Redesign Plans and are crucial to the running of CONNECT. These coaches include: Life Redesign Coaches who work directly with our residents in their houses, Service Resource Coaches, Locations Support Coaches, Admin Coaches and Decision Support Coaches.
Our People Resources Coaches are the main points of contact for potential and current employees and our Business Resources Manager is our primary liaison with potential residents and community contacts.
Janette JackmanBusiness Administrator Coach
What I love about my job: The diversity in my role and the different people I get to connect with everyday both at work and in the community
What I love about CONNECT: The people who work here are passionate about the work they do and are changing people’s lives every day in so many ways
My perfect day looks like: Coffee on the patio, walking with my dog Molly and spending time with my family and friends
Christy SmithPeople Resources Coach
My duties at CONNECT: scheduling, interviewing, orientation, payroll, social event planning
What I love about my job: the ability to help make lives better
What I love about CONNECT: the people who I work with every day, staff and residents
My perfect day looks like: camping on lake sitting by the campfire with family and friends
Karen LeekingPeople Resources Coach
What I love about my job: Interacting with staff & residents
What I love about CONNECT: I love watching the residents improving while enjoying life
My perfect day looks like: Soaking up nature with family and friends
Meet Our Leadership Team
Patti Flaherty President and COO
Best part of my job: The People
Perfect day: A sunny day at the cottage
Favorite Season: Spring in Vancouver, Fall in Ontario
John Sherwood CEO
Best part of my job: Finding potential and challenging convention.
What I like most about CONNECT: We are always exploring better ways of doing things together.
Hobbies: I love variety and enjoy almost everything – but I’m an outdoorsman at heart.
One word that describes me: Balanced.
Perfect day includes: Imperfection.
Favorite food: Seefood.
Scott Cooke CFO
What I like most about CONNECT: the teamwork and/or having a positive impact on peoples lives
Hobbies: running, golfing, reading & movies
One word that describes me: determined
Perfect day includes: good food, great people and some fun outside activity
Favourite food: pizza (Italian)
Karen Tims Director of Culture, People and Services
My inspiration: People with the courage to try
My perfect day: Relaxing in a shady corner of my garden
I’m truly happy when: I’m following my passions
Mark Fleming Site Lead – Lake Country
A few of my responsibilities at CONNECT: Overseeing the delivery of the Life Redesign Model and the general running of the Lake Country site.
Something that gives me energy: Coffee mostly! Also being outdoors, laughter, and new experiences
What I love about CONNECT: The culture and the shared commitment to making lives better.
In my spare time I like to: Mountain bike, spend time with friends and family, travel as much as possible
Juliet Henderson-Rahbar Site Lead – Langley
My role at CONNECT: As Site Leader, I manage the running of our Langley site in addition to services.
What I love about CONNECT: While supporting the operation of the houses, I love helping the coaches own their Life Redesign roles so residents and their families fully experience the Life Redesign Model.
In my spare time: I enjoy spending time with family and doing creative projects like cake decorating and refurbishing old furniture.
We are available on short notice to provide detailed assessments and proposals for services and support. The following criteria are important considerations:
- 19 years of age or older (younger people may be considered with licensing approval)
- Medically stable
- Access to funding
- Demonstrate interest and involvement
Our homes are fully licensed as “Specialized Adult Residential” and thoroughly inspected on a regular basis. We work with a wide range of funding agencies including private and public insurance companies, WorkSafe BC, government programs, health authorities and individual families.