Our Team

 

President

Dr. Shirin Badii, Ph.D.

Dr. Shirin Badii, Ph.D.

President

Shirin is the president of VBIA.

PhD Neuroscientist and President of Vancouver Brain Injury Association, Shirin facilitates the West Vancouver Persian Brain Injury Support Group. Shirin’s PhD thesis was written investigating and analyzing the effects of crowding agents on protein folding and stability. Following this, she spent time doing research as a post-doctoral fellow at a brain research centre at UBC Hospital. Today, Shirin is a researcher at BC Cancer Agency.

Executive Director

Gity Hadizadeh

Executive Director

As Executive Director Gity is the CEO, responsible for all operations and for ensuring that VBIA operations adhere to VBIA policy as directed by the Vancouver Brain Injury Association Board of Directors.

Gity has experience with nonprofits on 2 continents and is especially focused on the value that volunteers bring to VBIA. Gity is the chief Volunteer Coordinator, and expects to have other volunteer coordinators responsive to the needs of volunteers in various departments.

Board of Directors

Richard Wagar

Richard Wagar

Director

Richard is a former executive coach and trainer.

Tony Burrows

Tony Burrows

Director

Tony is a director at VBIA.

Michael Rowan

Michael Rowan

Director

 

 

 

Nasim Boustani, BASc, MSc, MBA

Nasim Boustani, BASc, MSc, MBA

Director

Nasim Boustani is an accountant and VBIA Treasurer and Director.

Jeff Witten

Jeff Witten

Director

Jeff is a personal Injury lawyer and a director at VBIA.

Advisory Board

Dr. Philip Teal

Dr. Philip Teal

Advisor

Dr. Philip Teal is a neurologist with interest in brain stroke.

Dr. Ramesh Sahjpaul

Dr. Ramesh Sahjpaul

Advisor

Dr. Ramesh Sahjpaul is a consultant neurosurgeon and Chief, Department of Surgery at Lions Gate Hospital, and Clinical Associate Professor, Division of Neurosurgery, UBC.

Dr. Amir Sepehry

Dr. Amir Sepehry

Advisor

Dr. Amir Sepehry is a neuropsychologist and a faculty member at Adler University.

Dr. Robert Carruthers

Dr. Robert Carruthers

Advisor

Dr. Robert Carruthers is a neurologist.

Dr. Maziar Badii

Dr. Maziar Badii

Advisor

Dr. Maziar Badii is a spine rheumatologist.

Dr. Bruce Forster

Dr. Bruce Forster

Advisor

Dr. Bruce Forster is a professor and the head of the radiology department at UBC Faculty of Medicine, as well as an academic director at Office of Education Innovation.

Dr. Alex Rauscher.

Dr. Alex Rauscher.

Advisor

Dr. Robert Carruthers is a medical physicist and a faculty member at UBC.

Staff

Saman Darabian

Saman Darabian

Staff

UBC-student Saman has been working for VBIA since 2016.

Zeba Khan

Zeba Khan

Staff

Zeba joined VBIA as a volunteer in 2017.

Founders

Jennifer Bonderoff, Ph.D.

Jennifer Bonderoff, Ph.D.

Founder

 

Co-founder Jennifer Bonderoff, Ph.D., has her doctorate in molecular biology.  Founder & Board Member through 2016

Penny Luke, M.Ed.

Penny Luke, M.Ed.

Founder

 

Founding member Penny Luke, M.Ed. has decades of experience as a Special Education/Resource teacher in Lower Mainland school systems. Her experience in working with special needs students is invaluable.  Penny experienced a near-fatal brain injury when, as a very small child, she was struck by a car in the street.

Bill Luke, Ph.D.

Bill Luke, Ph.D.

Founder

 

Founding member Bill Luke, PhD is an Associate Professor of Kinesiology & Biology at Trinity Western University. Dr. Luke is involved with establishing policy and guidelines for fitness and health enthusiasts who wish to become fitness leaders for individuals of all ages. He has been involved for many years with BCRPA (British Columbia Recreation and Parks Association – Fitness). In addition, he is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and a Registered Kinesiologist in British Columbia. He is the creator of the training program in British Columbia for the development of older adult fitness leaders. Graduates of the older adult fitness leaders program qualify for certification in the Province and across Canada.

Volunteers

Armita Hezarkhani

Armita Hezarkhani

Social Media Team Member

Kaitlyn Li

Kaitlyn Li

Social Media Coordinator

Kaitlyn Li is a high school international student who has taken this position since 2016. She takes the responsibility of updating all of our social media cites including Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and Twitter, and manages to rebuild our website for aesthetical pleasure. She is going to university in this September.

Kim Spracklin

Kim Spracklin

North Shore Brain Injury Support Group Facilitator

Kim has a background in business and a black belt in karate.  Kim is a great communicator who volunteers as North Shore Brain Injury Support Group host and facilitator at NSBISG meetings.

Gina

Gina

Task-Mistress and All-Around Wonder

We met Gina at our very first North Shore Brain Injury Support Group meeting at Lions Gate Hospital. She was a volunteer from the opening minutes of that meeting, and ever since.  In our first year, Gina never missed a meeting.

Kamelia Abadi

Kamelia Abadi

Brain Recovery Fridays Volunteer

Kamelia helps out at Brain Recovery Fridays in various roles where possible.

Bill Luke, PhD

Bill Luke, PhD

Volunteer Presenter on Neuroscience & Exercise

Founding member Bill Luke, PhD is an Associate Professor of Kinesiology & Biology at Trinity Western University.  Dr. Luke volunteers in presenting exercise and neuroscience in brain injury recovery.

Gerry

Gerry

Handy Helper and Transporter Extraordinaire 

Gerry is an acquired brain injury survivor of a workplace accident. for years, Gerry spent years trying to get help dealing with WorkSafe BC.  He volunteers with all aspects of set-up and take-down for the support group meetings and assists with transportation and flyer distribution.

Charity Number

Vancouver Brain Injury Association is a Canadian charity, registration number 82988 0392 RR0001.

Acknowledgements

We gratefully acknowledge the support of:

The City of North Vancouver through their Community Grants program,

The District of North Vancouver through their Community Grants program,

The District of West Vancouver through their Community Grants program,

The Province of British Columbia through their Community Gaming Grants program,

The Province of British Columbia through the BC Brain Injury Alliance,

The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia through their Community Grants program.