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BALANCE

BALANCE Leads

 
Stephanie Snow, BA
PhD Student in Clinical Psychology

Stephanie Snow developed and built the BALANCE program as part of her work towards her PhD in Clinical Psychology. She believes that children with autism deserve equal access to quality healthcare and hopes that the BALANCE program can in its own small way help to move us closer to this ideal. She is humbled by the support BALANCE has received from the children with autism, families, and healthcare providers who made the program and its early testing possible!

Isabel Smith, PhD
Clinical Psychologist

Isabel Smith is the Joan and Jack Craig Chair in Autism Research at Dalhousie University and the IWK Health Centre. A Clinical-Developmental Psychologist, she is a Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Psychology & Neuroscience. She has been studying the effectiveness of Nova Scotia’s unique model of early behavioural intervention for preschoolers with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) since the program began in 2005. She is also active in many other research areas, especially long-term studies that follow the development of children with ASD and their families. Dr. Smith has promoted evidence-based practices for identification, diagnosis, and treatment of ASD for many years through research and advocacy, as well as by providing professional development and peer consultation.

 
Jill Chorney, PhD
Clinical Psychologist

Jill Chorney is an Associate Professor of Anesthesia and Psychology at Dalhousie University, and a Clinical Psychologist at the IWK Health Centre. Dr. Chorney’s research program aims to improve youth and families’ experiences of receiving healthcare. She studies the process of shared decision-making and communication between clinicians and families around the time of surgery. Dr. Chorney is committed to conducting research that has immediate clinical implications and routinely engages patients, families, clinicians, and administrators in her work.

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BALANCE Staff

 
Gil Ungar
BALANCE Technician

 

Sharon Amey
Sharon Amey
BALANCE Manager

 

BALANCE

Advisory Group

 
Nancy Walker, BScPT, MSc
BALANCE Advisor

 I am the mother of 3 children, with my son Ben having a diagnosis of autism. I have been a very active advocate in the autism community for 24 years. Professionally I have worked clinically in many physiotherapy settings across the lifespan, and have worked as an educator in the School of Physiotherapy for the past 20 years. I have had a passion for educating students and healthcare providers about person-centred care and what it means to consumers.

Kate Stone, BA, CLST. Dipl.
BALANCE Advisor

Kate Stone, BA, CLST. Dipl., CCLS is the Certified Child Life Specialist in pediatric perioperative services at the IWK Health Centre. She was actively involved and was consulted throughout the development and implementation of the program. As a child life specialist, Kate provides support for patients and their families to help them cope with the potential challenges of surgery and their hospital experiences. She uses play and simple explanations to help prepare children and youth about will be happening, in a way that makes sense for them, and uses play to help bring comfort in an unfamiliar place. Kate is passionate about the development, use of, and expansion of the BALANCE Program because she has witnessed the impact it has on the patients, families, and the staff.

 
Leigh-Anne Marshall, RN
BALANCE Advisor

 

Carolyn Doucet, RN
BALANCE Advisor

Carolyn Doucet is the Manager of Pediatric Perioperative & Sterile Processing Services at the IWK Health Centre. She has worked in the pediatric perioperative area for the past 22 years. Having the opportunity to work as a pediatric perioperative RN caring for children and their families with autism in New Zealand, England & Canada, Carolyn has gained a true appreciation for the challenges that these families experience as they navigate their way through the health care system. As a care provider she is acutely aware of the lack of confidence within most health care teams in meeting the unique needs of these families. The BALANCE program was something tangible that she could offer to the perioperative team, as well as herself, that would help develop the confidence and understanding they need to ensure these needs are met.

 
Sally Bird, MD
BALANCE Advisor

Sally is a Pediatric Anesthesiologist at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, NS. She became interested in improving the health care experience for children with Autism after a particularly distressing personal experience that led her to believe that we can do better! This led to collaboration with her colleague, Stuart Wright and the team that created BALANCE. Her other areas of interest include regional anesthesia and improving the access to and the standard of care for procedural sedation for all pediatric patients.

Stuart Wright, MD
BALANCE Advisor

Stuart is a pediatric anesthesiologist at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, NS. He has a long standing interest in the perioperative care of children with Autism and along with his colleague, Dr. Sally Bird, has collaborated with the research team to help develop and translate this research into direct patient care. He is also a parent of a child with Autism and can attest to the importance of improving outcomes in this special population.

 

 
Heather Dyment, DDS
BALANCE Advisor

 

Jillian Filliter, PhD
BALANCE Advisor

Jillian Filliter is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Psychology & Neuroscience at Dalhousie University. She is also a Clinical Psychologist who works with the School Age Autism Team at the IWK Health Centre. Dr. Filliter is particularly interested in studying how children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) access and interact with the health care system. Her primary goal is to develop system-, provider-, and patient/family-level interventions that will help to ensure that the needs of youth with ASD are met within our health care system.

BALANCE

A Special Thank You to IWK Innovation Services and...