Carolyn Lemsky

Carolyn Lemsky


Dr. Lemsky has been working with and learning from her clients and colleagues at Community Head Injury Resource Services of Toronto since 1998. She was trained in the US, and completed the requirements for Board Certification by the American Board of Professional Psychology in Clinical Neuropsychology in 1993. Since her arrival in Canada, Dr. Lemsky has been providing clinical direction to CHIRS, consultation and training to other brain injury organizations and has an active practice in Clinical Neuropsychology through Toronto ABI Specialists ( The CHIRS program has received international recognition as a center of excellence in the provision of community support services for people living with brain injury. Dr. Lemsky continues to serve as a consulting expert in the development of guidelines and best practices for serving people living with brain injury in both the US and Canada. Over the past 15 years, her work has focused on addressing gaps in care for individuals experiencing problematic substance use, homelessness and justice involvement. In 2006, Dr. Lemsky founded the Substance Use and Brain Injury Bridging project. The training and clinical materials that were developed over a 15-year span by that project have been recognized internationally as important contributions to the provision of evidence-based service for people living with brain injury who also have complex needs. Dr. Lemsky and the CHIRS team have developed the Neurobehavioural Brain Injury Support Services, a community-based intervention program specifically designed to address the complex needs of people living with brain injury, substance use disorders and complex mental health needs. Her clinical work with this complex group of clients and talented clinicians has informed her training and academic writing. Over the past two years she has received support and funding from the National Association of State Brain Injury Administrators and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to provide training and develop client-materials to address substance misuse after brain injury. She regularly receives invitations to provide training and consultation in the US and Canada and has contributed articles and book chapters to the brain injury literature. For the past two years Dr. Lemsky has had the honor of serving on the board of the Brain Injury Society of Toronto. Dr. Lemsky is proudest of the contributions she has made to partnerships the CHIRS team has created with the Center for Addictions and Mental Health, Reconnect Mental Health Services, COTA, and the Concurrent Disorders Support Services. These community partnerships usually begin with serving just a few clients but inform future efforts to increase system capacity and support clients’ access to care. Her current professional goal is to raise awareness of the intersection of brain injury and mental health, and to encourage the inclusion of Brain Injury in local, provincial and federal addictions and mental health strategies.

  • Kristen Novak says:

    Carolyn took extreme care of my uncle David for decades. She deserves this accolade, hands down.

  • Jo Beyers says:

    Reading her Bio emphasizes for me she is the best candidate – she is grounded in clinical service AND goes the next crucial step in knowledge translation/mobilization to help shape, develop and share evidence-based clinical guidelines and practice for others in the field.

  • Rachel Greenwood says:

    I remember when Dr. Lemsky started at CHIRS; her impact was immediate and positive for both the clients and the staff!! We worked closely together for a number of years (I have countless stories!), and I consider Carolyn to be one of my pivotal professional mentors who both fostered my love for the people we serve, and honed my skill set and approach. I am grateful for our ongoing relationship, and I continue to access her (and the amazing CHIRS team) to assist my clients in their recovery whenever possible.

  • Colleen Boyce says:

    I have learned so much from Carolyn over the years and continue to always ask for her advice, guidance and “pick her brilliant brain”! I love her style, harm reduction approach, and she totally gets the clients we share. She is an amazing team player, mentor and decisions are made as a result of science, best practice, research and outcomes. She also gives back so much to the brain injury community; her clients; families; staff and industry colleagues. Congratulations on this nomination.

  • Ellie Lapowich says:

    I have had the opportunity to work with Dr. Lemsky on some incredibly challenging files. During this time, she has been able to provide very helpful strategies and insights in an attempt to move clients forward. She has been particularly valuable on files with brain injury survivors who struggle with substance use issues. Dr. Lemsky is also an excellent Neuropsychologist, and has assisted clients in identifying areas of strength and difficulty to enable them to best progress.

  • Kindree Alkins says:

    I have had the pleasure and opportunity to work closely with Dr. Lemsky on a number of complex ABI files with Bayshore NRIO. I have personally learned so much from Dr. Lemsky over the years. I admire her lens and approach with addictions and mental health and have appreciated her partnership, expertise and advise on a number of files. She is so deserving of this award for all she has done for the ABI community as well as public and private organizations across the GTA. Huge congratulations on this nomination.

  • Lorolie Royer says:

    Dr. Lemsky is an expert and trusted professional always willing to assist in helping our TBI clients with extraordinary difficulties. Congratulations on this well deserved domination.

  • Beverlee Melamed says:

    Carolyn is a truly remarkable, knowledgeable professional and I’ve been honoured to work with her , learn from her work!

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