Recipient of the 2014
Diane Schumacher is very honoured to be nominated as a candidate for Healthcare Provider of the Year for the 2022 Awards of Excellence in Brain Injury Rehabilitation.
Diane has been a clinical social worker for over 35 years, graduating with her Bachelor of Social Work from Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson). She is currently working at DMARehability in London and has been since 2005. She provides social work counselling for individuals who have been involved in motor vehicle collisions. Diane works with clients who have sustained complex injuries including acquired brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, pain, loss and grief. Much of Diane’s work is in the community, but she also offers in clinic sessions and more recently has incorporated virtual counselling as an alternative. Meeting with clients in their homes offers a unique perspective into their world and has facilitated the creation of goals specific to the needs of the client often involving family members and even pets. She works alongside other social workers, lawyers, occupational therapists, rehabilitation therapists, physiotherapists and many other team members to create a multidisciplinary approach to ensuring clients get the treatment they need and deserve. She works with children, adults, seniors, couples and families as needed, utilizing cognitive behavioural therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy and solution focused therapy.
Diane has navigated the intricate auto insurance world with skill and transparency, always ensuring that her strong advocacy skills are paramount in securing social work treatment for her clients. She is known for her empathy and ability to find humour in most situations.
In addition to her clinical work with clients, Diane supervises the social work team at DMARehability. She has been an integral part of the growth of this division, demonstrating her knowledge and patience in mentoring the next generation of social workers. She enjoys collaborating and learning with her colleagues, and always does so with a smile.
Prior to working at DMARehability, Diane has also worked at Parkwood Institute in the Brain Injury Outreach Program offering support to survivors and their families in the 10 counties in southwestern Ontario that it serves. It was during these years that Diane began to build a strong foundation in brain injury work and realize her passion for helping those with complex injuries more fully engage in their lives and work through their trauma.
To further the brain injury community’s knowledge of resources and supports available to clients, Diane has volunteered her time as a speaker and board member. She has spoken at Brain Injury Support Groups and been a panel member offering her perspective on the resources available in the London and area community. She was also a board member for the Brain Injury Association London and Region from 2004 to 2007 and helped to facilitate the development of support groups in the various counties that it serves.
It has been a privilege for Diane to be able to work alongside a tremendous team at DMARehability and be a part of her clients’ journeys to wellness. Supporting people as they manage devastating injuries and complex emotional distress as a result of their motor vehicle collisions is a challenging yet fulfilling career that Diane has enjoyed for over 35 years and will continue to enjoy in the years to come.