2020 HEALTH CARE PROVIDER OF THE YEAR NOMINEE
Dr. Joanna Hamilton
HEALTH CARE PROVIDER OF THE YEAR
Dr. Hamilton completed her undergraduate degree at Trent University in Peterborough before completing her Ph.D. at the University of Windsor. Her desire to work with individuals with brain injury grew out of personal experience with a friend’s brother who had sustained a brain injury in the 1960’s and her family’s connection with a young man with a severe brain injury. She began her training in 1985, completing an internship at Chedoke-McMaster Hospitals in the late 1980’s. Following completion of her degree, Dr. Hamilton worked at Bloorview MacMillan Centre (now Holland Bloorview), an experience she thoroughly enjoyed. She currently has a busy private practice in Peterborough, where she serves individuals across the age span in her local community and from all parts of Ontario. She works with individuals, families, and rehabilitation teams in a collaborative manner to improve the lives of those living with the effects of Brain Injury. Dr. Hamilton travels to Northern Ontario on a regular basis to provide assessments for individuals who cannot travel for evaluations or who would otherwise not receive these services. Over the past year she, along with a student trainee, provided opportunities for survivors to receive assessment and treatment. She worked closely with the Brain Injury Association of Peterborough to identify individuals who would benefit from this involvement and who were not otherwise able to access these services. A large part of her practice is treatment focussed for individuals and families who are living with the effects of brain injury. During these unprecedented times, Dr. Hamilton worked hard to ensure that treatment to survivors would be ongoing when face-to-face contact was limited. The lessons learned during this time will enable services to be provided to those in remote communities in the years to come. She is actively involved in an international research project exploring the utility of a new virtual measure of executive functioning. In the past, Dr. Hamilton sat on the Board of Directors for OBIA and Four Counties Brain Injury Association. She is a member of the Central East Brain Injury Network. Dr. Hamilton sits on other professional boards where she advocates for the education of professionals around issues related to brain injury and disability, particularly in the pediatric population. She has presented at local, provincial and international conferences in the area of brain injury. She draws inspiration from the individuals with brain injury with whom she works. They demonstrate tenacity, courage, and hope – characteristics we can all emulate.