Victoria Epilepsy & Parkinson's Centre
To contact any staff members, please click on their names to send them an e-mail or contact the office at 250-475-6677.
Mira Laurence is former television broadcaster. She spent more than a decade reporting on Vancouver Island's sports scene and helped create an award winning sports department at CTV Vancouver Island. She also co-hosted a radio program that promoted health and wellness.
After media, Mira continued to work with Island sports teams and joined the UVic Vikes as their Partnership Development Officer in their athletics and recreation department.
Mira left the University of Victoria to take on the role of Executive Director at HeadWay - Victoria Epilepsy and Parkinson's Centre where she served as a dedicated board member.
Mira has this to say about HeadWay:
“HeadWay aims to empower people living with Parkinson’s and epilepsy by providing useful information and support. We strive to provide our members with tools that allow them to improve their quality of life through symptom management.’ By connecting with peers and helping others we build a sense of community and provide a safe environment for people to share.”
Mira’s passion for promoting sport and active, healthy living, is rivaled only by her love of community and making a difference.
Mira has volunteered countless hours to non-profits and causes on Vancouver Island. She participated in the Cops for Cancer Tour De Rock bike ride in 2010, and helped raise 1.4 million dollars for childhood cancer research. Mira was recruited to the Board of Director’s for the Victoria International Running Society and serves on the Victoria HarbourCats advisory board. She is a founding member of the 100 Women Who Care –Victoria Chapter and was selected as one of the inaugural winners of Vancouver Island’s Top 20 Under 40 Community and Business Leaders.
Maureen has been serving people with Parkinson’s at the agency since 1989. She describes her work with those affected with Parkinson's as a profound experience in courage and compassion. She has a Bachelor of Social Work degree with a specialty in geriatrics.Maureen has worked in all sectors of adult and senior care from VIHA acute care hospitals to care facilities to home support agencies and in volunteer community non profits. Her background in the health care system enables her to assist clients to understand how to communicate effectively with health care professionals. She has attended an endless array of Parkinson's professional conferences and studied a great deal about all aspects of Parkinson's management from medical to self care to caregiver support. "But more than any other source, my training in Parkinson's has come from those we serve".
Maureen chose to become a social worker out of her childhood journey with her mother's severe catatonic schizophrenia. "In addition to the trauma my mother experienced, I saw the profound impact of her illness on all of us. I watched my father struggle with burnout as he cared for her and raised 3 kids. I am grateful for the lessons about love I have learned through my family of origin."
As coordinator, Maureen provides information and support to people with Parkinson's and their families through professional consultations. There is so much potential to live fully in spite of Parkinson's. "I watch people's faces light up when they see their potential to cope with Parkinson's....to see where thay can impact their condition in positive ways". She conducts workshops, coordinates support groups and develops programs that meet priority needs defined by clients and families. Her key question for you is "How can I be of service?"
For over 25 years, Lindsay has been creating, coordinating and leading programs for individuals ranging from toddlers to seniors and who may have identified with being bright, ill, gifted, or injured. She has worked in settings ranging from prisons and schools, to homes and non-profit societies. Lindsay employs the creative process to foster rehabilitation and maintenance of well being in others. She has worked in the areas of acquired brain injury, developmental disability and mental health, focusing on recreation, personal empowerment, and creative expression in writing, dance and visual art. Lindsay coordinates the Parkinson’s Exercise Programs and provides outreach support to individuals with Parkinson’s; including facilitating support groups in Sidney and West Shore.
As Epilepsy Program Coordinator, Lindsay sees individuals with epilepsy, their loved ones, and community professionals in a one-to-one, supportive setting to answer questions and offer links to other resources. Want to know more about what epilepsy is and your type of seizures? Want to make an informed plan for someone in your care? Need some tips for helping your child at school? Lindsay also coordinates outreach programs for individuals with epilepsy, including support groups.
Shannon graduated from Alberta College of Art and Design with a degree in Visual Communications majoring in Photography. For the next twenty years Shannon worked at the Calgary Herald as a staff photojournalist and loved every minute. Documentaries were a favourite of Shannon’s. The most memorable were photographing the Canadian U.N. in Croatia and Bosnia in 1994 during the Balkan Crises, returning a short time later to cover the refugees living along the Adriatic coastline in Croatia. A few years after her time in the former Yugoslavia, Shannon travelled to the Middle East and worked closely with the Red Cross, documenting life in the Occupied Territories as well as covering the 50th Anniversary celebrations of the Independent State of Israel in Jerusalem.
In 2000 Shannon left the newspaper to pursue freelance opportunities in editorial, corporate and events photography. During this time Shannon developed significant marketing and advertising skills through continuing education programs at the University of Calgary and through hands on experience promoting her own successful business. Some of her clients included Imperial Oil, CMHC, The Institute of Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy; Alberta Research Council, The Canadian Learning Foundation, Wine Spectator, The Globe and Mail and the Canadian Geographic Magazine.
Shannon made a career changing decision to pursue Communications and Marketing and enrolled at Royal Roads University where she received a certificate in Professional Communications in 2013. Since then, Shannon has honed her skills at other Non-Profits in similar positions. She is keen to bring her varied skill set and enthusiasm to raise awareness and education around HeadWay’s many worthwhile services and programs.