In January 1991, SARBI began providing services for ABI survivors in Saskatoon. The push came Valerie Klusa and Gale Sinnet who both worked for the Saskatoon Health Region. They wanted to establish a rehabilitation program for ABI survivors.
SARBI was modeled after the Alberta based group, the Association for the Rehabilitation of the Brain Injured (ARBI), which is located in Calgary. In March 2003, another location opened in Regina. Klusa and Sinnet received the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal in 2005 for founding SARBI.
A milestone was reached in 2005 when SARBI changed from a physiotherapy program to a psychosocial rehabilitation program. The new program focuses on teaching ABI survivors necessary social skills in everyday situations. “Learning how to behave in social situations is just as valuable as learning how to walk,” says Elizabeth Hummel, Executive Director of SARBI.
A volunteer board comprised of health professionals, family members, and community minded individuals oversee the SARBI program. The board hires an executive director who is responsible for managing SARBI.
Goals and Objectives
SARBI is committed to enhancing the quality of life for ABI survivors by providing rehabilitation and recreation programs.
- To support and facilitate the reintegration of ABI survivors into the community with appropriate programs and services.
- To provide support for ABI survivors and their families.
- To make ABI survivors feel welcome and safe in a positive environment.
- To respect the rights and responsibilities of the individual and provide empathetic understanding to ABI survivors and their families.
- To establish a group of volunteers interested in assisting ABI survivors.
- To establish friendships between ABI survivors and volunteers.