As Canadian Optometrists, we are dedicated to enhancing optometric education and public awareness of Vision Therapy and Rehabilitation to improve the lives of our patients.
Meet Our Board of Directors
- Michelle McKenzie, OD, FCOVD - President
- France Corriveau, OD, FCOVD - Vice President
- Tedra Kindopp OD, FCOVD - Director of Continuing Education
- Angela Dobson, OD - Secretary
- Kristel Jefferies, OD - Director of Internal and External Affairs
- Ronald Gall, OD, FCOVD - Treasurer
- Amrit Bilkhu, OD, FAAO - Director of Marketing
- Tanya Polonenko, OD, FAAO, FCOVD - Director of Membership
- Pamela Chinchilla - Director of Therapist Relations
- Virginia Donati, OD, FCOVD - Past President
Michelle McKenzie, OD, FCOVD - President
Dr. McKenzie attended the University of Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science where she received her Doctor of Optometry and Honours Bachelor of Science degrees. She completed an internship with OMNI Vision Centre in Atlanta, Georgia. Bolton was the perfect place to build a practice and raise a family, so in 1994 the Bolton Optometry Clinic opened its doors.
Having a special interest in pediatrics, binocular vision and neuro-rehabilitative optometry, Dr. McKenzie studied with the Optometric Extension Program Foundation (OEPf) and completed the Core Curriculum. She is a Board Certified Fellow in the practice of vision development and vision therapy through the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD). Dr. McKenzie is a member of the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association (NORA) and the Ocular Nutrition Society (ONS). She is also a member of the College of Syntonic Optometry (CSO) and has studied with Stefan Collier and his Next Generation Syntonics. Dr. McKenzie has completed the Padula Institute's Neural-Visual Processing Treatment. She continues to attend regional, national and international courses in order to bring the latest information home to her patients.
Dr. McKenzie is a founding Board Member of the Canadian Optometrists in Vision Therapy and Rehabilitation now known as Vision Therapy Canada. She believes that education and communication is vital in spreading the news about developments in vision therapy and rehabilitation to Optometrists, other professionals and patients. In the spirit of giving back the community that has been so supportive, the Bolton Optometry Clinic has expanded to become a Professional Development education center where Canadian and International experts meet with optometrists, therapists and other professionals to learn and experience new ideas.
France Corriveau, OD, FCOVD - Vice President
Dr. Corriveau received her Doctorate of Optometry from the Université de Montréal in 2008. She has always had a strong passion for binocular vision and developmental optometry and started providing vision therapy very early on in her career. Since graduation, Dr. Corriveau has been pursuing specialized training with a number of organizations, including: the Optometric Extension Program Foundation (OEP), Canadian Optometrists in Vision Therapy and Rehabilitation (COVT&R) now knows as Vision Therapy Canada (VTC) and Padula Institute of Vision. She is a Fellow at the College of Optometrist in Vision Development (COVD).
Dr. Corriveau knew from a very young age that she wanted to be an optometrist and that she wanted to help people. Her kind, attentive and patient nature, along with her fluent bilingual skills, has allowed her to serve a wide range of patients; from serving as an in-house optometrist for old age homes across Ottawa to volunteering in Ecuador to fit glasses to children in need.
For leisure, Dr. Corriveau enjoys reading, playing the piano, cycling and is currently training for her first half marathon. She lives in Ottawa and travels to Montreal often to visit with her nieces and nephew.
Tedra Kindopp OD, FCOVD Director of Continuing Education
Dr. Tedra Kindopp attended Andrews University in Michigan where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry in 1993. She then attended the University of Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Sciences where she received her Doctor of Optometry in 1997. Dr. Kindopp has pursued her passion for neuro-optometric rehabilitation with continual learning. She has completed the Sanet Vision Seminars, the Core Curriculum with the Optometric Extension Program Foundation, and advanced training in Syntonic Phototherapy. Dr. Kindopp has taken many Post-Concussion Rehabilitation courses and loves the changes it makes in her patient’s lives. She received her Fellowship from the College of Optometrists in Vision Development in 2019.
Dr. Kindopp wants to support the amazing vision therapy community that she is proud to be a part of and has a desire to help others learn more about all the vision therapy offers. She is a Clinical Associate Instructor for the University of Waterloo School of Optometry. She is a core committee member for Alberta’s Neurosciences Rehabilitation and Vision Strategic Clinical Network. She locally lectures to fellow optometrists, physicians, occupational therapists, physical therapists and teachers.
Angela Dobson OD, Secretary
Dr. Angela Dobson graduated from Dalhousie University with an honours B.Sc. in Geology. She then went on to the University of Waterloo where she received her Doctor of Optometry degree. Wanting to see our great country, she started practicing on the scenic Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. Soon she was drawn back to the east coast, and started her 20+ year career in Bedford, Nova Scotia.
A change in course occurred in the new millennium, as visual rehabilitation from concussions and brain injuries became better understood. Angela was drawn to neuro-rehabilitative and behavioural optometry, which led to the development of Vision Sense Optometry, the first vision therapy optometric practice in Nova Scotia.
Dr. Dobson is the chair of the Vision Rehabilitation and Development committee in Nova Scotia, and continues to mentor and lead vision rehabilitation in Nova Scotia. She lectures to practitioners and organizations in Nova Scotia, and gives continuing lectures to optometrists on behavioural and developmental optometry.
Dr. Dobson is passionate about behavioural optometry and considers herself fortunate to be an integral part of the concussion recovery of so many individuals. As well, she delights in the blossoming of people of all ages as their visual systems become increasingly more effective.
Kristel Jefferies, OD - Director of Internal and External Affairs
Visual rehabilitation and vision therapy have been Dr. Jefferies’ passion since her second year of schooling when she became fascinated by the neurology behind the visual process. She has focussed her practice on behavioural optometry and the treatment of binocular vision disorders since began her career in 2013. Having suffered a concussion herself, Dr. Jefferies understands first-hand the important role that visual neuro-rehabilitative therapy can play in achieving a full recovery from a traumatic brain injury. She also offers vision therapy to individuals with eye turns and amblyopia, sports vision treatments to athletes, and developmental optometry services to children with autism, dyslexia, non-specific reading disabilities and other academic difficulties. Dr. Jefferies is privileged to have assisted hundreds of patients to improve the quality of their vision. She is thrilled to provide care to the community of Pembroke and surrounding areas.
Dr. Jefferies obtained a baccalaureate degree in Biochemistry from the University of Guelph in 2008. In 2013, she graduated with her Doctor of Optometry degree from the University of Waterloo, School of Optometry and Vision Science. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Jefferies started a binocular vision and vision therapy practice in Ottawa, Ontario. During her training, Dr. Jefferies was the recipient of several awards including the W. Ross Andrews Prize for Clinical Optometry, the Essilor Low Vision Award, and the Reginald Williams Memorial Scholarship for Academic Excellence. She was also the Vice President of her graduating class and remains a strong advocate for volunteer work and community involvement. Dr. Jefferies has been an integral part of many optometric mission trips to under-developed countries including Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras and Ghana, where she provided free eye-care to citizens in need. In April 2020, Dr. Jefferies obtained her Fellowship with the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (FCOVD), a US organization that certifies Optometrists who have additional training and expertise in the field of Behavioural, Developmental and Rehabilitative Optometry.
In 2015, Dr. Jefferies moved to Pembroke, Ontario with her family. She is a proud mother to 2 children and provides a home to two beautiful cats, which she adopted from an animal shelter. She enjoys spending her leisure time outdoors through activities such as camping, hiking, running and biking. As a young adult, she was a competitive soccer player and horseback rider. Dr. Jefferies remains a horse enthusiast but now enjoys these sports as hobbies.
Ron Gall, OD, MSc, FAAO, FCOVD, Diplomate (BVPPO)- Treasurer
Dr. Gall is an optometrist who believes "Vision is the Difference". He cares for patients and is excited when they reach their potential and achieve success. From the beginning, Dr. Gall has offered vision therapy as an option for success. In 1993, Dr. Gall received his Doctorate in Optometry, then in 1995, he received his Master of Vision Science in the area of binocular vision after which he started his practice. In 1999, he received his Fellowship from the American Academy of Optometry (AAO), earned by only 5% of optometrists who give back to the profession in terms of research and leadership. In the fall of 2010, he moved his practice to a larger facility and opened the Foundation for Learning Centre - Vision is the Difference.
Amrit Bilkhu, OD, FAAO - Director of Marketing
Dr. Bilkhu is a Brampton native and takes pride in serving her community within the Greater Toronto Area. She graduated from the Illinois College of Optometry in 2019, and then completed a Vision Therapy and Rehabilitation residency at the University of California Berkeley School of Optometry. Throughout her education, Dr. Bilkhu became skilled in helping patients with amblyopia, strabismus, binocular vision dysfunction, and visual perceptual challenges.
She has a passion for identifying and managing vision-related learning disorders in school-aged children. She is an advocate for these patients, and works hard to provide specialized glasses prescriptions, school letters for accommodations, and vision therapy programs to help children achieve their best academic performance.
Dr. Bilkhu is excited to be the marketing director on the Vision Therapy Canada board, and is a proud member of the Ontario Association of Optometrists. After clinical hours, Dr. Bilkhu writes articles for optometry blogs and shares her knowledge on her professional Instagram page @dr.amritbilkhu. She was also the creator and co-host of the popular optometry podcast Four Eyes, where she interviewed influential optometrists and healthcare professionals, and shared her optometric clinical knowledge along with her co-hosts.
Tanya Polonenko, OD, FAAO, FCOVD - Director of Membership
Dr. Tanya Polonenko is a residency trained Optometrist and a board-certified Fellow in vision development, vision therapy and rehabilitation. After obtaining her Optometry Degree at the University of Waterloo, School of Optometry, she completed her Binocular Vision and Vision Therapy Residency at UC Berkeley School of Optometry where she continued serving as clinical faculty in the Binocular Vision Clinic. She returned to Canada in 2013 where she practiced in Toronto in a vision therapy focused full scope practice and a concussion centre. She loves to teach, and is an adjunct assistant clinical professor at the University of Waterloo, School of Optometry. There, she has had an integral role in establishing the concussion and vision therapy clinics. In December 2019, Dr. Polonenko opened her own full scope Optometry clinic in Kitchener, Visual Sense Eye Care, which has an emphasis on vision therapy, amblyopia, strabismus, learning related vision problems, concussion, and pediatrics. She has become an instructor for the PVTAP curriculum through VTC and is excited to join the Board of Directos.
Pamela Chinchilla, O.D, COVT, PVT, Certified Vision Therapist - Director of Therapist Relations
Pamela graduated as an optometrist, (OD), from the University of La Salle, Bogotá, Colombia. She practiced for more than 15 years in her native city of Bucaramanga, both in her private practice and as an associate at an ophthalmological clinic. She also was a professor at the School of Optometry.
Following her move to Canada, she worked for Essilor as a Lens Representative, then worked for Ciba Vision as a Professional Affairs Director of Canada. After she decided to continue her education and advance her career by registering with the College of Optometry and Visual Development (COVD) and obtaining her COVT certification as a Vision Therapist in 2016. Also, she trained with the Canadian Vision Therapy association (CVT) on their PVTAP course and obtained her PVT certification in 2017. Later, that same year she finished the five Curriculum Courses from the Optometric Extension Program (OEPF).
In 2018, OEPF appointed her as one of their Curriculum Course Instructors trainees and their representative for Latin America. In 2019 The Colombian College and Federation of Optometrists (FEDOPTO) named her as the Director of the International chapter of their Federation. In 2022 Vision Therapy Canada (VTC) named her as the Director of Therapist Relations.
Pamela is also an active member of the COVD, CVT, OEPF, FEDOPTO, and The Latin America Association of Optometrists and Opticians, (ALDOO).
Currently, she dedicates her professional time to Visual Therapy and Rehabilitation for patients with learning-related visual problems, visual dysfunctions, Strabismus, Amblyopia, Acquired/traumatic brain injuries, and patients on the Autism spectrum. She continues her training process to teach the OEP Curriculum Courses in Spanish-speaking countries.
Pamela continues to further her knowledge by attending continuing education courses and conferences nationally and internationally.
Pamela enjoys the outdoors biking, swimming, hiking, and running in her free time. Indoors, she loves playing squash, practicing yoga, and swimming. She enjoys watching movies, reading and going to t, the theater all year round.
Virginia Donati, OD, FCOVD – Past President
Dr. Donati attended the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in Philadelphia where she first learned about vision therapy by becoming a patient herself. Upon returning to Canada, she had the desire to bring her passion for vision therapy to her own patients so that they do not suffer needlessly with undiagnosed vision problems.
Since that time, Dr. Donati has been involved in the ongoing process of expanding Vision Therapy in Canada. She was the founding Vice President (2014-2017) and current President (2018-2021) of Vision Therapy Canada (formerly COVT&R).
Dr. Donati lectures to optometrists who are interested in learning more about Vision Therapy and is involved extensively in training of Vision Therapists. She is the lead instructor for VTC’s Practical Vision Therapist Accreditation Program (PVTAP).
Dr. Donati serves on the College of Optometrists of Ontario’s Quality Assurance Committee as an assessor of clinical records, is a clinical associate of the Optometric Extension Program Foundation (OEPF), and has been an active member of the Ontario Association of Optometrists since 2006. She is board certified in Vision Therapy as a Fellow in the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD), and is instructor for OEPF.