Equality and Justice
For People With Disabilities

2022 Hoarding Conference Speakers


Ernest Tannis

Co-Founder, Reach 

In 2019, Ernest Tannis was appointed the trustee of the estate of his friend and client Neil Coulman, who lived with hoarding. Ernest's efforts to support Neil during their friendship, and later work as the trustee of Neil's estate, shed light on the complexities of hoarding including its legal impacts, health and safety issues, and the effect on those surrounding the individual living with hoarding behaviours. This event is a three-part conference series being held in May-June 2022 in memory of Mr. Neil Leon Coulman.


Dr. Karen Rowa, Ph.D., C.Psych.

Speaker, Part 1: Increasing Awareness, Part 3: Community Collaboration

Associate Professor, Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University

Karen Rowa is a psychologist and Clinical Director at the Anxiety Treatment and Research Clinic at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University. Dr. Rowa is active in education, clinical supervision, research, and clinical service focused on CBT for anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, and hoarding disorder. She is the current president of the Canadian Association of Cognitive and Behavioural Therapies and was awarded fellow status by this organization in 2019.
Dr. Rowa has published over 70 peer-reviewed articles and chapters, as well as two books in the area of anxiety disorders, hoarding disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder.


Sylvia Chapman

Speaker, Part 2: Legal Challenges

Lawyer, Community Legal Services of Ottawa 

Sylvia Chapman is a Staff Lawyer at Community Legal Services of Ottawa. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Western Ontario and attended law school at the University of Ottawa. She articled with the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee and was subsequently called to the Ontario Bar in 2007. She has worked continuously at the West office of Community Legal Services of Ottawa (formerly West End Legal Services) since 2007. She initially practiced in the area of income maintenance but changed her area of specialization to housing law in 2016. When she is not working, she likes to spend her time outdoors, enjoying nature with her twin daughters.


Anne Smith

Speaker, Part 2: Legal Challenges

Paralegal, Action Logement

Anne Smith has over 30 years experience in the non-profit and charitable sector. She has been a licensed paralegal since 2013. She is currently at Action-Logement / Action Housing, an organization in Ottawa that provides services in French and English to tenants and people searching for rental housing. Anne informs tenants of their legal rights and responsibilities, intervenes on their behalf with landlords, and represents them at the Landlord and Tenant Board.


Mark Handelman

Speaker, Part 2: Legal Challenges

Counsel, Whaley Estate Litigation Partners, Member of the Consent and Capacity Board

Mark Handelman was called to the Ontario Bar in 1978 and holds an MHSc in Bioethics from the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics. He was a part time Member of the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal from 2008 to 2018 and from 1998 to 2008 a Vice Chair and Senior Lawyer Member of the Consent and Capacity Board, to which he was reappointed in 2018. Mark’s articles on consent and capacity law, mental health law, end of life decision-making and Powers of Attorney have appeared in the popular press as well as peer-reviewed medical and legal journals. While practising law in London, Ontario between 1978 and 2002 he was president of the London Chamber of Commerce, president of the Better Business Bureau and a director of the London Club, among other community activities. He now lives in Toronto and Mallorytown and devotes much of his time to presiding at Consent and Capacity Board Hearings.


Bryan Gilmartin

Speaker, Part 2: Legal Challenges

Associate, Whaley Estate Litigation Partners

 Bryan is an Associate Lawyer at WEL Partners in Toronto, Ontario, where he practices exclusively in the areas of wills, estates, trusts, powers of attorney, guardianship, and capacity related litigation. Since 2020, Bryan has also co-mediated estate and trust related disputes.

Bryan first joined WEL Partners as a summer student in 2018 and completed his articles in May 2020. Bryan is a graduate of the Dual J.D. program at the University of Windsor and the University of Detroit Mercy. Prior to law school, he obtained his Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance from the University of Toronto with honours.

Since being called to the Ontario bar in June 2020, Bryan has worked on matters at all levels of court, including the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. He writes for the Globe and Mail, regularly presents at Continuing Legal Education programs, and was recently named in the 2021 edition of Best Lawyers: “Ones to Watch”.

Bryan is a member of the Baycrest Foundation Professional Advisory Group and currently sits as a Member at Large on the Ontario Bar Association Elder Law Executive Committee and Alternative Dispute Resolution Executive Committee.

When not practicing law, Bryan enjoys travelling with family, playing golf with friends, and exploring Toronto’s thriving food scene.


Stacey Murphy

Speaker, Part 3: Community Collaboration

Intensive Case Manager, CMHA Champlain East

Stacey Murphy (BA, H Disability Studies Minor in Family Support & Community Practice Ryerson University 2008) is an Intensive Case Manager at the Canadian Mental Health Association Champlain East in Cornwall, Ontario. Stacey is one of two lead staff in the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative which has been providing client directed care for the past six years across a region that has both urban and rural settings. In this role, she has contributed to the development, delivery and promotion of a Hoarding Treatment Program. She provides individual assessment and treatment, facilitates Buried in Treasures groups, co-chairs the regional Hoarding Response Coalition of SDG and organizes annual educational & training seminars. While in this position, she has had the opportunity to learn and collaborate with many of the leaders in the field treating Hoarding Disorder in both the United States and Canada. Her work as Intensive Case Manager allows her to be involved in all aspects of treatment as an essential part of the Interdisciplinary Team that is required in treating Hoarding Disorders. She would like to take this opportunity to share her clinical experience along with the knowledge that she has been fortunate enough to gain through these connections.


Sheri Hatherly

Speaker, Part 3: Community Collaboration

Hoarding Program Lead, Lanark County Mental Health

Sheri Hatherly-Reichelt is the Hoarding Program Lead & Case Management Lead of the ICS Team at Lanark County Mental Health. Sheri has over 34 years’ experience in the field of social work and trained under many of the researchers on Hoarding Disorders in Boston. The Lanark County Mental Health Prevention / Intervention program has been developed with evidence-based practices and a case management model of care for treatment of Hoarding Disorder/Behavior. The inclusion of a Coalition provides community collaboration and decision making for persons in our community, enhancing services and supports available. As a member of the OPHN (Ontario Provincial Hoarding Network) and actively working with Research partners within Ontario and North America, has created opportunity for optimum care for our communities, and ensures we have the most current and up to date treatment for our clients.

Lisa Medd

Speaker, Part 3: Community Collaboration

Program Manager, Canadian Mental Health Association Ottawa

Lisa Medd graduated many moons ago from Wilfrid Laurier University with an M.S.W. in Community Development and Social Planning.  She has spent her career working in housing and mental health, with the past 22 years in different roles at the Ottawa Branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association. Currently she manages CMHA Ottawa’s housing program.  It is within this role that Lisa and her small team have attempted to support individuals with hoarding behaviors and their landlords.  The complex nature of the situations and the lack of coordinated interventions and resources to address hoarding in Ottawa have been the impetus for CMHA Ottawa to recently engage community stakeholders in a conversation about the needs service providers are seeing and how we can come together to support people with hoarding behaviors.  Lisa will share the early experiences of how the Ottawa area stakeholders are starting to re-build a hoarding task force in hope to create a collaborative community approach to addressing hoarding.