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Leadership Team

Peter Stymiest

Peter Stymiest

Chief Executive Officer

As CEO, Peter provides the leadership, vision and strategic direction for Lifemark Health Group, with a mission to lead the charge in delivering the next generation of health care services in Canada. Originally trained as a physiotherapist, he also has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Queen’s University.

Peter joined Lifemark in 1999 and under his leadership the company has enjoyed rapid growth and expansion, through start-up operations and acquisitions, to deliver high quality rehabilitation services through over 175 locations across the country. With over 30 years of experience in Canada’s rehabilitation market, Peter excels in the skills and expertise necessary to manage the full continuum of rehabilitation services, from acute care to complex assessment and rehabilitation.

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Liz Ballantyne - Senior Vice President | Strategic Initiatives and Innovation
Liz Ballantyne, Senior Vice President Strategic Initiatives and Innovation

In her role, Liz is responsible for leading Lifemark’s strategic plan, using innovation to drive and enhance our client experience and customer relationships. Liz holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences in Physiotherapy from McMaster University and a Master’s in Health Administration from the University of Toronto.

A leader with over 15 years of experience in healthcare, Liz has worked in a range of key roles at Lifemark, including Medical Assessments, Seniors Wellness and Clinic Operations. She approaches all new challenges as opportunities and is motivated by working with teams to come up with new, creative approaches to improve and elevate Lifemark’s operations.

Gilles Chabot - Chief Operating Officer | Clinic Operations
Gilles Chabot

As our Chief Operating Officer of Clinic Operations, Gilles sets the course for the day-to-day operations of our clinics. Gilles is a passionate leader who over the last two years, has been serving the company as the Provincial Lead for the Prairie region. Before moving out West, he was the Provincial Lead for Ontario for four years after having been a Clinic Director and an Area Manager. Gilles graduated in Physiotherapy from the University of Toronto in 1986 and was the General Manager of Sudbury Physio Centre for over 20 years, growing the business to one of the largest and most respected providers of rehabilitation services in Ontario.

Ajay Chadha - Chief Financial Officer
Ajay Chadha, Chief Financial Officer

As CFO, Ajay is responsible for Lifemark's finance, treasury and procurement functions and is a member of the management committee overseeing all M&A transactions.  Ajay’s prior experience includes 23 years with PricewaterhouseCoopers, including 11 years as a Partner in the Transaction Services and Advisory Services groups, 8 years as leader of PwC’s Canadian M&A Integration practice and 3 years as leader of PwC’s Canadian Private Equity and Pension Funds practice.


Ajay is a Chartered Professional Accountant and Chartered Accountant.  He also has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration in International Finance and Bachelor of Science degrees in both Mathematics and Biochemistry.  He has extensive Board experience and is presently the Chairman for The Centre for the Commercialization of Antibodies and Biologics, the Vice-Chair for Bay Cove Human Services and a member of the Board of Directors for Soulpepper Theatre Company.

Shari Cohen - Senior Vice President | Corporate Development
Shari Cohen, Senior Vice President Corporate Development

As Senior Vice President for Corporate Development, Shari is responsible for pursuing and completing strategic acquisitions throughout Canada in all areas of Lifemark’s business. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Indiana University, and has a strong and diverse background in US health care business development working at HealthSouth, a US national health care provider. During a ten-year period at HealthSouth, Shari had several roles, gaining experience in marketing, business development and mergers and acquisitions of rehabilitation clinics throughout the US.

Since 1999, Shari has been leading Lifemark’s aggressive acquisition strategy, completing over 75 acquisitions in the last several years. Her role includes collaboration with Lifemark’s leadership team on its acquisition strategy and executing this plan working closely with potential acquisition targets through all aspects of the acquisition process including prospecting leads, business valuation, and negotiation of a transaction. As part of the acquisition process, Shari liaises with both internal and external stakeholders to ensure an effective outcome for all parties as new businesses join Lifemark.

Rene Deschamps - Vice President Strategic Partnerships 
Rene Deschamps

In his role leading Lifemark’s strategic partnerships, Rene heads a team focused on building new relationships which enable partner organizations to meet their objectives.  Rene graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Physiotherapy degree from the University of Ottawa. He also holds an Honors degree in Biology with major in physiology.


Rene joined Lifemark in 2005 and has vast knowledge of all aspects of the business thanks to a wide range of prior roles including Clinic Director, Regional Manager, Area Manager, and Director of Operations. Taking a client-centered approach to his role, Rene is known for building strong relationships and matching business needs with innovative business ideas.  

Karen de Vaal - Vice President | Client Services
Karen de Vaal, Vice President Client Services

As Vice President, Client Services, Karen is responsible for the growth and management of national customer relationships, including life and disability insurance carriers, auto insurance companies and employers. She believes that getting to know our customers, understanding their needs and delivering on our promises is at the heart of creating long-standing business relationships.

Karen has a clinical background with a Bachelor’s of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo along with a Certificate in Business Management from the Schulich School of Business. Since joining Lifemark in 1999, Karen has successfully built a network of customers and a client services team by capitalizing on her breadth of experience in business development, clinic management, clinical programming, direct patient care and case management. With 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry, Karen consistently brings commitment, leadership and compassion to everything she does.

Brock Dodgson - Chief Information Officer
Brock Dodgson, Chief Information Officer

As CIO, Brock provides vision and leadership for the development and implementation of information technology and telecommunications initiatives.   Prior to Lifemark, Brock has had over 18 years of experience in IT working in several healthcare companies including Cancer Care Ontario, Canadian Institute for Health Information, OACCAC and Agfa Healthcare.


Brocks holds a Bachelor of Math Degree from the University of Waterloo, and is also a certified project management professional. Since joining Lifemark in 2015, Brock has led key digital transformation projects, delivering on his mandate to become a technology innovation leader in healthcare. 

Dave Reddy - Vice President | Human Resources
Dave Reddy

Dave leads the HR function at Lifemark Health Group and is responsible for the goal to become the best employer in the industry. His team is focused on meeting the company’s current and future talent needs, including building talent acquisition, leadership development and engagement practices. He was very proud to accept the 2018 Employee Recommended Workplace Award recently on behalf of the company.

Dave joined Lifemark 2 years ago from Shoppers Drug Mart where he held a number of senior HR roles including leading retail talent, change management, culture and the Ontario Retail HR business unit.  Prior to that, he was with Eli Lilly Canada in progressive HR roles leading their talent development, performance management and engagement strategy.  During this time, he had the opportunity to lead an international CRM implementation and serve as Interim Vice President, HR for their Australian affiliate.  Dave began his career with Lawtons Drugs in Atlantic Canada as a community pharmacist and Manager of Professional Development. 

Dave earned a pharmacy degree from Memorial University and has completed the Executive HR Development program at Queen’s University.  He has been an active volunteer in the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.

Gaye Sydenham - Vice President | Quality & Privacy
Gaye Sydenham, Vice President Quality & Chief Privacy Officer

Gaye is responsible for the coordination of accreditation and clinical policy and protocol development for Lifemark Health Group. In her role as VP Quality, she leads quality initiatives including accreditation; corporate compliance; governance; national program evaluation and standardization; research, risk management and workplace health and safety.

Gaye’s clinical background is physiotherapy. While she enjoyed clinical practice in the early part of her career she moved into management roles fairly soon, initially as manager of physiotherapy departments in both long term and acute care facilities in London, Ontario and later in private practice in Alberta. The majority of her career has been in the private sector, as CEO of R.W. Sydenham & Associates Physical Therapy Services until joining Lifemark in 1999.

Gaye is a Past President and Life Member of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association. She has delivered a number of national and international professional presentations, and has carried out teaching, lecturing, and management responsibilities at the Universities of Western Ontario and Alberta. Gaye is committed to accreditation and has been an Accreditation Surveyor for both the Canadian Physiotherapy Association and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).