Subject Matter Experts

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Our Areas of Expertise

Members of our executive team speak to a variety of subject matters such as claims management, case management, and much more! 

  • Cost Efficiencies in Claims Management
  • The Emerging Role of Insurers as Promoters of Health & Productivity
  • Case Management Tools to Boost Return-to-Work Strategies
  • Workplace Facilitation – A Tool for Effective Navigation of Conflict Resolution
  • The Benefits of a Wholistic Approach
  • Disability Claims Management – Shifting the Landscape
  • Exploring Mental Health, Addiction & Return-to-Work
  • Fresh Strategies for the Evolving Challenge with Mental Health Claims

Maria Vandenhurk

Maria is a globally-recognized speaker and coach driven by her passion for lending visionary insights to influence positive change in the field of disability management. She brings a fresh view to rehabilitation that straddles compassion and common sense. This is complemented by her experience as CEO of Banyan Work Health Solutions Inc., through which she has successfully pioneered a new way of looking at disability management and, in the process, has helped many insurance companies shift the way in which they assess and direct their corporate spending.  A 20-year history of performing frontline rehabilitation work, substantially in the area of mental health, coupled with a solid understanding of the business needs of both insurers and employers, have positioned Maria with the deep knowledge to guide organizations seeking to build robust and innovative disability management programs.

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She is formally trained with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy and a Masters in Therapeutic Counseling. Maria has published several articles in leading industry magazines such as Canadian Underwriter and Benefits Canada, sharing her expertise in the field of outcome-based disability management. In addition to facilitating roundtable discussions on disability across North America, she has developed an e-learning series on insurance concepts relevant to outcome-based disability management. Her commitment to the industry has driven a shift in approach and technology, enabling breakthrough opportunities for industry, governments and insurers nationally and internationally.

Gillian Blair

Gillian has been providing subject matter expertise and strategic coaching on claims management, as well as mentoring and training in the arena of claims and front-line rehabilitation, for 22 years. Her passion to facilitate industry change has led to her retention by overseas claims organizations in the crafting of business cases to drive various claims transformation initiatives, including the evolution from a medical model to that of a wholistic approach, that bring compelling results through strategic operational changes.

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As Vice President of Banyan Work Health Solutions Inc., she is known for her strategic innovation that has spearheaded the development of original solutions that put Banyan at the leading edge of thought in the industry. She marries extraordinary subject matter expertise with business savvy, achieving superior bottom-line results for her customers. Gillian has translated her passion for learning and development into some of the most innovative training programs in the industry. Recognizing the changing trends in disability management and the need for a mechanism to bring about resolution to work place issues that present as non-medical barriers to a client’s successful return to work, she has been extensively involved in the development, training and delivery of workplace facilitation files. Her ongoing liaison with key players in the field of disability insurance has also led to her interest in mediation and facilitative strategy work.

Gillian has an educational background in Rehabilitation and Sociology and is also formally trained in the Alternate Dispute Resolution method (ADR). Gillian is a member in good standing with the Vocational Rehabilitation Association of Canada (VRAC) and is also a recognized speaker at such professional venues as CLHIA, LOMA, & Pathways Business Health Symposiums, where she shares her extensive knowledge of rehabilitation processes, claims management and predictive modeling with the disability management community.

Kim Zinck

Kim is passionate about the philosophy that work is healthy and has provided her guidance and expertise to assist insurers and re-insurer groups in both North America and Australia in adopting industry best practices. Specifically, her expertise in claims and process qualitative reviews has been instrumental in identifying industry gaps key in the development and delivery of training platforms on pro-active best practice claims management strategies. As Director of Claims at Banyan Work Health Solutions Inc., Kim leads with a vision for delivering continual growth and excellence for the clients she trains and serves.

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Kim leverages her extensive background in disability claims management, physical rehabilitation, functional assessments, work hardening & re-integration and ergonomics to assist organizations transition towards outcome focused claims management within a holistic model that leverages abilities vs. disabilities. She has a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Dalhousie University and has been accepted by the Supreme Court of British Columbia to provide expert testimony in the area of functional abilities evaluations and return to work.

Ben Vanden Boom

Ben Vanden Boom is a financial services professional who brings strong financial and operational perspective to the clients he serves in the disability management insurance industry. His 17 years of experience in leading large operational teams and change programs equip Ben with the knowledge and expertise to guide organizations looking to adopt new processes and practices with respect to disability and claims management.

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In his role as Director of Banyan Work Health Solution Inc.’s Australian division, Ben oversees day-to-day management and operations. His experience and skill set cover general management, operations, project management, change leadership, business integration and relationship management. Ben holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Deakin University.