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Centre for Pediatric Mental Health Services and Policy Research coming to CHEO;

New Research Chairs in position

OTTAWA, Ontario – May 10, 2016 – The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) today announced the first step of its plan to build a novel pediatric-focused Centre for Mental Health Services and Policy Research on-site.

“Mental Health Services research means better understanding how to provide care to children and youth based on their individual needs,” said Dr. Mario Cappelli, Director of Psychiatric and Mental Health Research at CHEO and professor at uOttawa. “Our community wants answers; we’ve listened and now we’re doing something about it. Together with our partners, we want to adjust delivery models to help improve the mental health and well-being of our kids.”

The Centre for Pediatric Mental Health Services and Policy Research will carry out research to discover how to get Mental Health services to children and youth more quickly, to ensure that these services are effective, to make sure that all Canadian families get equitable care, and to promote change by informing local, provincial and federal policy-makers. With support from the University of Ottawa and the Faculties of Medicine and Social Sciences, together with the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health, the University of Ottawa Brain and Mind Research Institute and the Psychiatry Associates at CHEO, the Centre has already attracted two new Research Chairs.

Dr. William Gardner, a Senior Scientist at the CHEO Research Institute and professor of epidemiology at the University of Ottawa, is now Senior Research Chair, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Director of the Centre for Pediatric Mental Health Services and Policy Research. His research focuses on the improvement of child and youth mental health services, health care organization and policy, and social justice in health care.

In September, Dr. John McLennan will join CHEO and the Centre as a clinician-scientist in the role of Research Chair, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He is a child psychiatrist, health services researcher, and associate professor currently at the University of Calgary. His research interests within the health services field are focused on delivering mental health services in schools and getting services to hard to reach populations such as children and youth with disruptive behavior disorders or those who have mental health problems and intellectual disabilities.

“Both Chairs will conduct rigorous, relevant, and innovative health services research to drive knowledge into action,” said Dr. Hazen Gandy, Head, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at uOttawa and Division Chief of Community Based Mental Health Services at CHEO. “Furthermore, the presence of these Chairs will help attract high-caliber investigators to CHEO and the University of Ottawa and will help secure its future as a ‘center of research excellence’ in Canada and abroad.”

“According to a study in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 75% of children in Canada with a mental health problem don’t get care – but why not?” said Dr. Kathleen Pajer, Chief, Department of Psychiatry at CHEO. “We must figure this out and deliver care to these kids. We have a plan and excellent resources to back it up. Our next step is to engage frontline clinicians and community members too.”

The Centre will open in fall 2016.


About the CHEO Research Institute
The CHEO Research Institute coordinates the research activities of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and is affiliated with the University of Ottawa. Its three programs of research include molecular biomedicine, health information technology, and evidence to practice research. Key themes include cancer, diabetes, obesity, mental health, emergency medicine, musculoskeletal health, electronic health information and privacy, and genetics of rare disease. The CHEO Research Institute makes discoveries today for healthier kids tomorrow. For more information, visit and @CHEOhospital

Media contact:
Adrienne Vienneau
CHEO Research Institute
Direct: 613-737-7600 x4144
Cell: 613-513-8437


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