OTTAWA, March 25, 2019 - The Royal Ottawa Health Care Group (The Royal) has selected Patrick D. Smith, PhD as CEO for the Centre of Excellence on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Related Mental Health Conditions. As its first CEO, Dr. Smith will provide strategic leadership in the establishment and growth of the Centre of Excellence.
Dr. Smith brings over 25 years’ experience leading clinical and research programs related to mental health and addictions, including his most recent post as National Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Mental Health Association. He has a PhD in Clinical and Community Psychology and has held senior positions with the BC Mental Health and Addiction Services, Renascent Fellowship and Foundation, and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).
“Patrick Smith is an inspirational and results-oriented leader who has not only a wealth of knowledge and experience but also a true passion for creating a better future for people living with mental health issues. Patrick will bring strong vision and leadership to the Centre, driving towards the creation of best practices that will allow clinicians across the country to better assess and treat PTSD and other related mental health conditions so that veterans and their families can receive the excellent care and support they deserve, no matter where they are.” - Scott McLean, Chair of the Board of Trustees of The Royal.
The funding to The Royal from Veterans Affairs Canada to establish the foundation of the Centre of Excellence was announced in 2018. Its mission is to increase Canadian expertise related to military and veteran mental health, suicide prevention, and substance use disorders, ultimately making this knowledge available to health care providers across the country.
“I am honoured for this chance to support the health and wellbeing of the veterans, Canadian Armed Forces members and their families who have given so much to this country. We have the chance to conduct and cultivate treatment-changing research that can explore everything from specialized peer support engagement for Veterans to how service-related injuries affect the brain and find the most effective ways to help people heal. I look forward to building and leading the team that will do that.” - Patrick D. Smith, incoming CEO of the Centre of Excellence on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders and Related Mental Health Conditions
The Centre of Excellence will conduct applied research in collaboration with research and clinical networks nationwide to improve diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions impacting Veterans, Canadian Armed Forces members and their families. RCMP veterans, other first responders, as well as other Canadians affected by PTSD and related mental health issues will also benefit from the Centre’s work.
"This Centre of Excellence will be instrumental in supporting Veterans with PTSD and other mental health conditions. The cutting edge research and treatments developed at the Centre of Excellence means that front line caregivers in all areas of Canada will have the knowledge they need to work with Veterans and their families. I am pleased The Royal has found a strong leader in Dr. Patrick Smith. Dr. Smith has spent his career working in mental health research and addictions recovery and I congratulate him on his new position as CEO of the Centre of Excellence on PTSD and other related mental health conditions." - The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
Veterans Affairs Canada has committed $17.5 million in funding for the Centre of Excellence over the next four years, and 9.2 million each year thereafter. Once fully operational, the Centre is expected to employ approximately 50 professionals, including researchers, educators, knowledge brokers, and support staff. The Centre of Excellence will be based at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. Dr. Smith will officially assume his role as CEO of the Centre of Excellence on June 3, 2019.
Director of Communications, The Royal