Over his three and a half decades with the Addiction Research Foundation and The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Mike has enjoyed a varied career as a clinician, research/evaluation collaborator, educator, systems developer, policy advocate, and strategic planner.
Mike has played a pioneering and leadership role in the evolution of the addiction treatment system in both Hamilton and more broadly in Ontario. In 1980, he designed Ontario's first needs assessment for withdrawal management services for women in Hamilton, and championed the establishment of these services across Ontario. Mike also designed and wrote the successful funding proposal for the establishment of Hamilton's addiction assessment and referral service and published on the province-wide initiative of establishing these services. Both of these services continue operation in Hamilton as Womankind and as Alcohol Drug and Gambling Services, respectively. In 1986, Mike also developed Ontario's first addiction treatment system client monitoring system called The Substance Abuse Monitor (SAM) in Hamilton. Over the ensuing decade, SAM generated peer-reviewed publications and local reports on topics highlighting the characteristics and challenges of specific sub-populations in treatment including: injection drug users, victims of physical and sexual abuse, youth, seniors, the homeless, disabled, developmentally handicapped, and those with concurrent mental health problems. Ultimately, SAM inspired and helped to shape the current province-wide client monitoring system still operating as DATIS.
In 2004, Mike formed and chaired CAMH's first Tobacco Policy Group, which launched and supported policy initiatives internal to CAMH, as well as those at provincial, national, and international levels. In 2010, Mike led the design and implementation of Ontario's first census of tobacco interventions offered within its addiction treatment system. The monitoring system is still in place through ConnexOntario and continues to issue annual progress reports. Mike was also the lead author of a successful proposal to the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care for a $4.9 million investment into integrating tobacco interventions into the province's addiction treatment system.
Mike also maintains a part-time faculty appointment in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University. He has played a leadership role in two province-wide medical education projects: Educating Future Physicians for Ontario (EFPO) and Project CREATE. Mike has also been a major contributor to the integration of addiction content into medical education at McMaster. Mike was the 1996 recipient of the John C. Sibley Award for Excellence in Health Sciences Research and Education by a Part-time Faculty Member at McMaster. He remains active in helping to select the most promising applicants for McMaster's undergraduate medical school.
Mike's current interests include epidemiology of drug problems, drug policy, and health professional education on addictions. He is most passionate about encouraging an approach to the regulation of drug industries that is based upon public health evidence and social justice.