Extended Campus Program at Western University
About the program
Acting director: Dr. Jeffrey Reiss
Western University's Extended Campus Program (ECP) is an academic program in the Department of Psychiatry at Western, and together with the University of Toronto and the University of Ottawa, is one of the three founding members of the Ontario Psychiatric Outreach Programs (OPOP). In the context of changing roles and relationships with our regional partners, we are committed to maintaining strong ties that facilitate academic growth through collaborative education and research, as well as high-quality psychiatric care in under-serviced communities in northern Ontario through clinical services, support of continued recruitment and retention efforts.
To achieve those goals, our primary objectives are:
- to collaborate with the departments of psychiatry of the medical schools in Ontario for the provision of psychiatric health care to northern Ontario and to continue sharing expertise and information with OPOP on all the related issues
- to continue active clinical services for the remote and under-serviced areas of northern Ontario through face-to-face and tele-video consultations
- to continue educational and research activities related to provision of psychiatric care to northern Ontario
- to continue to deliver medical education events for physicians and other mental health care professionals in rural and distant areas of Ontario
- to support the development of academic and professional programs and their evaluation in northern Ontario.
Collaborating agencies in northern Ontario
North Bay: North Bay Regional Hospital
Sudbury: Health Sciences North, Kirkwood Site
Thunder Bay: Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital
Thunder Bay: Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre
About the faculty
Twelve psychiatrists currently practising in Sudbury, North Bay, Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie have academic affiliations with the ECP. While several of them have full-time affiliation, most of them have part-time academic appointments with Western through the ECP. Many of our faculty members were recruited off-shore. The program, as a Western teaching unit, has been extremely successful in assisting psychiatrists recruited to northern Ontario to obtain qualifications for independent practice in Ontario (e.g., helping psychiatrists to present their educational qualifications, interpreting Canadian and Ontario requirements and advocating with medical organizations on behalf of the psychiatrists).
An overwhelming number of psychiatrists currently practising in northern Ontario, including most of our faculty members, received educational support and training with the assistance of the ECP. Some of them successfully completed residency training provided through the Department of Psychiatry at Western.
Many ECP faculty devote their professional time to train medical students and family medicine residents during their psychiatry placements. Several have developed academic ties with other medical schools. Most of them have obtained executive positions at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.
ECP faculty members have representation on the Department of Psychiatry, Western University Postgraduate, Research and Continuing Medical Education Committees.
All ECP faculty members and allied health care professionals from northern Ontario are given opportunities to participate in Department of Psychiatry Continuing Professional Development (CPD) events at Western, which are broadcast every second Thursday of the month across the province. The following northern sites actively participate in these CMEs through video conferencing:
- Health Sciences North, Kirkwood Site (via Sudbury Algoma auditorium)
- Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital, Thunder Bay
- St Joseph's Health Centre, Thunder Bay
- Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre
- Sault-area hospitals
- North Bay Regional Health Centre
Visiting and video-consultations to northern Ontario
Although various alternative funding sources cover the cost of direct clinical services co-ordinated by the ECP operating unit at Western, administrative and academic assistance for those services is delivered through OPOP support and information sharing. As some of these services are delivered to the North of Superior Programs (NOSP), the clinical director of NOSP at Western represents those services on the OPOP Access to Clinical Services Committee. Exploration of needed expansion of services to the North of Superior communities is facilitated by NOSP leadership. Clinical consultations through the Ontario Telemedicine Network are also provided to Thunder Bay on a weekly basis.
ECP has participated in and collaborated with OPOP's research, primarily through the co-leadership of the ECP Director. This research has involved NOSP and has addressed mental health service provision in northern Ontario, comparing communities that are served by OPOP to those that are not. The mixed methods research to date has involved four phases, ranging from a survey of OPOP consultants to qualitative study of community stakeholders in the participating sites. Preliminary findings of this research have been presented, and plans are in place to publish the final findings in academic journals and other reporting venues.
Acting director: Dr. Jeffrey Reiss
Administrative assistant: Shanna Peters
Western University, Schulich Department of Psychiatry
Parkwood Institute, Mental Health Care Building
500 Wellington Road, Room F4-430, London ON
Tel.: 519 685-8500 ext. 47225