More than two years after CASA and the University of
Alberta Department of Psychiatry unveiled plans to launch the new CASA Research Chair in Child and Adolescent Mental Health, a top candidate has been recruited.

The individual can’t be identified just yet. There are still regulatory requirements to meet, including obtaining clinical accreditation from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA).

But the process is going smoothly, confirms Dr. Andy Greenshaw, Associate Chair – Research in the Department of Psychiatry, and a member of the CASA Research Chair recruitment team.

“We’re all extremely impressed with this candidate, but since the individual doesn’t currently live in Canada, we also need to complete a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA),” adds Scott Phillips, the department’s Assistant Chair – Administration.

An intense global recruitment effort to identify the ideal candidate began in September 2018, several months after CASA announced a 10-year, $5 million commitment to the Department of Psychiatry to help fund the CASA Research Chair and two clinician-scientist
associates. Once hired, they’ll be based at CASA.

“Under our partnership with CASA, the department is providing a professorship and CASA is providing an envelope of research money over 10 years. We believe the research will be much more effectively served through this integrated approach,” says Dr. Greenshaw.

“There are currently a limited number of specialized staff – particularly for child psychiatrists – so there hasn’t been a significant amount of research in child and youth mental health. There has been a lot of focus on conditions like FASD (fetal alcohol spectrum
disorder, autism and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), but not on the full range of mental disorders. So we had a lot of discussion about the need for it, and with the launch of the Research Chair, CASA will become a prominent partner for the department.”

The Department is also a co-sponsor of CASA’s Dr. Roger Bland Lecture Series on Improving Child and Youth Mental Health, named in honour of a former Chair of the Department of Psychiatry.

On the academic side, psychiatry residents have undergone rotations in child and adolescent psychiatry at CASA for many years. CASA is also a preferred training site for residents who wish to pursue additional sub-specialty training in child and adolescent psychiatry.

“CASA has been an invaluable partner for this Department, on both the research side and the educational side. CASA is a vital community voice that both informs us what is needed and gives us an outlet in which to work with the community in a much more aligned manner,” says Phillips.

“CASA has trained our residents for years, and the launch of the new CASA Research Chair will give us the ability to enhance an area of research that we want to strengthen. It has been a very productive relationship and we’ve always been able to support each other.”

Full version of the CASA Chronicles Summer 2020 Here