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Dr. Simon Hatcher

Full Professor and Vice-Chair, Department of Psychiatry, University of Ottawa;
Scientist, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

Dr. Simon Hatcher is currently a Full Professor and Vice-Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Ottawa having moved there from Auckland in May 2012. He is also cross-appointed to the School of Epidemiology and Public Health and the Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences at the University of Ottawa. He worked for 18 years in Auckland, New Zealand as a Clinical Academic running a Liaison Psychiatry Program in a general hospital and at the Department of Psychological Medicine at the University of Auckland. He provided the clinical input into the Sir John Kirwan Journal program (www.depression.org.nz). Clinically, he works in the downtown community homeless shelters through the Royal Ottawa Hospital's Psychiatric Outreach Program and in Liaison Psychiatry at The Ottawa Hospital General Campus. He is affiliated with the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Institut du savoir Montfort (l'Hôpital Montfort), the University of Ottawa Brain and Mind Research Institute (uOBMRI) and the Royal's Institute of Mental Health Research (IMHR),.

His research interests include:  clinical trials of mental health treatments in under served populations, suicide prevention, self-harm, suicide prevention strategies, e-therapies, non-pharmacological interventions in individuals who present to hospital with intentional self-harm, mental health of vulnerable groups including Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer or Questioning (LGBTQ) youth and homeless populations; psychotherapies, and psychiatry in general hospital settings.


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Valerie Testa

Clinical Research Program Manager, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

Valerie Testa is the Clinical Research Program Manager in the Hatching Ideas Lab at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Clinical Epidemiology Program. She is responsible for fostering and establishing partnerships with research organizations, institutions and government sectors at the Federal, Provincial and Municipal levels to conduct research in the areas of: digital health technologies; suicide prevention in high-risk and underserved populations; intentional self-harm; first responder mental health; PTSD; patient engagement and patient-oriented research; and health systems research. Valerie Testa is also a co-Chair of the Society of Clinical Research Associates (SOCRA) Ottawa Chapter and is a current member of the Women’s Executive Network and the Ontario College of Teachers.

During her tenure as Clinical Research Program Manager and Research Manager for the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Ottawa from 2014 to 2017, she worked closely with Dr. Simon Hatcher, Vice-Chair of Research, to facilitate all levels of research across the Department of Psychiatry's 14 affiliated hospitals and Research Institutes to create multidisciplinary collaborative research and opportunities to increase the research profile of the Department and decrease silos across all stakeholders. Prior to her position at the Department of Psychiatry, Valerie Testa worked at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute as a Clinical Research Coordinator on several large randomized controlled drug trials for smoking cessation. 

Her research interests include: suicide prevention, intentional self-harm, first responder mental health, PTSD, e-therapies, mental health technology, wait list reduction strategies and increasing access to care, smoking cessation, mental health of vulnerable populations and traumatic brain injury.  

  


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Sarah MacLean

Clinical Research Coordinator, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

Sarah MacLean has worked with the Hatching Ideas Lab since 2015 and is currently the Research Coordinator for The BEACON Study, which seeks to assess the effectiveness of smartphone-assisted problem-solving therapy in men who present to Emergency Departments across Ontario with intentional self-harm. She has a Master of Arts degree in Criminology and will be beginning her PhD in Communication and Media Studies at Carleton University in September 2018. 

Her research interests include: violence against women, the role of new media in modern activism, women's health, suicide prevention, trauma and research methodology.


Nicole Edgar

Clinical Research Coordinator, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

Biography coming soon!


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Gabrielle (Gabby) Galley

Clinical Research Assistant III, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

Gabrielle (Gabby) Galley is a Clinical Research Assistant III in the Hatching Ideas Lab at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute; Clinical Epidemiology program, currently working in the area of suicide prevention in high-risk, underserved populations. Gabby is an MSc student in Epidemiology at the University of Ottawa. She holds an Honors Bachelor of Science in Health Science from the University of Ottawa. Prior to her position at the Hatching Ideas Lab, she previously worked as a Research Assistant for the University of Ottawa in the department of Psychology, working for the Child Adolescent Needs and Strengths Program (CANS), and as a Research Assistant for the CHEO Research Institute.

Her research interests include:  suicide prevention, intentional self-harm, first responder mental health, PTSD, early life risk factors for mental health disorders, fetal programming theory, and e-therapies


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Nicole Dunn

Research Assistant II, The Royal's Institute of Mental Health Research

Nicole Dunn is a Clinical Research Assistant II currently working on the BEACON Suicide Prevention in Men cluster randomized controlled trial. This study seeks to assess the effectiveness of a smartphone-assisted problem-solving therapy in men who present to Emergency Departments across Ontario with intentional self-harm.

Prior to her position at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Nicole has worked as a Research Assistant on a community-based participatory action study aimed at integrating survivors of political oppression and torture into higher education. She is currently completing her Master’s in Counselling Psychology at the University of Ottawa and is invested in applying an anti-oppressive and anti-racist lens in all her pursuits.

Her research interests include: suicide prevention, intentional self-harm, access to mental health services and education, social inclusion, resilience, and supporting diverse populations (LGBTQ, non-status citizens, vulnerably housed, survivors of sexual violence/political oppression/torture).


Dr. Jennifer Palmer

Senior Resident in Psychiatry, University of Ottawa

Dr. Jennifer Palmer is a fourth year resident in psychiatry at the University of Ottawa. She is currently participating in the Coroner Review study, with particular focus on hangings with the goal of evaluating preventive options in the community. She completed her medical degree at McGill University, as well as bachelor’s degrees in science (honour’s thesis on visual saccades), and music. Prior to coming to the lab, she worked in research at McGill, including as Axis Delegate for the Mental Illness and Addictions Research Axis, and as Research Assistant with Dr. Chawki Benkelfat and in Dr. Daniel Levitin's Laboratory for Music Perception, Cognition and Expertise.

Her research interests include: alternative modalities in mental health treatment, underserved populations, and multidisciplinary approaches to mental health.


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Jennifer Smith

PhD Student, Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa

Jennifer Smith is currently in her first year of the PhD program in Population Health within the Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences. Jennifer’s personal, work, and academic pursuits have always been interdisciplinary in nature. A number of years after graduating from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Geological Engineering), Jennifer volunteered at an orphanage in Santiago, Chile. This experience inspired her to complete a Master of Arts in International Affairs (Human Security and Global Governance)
at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs and later a Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences at the University of Ottawa. With interests in multiple disciplines and issues, she has worked in a variety of non-profit, governmental, and private organizations, including War Child Canada, Global Affairs
Canada, the College for Interdisciplinary Studies (University of British Columbia (UBC), the Human Early Learning Partnership (UBC),the United Nations Association in Canada (UNAC), and the Royal Ottawa
Mental Health Centre.

Her research interests include: population health, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), barriers and facilitators to help-seeking for individuals with PTSD, patient engagement in research, mental health, suicide prevention research, narrative therapy, health program evaluation, (healthcare) governance, systems and management, social determinants of health, and complexity theory.


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Arielle Weir

PhD Candidate, School of Epidemiology and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa

Arielle Weir is PhD candidate in Epidemiology at the University of Ottawa School of Epidemiology and Public Health. She is working on an evaluation of the BEACON multi-centre randomized control trial. Prior to joining the lab, Arielle obtained a Masters degree in Neuroscience. She has also worked as a research assistant in a mood disorders program.

Her research interests include: mental health epidemiology, evaluation of trials and implementation science.


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Kira Genise

Lab Volunteer and Medical Student, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa

Kira Genise is a third year medical student at the University of Ottawa. She is currently partaking in the E-therapy study, assessing which patient characteristics lead to increased access to treatment within the Mood Disorders clinic. She is also concurrently working on the Coroner Review study. She completed a Bachelor of Science at the University of Ottawa, where her honours Thesis focused on evaluating the therapeutic efficacy of foreign botanicals as pharmacotherapy for PSTD.

Her research interests include: psychiatric crisis prevention and management, inner city health and medical education.


Shanza Hassan

Medical Student, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa

Biography coming soon!


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Craig MacKie

Lab Volunteer

Biography coming soon!


 

Positions Available!

Volunteer Positions

The Hatching Ideas Lab is always on the lookout for individuals interested in volunteering in mental health research. The lab is currently equipped to take on medical students as well as graduate-level (i.e. Masters and/or PhD) volunteers. Volunteers will be tasked with conducting literature reviews, data collection and data entry, quantitative/qualitative data analysis, maintenance of the lab's website and social media presence and other administrative tasks as they arise.

For more information about volunteer opportunities with the Hatching Ideas Lab, contact Sarah MacLean, Clinical Research Coordinator, at nedgar@toh.ca.