Ontario Health Central Region has announced its new regional clinical leads and we are pleased to share that Waypoint’s Dr. Andrea Waddell has been chosen as the Regional Clinical Co-Lead for Mental Health and Addictions. The Co-Lead role includes support to the region of 1.5 days per week.
Dr. Waddell is Waypoint’s Medical Director of Quality Standards and Clinical Informatics, a staff psychiatrist and clinician researcher with the Waypoint Research Institute. She is also the Co-director of the Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Hub and an Assistant Professor with the Division of Adult Psychiatry and Health Systems, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. She joined Waypoint in early 2022 and has been inspired by the hospital’s commitment to participating and leading in health system transformation citing the Specialized Geriatrics Services Program and Ontario Structured Psychotherapy Program as examples. Seeing staff supported to contribute to designing and implementing a Waypoint without walls informed her decision to apply for the Clinical Lead position.
“I see great opportunities to develop effective and accessible mental health and addictions services with Ontario Health and the Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence. This is a critical time for mental health and addictions services, the need has never been higher for timely and impactful treatment,” she says. “Health system quality improvement and transformation have always been an interest of mine and this new leadership role provides the opportunity to collaborate and develop services based on the needs of the region.”
Dr. Waddell’s current focus and activities support this regional role well, including implementing quality standards at Waypoint and with our community partners, researching predictive analytics to improve patient outcomes, and furthering the use of data and a learning health systems approach through clinical informatics. She also contributes to the Health Informatics Cluster which includes Waypoint, Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences and The Royal Ottawa. The three major specialty hospitals are working together to implement Quality Standards and use a shared informatics system to achieve this efficiently and collaboratively.
Waypoint as the region’s specialty mental health and addictions hospital is positioned well to support high quality, standardized, regional program development and implementation. “We are excited to be able to support Andrea and further our own commitment to these areas,” notes Dr. Kevin Young, Waypoint’s Chief of Staff and Vice-President Medical Affairs. “Her range of career experiences as a provider at a large, urban general hospital, providing psychiatric outreach to rural and remote communities both in person and via OTN, and working at two specialized psychiatric facilities brings leadership and clinical experience in the full spectrum of settings seen in the Central Region.”
Dr. Waddell looks forward to learning more about how she can serve and support improving the Central Ontario and provincial health systems in the coming weeks.