Dr. Margaret McKinnon named Homewood Research Chair in Mental Health and Trauma

New role marks partnership to improve treatment for trauma

Homewood Research Institute extends its sincere congratulations to Dr. Margaret McKinnon, who has been named the inaugural Homewood Research Chair in Mental Health and Trauma.

Dr. McKinnon’s new role marks the strategic partnering of four organizations dedicated to improving the lives of people suffering from trauma-related mental illness and addiction.

McMaster University, Homewood Research Institute (HRI), St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and Homewood Health have partnered to establish the position, as well as a network of researchers, evaluators and clinicians working to advance clinical practice and outcomes in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and related illnesses. The collaborative network will have its foundations in Ontario and will expand across Canada and beyond in a multi-year process.

Dr. McKinnon will play a key role in building the national network – known as the Homewood-McMaster Trauma Research Network – and will lead the development of a Trauma Research Program at HRI.

A personal connection to trauma

Dr. McKinnon is well-known for authoring a novel study about PTSD vulnerability based on findings in a group of airline passengers – herself included – who experienced a traumatic event on Air Transat Flight 236 when their plane ran out of fuel over the Atlantic Ocean in 2001. The study revealed important risk factors that could predict PTSD vulnerability.

Dr. McKinnon has made significant contributions to the field of trauma research, leading the development of a clinical research and knowledge translation program at HRI and working alongside leaders in military mental health to advance PTSD research involving military members, veterans and first responders.

Col. Rakesh Jetly, Senior Psychiatrist and Special Mental Health Advisor to the Surgeon General of the Canadian Armed Forces, recently voiced his support of Dr. McKinnon’s appointment: “Dr. McKinnon brings a wealth of experience with her. I look forward to our continuing collaboration.”

Partner logosA partnership that will benefit Canada

The partnership between McMaster, HRI, Homewood Health and St. Joseph’s aims to merge existing expertise in applied clinical research with new treatment interventions, clinical innovation, research, evaluation and knowledge exchange to optimize care and outcomes for people experiencing PTSD.

“Dr. McKinnon will be leading the development of a national research enterprise that none of our organizations could build alone,” says Ron Schlegel, chair of HRI.

Jagoda Pike, president and CEO of Homewood Health, says: “Under Dr. McKinnon’s leadership, the national Trauma Research Network represents the future of PTSD research and treatment in Canada.”

A ceremony to honour McKinnon’s appointment will be held on Monday, April 16 at McMaster University.

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