“We work directly with the McMaster Children’s Hospital’s autism program, and instead of research being parallel to clinical care, we are embedding it into the clinical pathways for the benefit of children and families.”
Dr. Stelios Georgiades has been named the inaugural holder of the McMaster Children’s Hospital Chair in Autism and Neurodevelopment. The prestigious new position has been established through the support of Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation, along with the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University.
“There are so many inequalities across Canada for children with autism and neurodevelopmental conditions, and what is available often depends on where you live and how much money you have to supplement public funds for intervention,” says Dr. Georgiades.
As Chair, he will enhance the leadership, advocacy, research and partnerships to improve the lives of children with autism and neurodevelopmental conditions. He will also expand the evidence base needed for improved, personalized, and family-centred care offered by McMaster Children’s Hospital and beyond.
“The work enabled by this Chair will benefit patients and their families, today and into the future,” says Bruce Squires, President of McMaster Children’s Hospital. “This offers a real-time opportunity to influence clinical treatment and practice, while at the same time influencing policy makers with evidence-based research and recommendations.”
Pearl Veenema, Chief Executive Officer of Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation, says that Dr. Georgiades is the perfect choice for the new chair.
“I have been so impressed by Dr. Georgiades’s work that the decision to enable donor support for this Chair was a priority,” she says. “I know the impact of his work will be transformative for patients and families.”
Two of the new initiatives being led by Dr. Georgiades include:
1) The expansion of a large multisite study called Pediatric Autism Research Cohort: PARC Study, which will examine the diverse and changing trajectories of 1,000 children with autism and their families as they move through the different systems of care.
2) The creation of Learning Health Networks for Neurodevelopment at a regional, provincial and national level. This network will align research, training, policy and practice for continuous improvement and innovation in services and supports for children with autism and neurodevelopmental conditions.