St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton (SJHH) and Niagara Health have named Dr. Maxine Lewis in the new position of Joint Chief of Mental Health and Addictions effective Jan. 1, 2019. Dr. Lewis will lead one of the largest Mental Health and Addictions programs in Canada, serving a population of 1.2 million people from Niagara through Hamilton.
“Dr. Lewis brings great experience and knowledge to this new position,” said Dr. Tom Stewart, CEO of SJHH and Niagara Health. “Having one leadership role for this large geographic area creates important opportunities to develop new models of care and improved access for patients suffering from mental illness and addictions, and will help to shape mental health care policies throughout the province.”
Dr. Lewis is currently Interim Chief of Psychiatry at SJHH. She has been a staff psychiatrist at SJHH since 2004, with clinical expertise in geriatric psychiatry, working with the Niagara Seniors Mental Health Outreach Team and the Seniors Mental Health Clinic in Hamilton. She has held many leadership roles at SJHH, including Head of Service of Seniors Mental Health and Head of Service of the Mood Disorders, Anxiety and Youth Wellness Service.
Dr. Lewis completed her Medical degree at the University of Wales, College of Medicine, UK and completed her Psychiatry residency training at the University of Leeds, UK where she gained her Masters in Clinical Psychiatry and dual specialist certification in adult and old age psychiatry (Fellowship). Dr. Lewis is an Associate Professor with the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University and is currently President of the AFP Psychiatry Associates.
“I am honoured to accept this new joint chief position. This is a wonderful opportunity for our psychiatry clinical and research teams at St Joseph's and Niagara Health to collaborate and seek innovative solutions to patient care,” said Dr. Lewis.
As the Joint Chief, Dr. Lewis will be responsible for building and leading a coordinated vision of care for patients in the Niagara and Hamilton area. In addition, the Joint Chief role will provide an opportunity for Niagara Health and SJHH to work closely with the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences at McMaster to expand their academic mission.
Niagara Health’s Mental Health and Addictions Program supports people with serious mental illness and addictions needs across Niagara. Working closely with community partners, the program offers inpatient and outpatient services that promote recovery through timely access to quality care. The program boasts the largest physical footprint at the St. Catharines hospital. Since the hospital opened in 2013, the program has introduced a number of new specialized mental health and addictions programs, including services for patients requiring longer-term treatment in hospital and psychiatric emergency care.
St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton has the second largest Mental Health and Addictions Program in Ontario, with more than 360 inpatient beds, more than 200,000 face-to-face visits each year, and serving more than 30,000 new patients annually. The program goals are to enhance access for patients, create a care environment that places patient and family needs at its core, and to partner with community agencies to bring mental health care to those who need it, where they need it.