National honours for CAMH researcher for ‘exceptional contribution’ to the field

By bananaskin · Jun 23, 2010 · Updated Jun 23, 2010 ·
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    CAMH Senior Scientist Dr. Patricia Erickson recently received a Kaiser Award for Excellence in Leadership, recognizing her exceptional contributions to the field of mental health and addictions.

    Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Deb Matthews with CAMH Senior Scientist Pat Erickson and Edgar Kaiser, founder of the Kaiser Foundation.
    Dr. Erickson received the award from Edgar Kaiser, founder of the Kaiser Foundation and the Kaiser Mental Health and Addictions Awareness Foundation, and the Honourable Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. Now in its fifth year, the awards were presented at an intimate ceremony at Queens Park to honour the Ontario recipients.
    Dr. Erickson was honoured for her outstanding contribution to promoting the philosophy and policy of harm reduction in Canada. One of the nation’s first harm reductionists, Dr. Erickson helped bring the harm reduction philosophy to Canada through her research, articles and books as well as community talks and work at CAMH. She was also the first scientist to thoroughly examine the consequences of drug criminalization.
    “I am grateful to ARF and then CAMH for supporting my research program for over 35 years. This independence has enabled me to contribute to the evidence base, both in Canada and internationally, for a better understanding of addictions, and to better responses that will improve health and social outcomes for individuals and communities. This stability, provided by long term funding from the Ministry of Health, has also made it possible for me to meet and interact with a great number of valued colleagues, bright and questioning students, and community partners.”

    Among her many roles in the addictions field Dr. Erickson has served as Director of the University of Toronto’s Collaborative Program in Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs, and has served on numerous committees, advisory boards and expert panels. Dr. Erickson also helped found the Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy in 1993 and has dedicated much of her research to protect society’s most vulnerable people—street youth, sex-trade workers and the homeless—calling attention to the need proper supports and care and treatment rather than punishment.

    Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
    Jun 22, 2010

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