Joseph Rotman, Chancellor of Western University with Catherine Zahn, CAMH President and CEO
In recognition of her exceptional contributions to mental health care
and neurology, Dr. Catherine Zahn, President and CEO of the Centre for
Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) received an honorary degree from Western
University during its 303rd Convocation ceremony in London, Ontario today.
“Western is very pleased to
honour Dr. Zahn for her important contributions in steering mental health into
the mainstream of health care and into the public spotlight," said Western
University's President and Vice-Chancellor Amit Chakma.
"This honorary degree
celebrates Catherine's leadership as president of CAMH and as an
internationally recognized scholar who has been a catalyst for system
change in the fields of technology assessment, chronic disease management and
her specialty, epilepsy," said Chakma.
Dr. Zahn joined CAMH as President and CEO in December 2009 at a
critical time for the organization. CAMH's bold transformation agenda includes
its ambitious redevelopment project, integration and
enhancement of clinical programs, expansion of research and
innovation capacity, and continuing public education and social advocacy to challenge the stigma attached to mental
“I’m grateful for this honour from Western
University and proud to share this celebration with parents, family, friends, and especially the graduates of the
class of 2014,” said Dr. Zahn.
“Today is a memorable day and represents the
accomplishments of many years, the creation of a lifetime of connections, the
discovery of new friends, and the realization of hopes and dreams.”
At the convocation ceremony, Dr. Zahn
shared leadership lessons gained through influential life and professional
experiences, including the recent years at CAMH.
“The people served by CAMH have
schooled me in courage and compassion and complexity. They’re people of great worth who fight
lonely, brave battles in their difficult walk through life,” she said.
also spoke about the humanity andinspiration found in individual stories of
recovery, “full of spirit and tenacity.”
to coming to CAMH, Dr. Zahn was Executive Vice President, Clinical Programs and
Practice, at the University Health Network (UHN). She held senior leadership
roles in that organization for 12 years. Previous UHN positions included Vice
President and COO of Toronto Western Hospital, Program Medical Director for
Neuroscience and Division Head for Neurology. She was also the inaugural chair
holder for the Krembil Family Chair in Neurology.
Zahn encouraged the graduates to eagerly embrace the next chapter in their live
and to,“savor this day as you walk together in your achievement.”