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2009 Centre for Addiction
and Mental Health

New CEO takes the reins at CAMH today

For Immediate Release – Dec. 1 2009 - (TORONTO) – Today, Dr. Catherine Zahn begins her new role as President and CEO of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Canada’s largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital and one of the world’s top research facilities. Dr. Paul Garfinkel, CAMH’s founding President and CEO, is retiring from the position.
“Dr. Garfinkel, the CAMH Board and leadership team have laid the foundation for accelerating change in the world of mental health and addictions,” Dr. Zahn said.  “I’m energized by the richness of possibility for CAMH and for the people that it serves.”
Dr. Catherine Zahn
Dr. Zahn, a practicing neurologist, has joined CAMH from the University Health Network, where she has served as the Executive Vice President, Clinical Programs and Practice since 2005.  A Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, she is internationally recognized in the field of neurologic education and has made numerous contributions to health care in Ontario. Dr. Zahn’s reputation in hospital integration, her leadership of the renaissance of the Toronto Western Hospital and a $100M redevelopment project there are recent accomplishments in a career that spans more than 25 years.  
“CAMH has an ambitious mandate: to help transform the lives of people with mental illness and addictions, through a new model of care and by breaking down stigma. The redevelopment of our 27-acre institutionalized site on Queen Street West into a mixed use urban village reflects our bold agenda,” CAMH Board Chair Dan Burns said. “Catherine brings the talent, inclusive values, solid experience and momentum required to lead CAMH in accomplishing its transformational mandate.”
Known as a strategic and imaginative leader who is driven to improve clinical care and quality of life for people struggling with illness, she has a track record of recruiting and retaining excellent clinicians. Her support for research as the path to improving care for patients led her to develop the Krembil Neuroscience Centre at the Toronto Western Hospital and extend its reach throughout Ontario and around the world. 
“CAMH is about a spectrum of opportunity, from brain research to city building,” Dr. Zahn continued. “It’s about social change to ensure care and support for people living with mental illness and addictions.  It’s about the skills and values of a staff who care for our clients.  It’s about public education and political advocacy.  It’s about searching for the causes and improving the treatments for mental illness and addictions.” 
“I’m thrilled by the prospect of working with the talented and committed staff and leadership of CAMH to bring the organization to a new level of distinction.”
Media Contact: Michael Torres, CAMH Media Relations; 416-595-6015  or
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, as well as one of the world's leading research centres in the area of addiction and mental health. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development, prevention and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental health and addiction issues.
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