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CAMH Stories Centre for Addiction
and Mental Health

CAMH achieves highest standard of Accreditation

July 6, 2015 - The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health has been Accredited with Exemplary Standing – the highest rating for a Canadian hospital.

“This is a milestone to be celebrated,” said Accreditation Canada Decision Committee Chair Christopher Dean. “We congratulate you and your team for your commitment to providing safe, high quality health services.” Accreditation Canada is a not-for-profit, independent organization that conducts an external peer review to assess the quality of health organizations’ services based on standards of excellence.


Accreditation Canada seal 
 “We will continue our work together to maintain our standards of excellence,” said Ann Pottinger, CAMH Director of Quality and Safety. “A special ‘thank you’ to clients and families for sharing your experiences to help us to continuously improve our quality of care.”


Dr. Rani Srivastava, Chief of Nursing and Professional Practice, added: “I am thrilled that CAMH received the highest honor – Exemplary Standing! All of CAMH was engaged and worked hard towards that goal.”

The July 3rd decision follows an intensive accreditation process. In June, a team of four Accreditation Surveyors criss-crossed CAMH sites and programs, interviewing hundreds of staff, clients and stakeholders.


Accreditation Canada's Barbara Hall 
Accreditation Canada Surveyor Barbara Hall provided an update to CAMH staff  


CAMH exceeded the requirements of the Accreditation Canada’s Qmentum program by meeting all priority processes, required organizational practices, and priority standards, said Rani. She said the surveyors were impressed by the culture of quality improvement. In addition, clients reported “that they are respected, felt safe, and had a high level of trust for the staff.”


Where we excel


In a briefing for CAMH staff, the survey team made overall observations about CAMH strengths. These include:

  • An intense “and palpable” focus on continuous quality improvement

  • A commitment to evidence-informed practice

  • Prioritizing staff and client safety

  • CAMH’s mission of teaching and research.

The team commended several CAMH initiatives including the Tobacco-Free Policy, the new psychiatric Emergency Department, an enhanced violence prevention strategy and improvements to access for Aboriginal Services.

Emergency Department team 
Care starts here! The team at CAMH’s Emergency Department at 250 College shared their work and insights with an Accreditation Canada Surveyor.



Leading Practices


Accreditation Canada has singled out the following CAMH initiatives as Leading Practices:

  • CAMH Integrated Care Pathway (ICP) – focusing on care for Major Depressive Disorder and Alcohol Dependence (MDDAD)

  • The Service Collaboratives, which improve access and transitions to mental health and addiction supports for children, youth and families across Ontario.

  • CAMH’s Tobacco-Free policy, which confronts a leading cause of preventable death for our clients.

  • The  CAMH Constituency Council, a province-wide voluntary council made up of 50-70 stakeholders providing advice, insight, and feedback to CAMH.

“Accreditation is an opportunity to measure ourselves against Canada’s best practice standards,” said CAMH President and CEO Dr. Catherine Zahn. “It gives us an honest assessment of how we are serving people who experience mental illness and addiction.


“We will continue to build on our strengths and innovate to transform the lives of our patients.”


CAMH president and CEO, Dr. Catherine Zahn 
CAMH President and CEO Dr. Catherine Zahn.


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