Natasha Johnson

Division of Adolescent Medicine

Message from Division Head, Christina Grant

The mission of the Division of Adolescent Medicine is to improve the physical, mental and social wellbeing of adolescents through clinical services, education and training, advocacy, and research.

The division is committed to excellence in clinical care and professional education, improving access to care for vulnerable youth and families, early intervention, and harm reduction. The work of each of our faculty members is driven by a commitment to enhancing the well-being of adolescents. Integral to our approach is strength-based, trauma informed care and collaboration with community partners to promote resilience. 

We are committed to building a safe and inclusive space where diversity is celebrated; we recognize, value and encourage celebration of human differences that surround us and we ask all members of our community to participate in fostering this spirit.

Any expressions of racism, bigotry, hatred, prejudice or disrespect are inconsistent with the ideals of preserving human dignity and have no place in our community. 

It is important that we expressly note that all members of our community including Black, Indigenous, and other people of colour, lesbian, gay, bisexual, two-spirit, transgender, gender diverse and gender non-conforming patients, parents, staff, and trainees are welcome in our program.

Overview

Core values of the Division of Adolescent Medicine include promoting health equity, supporting positive youth development and resiliency in the face of adversity, and educating and empowering teens and their families.  



About Our Faculty Members
PLACEHOLDER TITLE

The senior faculty in our division have helped shape the direction of the specialty of adolescent medicine in Canada. 

Sheri Findlay is recognized as one of the founders of the pediatric specialty of adolescent medicine in Canada. She started our eating disorder program which has grown to become one of the biggest outpatient eating disorder programs in Canada and now includes inpatient, outpatient, and day-treatment programs offering state-of-the-art interdisciplinary care to children, youth and their families. She is currently the medical director of the pediatric chronic pain program.

Christina Grant is recognized as a national expert in cannabis and youth. As co-chair of the Canadian Paediatric Society’s cannabis project advisory group, Grant has been an influential voice in the development of cannabis guidelines for youth. She was recognized for her contributions to understanding cannabis and youth with the Victor Marchessault Advocacy Award. She has also collaborated in research focused on the journey from pediatric to adult care for youth with chronic health conditions. The Transition-Q self-management questionnaire is a tool to help clinicians, youth and families with this process.

Natasha Johnson was recognized for her work with gender diverse youth and is an advocate in trans health care having spearheaded the development of a clinical service for trans and gender expansive children at McMaster Children’s Hospital. She is also part of an anti-racism coalition; a working group within the Department of Pediatrics at McMaster Children’s Hospital created to assist in the development and maintenance of an anti-racism and anti-oppression stance.

The division’s newest recruits are making their mark, too. Rosheen Grady and Allison Rodrigues joined the division in 2015 and 2018, respectively. Rodrigues has an interest in subspecialty postgraduate education and is working on a curriculum focused on adolescent medicine for the development of a fellowship program at McMaster. She is also one of the physicians working in the pediatric chronic pain program. Currently, Grady is the education resource physician for the division and is enrolled in the Royal College Diploma clinician educator program. She has already developed numerous innovations in education including a new orientation tool for trainees which is constantly being adapted based on feedback. Trainees consistently rate their experience on this rotation as excellent.

Faculty Directory

Staff Directory

Placeholder portrait image for Elaine Ford

Elaine Ford

Divisional Assistant

forde4@mcmaster.ca

Education

Educating and training health professionals and trainees in best practices for youth is an essential component to our division’s mission. Our faculty teach and supervise learners at all levels of training. We welcome medical students, and postgraduate residents in pediatrics, psychiatry, and subspecialty programs who rotate through our programs in adolescent medicine, eating disorders, and pediatric chronic pain, in both the inpatient and outpatient settings.



Clinical

Members of the Division of Adolescent Medicine care for 11- to 17-year-old youth with issues such as eating disorders, chronic illness, somatic symptom and related disorders including functional neurologic symptom disorder/conversion disorder, contraception, sexual health concerns, menstrual problems, anxiety and depression in those with severe comorbid chronic health conditions, non-adherence issues, and assessment of substance use disorders. Referrals are made to community partners for substance use treatment. We do not offer detox services at this time.

The pediatric eating disorders program at McMaster Children’s Hospital is the largest outpatient program in Ontario and provides services to children and adolescents up to the age of 18 who require multidisciplinary assessment and treatment of an eating disorder. While the majority of patients are seen on an outpatient basis, the program also offers inpatient treatment for medically unstable patients as well as an intensive day-hospital program.

Members of our division work closely with other pediatric clinics to provide adolescent services to youth with chronic illnesses, somatic symptom and related disorders. 



Research

Our faculty collaborate in research focused on improving health outcomes for adolescents with a variety of themes including enhancing outcomes for youth with eating disorders, gender diverse youth, adolescents and young adults transitioning to adult care, and pediatric chronic pain.

Current collaborations include a project exploring the use of self-guided and virtual family-based treatment for anorexia nervosa, transition outcomes for youth with eating disorders, as well the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic and increased incidence and severity of eating disorders.

Christina Grant is currently a principal investigator for the Canadian pediatric surveillance program study on serious and life-threatening events associated with non-medical (recreational) cannabis use in Canadian children and youth.

Our pediatric chronic pain program has been recognized at the provincial and national levels for development of new innovations including the interactive pain neuroscience education session for youth and families which was recently adapted to a virtual format.



Contact Us

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