Keynote Title: “An Unusual Suspect: The Journey from Clinician to Physician-Researcher”
CHIACHEN CHENG, MD, FRCP(C), MPH
Dr. Cheng’s primary research interests are early intervention for youth mental health, evidence
based practice as it interfaces with paediatric and youth mental health policy, and models of
care for vulnerable populations in rural or remote settings. Dr. Cheng is recognized provincially
and internationally for her work, including as elected Board member of IEPA Early Intervention
in Mental Health Association, keynote address at the Early Psychosis Intervention Ontario
Network provincial conference, or other invited presentations.
In 2012, Dr. Cheng was awarded a three-year New Investigator Research Grant from the Sick
Kids Foundation and Canadian Institutes of Health Research for the NorthBEAT Project, with
the goal to identify the mental health service needs of youth in Northern Ontario. In 2017, Dr.
Cheng and the NorthBEAT team received an Ontario Trillium Foundation-Youth Opportunities
Fund grant to support the NorthBEAT Collaborative. This diverse collaborative will improve
coordination of care, build capacity to detect psychosis symptoms early, and enhance access to
appropriate services for youth with psychosis who live in Northwestern Ontario. Dr. Cheng
received the PSI Foundation’s four-year PSI-50 Mid-Career Clinical Research Award in 2019.
This salary award is to continue Dr. Cheng’s work in health services and policy research,
especially involving youth and other vulnerable people.
Dr. Cheng participates in peer review committees including at NOAMA, Sick Kids Foundation,
and Canadian Institutes of Health Research. She has been Associated Editor of the Early
Intervention in Psychiatry Journal and at Frontiers in Health Services Journal. Her research has
examined program implementation and development, fidelity to Ontario’s Early Psychosis
Intervention standards, evaluation of training for healthcare workers, evaluation of delivery of
services in rural and remote regions, and pathways to care among vulnerable populations such
as youth, or Indigenous communities.